It's a well kept secret that TiVo's set-top boxes not only record TV programs and skip ads to order, they also have a little-used capability to connect to the internet.

All that is about to change, following Tuesday's announcement of a joint venture between the box manufacturer and internet portal Yahoo. This will not only enable TiVo to offer a range of web content and services, it will also facilitate Yahoo's extension of its services to TV sets.

The union of technologies will get off to a modest start this month with TiVo homes able to access Yahoo's TV listings and, by checking the appropriate boxes, program their TiVos to record their favorite shows.

In the near future the service will extend to let TiVo users view on their TV screens pictures stored on the Yahoo Photos site, as well as local weather and traffic information from Yahoo. As yet, however, there are no concrete plans for TiVo users to watch video via the portal.

Says Yahoo's vp for entertainment and sports programming David Katz: "Our core business today exists on the computer because that's where the majority of our users are. Our goal is to provide our users on any platform with whatever content they are most interested in."

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff