updated 06:10 pm EST, Sun December 15, 2013
TiVo lets some users vote on singing contest
TiVo is testing a new feature that will allow users to interact with live television programming, according to a new report. ZatzNotFunny noted on Saturday that version 20.3.8 of TiVo's software provides a framework that allows users to vote on contestants performances on the television show "The Voice." The feature is still classified as an "experiment" by "TiVo Labs," and it is only available to a select group of recruited TiVo owners. Whether the DVR company will roll the feature out on a wider scale is as yet unknown.
The addition of a voting feature repurposes the Thumbs-Up/-Down buttons on TiVo remotes away from their original purpose of improving and generating viewing suggestions. The buttons will see use by participating TiVo owners on Monday, December 16, during the "Live Final Performances" segment of "The Voice," airing at 8PM/7PM Central.
Users will be able to press Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down to log their opinions of each contestant. They will be able to log their opinions as often as they wish during the episode, and normal fast-forward, pause, and rewind functions will not suffer in the process.
TiVo has in the past collected similar behavioral data, continually logging and regularly publicizing the "most watched moments" of a year. Previous behavioral monitoring aspects, though, were typically passive exercises, and the new move represents a push to leverage TiVo's install base and technology to bring a more truly interactive aspect to television.
TiVo has roughly 3.9 million global subscribers, but not all of them will have access to the feature. Selected users will receive a note from TiVo inviting them to join in the experiment and telling them how.