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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

July 22, 2008 at 1:54 PM

Amazon ads on TiVo: Time to make the service free

I took the TiVo plunge awhile back, buying an HD box and a three-year service plan, but now I’m having regrets.

TiVo’s is going to expand its partnership with Amazon.com to advertise products in the menus and add another layer of advertising to content I watch on the box; it’s time for the company to stop charging service fees.

It’s a good deal, business-wise, for both companies. But it kind of stinks for consumers.

I guess I’ll have to see what shows up on the screen, but my initial feeling is that it’s really obnoxious. People who pay for TiVo digital-video services pay a premium so they can better manage their TV time. If that time is going to be diluted by additional advertising — over and above what’s already on the tube — the service shouldn’t carry a premium charge.

Maybe I should have stuck with Windows Media Center. I had some hardware performance challenges and it will surely have more ads one of these days, but at least its DVR capabilities are free.

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