TiVo Inc is getting ready to test a new Internet-based video download service to rival some existing cable and satellite services. The company will test several programs from the Independent Film Channel, and is to allow a group of volunteer beta testers to download the shows. The move should see the company one day position itself as a threat to cable, satellite and eventually Internet protocol television developers like SBC. There is no concrete announcement yet as such, though, with company spokesman Elliot Sloan refusing to confirm anything.

"I can't mention any names or any content delivery providers," Sloan said. "I can only confirm that a test will be happening next week."