TiVo Conquers World, Courtesy TV Guide

Gemstar-TV Guide International made nice with TiVo and paid for the right to deploy the company's technology around the world.

The magazine publisher and programming data reseller didn't say which countries' set top boxes it plans to colonize in TiVo's name, but TiVo already has distribution deals in Australia, Taiwan, Mexico, Canada (those last two are actually already the distribution territory of Gemstar-TV Guide). That leaves Europe and most of Asia ripe for Gemstar-TV Guide's invasion.

The patents Gemstar-TV Guide licensed from TiVo cover actual set-top boxes as well as software, so foreign countries could see TiVo guts stuffed into a different manufacturer's box, depending on how the company works deals with cable and satellite companies in those countries.

How much did Gemstar-TV Guide pay to be the harbinger of good design and effortless commercial-skipping to the rest of the world? Nobody's telling. But TiVo vice president and general manager for international Joshua Danovitz did say this in a press release: "International interest in TiVo is at an all-time high as retailers and service providers globally seek to deliver the TiVo service as a way to differentiate their video products." -Rachel Rosmarin