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TiVo to Be Programmable Via Mobile Phone

TiVo subscribers will soon be able to program television recordings straight from cell phones using the Verizon Wireless network.

An agreement with Verizon Wireless, to be announced Tuesday, expands on TiVo Inc.'s (TIVO) strategy to bring the digital video recording pioneer's capabilities beyond its set-top-boxes and the television, and directly to cell phones for the first time.

Dubbed TiVo Mobile, it's also the latest feature the Alviso, Calif.-based company is introducing to help differentiate itself from the growing number of rival DVR offerings from cable and satellite TV operators.

A DVR records TV programming onto hard disks and gives viewers the ability to pause live TV and fast-forward through commercials.

Terms of the TiVo-Verizon Wireless deal were not disclosed, but TiVo said Verizon Wireless would be the first cellular carrier to offer the remote TiVo scheduling feature on its handsets.

"TiVo isn't just about a great way to watch television, but it's also about a great way to manage your TV life, and to do that, we realize TiVo can't be isolated. It has to be integrated with all these other digital devices in people's lives," TiVo CEO Tom Rogers said in an interview.

TiVo subscribers already can program their recordings through the TiVo Web site and Yahoo Inc.'s (YHOO) online TV guide, so users with Web-enabled cell phones can schedule recordings that way.

TiVo Mobile, however, is specifically tailored to work on cell phones, making the on-the-go scheduling process easier and faster, said Naveen Chopra, TiVo's director of business development.

Verizon Wireless subscribers will be able to access TiVo Mobile through its "Get It Now" service menu starting in the early summer. Verizon Wireless' pricing for the service will be announced then, TiVo said.

[Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Britain's Vodafone PLC (VOD).]