TiVo among adopters of YouTube tools


Google's YouTube on Wednesday released tools that will let Web sites more easily tap into its millions of Internet videos while also converging them with television sets and video games.

One of the more significant companies to say that they have embraced the upgrade is TiVo which, within about six months, will make it possible for users of many of its broadband-connected DVRs to view YouTube video on TV screens.

TiVo said that owners of its Series 3 and TiVo HD boxes will be able to stream and bookmark favorite YouTube videos, but not store them as if they were recorded TV shows.

YouTube becomes one of about 40 partners that TiVo has lined up to deliver Internet content to its DVRs, the most significant being Amazon.com's Unbox digital movie service.

TiVo said that its users have downloaded 16 million videos from its 40-odd partners.

While there are 4 million TiVo subscribers, only 800,000 own stand-alone, broadband-enabled TiVo boxes, and TiVo won't say how many of those devices are the Series 3 and TiVo HD models.

YouTube has a similar arrangement with Apple and its Apple TV set-top box, though executives at Apple and YouTube won't say whether YouTube videos are a popular draw or not.

YouTube's Wednesday upgrade comes in the form of expanded APIs, or application programmer interfaces. The improvement will allow Web developers to not only let their users view YouTube videos -- as they could do before -- but to also post videos with a click of a button, customize the user interface on the video player, and more.

Another early partner is Electronic Arts, which will allow consumers to capture images of its upcoming "Spore" game, manipulate them into videos and publish them to YouTube.

A smaller partner is Animoto, a Web site that lets visitors upload their own still photos, choose music and create a customized music video that can now be easily uploaded straight to YouTube.

"This is a dramatic upgrade," said Jim Patterson, product manager at YouTube. "Before, you could engage in passive viewing, now you can contribute from various Web sites."

YouTube is the most popular video site on the Internet, according to Nelsen//NetRatings, which reported 67.5 million unique users to the site in the U.S. during January. Users post about 10 hours of video to YouTube every second, according YouTube.