Caller ID on the TiVo

TiVoBlog.com � Blog Archive � Caller id on the TiVo TiVoBlog posts about how to get caller ID on your TiVo. This has been something that has been available for quite a while now on the Media Center PC. It’s a nice feature that I don’t personally use because my HP873N doesn’t have an expansion slot for a modem in it (I’m using it right now for a Gigabit Ethernet card).

The idea is nice though, that you should be able to see who is calling you on your TV when you’re watching it so that you can decide whether to jump up and answer the phone. You get the idea, the pesky insurance salesman calls from ABC insurance and you decide to stay put, but your boss calls from work and… well again, maybe you stay put. Come to think of it, I’m not a big fan of answering the phone at home in general.

I do think that TiVo and Microsoft are missing the boat here with regards to telephone functionality potential. While the hardware business may be bigger than the content business, the telecommunications business is larger than them both.

Microsoft and TiVo should be offer a complete suite of telephone services including voicemail, the ability to record phone calls, automatic dialing via MCE outlook etc. Your MCE or TiVo unit should have a speaker phone and you should be able to buy phones that double as remote controls… or is that remote controls that double as phones.

Skype should be thrown into the mix or other VOIP services that can be cross-sold or at minimum sold through a partner company. I suspect this would be harder for Microsoft given their recent significant relationships with the Telcos in working on IPTV. And perhaps if TiVo even went anywhere near this turf, one of the Telcos might just want to stomp on them.

Convergence of TV and the phone though is kind of a no brainer and will be here at some point. A PC is so much more powerful and could be so much better at doing this than an answering machine or a voicemail service that you pay for from a phone company.

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