20 Questions with Ira Bahr - TiVo's Chief Marketing Officer

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by David Bott, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. Aug 17, 2016 #1 of 256
    David Bott

    David Bott Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    2,832
    225
    Jan 1, 1999
    We wish to thank Ira Bahr for coming to TiVo Community Forum to once again answer questions from our members.

    We have selected 20 questions out of the ones that had been submitted in THIS THREAD, that we feel would be great to be answered for the community. As such, the below thread is more or less in an "Interview" style format.

    So lets get on with it.

    Thanks Ira for joining us once again. Can you please start by letting us know what your position at TiVo initials so our members and readers know more about what a CMO does?

    And no, this is not one of the 20 asked questions. :)
     
  2. Aug 17, 2016 #2 of 256
    Ira Bahr

    Ira Bahr TiVo's CMO

    138
    32
    Oct 1, 2015
    Thanks so much for having us back David. We genuninely appreciate the opportunity. As you guys surmised last October, this is not a one man show, but a full team effort which includes key contributions from our Product and Engineering teams. In addition to corporate CMO, I'm also General Manager of the retail business, meaning I oversee the P&L for this unit. I report to the CEO and have discretion and influence over most everything we do. As far as technology roadmap, which I know is of great interest here, my team builds product plans which we then advocate for versus other potential TiVo investments.
     
  3. Aug 17, 2016 #3 of 256
    David Bott

    David Bott Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    2,832
    225
    Jan 1, 1999
    Question 1:

    Does TiVo still have plans to release a "Pro" version of the Bolt with more tuners and more storage at any point in the future?
     
  4. Aug 17, 2016 #4 of 256
    Ira Bahr

    Ira Bahr TiVo's CMO

    138
    32
    Oct 1, 2015
    Stay tuned for an announcement from TiVo at the CEDIA event on 9/15.
     
  5. Aug 17, 2016 #5 of 256
    David Bott

    David Bott Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    2,832
    225
    Jan 1, 1999
    Question 2:

    Can Tivo Series 1 owners who bought it with lifetime subscription in 1999, that are still active, opt to transfer lifetime service to a Series 2 machine instead of the $75 credit card?
     
  6. Aug 17, 2016 #6 of 256
    Ira Bahr

    Ira Bahr TiVo's CMO

    138
    32
    Oct 1, 2015
    Our offer is $75 off of a 500 GB TiVo BOLT or $100 off 1000 GB when you subscribe to a new service plan. Importantly, this is IN ADDITION to the $75 prepaid card, meaning that the net prices are $50 and $125 respectively. If you're not getting an outcome you like, please do phone our S1 hotline at 1-877-407-1983, and tell us your situation. We've worked hard to assure that we have offers to accomodate all requirements.
     
  7. Aug 17, 2016 #7 of 256
    David Bott

    David Bott Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    2,832
    225
    Jan 1, 1999
    Question 3:

    TiVo reps have made mention in the past of releasing in 2016 some sort of new retail product that isn't a traditional DVR. Is such a device still planned for release soon and can you provide any details? Is it a streaming box to complete with Roku, etc?
     
  8. Aug 17, 2016 #8 of 256
    Ira Bahr

    Ira Bahr TiVo's CMO

    138
    32
    Oct 1, 2015
    In order to grow, we definitely want to break the trajectory of traditional DVR. We do expect to announce something around CES in January though I don't think we're going to try to compete with the streamers directly. Most likely, the announcement will be in the form of a public beta -- which I have no doubt we will ask TCF members to participate in.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  9. Aug 17, 2016 #9 of 256
    David Bott

    David Bott Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    2,832
    225
    Jan 1, 1999
    Question 4:

    What is unique about the Rovi meta data that the Series 2 and 3 units can handle it, but Series 1 can't? I'm curious about what's happening (and why) from an engineering perspective that makes retiring Series 1's necessary.
     
  10. Aug 17, 2016 #10 of 256
    Ira Bahr

    Ira Bahr TiVo's CMO

    138
    32
    Oct 1, 2015
    This was not strictly an engineering decision but rather a resource allocation decision. As Series 1 active boxes made up less than .5% of our active boxes in the field, it was cost prohibitive on a per box basis to try to engineer a solution. We also don't think we could have gotten it done in time.
     
  11. Aug 17, 2016 #11 of 256
    David Bott

    David Bott Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    2,832
    225
    Jan 1, 1999
    Question 5:

    Along the same lines, what will the upgrade process to Rovi metadata be for customers? Will there be a software update, or will it flow down seamlessly just as it currently does with daily connections?
     
  12. Aug 17, 2016 #12 of 256
    Ira Bahr

    Ira Bahr TiVo's CMO

    138
    32
    Oct 1, 2015
    There is a two-step process. Just this week, we updated the software on the S2-S6 boxes for the new data feeds. Starting next week we will be transitioning these boxes to the new data. During that download which will occur in the early AM hours and take two to three hours, the box will not be fully functional. After that, the DVR will function normally. We've done a ton of testing but we're counting on you guys to post any anomalies you might observe. Right now, we think the most obvious defect will be generic poster art on certain assets.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  13. Aug 17, 2016 #13 of 256
    David Bott

    David Bott Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    2,832
    225
    Jan 1, 1999
    Question 6:

    Will we continue to see direct-to-consumer products coming out from the combined TiVo/Rovi company?
     
  14. Aug 17, 2016 #14 of 256
    Ira Bahr

    Ira Bahr TiVo's CMO

    138
    32
    Oct 1, 2015
    We have a product announcement coming 9/15, and we have a product roadmap that extends beyond this. TiVo and Rovi management have both publicly acknowledged the strategic value of TiVo's retail business. Comments you might have heard related to the set top box business were not about our participation in retail, but to the question of who manufactures the hardware.
     
  15. Aug 17, 2016 #15 of 256
    David Bott

    David Bott Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    2,832
    225
    Jan 1, 1999
    Question 7:

    Are the rumors true of a new Guide UI and if so when we can look forward to it? Bonus points if you decide to talk in detail about it or can describe it a bit to us?

    (Side Note...Can you give free cookies some day soon to the TiVO support reps that visit these boards, and even CSRs everywhere else as thanks from us TiVo customers? As I and I'm sure others have had a few exceptional members of your support staff. They deserve it. (I promised one of your support team I would tell management that they deserve cookies for fixing my issue) Thank you.
     
  16. Aug 17, 2016 #16 of 256
    Ira Bahr

    Ira Bahr TiVo's CMO

    138
    32
    Oct 1, 2015
    We are working to develop new user interfaces for our portfolio of products. Right now we have no official announcement but you should propbably expect to see optimizations, improvements and in some cases new designs over the course of the next year. I can tell you that the discussions you guys have on the merits of text v. graphical interfaces is exactly one that we ourselves continually have. Thanks for your kind words about our hard-working customer support team. Great customer support is part of the culture at TiVo and we always try to acknowledge employees who go above and beyond.
     
  17. Aug 17, 2016 #17 of 256
    David Bott

    David Bott Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    2,832
    225
    Jan 1, 1999
    Question 8:

    Are there any plans at all to utilize your own streaming OTT services for cable type channels a la' SlingTV, PS Vue, DirecTV Now, etc., so as to avoid all the pitfalls of trying to work with the various cable MSOs/FiOS (cablecards, Tuning Adapters, poor MSO CSR & Field Tech knowledge, etc.)? If not, then possibly team up with one of these services to offer them on TiVo DVRs, hopefully seamlessly within the TiVo UI? Channel Master DVR+ does this with SlingTV.
     
  18. Aug 17, 2016 #18 of 256
    Ira Bahr

    Ira Bahr TiVo's CMO

    138
    32
    Oct 1, 2015
    While we have no current plans to get into the programming business, we are absolutely engaged with these companies. We fully understand the benefits of the integration and are definitely miffed that CM beat us on SlingTV. (FWIW -- Dish/Echostar, the owners of SlingTV actually make the CM hardware so they did have the inside track.) Our aim is that the TiVo platform support all key streaming services. As you point out, we are not executing well enough here. In addition to SlingTV, we also don't have HBONow, and many others.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  19. Aug 17, 2016 #19 of 256
    David Bott

    David Bott Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    2,832
    225
    Jan 1, 1999
    Question 9:

    When will 20.6.1a.RC7 be released for the Roamio to fix the Comcast H.264 recording issues?
     
  20. Aug 17, 2016 #20 of 256
    Ira Bahr

    Ira Bahr TiVo's CMO

    138
    32
    Oct 1, 2015
    The H.264 problem is an issue that occurs when playing certain digital content in Comcast's linear broadcast lineup in certain areas around the country. The issue is somewhat technical, but it is related to the structure of the stream and certain hardware limitations with the chip we use in our STBs. We have implemented a reasonably robust workaround that is part of update the that we are doing this week. Eager to hear what you guys think.
     

Share This Page