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TiVo/YouTube Team Up For Web TV Video

Here's the $64,000 question of the day: Do people really want to watch made-for-web content on their televisions? It didn't work when NBC picked up the web series "Quarterlife" to air on primetime--they're sending it over to Bravo. But now, TiVo has a new strategy to give consumers what they want, wherever and whenever they want it.

TiVo announced a deal with YouTube to deliver its millions of web videos to your TV. Just like you can record a full season of a network series--I've got "The Office" and "Grey's Anatomy" on my series pass list--now you'll be able to use the same interface to subscribe to shows from YouTube.

It's not just user-generated content, I'm talking about clips from CBS (which has a deal with TiVo) or gadget reviews from CNET. Another service that sounds cool: it allows subscribers to sign up for video feeds from a range of online sites using an RSS reader--a system many people use to manage their blog subscriptions.

It'll be available later this year to 800,000 of the current 1.7 million TiVo users who bought their box from TiVo, just a half of TiVo's current subscribers.

TiVo's not the first to allow you to watch web video on your HD TV. Apple's AppleTV allows you to watch YouTube on the big screen (though I have to say, I have an Apple TV at home and I've never done it). And Sony's Bravia televisions, which are hooked up to the internet, also let you watch online videos through the Bravia Internet Video Link add on.

I'll check it out on my TiVo when I can click on over to new video feeds, but I'm still wondering if made for web content is as appealing as the higher production stuff made just for the tube. Especially on the new flat screens, the higher quality stuff looks just so much better.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.