Google TV buys Sage TV maker of HTPC software

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by innocentfreak, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000


    SageTV was going under anyway. They couldn't get CableLabs to grant them the rights to record from CableCARDs and were seriously struggling because of it. (I've personally talked to their developers on more then one occasion) This is a really tough space to be in. MS seems to have enough pull to get laws changed and get their software certified, but little companies like SageTV have no chance. Hopefully Google will add some additional pressure to make the landscape a little more fair for everyone.

  2. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Why couldn't they get the rights "granted"? Ceton is a very small company AFAIK, and they can record from CableCARDs.
  3. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    Centon was dealing with the hardware side. You still need MCE to do the actual recording. On the software side of things CableLabs requires that the content always be protected, even across the bus, so it has to be done at the OS level. Which is why Windows with MCE is the only PC based software that currently has CableLabs approval. Originally they even required that you buy an MCE PC as a complete system to use a CableCARD tuner. MS eventually convinced them to allow home built machines but MCE is still the only software approved to record from a CableCARD tuner.

  4. DocNo

    DocNo Member

    Oct 10, 2001
    Bristow, VA
    Google has less success than Tivo at attracting consumers.

    Tivo hasn't got much to fear from Google so far :p

    Actually I think Google and Tivo have a similar problem - not understanding who their real customers are. From focusing on advertisers to the cable companies, why is it that Apple seems to be the only company that really, truly "gets it"?

    You would think that companies like Tivo and Google would be able to see what true focus on customer service and consumers can get you - like a market cap second only to Exxon! Ugh...
  5. aridon

    aridon Member

    Aug 31, 2006


    Let me guess, an Apple fanboi?

    Google has 500k activations a day for android how exactly are they sucking at attracting customers? They give away everything and are still making money hand over fist.

    Sure their first gen products tend to be beta like. They are mostly free after all. However as they mature you end up with products like Google Voice, android and eventually google tv will be a huge player in the market.

    Tivo has a ton to fear. Not just from Google but from everyone. They have been sitting on their ass the last 10 years and the only thing they have to show for it is a half ass HD UI that many users hate and turn off.

    If Tivo doesn't do something huge and I mean better than a 4 tuner premiere they are going to be swept under the rug. Cable co DVRs are rapidly approaching and in some cases already exceeding Tivo and its capabilities. Much less do it prettier and faster when compared to the HD UI. DirecTV already has surpassed Tivo as has Dish.

    So what does that leave Tivo besides a rapidly dwindling consumer base that sheds more and more each quarter?

    Guess who else is entering the market soon? Microsoft. The next Xbox is shooting to be cable / DVR ready.

    Google and Microsoft? ha. Good luck tivo.
  6. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    The losses to Tivo's customer base are attributed to being completely shut out of the satellite TV market with the Premiere/S3/HD and the burden of cable cards and tuning adapters needed for the cable TV market. Google and Microsoft will have the same hurdles which don't even have anything to do with how good the interface is.

    The Satellite and Cable companies have the inside track.
  7. DocNo

    DocNo Member

    Oct 10, 2001
    Bristow, VA
    Let me guess - not used to making coherent arguments but ad hominem attacks?

    And Android relates to TV how? The only thing Google did with Android was attract phone companies. If you don't want to believe that then who exactly is Android "open" for? Verizon sure knows who...

    Google TV is a flop. Worse than Tivo for general market place adoption.

    Funny, I thought we were in the "Tivo Coffee House" not the "Defensive Android Apologist House"

    By advertising. Their one trick pony. So far all attempts at diversification (such as Google TV - who's existence, ironically, is to sell more eyeballs and thus advertising) have been dismal failures.

    And even "giving it away" their "sales" are flattening.

    From your lips to god's ears. The "eventually" defense sounds an awful lot like the Microsoft "just wait for the next version". And I'm the fanboi?

    On this we agree.

    There are a few that might have one or two individual checkmark features over Tivo, but their overall user experience still sucks. Tivo's biggest problem is Cable Card. The cable companies played the FCC like a fiddle and made devices like Tivo just hard enough that most people won't bother.

    Tivo's best bet, unfortunately, is to get in bed with the operators. With the E* lawsuit behind them, perhaps they will finally have the clout they need to at least get a seat at the table for once. And with the cash and without the distraction maybe, just maybe, they will fix their buggy and slow software. One can hope! I do, really do, want to still like Tivo. They don't exactly make it easy :(

    DirectTV is a joke compared to Tivo. It fails at the most essential function of a DVR - reliably and dependably recording of shows! All that other frilly crap doesn't mean a darn thing if it doesn't record your shows in the first place! Now I do like their unified now playing list, streaming, and coordinated recording. Why Tivo still doesn't have these features is simply boggling...

    That's why their recent deals with the cable companies are so important. And their eventual shipping with Comcast - although at this point it's getting to be more of a "Duke Nukem Forever" moment :p

    Oh yeah - Tivo should be scared of the company that went from "WebTV" to "Windows Everywhere" and is still blindly sticking with it - despite being resoundingly rejected by the market for the past 10 years.

    People didn't want Windows Everywhere for the past decade - I'm not sure why Microsoft thinks that's magically going to change. But hey the Windows/Office duopoly should mint money for at least another five years so why panic just yet - there's plenty of time! (that was sarcasm for the sarcasm impaired)

    Again, Tivo has nothing to fear from Google or Microsoft. Neither company has the consumer as their primary customer and neither company has proven that they can have the slightest bit of success when it comes to consumers and video. Selling to advertisers and corporations, maybe. But zilch for selling to consumers.

    Tivo has everything to fear from the cable companies DVR's and streaming boxes like Roku, Boxee, services like Amazon and Netflix, and whatever Apple cooks up and blesses (and I'm not saying that because I'm a fanboi but because Apple has demonstrated success at reaching consumers - to the tune of the second largest market cap behind Exxon and a cash horde that would make most countries blush). If Tivo succeeds of getting in with the likes of Comcast then they will be fine - for a bit anyway. But the days of the DVR are numbered (thank god) - streaming is where it will all end up eventually.

    The real problem for Tivo is, no one really wants a DVR - they want the DVR experience: to watch what they want, when they want it, without commercials. Streaming can do that much easier without all the hassle of running a box with a hard drive and fan for 7x24, dealing with sleazy cable companies jerking you around with Cable Card, networks screwing around with schedules designed to trip DVR owners up... Old media and the cable companies are so busy trying to screw consumers over that they are going to get bypassed - and in a big way.

    Then again not all cable companies are totally asleep at the switch. Why do you think Comcast is buying NBC as well as blathering on about their network speed?


    Bottom line? Cling to the past if you want - it matters not. The market moves on whether or not you throw around senseless labels. Just try not to remain so bitter - it's not good for your health.
  8. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    You are making a HUGE assumption here that commercial-free streaming will replace recordings with skippable commercials. I am not convinced, at least not without extra cost. Think of a live sports event, for example - do you think a streamed NFL game is not going to have commercials? Or that if it does, it will cost substantially more than either recording it or streaming with commercials? Now multiply that for every sport that you like, and the end cost will probably be equal to or higher than what someone with decent negotiating skills pays for a cable sub every month.

    And that's assuming that everything will be viewable in the commercial-free streaming format, which I doubt. On a Tivo, I simply record the sports, news, etc. I want and watch them delayed an hour or so, with no commercials.

    If you don't care about sports or news, the same already applies for current season shows - you either can't stream them on some networks or you pay extra (i.e., Hulu Plus) for the privilege. With unskippable commercials.
  9. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2001
    I don't like streaming now and that is watching Netflix without commercials. I can't imagine being forced to sit through unskippable commercials. Hell games with unskippable cutscenes usually end with me turning them off.
  10. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    The streaming experience is not very user friendly and has a long way to go before it gets anywhere near the experience that a TiVo provides. So I tend to think of streaming as an "add on" not a "replacement for" cable/satellite/OTA.

    In my mind a DVR is still a preferred device to enhance one's viewing experience. Even if one is cutting the cord and going to OTA and streaming only I would still want a DVR. If I had to goto 100% streaming I would be very unhappy.
  11. Grappa

    Grappa New Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Indeed. But I'd love streaming videos to get more "human-friendly". It would open great possibilities.

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