TiVo may be exiting hardware business

chris

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#1
Sad day today for TiVo fans. A wired article says that TiVo is leaving the hardware businesss. About an hour later, TiVo PR says they are merely shifting focus and remain committed to hardware. There is talk they are looking at a cloud DVR solution, one that they would license to cable companies who would in turn, offer to customers.

I just bought their Roamio with lifetime service. Basically, TiVo sells the hardware and you need to pay them for the guide. When you pay for lifetime, there are no fees attached to the box, other than your cable card fees. Verizon charges $4 (doubled their fees last year for no good reason).

The more intriguing product was the TiVo mini. This 'borrows' a tuner from the Roamio. It doesn't need a cable card, so no fees at all once you pay off TiVo. I think it's $150 for lifetime and a $100 for the box.

I like paying for service and service alone from my cable company. I've always had TiVos and had to rent cable cards. With the minis, you never have a big cable bill. There's definitely some pain initially for TiVo, but it pays off in time. I'm afraid that if TiVo doesn't exist to provide hardware, the cable companies will doom us with crappy DVRs and overpriced software options. Even if TiVo licensed service to Verizon, I don't see them offering me a package that's better than my current hardware/pricing.
 

Europa

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#2
I think the cable/satellite companies are just as doomed. People won't pay for crappy DVRs and overpriced software indefinitely if there are other options for TV, and there are.
 

chris

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I think the cable/satellite companies are just as doomed. People won't pay for crappy DVRs and overpriced software indefinitely if there are other options for TV, and there are.
What options? Hulu? Apple TV? For people who watch a decent amount of TV, those aren't feasible options. I have about 60 season passes setup on my TiVo, plus sporting events. I need FIOS, just like I need AT&T. I can go to Cablevision and save a few bucks when I switch, but pricing is not that drastic between the two.

At least by having TiVo, I have an alternative to their overpriced DVRs. My last bill, with tax, was $146. That's with pretty much every channel (including NFL RedZone), FIOS 50/20 internet and phone. If had multiple DVRs, which would still not provide me with the same quality/quantity of recording, I'd be paying upwards of $200.
 

Europa

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What options? Hulu? Apple TV? For people who watch a decent amount of TV, those aren't feasible options. I have about 60 season passes setup on my TiVo, plus sporting events. I need FIOS, just like I need AT&T. I can go to Cablevision and save a few bucks when I switch, but pricing is not that drastic between the two.

At least by having TiVo, I have an alternative to their overpriced DVRs. My last bill, with tax, was $146. That's with pretty much every channel (including NFL RedZone), FIOS 50/20 internet and phone. If had multiple DVRs, which would still not provide me with the same quality/quantity of recording, I'd be paying upwards of $200.
Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Roku, torrents, an antenna for standard channels and media servers. There are lots of options to save money and they are feasible. I know quite a few who haven't paid for cable for years and still watch television, and I hear about more leaving all the time.
 

chris

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Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Roku, torrents, an antenna for standard channels and media servers. There are lots of options to save money and they are feasible. I know quite a few who haven't paid for cable for years and still watch television, and I hear about more leaving all the time.
I think it's feasible for some. For TV junkies, you're are tied into the cable companies. If we bought all of our Bravo shows alone on Apple TV, it would be a fortune.

I love TV and hate the cable companies. That's why I love TiVo. It's a vastly superior product than DVRs and it helps me cut my bill. Ideally, I think the whole idea of local storage is dying. Storage at all should die. You should be able to create 'Season Passes' which creates an cloud base list of on-demand programming.

It's antiquated that I have physically record a program. You can sort of do that with Apple TV, but it's expensive and doesn't cover all programming.

The cable companies rent those DVRs for $20 a pop. I don't see them being terribly incentivized by offering a cloud based solution, one that should cut customer costs. TiVo is supposedly getting into cloud DVR stuff. I'm not sure who it'll work, but they are going to license to cable companies, who would in turn offer it to customers. I don't see that working out well.

You know what fixes all of this? Content providers offering affordable subscriptions (channels, on demand) through set-top boxes not affiliated with cable companies. Roku, Apple TV or a future Apple Television. That and being able to stream live local channels.

There's so much to TV. So many players, so much money. How do the advertisers fit in this? If people buy 'channels', does that bypass ads?