XMPP in TiVo

2008-01-10

The TiVo Lovers blog reports as follows from CES:

OK, so why is the desktop linked to your account online? Because the TiVo back-end plays a role in the new system. Today each TiVo polls TiVo’s severs roughly every 15 minutes to check for new scheduled recordings, TiVoCast downloads, Unbox downloads, etc. That’s highly inefficient - nearly all of those polling calls are for nothing. There is nothing waiting to be done. And it introduces a lag when you want to start a download - up to 15 minutes. And it doesn’t scale well as TiVo’s user base keeps growing.

So what’s changed? The polling system is gone. TiVo is using XMPP now instead. What is XMPP? The Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol - better known as the instant messaging protocol that powers Jabber, Google Talk, and other IM systems. Yep, TiVo is basically using instant messaging for real-time communication. Now when the TiVo server has a new recording to schedule, it will IM the TiVo to tell it. Or if there is a download to pull, it will IM the TiVo to tell it to do so. This is a much more efficient system and it eliminates latency. It is really a clever idea.

Those TiVo people are smart. :-)


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal