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Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Sheffield Steve, Mar 20, 2020.
Tech Mystery: Whatever Happened To TiVo?
There could be a great book someday, if the principals and their associates would cooperate, but they probably wouldn't. Really as important as the Microsoft/IBM/Apple story of the 1980s.
And while all three of those companies survive despite the monumental mistakes and intrigue, Tivo as a company became totally irrelevant. An epic tragedy: Apple in its depths had redemption, but Tivo in its depths had Rovi.
I am still a fan of HDRadio. If a box is released with HDRadio as one of the apps I would give it a spin.
There are a few reason TiVo ultimately failed, some completely out of their control.
1) The bigger companies just ripped them off and it took a decade of litigation to sue them for it, at which point it was mostly irrelevant.
2) The laws that mandated CableCARD did not work well enough to make the experience actually pleasant for consumers and didn't apply at all to DSS, so it limited the market TiVo could appeal to
3) Their prices were just too high. When you can rent a DVR from your MSO for $10-$15/month and it's just absorbed into a much bigger bill it becomes hard to justify a $1k+ up front purchase for a TiVo with Lifetime. TiVo tried to offer lower monthly payment type options over the years, but always sort of bumbled them and made them less appealing then they could have been.
These days with everything streaming DVRs in general are starting to fade, so their core business is dying. They're trying to hold on with this streaming stick thing, but it might be too little too late.
To me the TiVo is just so "technically" out of date and thus just does not appeal to the younger generation.
For example, the fact that a system failure can result in the loss of all the TiVo's settings including the OnePass selections is crazy for a full time internet connected device.
I understand that backing up the recordings is very challenging, but Tivo do collect the Onepass and other settings data but don't have a way to get it back to a replacement machine.
The Millennium generation using their iPhone's, etc. find this incredulous. They know that a replacement iPhone will just take off where the dead one left off.
That's the bit that bugs me. Sure, I'd never use it (I prefer the fine-grained control that KMTTG backups of settings give me) but for a modern device, having to do that is nuts. There's no reason TiVo couldn't carve out 50MB of cloud storage to push your channel list, onepasses and thumbs (for legacy systems) to.
That is true, but I think with all the streaming services out there TiVo has come to the realization that they're working on a dying product so they're not putting as much effort into modernizing it as they may have in the past.
Tivo could easily rise to the ashes and become the go-to for OTA and streaming in one box, but they adamantly refuse to give the customer what they want. It's crazy and I have to assume incompetence from the leadership instead of malice, but it certainly has an intentional feel to it.
I agree on that. The concept of an integrated OTA and streaming package in one box/interface is great. Their implementation is very poor on a basic level.
i.e. Doing a search for Netflix or Amazon shows is hit and miss at best.
And there is the if I can rent why would I own it crowd, that crowd is fairly large. They would never own a dvr short of getting one for free. They have always been a stumbling block for Tivo and every other dvr maker.
I assume that's why TiVo went through the phase of trying to convince cable companies to partner with them - letting the cable company front the capital costs to get the hardware built then turning around and renting it to users. Because TiVo just never seemed to have to cash to go widespread on a true direct to customers rental scenario, though they eventually dabbled with a $0 down rent to own models fairly late in the game. Early on (series 1) they were licensing to various companies like Sony and Philips who made, branded, and sold the actual hardware. I'm assuming that was also because TiVo didn't have the cash to try all on their own.
Then for whatever reason TiVo couldn't convince cable companies of the value proposition of offering their customers a TiVo instead of whatever initial crappy DVR the cable company could do without them. (I'm guessing TiVo wanted to much per unit - but that's just a guess)
Having lived with cable and DBS for decades and paying a king's ransom to watch TV I retreated to OTA and the Roamio OTA is EXACTLY what I want... and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone.
If I wanted to stream there are plenty of modestly priced boxes for that that do just that very well.
Sure, it'd be nice to be able to backup recordings but that will never (conveniently) happen and I won't buy a Windows PC just to do that.
When the hard drive or fan in my Roamo OTA dies I can help myself.
Every month that goes by I'm not paying $100+ to watch TV. I bought my Roamio OTA in 2015 do I'm up about $6000.
My TiVo investment of two Roamio OTAs with all-in paid for itself in 7 months after taking down my dish.
No product or company can be all things to all customers but as the cost of pay TV and pay streaming go up there's a good chance devices that appeal to OTA viewers will survive.
I find that streaming boxes have issues that TiVo could solve. e.g. The don't keep track very well of what you have watched, etc.
TiVo has season passes,etc. that in theory can do that, but because they don't search what's available on Netflix, Amazon, etc. on a regular basis it makes the feature is of limited use.
my roamio and roamio ota still rock. i have one cablecard for $5 a month. i just put a 12tb drive in my ota and will do the roamio plus shortly. I have macbook and win7 home network machines and have and can download thousands of shows - have the complete seinfeld, andy griffith, classic sports, fawlty towers, etc. all at my fingertips. am paying my self $hundreds per year to "own the box" and can rip/encode shows/movies for plane trips, car trips, etc. I am an engineer and a tinkerer and enjoy the slight challenge of using pytivo, kmttg, tivo desktop, ctivo, etc.
My tivos are incredible (loss of "pushing shows back to my tivo" notwithstanding, bad Rovi guide data, other minor inconvenicences - they just work, year after year to give my household unlimted entertainment) - the control and ownership and show archiving they allow me are amazing. when the grid goes down I'll have thousands of hours of shows on my home machines I can play/stream without even needing internet. I just pulled several .tivo files from my pc that I'd downloaded several years ago - watched them without a hitch on the roamio. I use apple tv, chromecast, and windows media player, and vlc, to do almost everything that I need - to play a show when I want to on my big TV.
I am definitely under the category of "if you can own it why would you rent it", and "don't pay anyone to do something you can do yourself - at better quality and for less".
I guess the new consumer sheep generation is too lazy, dumb or simply convenience based "there's an app for that", and they just choose to overpay for convenience sake.
oh well. As an engineer, I love new tools, and tech, etc. - but I want to do it myself, own it myself, control it myself, fix it myself, upgrade it myself. I see it as a small way to 'stick it to the man' and have my own extensive tv/movie library.
I guess I'm just not the kind of customer who keeps paying and paying - and that's what corporations want.
Most "sheep" are working two jobs, running a side-hustle and don't have time or money to dump into hobbies. They just want stuff to work and then they can get back to important things.
No you are just exhibiting the stereotypical haughty attitude that makes engineers unpopular. (I know because I are one .) It is unfortunate that everyone can’t be a technowhiz like you. Then we could all just make everything we need at home and wouldn’t need anything from those evil greedy corporations.
The streaming services don’t need TiVo to “solve” these issues. They are quite capable of doing it themselves, and quicker and cheaper than paying TiVo to do it. They will address these issues when market forces (e.g., competition) give them the incentive to do so, I think pretty soon actually.
I just tried to watch an episode of THE OUTSIDER on my phone. If millenials want to live like that..good for them. I would rather not watch tv than watch it on my phone ...,in broad daylight. It sucked. My phone is a Galaxy . What happened to your tivo that you lost all recordings? Cant blame Tivo for a rollback!!!
Why would an antiquated company bother to make new products, who are they making it for? If TiVo is an afterthought why try to innovate? I just don't get it?