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UPDATED: TiVo is taking the wraps off its new YouTube service on Thursday, allowing subscribers to watch all that UGC on a big, sweet TV. And while we could tell you all about it, we figured a video demo might be more fun. Here’s an exclusive look at the service in action provided by TiVo vice president, product marketing James Denney:
The service will roll out on TiVo Series 3 and HD boxes over the coming weeks, and fans will be happy to know that the company has married the signature TiVo interface seamlessly with YouTube content. Navigating through the service works just as well as you would imagine, complete with all the fun “boo-bip” noises. Any video encoded in H.264 can be streamed (not downloaded to the box), played in full-screen and you can fast forward, pause or rewind them just as you would any other video on your TiVo.
This release doesn’t include your YouTube account info, so you can’t rate or favorite yet. Denney said account integration would be available at some point, though probably without commenting as that is more of a keyboard and not a remote control interface. (We think that’s just quitter talk.)
Noticeably absent from the TiVoTube (YouVo?) are any display ads, and there are no plans to add them. But you will be able to see pre-rolls and overlays. This lends credence to our earlier theory that YouTube is reversing its stand on the hated pre-roll format because as it moves to the TV set, the pre-roll will look just like a commercial, which may not be as annoying in a living room setting.
Update: YouTube sent us the following clarification: We are not currently serving ads on TiVo, and have not announced any future plans to serve ads on TiVo or other TV devices.
With DVRs becoming part and parcel with your cable or satellite subscription, TiVo needs deals like YouTube to make its box more relevant. The only problem is that TiVo isn’t the only game in town. YouTube has been busily prepping for life beyond PCs and has already hooked up with Apple TV, HP MediaSmart Connect, Sony Bravia and Panasonic TV sets, and Verismo — and those won’t be the last.
Sidenote: I don’t think Avril Lavigne’s ever going to catch up to Evolution of Dance — every CE company uses that video to demo YouTube on their box.