Does TiVo need a supped up Series 2+ HD Player?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by HDTiVo, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

    Nov 27, 2002


    With all the buzz about the Series 3, I'm thinking about what else TiVo needs in its hardware product line.

    How about a Series 2+ with HD and MP4 playback capability?

    The base model might involve beyond the S2:

    - Abilty to MRV with all Series 3 recorded content (HD and MP4)
    - Real world transfer rates well above 30mbps
    - A new MPEG chip which can decode (play) HD MPEG2 and HD MPEG4.
    - More DRAM and faster processor to better meet current S2 demands and next gen HD needs.
    - digital audio out (5.1 or above)
    - HDMI and Component (480i to 1080i) out
    - 80GB drive (which we'll replace ourselves with 300GB :) )
    - A price tag of $100 w/ $14.95 sub or $0 with $17.95 sub

    Another idea:

    What about a thin Series 3?

    - little or no hard drive
    - no tuners or CC slots
    - $0 with $14.95 sub
  2. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

    Oct 14, 2004
    You just described a series 3 tivo, except with an 80GB drive -- which will give you about 8 hours of recording time in HD.

    Good luck getting something with 1080i HDMI out for $100.
  3. Gregor

    Gregor Wear Your Mask! TCF Club

    Feb 18, 2002
    I don't think a "thin" Series 3 will fly. Too dependent on home network problems and the average person won't be able to figure that problem out. It'd hog all the time on the phone support lines.
  4. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    The S3 has a lot more to it than that.

    The base model S2 records about 10hrs in BEST mode.

    I described an S2 plus some additional hardware that is in the ballpark of $150 at retail beyond current S2 hardware. TiVo is considering $0 for the existing S2 with a $14.95 (or higher) sub price. A redesign S2 could save money over the current S2 design - like the 540 saved over the 240.

    Last I looked, HDMI output DVD models were about $50-60 more at retail than the same company's lower end model.
  5. ellinj

    ellinj Seems Very Friendly TCF Club

    Feb 26, 2002


    I don't think it would be any more complex to hook up then a regular Tivo, The problem is that it might not be cost effective to produce. Windows has the Media center extenders, I think tivo needs something similar with a no subscription cost option since it won't be using guide data. If I have to pay a monthly fee I might as well buy the full blown box.
  6. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    This is a good point. In my mind, I have bench marked pricing of $0+14.95 for the thin S3 against $0+18.95 or $300+12.95 for a full blown S3.
  7. nhaigh

    nhaigh Member

    Jul 16, 2001
    I think the thin Series Three is a really good idea, fater all I need to put a Series Three into the bedroom but don't expect it to ever recotrd anything. The only reason I want it is for MRV.

    I disagree with the price model though. I'd prefer no sub but $150 down. It doesn't need to have anything to do with TiVo's ongoing service so why would it need a sub.
  8. ChuckyBox

    ChuckyBox New Member

    Oct 3, 2005
    I think the TiVo HD box for the next couple of years will be the Series 3. The next iteration of the Series 2 is much more likely to be a dual-tuner version of the current box (probably with a faster processor and a bit more memory, and maybe with built-in ethernet). Such a box would fit in much better with TiVo's focus on the analog cable market than the box you describe, and would be very versatile.
  9. petew

    petew Active Member

    Jul 31, 2003
    Pittsburg, CA
    Looking towards 2009 and all digital TV I'd be think Series 2 should move more towards a 1 or 2 tuner standard definition digital box. Somthing that can be purchased using the goverment issued rebate. As well as the switch of Broadcast TV to all digital I anticipate most cable systems will migrate to boradcasting all channels in Digital even if a few are also simulcast in Analog.
  10. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    There will not be any dual tuner revision of the S2 platform, IMO.

    Any immediate revision will possibly be an American version of the TGC box
    (better encoder, faster CPU, built in ethernet,possible MPEG4 SD playback).
    ** specs are speculative on my part

    Any further revision would be to comply with the March 07 requirement to have either no analog tuner, or an ATSC tuner added alongside the NTSC tuner.

    There could be an S3 Lite, with some of the "fluff" left out of the current S3, and possibly by the end of the decade, a new premium HD TiVo.

    A tunerless MRV/HMO/HME client might fly, but I wouldn't expect TiVo to directly have anything with bringing one to market, leaving it to third party CE manufacturers to come up with one..
  11. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

    Apr 2, 2001

    What is the "fluff" in the Series 3 that you would cut out to make this product?
  12. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    Your S2+ would fit that analog cable segment in combination with more IP download and &more capability.

    My S2+ would fit the digital non-HD home (that doesn't want DVD-TiVo) and the one HDTV w/ other secondary SDTVs homes or low end HDTV homes (can't record HD, can can play downloaded or transferred HD on an SD or HDTV).

    The thin S3 compliments higher end multi-HDTV homes.

    I don't think TiVo can stay with the existing S2, so should or can they make your S2+ or mine or both?

    Does the ATSC tuner requirement apply to a recorder like TiVo or just TV sets? If it does apply, then I have to rethink strategically. There should be a whole product generation between 2006/07 and 2009, so I don't worry yet about that.

    Such a thin S3 might need $300 at retail without sub. Part of the value of the sub is the functionality (beyond guide data driven functions) present and future bought with it, so some sub price is still appropriate in lieu of a big price tag on the box.
  13. tgibbs

    tgibbs New Member

    Sep 22, 2002
    I'd be surprised if TiVo produces a standalone low-end "thin" S3. It would involve investing development and support effort into a product with limited market and profit potential. However, something resembling that might possibly emerge as a result of TiVo's deal with Comcast--perhaps a PVR/cable box running on Comcast hardware but with TiVo software, and with some of the S3 features, such as dual tuners.
  14. ChuckyBox

    ChuckyBox New Member

    Oct 3, 2005
    Why? The lack of dual tuners is one of the most-cited deficiencies of the S2. If they have to add ATSC tuner(s), fine. Design by TGC? Fine. But if they are going to go through the trouble, they might as well add a second tuner. The only reason not to would be that it added too much to the price. Which may be the case -- TiVo needs a low-end box to drive subscriptions.
  15. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    exactly TiVo needs to keep on with its low end box to get new subscriptions. Any thing that bumpsit up from lw cost needs to have a very big point in more sales.

    Analog is not the future as well so any new design needs to think 3 years max for trying to get a return to TiVo in the US.

    the real question now is "does dual tuners have a large enough demand in Taiwain/Asia to warrant such a design.
  16. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    I think it's very possible we will see a successor to the Series 2 unit which will include some of those abilities. I would not be surprised if we saw a unit in the next couple years with a decoder capable of playing back both HD and MPEG-4 content, but at down sampled S-Video only resolution. I would also not be surprised if it also had built in Ethernet for faster transfers. However I think that will be the extent of the changes.

    TiVo will want to transition to such a box because they'll want MRV to be as a simple as possible, plus they seem to be on track to offer some sort of iVOD type service and it would be a lot more efficent if it was MPEG-4 based. They will not however want to allow the box to play back HD content at full resolution or offer digital audio outputs, even if technically possible, because it would detract from Series 3 units which will most likely have a much higher margin.

  17. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    One thing here is I think TiVo believes (correctly) that the margin is in the subscription (and will be more so with ancillary fees from future services like advertising/Download, etc.) and not the box. So selling one type of box vs another is secondary to selling many more boxes in total by differentiating the available hardware options.

    I note when including the features, the low retail price of DVD players with digital audio out, and the moderate $50-60 retail premium for a DVD player with HDMI/1080i Component out. (And DVD players have to add hardware to upscale...a TiVo would not need that - it would play the mpeg at native resolution, whether SD or HD.)

    Imagine, for example, an S2+ with MPEG4 playback, HDMI & HD Component out for $50 more at retail than the existing product. (or in line with TiVo's strategic thinking, same retail price with $14.95 sub.)

    Or another example, an extended DVD-S2 with MPEG4 playback, HDMI & HD Component out for $60 more at retail than the existing product. (or in line with TiVo's strategic thinking, same retail price with $14.95 sub.)

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