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An TiVo remote circa 2007. - 

We got word today that one of the pioneers of time-shifted TV recording, TiVo, is close to a deal to sell itself to a company called Rovi.

I know you may be thinking that these are two companies you've barely heard of or don't care about.

TiVo makes a DVR with a great interface and tiny market share. Rovi makes an interactive TV guide that maybe about 18 million people use.

But between them, they would own about 6,000 patents related to recording and playing back live television and to streaming over-the-top video.

Both areas that are, as you probably know, becoming a bigger deal all the time.

Follow Molly Wood at @mollywood