How TIVO can survive the inevitable IP Apocalypse

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by DVRanger, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. Worf

    Worf Well-Known Member

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    A decade, at best. Because coming up with a standard is practically impossible - too many interests pulling it apart. You'll have the big guys - Comcast, Spectrum, Verizon and AT&T wanting the standard to be strict - so newcomers are locked out. But the newcomers want the standard to be lax - because they can innovate and disrupt (something the big guys obviously do not want).

    So a standard for the big guys can allow stuff like TiVo in, but the little guys (Think PS Vue, YouTube TV, etc) don't want to be forced into that box because maybe they can do things better (for varying degrees of "better" - perhaps they can add a feature TiVo lacks, to "I just don't want to work with TiVo and want my subscribers to use my DVR").

    It's a state where government has to have a light touch - you don't want to regulate out all innovation, and by some means, the previous FCC administration paved the way for alternate delivery of services. After all - they could've come down hard to apps, but that could've stifled IP only providers from providing TV services and left everyone with only the big guys. So it's a plus that way - more alternative TV services means more user choice and more competition. But it's also a negative in that the big guys can see this big open unregulated space and move in. And it's almost impossible to carve out legislation that allows the former but regulates the latter (in the interest of fair play, after all).

    It's why most laws and rules are reactionary - Net Neutrality laws came into effect because the big guys were intentionally doing things that would stifle innovation. So they innovated and we got zero-rating, and more rules about that. Because that's how in general the rules get made - something bad happens, you write a rule to prevent it (it's why they often say a lot of rules are written in blood - someone had to die first)

    And seeing how the current rules give the big guys a huge advantage with their resources, the current FCC (who's "not in the pocket of Verizon") is unlikely to change the rules since it benefits the big guys more.

    You want a light regulatory touch at first, to not stifle potential innovation. Only coming down hard later on when you find it abused and going against innovation. But by that time, it's often too late and the only thing you can do is make sure it doesn't happen again.
     
  2. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    The thread title is overly dramatic. The evolution of content delivery methods will not be an "apocalypse" for any broad sector of either consumers or providers. (Was the extinction of VCR's an apocalypse?) No, the sky is NOT falling Henny Penny! :p

    Sorry, TiVo fans. Although I like my TiVo, it has provided more trouble and less satisfaction than it should have, partly due to TA issues caused by my TWC/Spectrum cable system and partly due to the horrendous Rovi guide data now. I've never been able to count on it to implement one-pass and perform just basic DVR recording functions reliably.

    I recently free-trialed Play Station VUE "Core Package" using the Fire TV app. It worked reasonably well and includes a DVR functionality. I can easily see it as a substitute for my Spectrum/TiVo combination and this will happen if Spectrum raises my rate 20% again and refuses to give me a promotion. What a satisfaction it will be to turn in my TA.
     
  3. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    By 2020, I don't think anyone except maybe FiOS, is still going to be marketing in-home DVRs. AT&T is going to back off of marketing DirecTV, and market AT&T TV or DirecTV NOW or whatever it turns into. DirecTV will be available for a long time to come if you want it, DVRs will be available at least for satellite, but they're not going to be where the innovation is happening, and few, if any, ad dollars are going to go into them. The innovation and marketing spend is going to the cloud. Cloud-based IPTV, cloud-based DVR, everything cloud. So while we are losing competition in the local DVR market, we are gaining a huge number of options for OTT IPTV.

    On top of that, cord cutting (real cord cutting, not replacing the cord with a vMVPD) is going to keep accelerating, and while 2020 itself is another supercycle that may accelerate vMVPD growth, or slow down cord cutting, due to Tokyo and the 2020 election, the long term trend is only accelerating towards true cord cutting. vMVPDs may also do really well in 2020, as people could subscribe for Tokyo, and stay on through the election coverage, and then drop or switch as their needs evolve.

    The only part of the local DVR market that I see as relevant moving forward is for OTA, and I think that could be an interesting space with Channel Master, Tablo, SiliconDust, TiVo, and a few others all in that space, and hopefully all making the jump to ATSC 3.0.
     
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  4. obeythelaw2004

    obeythelaw2004 Member

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    I know that the hardware makes up a good chunk of Tivo's revenue but can't tivo just try to enter the streaming tivo service. Tivo still has the name recognition. They could introduce their own live tv streaming service. If they can use the same interface and dvr functionaility, they could compete with playstation vue and directv now.
     
  5. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    TiVo has NONE of the relationships required. Via the legacy Rovi business they have LOTS of connections to MVPDs around the world, but NONE with content providers themselves. They would be starting from scratch unless they found an existing MVPD with whom they could partner. They can't even get much attention from the existing OTT providers.

    TiVo is the preferred delivery platform for a tiny portion of viewers. There is no reason to expect anyone to go out of their way to do anything to keep TiVo alive - it is all up to TiVo to stay relevant. So far they have shown little ability to pivot, at least as quickly as needed.
     
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  6. jerryez

    jerryez Active Member

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    I pay $79.99 per month to Cox cable and do not even get cable tv. That is for internet only and cable does not have to pay any program providers any part of that fee. Cable is getting rich, just providing internet services. They do not need tv programing to survive.
     
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  7. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Agree with the gist of your post but do you really think nobody other than FiOS will be pushing in-home DVRs come 2020? What about the two big cablecos, Comcast and Charter? I guess it's possible that Comcast will stop issuing DVRs with hard drives in them by then, given that they already use a hybrid local/cloud DVR system. Maybe they'll have evolved X1 to all-cloud (and IP-only) by then. But what about Charter? They really seem to lag behind all the other major MSOs technologically. Not sure I see them dispensing with in-home DVRs in the next two years, although anything's possible, I guess. And assuming DISH is still operational at that point, they'll surely still be pushing in-home DVRs because, well, what else can they do? Meanwhile, yes, Verizon FiOS will probably stay like it is now, QAM-based with in-home DVRs; Verizon will launch their new OTT TV service later this year and I suspect they'll use that platform to showcase next-gen technologies like cloud DVR and 4K HDR, letting FiOS shift to the back burner, as AT&T will do with DirecTV satellite.

    Yeah, there was at least one thread on here a year or so back where some of us were talking about the possibility of TiVo launching their own OTT service using the TiVo UI. I thought the most likely (but still unlikely) scenario for that to happen would be for one of the unknown start-up OTT services (e.g. Fubo, Vidgo) to strike a deal with TiVo to use their brand name and UI in order to give them some brand recognition and cachet and stand out a bit from their competitors. But when you stop and think about it, I don't know that TiVo would make such a deal given that their main business is now licensing IP to MVPDs. Wouldn't it make it less likely for a local cable company (e.g. Atlantic Broadband) to want to use the TiVo UI on their own STBs if that same UI was also directly associated with a competing (possibly less expensive) OTT TV service?

    Yep, exactly. TV is now a side business for cable companies. Internet is their real business.
     
  8. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

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    Directv will be adding a dvr for their streaming service, unless they dropped those plans recently.
     
  9. jerryez

    jerryez Active Member

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    A cloud DVR_
     
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  10. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Fair enough. Give Charter another year or two to implement Cloud DVR since they are so far behind on IPTV, and well, everything actually.

    I think DISH has already pretty much moved to marketing Sling TV. I'm not saying that DISH and DirecTV will be gone, they won't, there are still rural users, commercial, etc, and there will still be physical DVRs for the rural customers (commercial generally can't use DVRs legally), but they won't market or actively promote them. The people who seek them out will get them.

    I could see Verizon doing Cloud DVR too, or I could see them not doing Cloud DVR, as they have no reason to build an IPTV infrastructure for FiOS in the first place, since they have so much QAM bandwidth.

    I think the time window for TiVo has come and gone on that. The major vMVPDs are established, and the only way for someone else to break in would be for a major existing MVPD to launch a vMVPD (Comcast, Charter, Verizon, etc). AT&T, DISH, Google, and a few others have already staked their claims out in this market.

    At this point, the best TiVo could do would be to integrate an existing vMVPD service with the TiVo GUI and OTA recording, but I find it unlikely that any of the vMVPDs would want to give up control over their GUI, and find it far more likely that they would integrate OTA support/recording into their own hardware (DISH has a half-baked product like that already in AirTV).

    I think the best we can hope for at this point is a vMVPD to launch an app that goes on top of TiVo, and maybe has some search integration, but still has a totally different UI. SlingTV launched over the top of Comcast X1, but that is a much bigger market, so it's possible, but not terribly likely that any would want to spend the development effort at this point. Hulu Live or YTTV are the most likely, since they are already on TiVo with other services, SlingTV is probably the next most likely given that they are already on X1, although all are fairly unlikely given that they are currently in a race to stream locals and use their own cloud DVR systems, which leaves them with no reason to be on TiVo in the first place.
     
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  11. lafos

    lafos Well-Known Member

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    Some years ago TiVo partnered with Nero to build and market a PC-based DVR with the TiVo UI. It still required a tuner if I recall correctly. It did not make much of an impact on the market, which likely left them less willing to partner. That, the DirecTiVo experience, and their IP protection efforts has not made them a very desirable partner
     
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  12. ManeJon

    ManeJon Active Member

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    Said before but I think the whole concept of net neutrality can have a big impact on this. If cloud based "dvr" take over and I think they will - and your ISP slows down that service for you it could cause problems or allow you to access effectively 1 stream from the cloud but you need to several it could be a problem. Personally, I don't want cloud DVR - this past winter I had power etc. for several days but had no internet since they had lost power at a link in the chain. I was fine since I had my own DVR but..

    I also know I have very little if any control over the future but..
     
  13. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. But I'm not so sure that the scenario you paint will actually happen. On the other hand, I don't really think that strict net neutrality will be enacted either, at least nationally. (Maybe in a few of the most left-leaning states like CA, OR, etc.)

    I'd be in favor of a compromise solution that could perhaps actually get enacted nationally: allow ISPs to devote up to a certain portion of their network bandwidth (e.g. 25%) as a protected "high speed lane" for their fully owned TV/video, music and telephone voice services. Also allow them to zero-rate that traffic against the data caps that they impose on their internet plans. However, all other forms of IP traffic on their network must be treated equally, with no forms of throttling or other punitive behavior allowed, and no payments allowed from third parties for preferred treatment of their data.

    Right now, cable companies (which are by far the largest providers of home broadband service) already segregate some of their network bandwidth for the purpose of QAM-based video, which they use to transmit their legacy TV services to customers in a very reliable manner. And of course those customers can watch as much of that TV service as they want without incurring "overage" fees. Why should that change if a cable TV provider were to switch from QAM to IPTV distribution of their TV service? I can understand ISPs' insistence on favoring the transmission of their own services on their own networks, which they built and own. So this kind of compromise would allow that. But it would forbid any attempts to actually slow down or mess with the transmission of competing TV, music or telephony services across their network.

    As for data caps, hopefully increased competition among ISPs (as wireline, wireless and satellite-based internet providers increasingly compete with each other) will obviate that problem. If not, perhaps government regulation would be needed, at least in areas with a broadband provider monopoly.
     
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  14. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Same here, power but no net when the node went down after a snow storm. Cleared out almost all of the saved stuff on our Tivo over those few days.

    I too have no interest in cloud DVR, because it's not as responsive as a Tivo transport-wise and you lose control over comskip. This is exactly what the content providers want.
     
  15. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    verizon ran out of QAM bandwidth years ago. Since then they have been overly compressing most channels and stuffing more channels per QAM. The picture quality on FiOS is nothing like it was just a few years ago. Let alone like it was when i first got FiOS in 2007.
     
  16. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Fair enough, but if they reclaim that QAM bandwidth, it's just not used. It's not like Comcast where they can put more DOCSIS channels on it, or OFDM blocks for D3.1. Further, they have moved some channels to MPEG-4, and that would be a permanent solution. Also, a few HD channels have gone kaput, and more will go kaput given the current situation with cord cutting, so the HD tonnage wars are over, and over time, more bandwidth will free up.
     
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  17. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I basically agree, but Verizon COULD use the carrier currently used for QAM to carry more broadband. For example, they could load balance across the two carriers or bond them. If they killed QAM the bandwidth wouldn't go to waste.

    Given their lack of interest in anything requiring cabling to the customer it is unlikely, but possible.

    BTW, it looks like Altice is pulling fiber here - giving this area two FTTH providers.
     
  18. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yep, Altice is switching over pretty much their whole footprint from HFC to FTTH over the next few years, with work currently underway in the NYC area. (Folks who have Optimum TV can probably kiss their TiVos goodbye once their node switches over to FTTH.)

    You're fortunate to have two FTTH choices. We also have two in Nashville, AT&T Fiber and Google Fiber, but only the former seems serious about expanding to reach a lot of homes. Perhaps we'll get lucky and Verizon and/or Starry will come to town too with fixed 5G home internet, although either would probably only serve certain strategically selected neighborhoods. And I can't imagine any additional FTTH players moving in.
     
  19. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    OK, so you know how I said that Charter is such a technological laggard? Read this story about their forthcoming new STB and have a good laugh:

    Source: Major Charter Cable Box Revamp Coming Soon

    Here are the highlights:
    • only 4 tuners
    • cloud DVR will probably be delayed until 2019
    • no whole-home functionality
    • no voice control
    • no 4K (or presumably HDR) support ("4K support will come via the Spectrum app on Roku.")
    It took Charter and Arris "several years" to come up with this?!
     
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  20. tim1724

    tim1724 Active Member

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    No surprise there. Charter has always had the worst hardware. Their current offerings make a Series 3 TiVo look good.
     
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