SUNNYVALE, Calif., March 31, 1999 -- Philips Electronics, one of the world's leading consumer electronics companies, and TiVo, Inc., the originator of personal television, announced today the availability of the first personal TV system. The Philips Personal TV- Receiver and the TiVo Personal Television Service represent a revolution in television, giving consumers complete control over their viewing experience and allowing them to watch what they want, when they want. A strategic roll-out of Philips receivers and access to the TiVo service will begin March 31, 1999. Philips' and TiVo's personal TV system ensures that viewers will never miss a minute of their favorite television shows. Philips' and TiVo's system enables viewers to easily capture a personalized line-up of television programs that can be accessed instantly at their convenience. The Philips receiver accepts television programming from any source, including satellite, cable and antenna. "The arrival of Philips' and TiVo's personal TV system marks an important milestone in the evolution of consumer electronics, and demonstrates Philips' commitment to expand the potential of television," said Rob van Oostenbrugge, CEO of Philips Digital Video Systems. "By partnering with TiVo, our personal TV system will be a major breakthrough in enabling consumers for the first time to truly control the vast array of television content that is available today, furthering our efforts to dramatically improve our customers' television viewing experiences." "Today marks the beginning of a dramatic revolution in the world of television," said Michael Ramsay, president and CEO of TiVo. "Together with Philips, we are delivering on the promise of personal TV, providing consumers with an entertainment innovation that will forever change the way they watch television."
The Changing Face of Television
Philips' and TiVo's Personal Television System gives consumers total control over live television by allowing them to pause and rewind, as well as use TiVo's patented technology to create slow-motion, frame forward and frame back effects for any show they are watching. The TiVo service also enables viewers to automatically teach TiVo what they enjoy watching through the use of a simple "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" feature on the Philips remote control, thus building up a personal preference profile. This system simplifies the selection process by searching through more than 100,000 programs that are broadcast each week, uniquely recording favorite shows every time they are broadcast, and making recommendations on other shows of interest. TiVo's service works with all television programming providers. It also allows subscribers to access special programming packages from leading entertainment industry partners, including Showtime, E! Entertainment Television, FLIX, HBO, style., The Weather Channel, The Movie Channel, and ZDTV. Subscribers will receive TiVo's TiVolution Video Magazine providing daily program recommendations, and entertainment and sports editorial content produced by former broadcast executives from CNN, NBC, HBO, Fox, CBS and Turner. TiVo subscribers will also receive new service updates and features automatically. TiVo's service is delivered 24 hours a day, seven days a week by TiVo's Broadcast Center to the Philips Personal TV- receivers. "We all believe that it is inevitable that consumers will get control over their television programming," said Stewart Alsop, principal of New Enterprise Associates and a member of TiVo's Board of Directors. "The TiVo and Philips teams have the experience and expertise to lead this exciting category, but they also understand the business of television, which may prove to be even more important."
Consumers Are Ready to Adopt
Philips receivers and the TiVo service have been in field trials since December, and consumer feedback on this new television experience has been overwhelmingly positive. "What I love about Philips' and TiVo's system is that it automatically picks up the shows I want, and I don't have to worry that I'm missing anything I want to watch," said Ed Wodzienski, a computer consultant and technology enthusiast, who has been using the system in his home. "I don't have to fuss with the receiver at all, and whenever I want to watch something, I have access to it instantly." "Like a lot of parents, I'm putting my kids to bed when most of my favorite 'prime time' shows are on," said Melinda Christopherson, a homemaker and mother of four. "With Philips' and TiVo's system I can watch my shows whenever I want, and never miss a minute, even if the phone rings or one of my kids starts crying. Also, my husband is a sports fanatic, and he loves being able to pause and rewind live broadcasts of sporting events. It really came in handy for him during the NCAA basketball tournament."
Pricing and Availability
The Philips Personal TV- receivers are available in two configurations: a 14-hour model priced at $499, and a 30-hour model at $999. TiVo Personal Television Service subscribers have three options: $9.95 per month, $99 per year or $199 for a lifetime subscription. Personal TV receivers will be available in limited quantities initially and widely available this summer at CE retailers. Consumers can learn more about Philips' and TiVo's personal TV system and service by calling 1-877-FOR-TIVO or on the Web at www.tivo.com or www.philipsusa.com.
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of over US$ 33.9 billion in 1998. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, color picture tubes for televisions and monitors, and one-chip TV products. Its 233,700 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, components, semiconductors, medical systems, business electronics, and IT services (Origin). Philips is quoted on the NYSE, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other stock exchanges. News from Philips is located at www.news.philips.com. News about Philips can also be found on the U.S. web site www.philipsusa.com.
TiVo, headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., is the originator of personal television. The TiVo service allows consumers to take control of their television viewing by providing the ability to pause, rewind, instant replay and playback in slow-motion any live television broadcast. As part of TiVo's easy-to-use service and patented consumer electronics technology, viewers can time-shift their favorite television shows and create a customized television lineup for anytime viewing. The company was founded in August 1997 by former Silicon Graphics senior vice president Michael Ramsay and vice president James Barton, both of whom have been instrumental in earlier generation efforts of interactive video-on-demand systems and Hollywood special-effects technology. TiVo's board of directors includes Stewart Alsop of New Enterprise Associates, Geoff Yang of Institutional Venture Partners and WebTV founding director Randy Komisar. TiVo can be reached on the World Wide Web at www.tivo.com.