Remember 2004? Pundits were predicting the imminent demise of money-losing TiVo. Consumer electronics manufacturers were each promising their own DVR lines, it was Replay vs. TiVo, Microsoft was predicting their Media Center would assimilate all, everyone was wondering when Apple would announce their iDVR? Well, TiVo is still around, not bought, in partnerships with Yahoo!, Comcast, Roxio, and mebbe Netflix (don't think that number get's called much.) They're not hemorrhaging money anymore but still in the red overall. But back in 2004 TiVo did something that got a fair amount of attention: They bought tiny startup "Strangeberry". There were three things that made this notable: TiVo hadn't (and still hasn't) made a habit of buying startups for their staff, products, or patents. Strangeberry's Principal was Arthur van Hoff, legendary for being the Senior Engineer of Java, Founder & CTO of Marimba, all around smart-fella, and having boatloads of patents to his name. Stangeberry was rumored to have developed a nifty media player box to plug into TVs. However, van Hoff left TiVo a year later, on his resume characterizing his former role there as:Principal Engineer Lead architect for the TiVoToGo, Content Distribution Service, and Home Media Engine project. Designed TiVos DRM for in-home Media, DRM for Internet distributed content, content publishing, content encoding and encryption, and third party application strategy.OK, we've seen HME, TiVoToGo, downloading digital media like RocketBoom, but did it take buying Strangeberry for however much to do this? And if the goal was to get van Hoff on staff, that didn't last very long for whatever TiVo paid, did it? I'm just wondering out loud how this all might play into the Series 3. With the Series 1 TiVo went with dedicated hardware, with the Series 2 they used more generalized hardware, and pushed it hard (witness the S2 not having enough oomph to support the CPU requirements of USB2). With the Series 3 they're shipping a new platform into a market already rife with media player devices, though admittedly few as smooth as the TiVo integration. So is there any other Stangeberry-esque stuff TiVo was unable to do in S2? High Definition and multiple tuners aside, anyone have any guesses as to what other features a TiVo Series 3 might offer? I'm guessing MP3 playback is a given, also MPEG2 & MPEG4 video. AAC would be nice but given TiVo's ongoing chronic Mac-incompetence I wouldn't hold out hopes there. RSS enclosures are a no-brainer with their existing support of RocketBoom. The server-based application idea seems promising but I've yet to see anything truly compelling. Built-in mebbe a nice web browser for those fine HDTV screens, and gaming is an obvious, if difficult, market. Anyone know anything? Hear anything? Brainstorm anything? What would you want on your Series 3, beyond kick-ass already-TiVo stuff?