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Will TiVo revolutionize television viewing?

By Kendis Gibson
CNN Headline News

TiVo can store up to 80 hours of programming.

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(CNN) -- Like 7UP, Xerox, Kleenex and even Coke before them, TiVo is quickly moving from a brand name to an everyday word.

Often you'll hear fans simply refer to the concept of recording a favorite TV show, as something they're "TiVo'ing," or as something they "TiVo'd."

In a very short time, TiVo has nearly revolutionized the way many of us watch television, and what we choose to watch.

The small black box, a personal video recorder, is hooked up to the telephone and cable/satellite television lines in a home. It can store up to 80 hours of programs.

If you're a fan of the show "Friends," you only need to tell TiVo to record it once and then it records the show every week without a problem. It allows users to pause live television if, God forbid, they need to walk away from the couch. More important perhaps, it also allows you to skip the commercials in every recording.

That last part has it in battles with many in the programming world. The chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting, which includes the CNN Networks, recently blasted TiVo and other personal video recorders, like Replay.

Jamie Kellner told audiences at the Association of National Advertisers' national conference in Naples, Florida, that he's worried, "the television business cannot exist, unless consumers are willing to give time for marketers."

Since the introduction of TiVo, marketers and advertisers have discovered that many PVR users are no longer paying attention to their messages. A study by the CNW Marketing Research, found 72 percent of PVR users skip over commercials. That's a startling number for the $36 billion dollar television advertising business.

The good news for the industry is that personal video recorders are still not in the vast majority of television homes. TiVo says only about 500,000 homes have them now. But the company predicts that number will double over the next two years.

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