14 thoughts on “Will Cable Strangle TiVo?”

  1. to TIVO’s credit, it has hung around longer than I suspected. Since DirectTV stopped pumping it, TIVO’s net new subscribers have been anemic.

    If the cable companies will RENT the box to you for basically the same price as TIVO will sell you its program guide, since the monthly costs are the same and the TIVO solution requires a hardware purchase and the cable solution doesn’t…how can TIVO survive that with its current model?

  2. The options for Tivo have never been good. Since birth, Tivo has wanted to move to a software model, but except for DTV it was never able to get the MPVD’s to buy in. At this point, that ship has sailed, because the MVPD’s have their own “good enough” units. Tivo can’t survive as a premium software brand on other vendor’s boxes (royalties are in the $10-15 range, so they need huge volumes, or an expensive back-end subscription business to survive). They can try to sell-out, but the best candidates were Apple, Cisco, Motorola and Sony. Apple and Cisco don’t need them, and Moto and Sony have enough problems. That leaves Google.

  3. There is an opportunity is to be an agnostic IPTV box for all these “new” delivery services – not just the Unboxs’ of the world but also the Veohs, Jamans, and torrents. Low cost enough box (nearly check), HDTV support (check), with broad content provider support (nearly) and it’s got a place in my household (it has already, but this way, it will stay). I know Akimbo was trying half this model, but Tivo has more boxes in more non-techie households than Akimbo will ever get. Sure, cable VOD is instant, but i’m sure TiVo will find a way to start playing content while downloading, without needing it to be fully downloaded.

  4. Look, when TiVo really starts tanking someone will swoop in and buy them. The brand has way too much good will to away completely. The price just has to come down enough.

    I still think Cisco is the best fit for TiVo. The Scientific Atlanta experience is an abortion and SciAt already has partnerships with many of the cable providers.

    I don’t think Google makes much sense from a business perspective. They just got out of the one hardware business they were when they let Dell take over their search appliance manufacturing.

    Do not forget that TiVo and DirecTV might be “getting back together” soon once John Malone takes the keys from Rupert.

    TiVo: “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

  5. Part of the comcast deal is the ad-swapping,no? That alone would make it worth it to Comcast. In addition, I suspect somebody is studying whether tivo users fast forward through commericals in a different manner than generic DVR users. At least on my tivo, it is much easier to speed up the commercial (at 3x speed) than on a comcast box. However, I don’t have the 30 second skip enabled.

  6. Tivo is toast. Retail distribution cannot compete with the direct service distribution the cable companies offer to consumers.

    Tivo did not execute well enough when they launched. Achieving critical mass was key for fighting the cable companies. It is too late now.

  7. The right question should be:
    Will TiVo Strangle Cable?

    The reason Direct-TV decided to stop TiVo subscriptions was the rapid acceptance it had among satellite users. They fell in love with the TiVo interface. Motorola and Cisco have not been able to build a better box as yet. Thus Comcast, Cox, Cablevision, Seven Networks want to launch the best, and the most unchallenged set-top interface.

    Tivo has so many features and advantages over the roost that, it is a die hard for competitors. Maybe TiVo will end-up strangling all cable boxes out.

    The main reason is that the TiVo software for set-top-boxes is like Windows for PCs and it is protected. I is a universal easy to use interface on TV-=ready to function with MSOs triple players.

    Those who argue the contrary are either TiVo enemies or investors shorting TiVo shares.

  8. Isn’t there an opportunity for TiVo where there are customers that do not have a cable box (to use VOD w/or w/out VOD) ? In this sense the TiVo is both a rent free PVR and a competitor to both the Xbox and the AppleTV. What TiVo should do is embrace interactive video and possibly gaming. But they are up against gaming consoles that will tread on PVR and already have VOD….

  9. If you have tried TiVo, there is really no system that comes close. I use the download feature (Pictures from my computer), the 365 radio feature (1000 stations). Program my TiVo from my office 45 miles away. Season passes, free games, instant replay. It so easy a guy in his sixties can do it. Opps thats me. My VCR still blinks 12:00 but my TiVo works 24/7. My TiVo gets me just like the current commercials promise.

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