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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

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July 22, 2008 1:54 PM

Amazon ads on TiVo: Time to make the service free

Posted by Brier Dudley

I took the TiVo plunge awhile back, buying an HD box and a three-year service plan, but now I'm having regrets.

TiVo's is going to expand its partnership with to advertise products in the menus and add another layer of advertising to content I watch on the box; it's time for the company to stop charging service fees.

It's a good deal, business-wise, for both companies. But it kind of stinks for consumers.

I guess I'll have to see what shows up on the screen, but my initial feeling is that it's really obnoxious. People who pay for TiVo digital-video services pay a premium so they can better manage their TV time. If that time is going to be diluted by additional advertising -- over and above what's already on the tube -- the service shouldn't carry a premium charge.

Maybe I should have stuck with Windows Media Center. I had some hardware performance challenges and it will surely have more ads one of these days, but at least its DVR capabilities are free.

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.