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Tivo Will Die



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 19th 04, 04:03 AM
Matthew Philmon
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Default Tivo Will Die

Well, I'm a huge Tivo fan myself and I talk it to death to nearly every
person I know... but I've seen this coming for some time. Tivo will die and
it's probably going to happen within the next 2 years. I imagine even I'll
be jumping ship just as soon as I make the move to HDTV later this year. I
already paid $300+ for the Tivo Series 2 I've had for the past year and a
half or more and there's no way I'm paying another $1000 for another one to
support HDTV. Also, because Tivo has failed to make any deals with other
Dish Networks than DirectTV as well as Cable Companies, they have all come
out with their own products which are INTEGRATED and CHEAP and require NO
analog to digital to analog, etc. So, they are fast, cheap (massively
cheaper), and with higher quality and though Tivo's product over all is far
better, they will catch up. I was even looking into getting one of those DVD
Recorder / Tivo bundles at one point despite the price until emails to Tivo
revealed I'd have to pay an additional full $12.00 per month for the second
unit.

Nope, prepare yourselves everyone. Tivo is going to die and there is nearly
nothing left to save it. Want a better, more detailed read of the problems?
Read this... very sad, but very true.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...2&u=/zd/121934

Matt


  #2  
Old March 19th 04, 05:38 AM
MegaZone
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"Matthew Philmon" shaped the electrons to say:
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...2&u=/zd/121934


I've already addressed this elsewhere - I'll copy my post...

---
The CEO of my company sent me that link to ask my opinion. Rather than
re-write it, this is the reply I sent. I probably would've used a
different tone if I was writing it for a public audience originally,
but you'll get the idea.

Lots of FUD.

A lot of what he says is superficially true - but it is like saying
that there is only room for one VCR vendor. I don't understand why
this guy, and a lot of other people, presume that just because there
is a cheap option (like cable box DVRs) that everyone will flock to
them even though they don't have all the features. I have used the
Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8000 cable DVR, my parents have one - it
has a hideously poor UI and lacks MOST of the features of TiVo. It is
really a basic digital VCR - hell, it lacks features most VCRs have
now. The *one* advantage it has is being cheap - $6-$10 extra a month
on your cable bill. And yes, I'm sure MANY people will opt for it -
but you can still get a VCR for a few hundred dollars which a lot of
nice features instead of the $30 VCR next to it. And they still
sell. Personally I'm willing to pay for the features of TiVo and I
would never switch to the SA8000.

He also presumes that TiVo is somehow rock stupid and won't respond to
the market. They continually respin HW to reduce the manufacturing
costs. They're cheaper to produce, and so they can sell them
cheaper. TiVo is also diversifying into other products - you can get a
Toshiba DVD player with built in TiVo, or a Pioneer DVD-RW recorder
with built in TiVo (I have one). Later this year both Humax and
Toshiba will also have DVD-RW TiVo systems for sale. TiVo supports
sharing shows between units in the home (the DirecTiVo units have the
HW, even the SW, but the feature hasn't been enabled yet - that's
DirecTV's choice), and they can play back music from PCs on a home
network, or view pictures. Later this year you'll be able to move
video content to/from a PC and burn DVDs there - TiVo To Go announced
at CES. These are all features most DVRs lack.

TiVo is also working with DirecTV on a new low-cost reference
design. So yeah, News Corp/DirecTV will be dropping TiVo for lower
cost HW - another TiVo. They've already done a few HW spins to bring
down manufacturing costs. Even existing component costs are dropping -
especially hard drives. And TiVo and DirecTV are in the early part of
a multi-year contract, I don't see DTV breaking the contract and
reinventing the wheel when they have a solid, competitive product.

Yes, the HDTV unit is very expensive right now - $1000. But put that
in context - it is just being released and there is a lot of pent up
demand. Even at $1000 there are already reports that the initial
production run is selling out in pre-orders alone. Simple supply and
demand, why should DirecTV (and it is DTV, not TiVo - DTV licenses the
software and controls all aspects of pricing, features, etc, in their
units) drop the price when people are willing to pay for it?
Especially since the closest competitor, the Dish 921, is also priced
at $1000 - and the DTV unit has more features. Of course the price
will come down - but they're going to soak the early adopters first,
that always happens.

When the Pioneer 810H DVD-RW/TiVo came out it sold for $1200 MSRP, and
a lot of stores sold it full price. Now you can get it online for
under $700, and the price is dropping. As more DVD-RW home units
street, especially the coming Toshiba and Humax units, it will push
the price lower. Oh, and his price info is bull****. He says a unit
costs '$300 or so'. Try $149 for the low end unit, or $99 if you pick
up a factory refurb. The DirecTiVo units start at $99. You also have
the option of the monthly fee or lifetime. Yes, it is still more
expensive than the cable box - but it does more too. Of course TiVo
has also split the software as well - there is their standard software
used on their TiVo branded boxes, but the software on the Toshiba and
Pioneer units comes with 'TiVo Basic'. TiVo Basic provides basic,
entry level DVR features without any subscription fee. If you want the
full feature set you can subscribe to enable them. So they're already
creating ways to compete on price - I notice he didn't mention that at
all. Again it is like saying no one will ever buy a Mercedes because a
Saturn is cheaper.

TiVo is also hedging their bets - they're looking to do more than just
record TV. They recently acquired Strangeberry, a company that was
working on distribution of entertainment content over IP
networks. TiVo is looking to integrate that work into their product
line. Current TiVo's already support Ethernet connections, and TiVo is
looking to allow users to pull content off the net - think of it as IP
Video On Demand. It could also be news feeds, games, etc. Anything -
the TiVo is basically a small Linux PC. (200MHz MIPS CPU, 32MB RAM -
with dedicated MPEG hardware.)

He also completely avoided the fact that the FCC has mandated open
cable standards for digital cable, including cable HDTV. The OpenCable
standard - also sometimes called CableCard or Digital Cable Ready -
was set by FCC rulemaking in 2003. By July 2004 all cable companies
must be in compliance. Instead of requiring you to use their cable
boxes you will be able to buy OpenCable compliant devices - VCRs, TVs,
DVRs - like you have been able to do for years with analog cable
(Cable Ready devices). The new devices will have a smart card reader,
similar to how satellite receivers work, and the cable company must
provide the card(s) to subscribers to allow their devices to decode
the cable signal. TiVo is keenly interested in this, in fact the FCC
ruling includes several comments submitted by TiVo during the
rulemaking process. I think that we may see an OpenCable TiVo before
the end of 2004, but certainly in 2005. He was overly snide with his
'a year late' statement. The fact is HDTV is still a minority of the
market. HDTV sales have just overtaken non-HD sales, but that is *new*
sales only - there are many millions of TVs in the field that don't do
HD. While there is growing demand for HD systems there is still plenty
of market for non-HD systems, and there will be for some time
yet. TiVo is already prepared - they first showed an HDTV reference
unit at CES 2003. It is available for license by any vendor that wants
to produce it. Thus far the demand hasn't been sufficient for them to
do it themselves.

And nothing is stopping anyone from starting a TiVo leasing business,
or for TiVo themselves to add leasing to their business model. If it
is a serious problem for TiVo to be selling against cable leasing, I
don't expect them to roll over and die - they'll shift their model to
compete.

I really don't understand his statements about TiVo's software
licensing and how it isn't going to happen - since they *already*
license it to Sony, Pioneer, Toshiba, and Humax for standalone
products, as well as DirecTV (who uses Sony, Hughes, Thomson, and
others to produce DirecTiVo units). TiVo is actively pursuing
additional licensees, especially in the cable STB market.

And what's his problem with them suing Dish? Dish is *blatantly*
violating several of TiVo's core patents, what does he expect them to
do? And this isn't the first time - TiVo also sued ReplayTV several
years ago, and RTV settled.

Overall this guy came across as a complete ass and ill-informed at
best. He could've turned up half this stuff with 10 minutes in Google.

I do fully expect that TiVo will not be the largest DVR vendor in the
market - just like more cheap, crappy DVD players are sold than
quality units. That doesn't mean no one makes quality units. TiVo has
over 1.3 million users at this point, and their growth rate is
*increasing* even as more and more competitors enter the market. I
think it is just the trendy thing for reporters to pick a popular
company to bash, it is sensationalism. ReplayTV has gone bankrupt -
*twice* - and yet they're still around. TiVo has massively
outperformed RTV, and they get bashed.

-MZ, RHCE #806199299900541, ex-CISSP #3762
--
URL:mailto:megazoneatmegazone.org Gweep, Discordian, Author, Engineer, me.
"A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men" 508-755-4098
URL:http://www.megazone.org/ URL:http://www.eyrie-productions.com/ Eris
  #3  
Old March 19th 04, 02:16 PM
George Eberhardt
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Posts: n/a
Default

Sold TIVO shares short, did you?

--
George Eberhardt
(732)224-8988


"Matthew Philmon" wrote in message
...
Well, I'm a huge Tivo fan myself and I talk it to death to nearly every
person I know... but I've seen this coming for some time. Tivo will die

and
it's probably going to happen within the next 2 years. I imagine even I'll
be jumping ship just as soon as I make the move to HDTV later this year. I
already paid $300+ for the Tivo Series 2 I've had for the past year and a
half or more and there's no way I'm paying another $1000 for another one

to
support HDTV. Also, because Tivo has failed to make any deals with other
Dish Networks than DirectTV as well as Cable Companies, they have all come
out with their own products which are INTEGRATED and CHEAP and require NO
analog to digital to analog, etc. So, they are fast, cheap (massively
cheaper), and with higher quality and though Tivo's product over all is

far
better, they will catch up. I was even looking into getting one of those

DVD
Recorder / Tivo bundles at one point despite the price until emails to

Tivo
revealed I'd have to pay an additional full $12.00 per month for the

second
unit.

Nope, prepare yourselves everyone. Tivo is going to die and there is

nearly
nothing left to save it. Want a better, more detailed read of the

problems?
Read this... very sad, but very true.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...2&u=/zd/121934

Matt




  #4  
Old March 19th 04, 02:43 PM
Lazarus Long
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Posts: n/a
Default

On Fri, 19 Mar 2004 04:03:21 GMT, "Matthew Philmon"
wrote:

Well, I'm a huge Tivo fan
I already paid $300+ for the Tivo Series 2 and there's no way I'm paying another
$1000 for another one to support HDTV. Also, Tivo has failed to make any deals
with other Dish Networks than DirectTV as well as Cable Companies, they have all come
out with their own products which are INTEGRATED and CHEAP (massively
cheaper), and with higher quality and though Tivo's product over all is far
better, they will catch up



I've tried one of those SA8000 units through TW. As you say, it's
cheap. IMHO, it is that very cheapness that will preclude them from
improving it in any meaningful way in terms of interface. Where will
the money come from to get a seriouly better TIVO challenging
interface? Plus, given the nature of Dick and Jane Average, they'll
be happy with the mere fact it records. Dick and Jane may be aware of
TIVO, but won't get one because what the heck, the cable co. offers
one "almost as good" for less money. All without understanding that
the TIVO is actually much more useable.

BTW, I'll be trying the SA8000 again this summer to look at any
improvements that might have come along. I'm also considering the
switch to DirecTV from Dish because of the availability of the
DirecTIVO.

My opinion is that TIVO is like a luxury car. I hope it stays around.
And like luxury cars, not everyone want's or can afford one.
  #5  
Old March 19th 04, 07:24 PM
Rocketman 1999
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On Fri, 19 Mar 2004 04:03:21 GMT, "Matthew Philmon"
wrote:

I imagine even I'll
be jumping ship just as soon as I make the move to HDTV later this year. I
already paid $300+ for the Tivo Series 2 I've had for the past year and a
half or more and there's no way I'm paying another $1000 for another one to
support HDTV.


I am not that big a tv viewer and HDTV has no appeal to me, or to most
people I think. In fact, I will avoid HDTV as long as I can.

Tivo may falter, but not for this reason.
  #6  
Old March 19th 04, 07:36 PM
Bao H. Lammy
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Default

"Rocketman 1999" wrote
I imagine even I'll
be jumping ship just as soon as I make the move to HDTV later this year. I
already paid $300+ for the Tivo Series 2 I've had for the past year and a
half or more and there's no way I'm paying another $1000 for another one to
support HDTV.

I am not that big a tv viewer and HDTV has no appeal to me, or to most
people I think. In fact, I will avoid HDTV as long as I can.
Tivo may falter, but not for this reason.


I agree. I *am* a big TV viewer, but HDTV still is not that
important to me. I will avoid HDTV as long as possible as well.
The ability to timeshift and archive with no restrictions like
broadcast flags is, oh...about a million times more important
to me than a supersharp picture in which I can look at people's
pores and zits.

Yeah, I like to watch sports. Seen just about every major
sport on HDTV and while it's nice, still not enough to outweigh
the disadvantages of cost and inconvenience compared to
today's TV technology.


  #7  
Old March 19th 04, 09:13 PM
John Poutre
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Default

Rocketman 1999 wrote:
On Fri, 19 Mar 2004 04:03:21 GMT, "Matthew Philmon"
wrote:

I imagine even I'll
be jumping ship just as soon as I make the move to HDTV later this
year. I already paid $300+ for the Tivo Series 2 I've had for the
past year and a half or more and there's no way I'm paying another
$1000 for another one to support HDTV.


I am not that big a tv viewer and HDTV has no appeal to me, or to most
people I think. In fact, I will avoid HDTV as long as I can.

Tivo may falter, but not for this reason.


I agree 100%. To me, HDTV is a so what deal. I won't pay the prices they
want for the TV's. And the masses won't either.


  #8  
Old March 19th 04, 10:04 PM
Paul Wylie
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John Poutre wrote:
I agree 100%. To me, HDTV is a so what deal. I won't pay the prices
they want for the TV's. And the masses won't either.


I've seen projections that there will be $1,000 HD sets by the 2004
holiday season. It doesn't take a soopah genius to figure out a lot of
people who wouldn't pay $3,000 for an HD set will pay $1,000 for one.

The biggest thing holding me back from buying an HD set is the inability
to TiVo HD content. I anticipate that by the time DirecTV drops the price
of the HD TiVo to a reasonable level (less than $500), HD sets will also
be fairly reasonable in price, and I'll splurge on the both of them.

BTW: Have you ever watched HD content on a nice big HD screen at a
friend's house? It's freaking gorgeous, and you'd probably be slightly
less indifferent to HD if you had experienced it up close and personal.

--Paul
** Note "removemunged" in email address and remove to reply. **
  #9  
Old March 19th 04, 10:11 PM
John Poutre
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Paul Wylie wrote:
John Poutre wrote:
I agree 100%. To me, HDTV is a so what deal. I won't pay the prices
they want for the TV's. And the masses won't either.


I've seen projections that there will be $1,000 HD sets by the 2004
holiday season. It doesn't take a soopah genius to figure out a lot
of people who wouldn't pay $3,000 for an HD set will pay $1,000 for
one.

The biggest thing holding me back from buying an HD set is the
inability to TiVo HD content. I anticipate that by the time DirecTV
drops the price of the HD TiVo to a reasonable level (less than
$500), HD sets will also be fairly reasonable in price, and I'll
splurge on the both of them.

BTW: Have you ever watched HD content on a nice big HD screen at a
friend's house? It's freaking gorgeous, and you'd probably be
slightly less indifferent to HD if you had experienced it up close
and personal.


First, where did I say HD sucked? And at $1000, I would not buy it either.
Do you really think that a majority of people will spend $1000 for a TV?
And yes, I have seen HD at a friends who has it. It's awesome. I have
driven in a Corvette too and that is incredible but I won't spend that kind
of money for a car either, as will the majority of people who drive a car. .




--Paul
** Note "removemunged" in email address and remove to reply. **



  #10  
Old March 19th 04, 11:12 PM
MegaZone
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"John Poutre" shaped the electrons to say:
First, where did I say HD sucked? And at $1000, I would not buy it either.
Do you really think that a majority of people will spend $1000 for a TV?


For as good sized set for the living room? Yes. I paid more than
that 10 years ago for a 32" set, which I'm still using. Shop around -
a large percentage of 'living room sized' sets, non-HD, are well over
$1000.

Technically you can get some HD displays fairly cheap now - but
they're small. Bedroom or office units.

If large HD sets start coming in below $1000 I think there will be a
landrush to buy them - I consider that the turning point for price.

-MZ, RHCE #806199299900541, ex-CISSP #3762
--
URL:mailto:megazoneatmegazone.org Gweep, Discordian, Author, Engineer, me.
"A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men" 508-755-4098
URL:http://www.megazone.org/ URL:http://www.eyrie-productions.com/ Eris
 




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