Ravisent Invades TiVo's Turf With Browser Purchase

The software maker is positioning itself to capitalize on the possible blurring of the line between TV and computers.
Publish date:


(TIVO) - Get Report

, the maker of TV-set-top boxes that allow viewers to pause live shows, is in the honeymoon suite with big-name investors like


(DIS) - Get Report


America Online


, with its stock price soaring 155% since its Sept. 30 IPO.



is ignoring the "Do Not Disturb" sign.

The Pennsylvania software maker plans to announce Monday that it has signed a deal to acquire


, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based company that owns a small, simple Internet browser, Ravisent officials confirmed. The deal will cost Ravisent an estimated $16 million, including $2.5 million in cash and 819,000 shares and stock options.

The deal marks Ravisent's assault on TiVo's market. TiVo, based in Sunnydale, Calif., makes digital video recorders and provides a service enabling TV viewers to watch shows at their own pace. The system records video signals to a hard drive so that live shows can be paused or rewound instantly.

Ravisent has built two very divergent stables of customers, both computer makers like


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and consumer electronics companies like





. In acquiring a functional browser, the company is betting it can combine the two stables if the line between computers and TVs starts to blur.

Many in the industry, including Tivo and

WebTV Networks

, a subsidiary of


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, are betting they can make the same marriage work.

Ravisent closed at 15 7/8 on Friday, up 1 3/8, while Tivo finished at 40 3/4, up 5/8.