Is TiVo Considering Getting into the Cord-cutting Business?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by mobilelawyer, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. mobilelawyer

    mobilelawyer Occasional Old Timer

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    TiVo Contemplates Premium Channels For Cord Cutters

    I am excited by this. I tried the HD Homerun OTT service, and, in a pinch, it would do if something better was not available. Right now, my cord-cutting solution is YouTubeTV. It offers the best economy for the "cable" line-up I require, and better and more consistent PQ than HD Homerun.

    The PQ champion, however, without question, is the OTA picture I get from my Roamio. If those locals could be mixed into and integrated with web-delivered OTT channels, TiVo would offer, by far, the best theoretical solution.

    I would love to see this if the monthly charge would be in line with OTT expectations from current subscribers.
     
  2. schatham

    schatham Well-Known Member

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    They should just team up with an existing streaming TV provider. Then combine OTA with streaming. My saved shows could be like it is now with on demand, both are in shows list. I doubt Tivo could do streaming TV by itself and be any good.
     
  3. hapster85

    hapster85 Well-Known Member

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    Definitely sounds interesting
     
  4. reneg

    reneg Well-Known Member

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    I'd love to part ways with Comcast. Been playing around with SiliconDust's HDHomerun. Currently have it feeding OTA channels into Plex. Haven't brought it in front of the spouse yet as the Plex UI will not cut it from a WAF perspective. Neither will SiliconDust's UI. Planning on trying Channels DVR next.

    My requirements in such a product are as follows:
    1) Must carry the cable channels we watch. SiliconDust's Premium TV carries our "must have" channels even with their upstream provider issue with eight stations.
    2) Must be able to record both OTA & Cable channels in at least 720p 60 fps. SiliconDust does not meet this requirement but it's in the plans.
    3) Must be able to download recorded shows to a PC so I edit out commercials and archive.
    4) Unified UI for both live OTA & cable channels & DVR. I don't want to switch inputs or apps on the TV.
    5) Single remote for all clients. For simplicity, I'll install the same client device on each TV. A potential plus for Tivo because I already have one of their devices on every TV but it does assume that a Tivo product would provide connectivity to at least gen 5 Tivos (Roamio).
    6) Must cost less than I'm paying Comcast.

    I feel like a Tivo product in this space could meet all my requirements and would definitely get spouse approval.
     
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  5. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Why would any existing provider team up with them? They've all put R&D into developing their own DVR/UI, why would they give part of their profits to TiVo? TiVo doesn't provide enough of a compelling upgrade for people to pay extra for. Both Comcast and DirecTV tried that at one point. It worked well on DirecTV but then they invested heavily in their own DVR platform and pushed TiVo aside. It never really worked on Comcast.

    TiVo is about to lose all it's patents. If they want to stay in the DVR business they need to do something to stay relevant once CableCARD goes away. This is how they can, possibly, do that.
     
  6. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Well, PS Vue is now allowing at least some aspects of their service to be controlled via the native/first-party UIs on Fire TV and Apple TV. So I could imagine them doing the same with TiVo (if they had an app for TiVo), assuming that TiVo made it easy enough for them to do this (e.g. via Android TV) and assuming that PS Vue thought that whatever effort they would need to put into integration with the TiVo UI would be paid for by additional PS Vue subscriptions from TiVo users.

    To be clear, though, I'm not imagining that PS Vue would allow their streams to be locally recorded to a TiVo but rather allow their live channel listings and list of cloud DVR recordings to be commingled in the TiVo UI alongside local OTA channels and recordings (much the same way that streaming and OTA sources are combined into the same Sling TV UI with their Air TV products).

    But how many people want to pay for local channels as part of a streaming service like PS Vue and then also want to pay TiVo for local OTA DVR service?
     
  7. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Yeah but that's a bit different. They allow basic stuff like searching and tuning via 3rd party UIs, not recording of their stream to a 3rd party DVR. They have restrictions on their DVR, likely agreed upon by the content providers, so it's unlikely they would (or even could) allow a 3rd party DVR access their stream. And I don't think allowing TiVo to deep link into their DVR is the kind of integration TiVo is looking for.

    SiliconeDust, a much smaller company, has managed to pull together a skinny bundle service that they're allowed to record just like cable. If they can do it then TiVo can certainly do it. It's just a matter of will.
     
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  8. eherberg

    eherberg Active Member

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    SiliconDust is just passing on the Omniverse offering (the same as SkyStream, VivaLive, TikiLive, NKT, Flixon, and others). The whole thing seemed to exist because of some kind of 'loophole' anyway -- and now that Discovery/Scripps channels are unavailable from anybody who uses Omniverse as a source, the whole thing looks a little precarious now.

    Of course - I keep hoping that this will spur further moves away from the old thought of thinking of 'channels' and instead move people to thinking of 'content'. I don't (nor ever will) go back into the pay-TV world by getting something that's only difference from cable is just the means it is delivered. I get the programs I want to watch -- but only those. Hulu is there (and OTA) for those times if we want to 'browse'. But if the wife wants to see 'Fixer Upper' - we simply purchase the season of 'Fixer Upper'. It has led us to be more conscious consumers -- and made sure that if we're watching TV, it's something we really want to watch ... not just because it's 'on'.
     
  9. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    It's all a big catch 22 though. You're only able to buy content like this because it's being subsidized by advertisers. If we shift to a pay as you go model like you're currently using content would get a LOT more expensive. And then advertisers will still want a way to reach your eyeballs, even if you don't want them to, so they're going to offer big money to content creators to force you to watch their ads anyway.

    While what you describe is ideal for the consumer, it's not really a feasible business model for the content creators long term. They need to fit advertisers into the equation somehow for their business to work.
     
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  10. schatham

    schatham Well-Known Member

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    Isn't their an Australian Tivo that already does this? Or did this before Tivo left Australia.
     
  11. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    The only TiVo I'm aware of that was in Australia was based on the old S3 hardware. I don't know of any that worked with a 3rd party OTT service.
     
  12. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yes, as I explained ("To be clear, though...") what PS Vue is doing with Fire TV isn't the same thing as what SiliconDust is doing with their subscription TV service, where the actual digital streams are recorded locally and can be presented by and controlled by any front-end software that is compatible with the SiliconDust tuners.

    If TiVo were to build their own service from scratch, to work much like SD's service does, that would obviously be a lot more effort than just trying to make their native UI compatible with an existing app, like PS Vue. For various reasons, I remain skeptical that TiVo is going to try to pull that off any time soon, particularly with all the uncertainty about their future. But maybe I'm wrong.
     
  13. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I think they almost have to do this or they'll have no future.
     
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  14. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    I don't see this happening. PQ will only improve on something like YouTubeTV. YTTV carries locals. Why would I buy an expensive Tivo box?

    I don't even think the linear time slot model will survive. It seems to me a lot of that model has to do with the old broadcast tech. You bought a frequency to broadcast on over the antenna. And you could only show 1 thing at a time. And there were only 24 hrs a day. And your entire business model evolved around that.

    Now there is no such limitation. Thus it only will change. Obviously a Netflix is an example of this change.
     
  15. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Well, first off, if TiVo is to try and launch their own streaming cable TV service that is tied to TiVo hardware and apps, I don't think that decision would be made until bigger questions about their corporate future, including a new CEO, is settled. When is their strategic assessment -- which may recommend going private, or some sort of spin-off/break-up, or further M&A -- supposed to be done? I imagine we'll hear something about that on the next quarterly call coming up early next month.

    But beyond that, I really question whether a TiVo streaming cable TV service would be differentiated enough in the eyes of the public to compel them to buy TiVo boxes in order to use it, versus just using one of the existing services (DTV Now, YouTube TV, etc.) that they can use on the streaming devices they already own. Perhaps a TiVo service could provide some incremental profits in their retail division but I can't see it being a game-changer for the company. Would it be a nice option for TiVo owners to have? Yes, definitely. But I can't see it being the thing that will turn around TiVo's future with consumers.
     
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  16. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

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    Netflix is like HBO or Showtime at this point the lastest version of what has been. Linear will be around for awhile, everything on demand doesn't work for people who don't have good internet, and there are a lot of them. There are people in remote areas that only TV they can get is from satellite.
    Netflix is the 2019 version of HBO or Showtime..nothing to see here move on. If the future is cloud dvr's and craps err apps on streaming devices it will get worse before it get better. Linear is not going away as long as there are OTA stations.
     
  17. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    Yeah but things don't go away only when 100% don't use them. People still shop at Sears and Kmart, and yet they are going bankrupt and have closed tons of stores over the years. It's not like no one shopped at the stores they closed. It's just that the economics stopped making sense as fewer and fewer people shopped there.

    IT wouldn't take 100% of people not needing or watching OTA(linear tv) for it to become economically unviable.

    Currently the national tv ad spending has been dropping 2% per year for a few years now and is projected to keep falling 2%.

    The median age of network tv shows is 52 years old. Young people are on the Youtube. And alot of tv talk nowadays is about Netflix and HBO etc.
     
  18. smark

    smark Well-Known Member

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    Young people on YouTube are watching various clips. Not watching programs necessarily.
     
  19. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    It's content no matter how you look at it.
     
  20. tsuzelis

    tsuzelis New Member

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    It appears that TIVO is at least looking into releasing a live tv service, similar to SiliconDust. This would be so much better than dealing with the other OTT services, like DirecTv Now, Hulu, YouTube TV, PS View, etc. I can't seem to teach my family how to switch from our Tivo to any of these services to watch anything. So we pay for an internet based cable service to watch the morning cable news and not much else.

    TiVo talks streaming apps, Android hardware, and a potential live TV service

    "Another approach for TiVo would be to offer its own live TV streaming service, similar to what SiliconDust has done with its $35-per-month HDHomeRun Premium TV offering. That way, cord-cutters could keep the DVR experience they had with cable and get more than just over-the-air channels. Malone said TiVo has considered offering such a package.

    “I think if we were to do something there, we would want it to be seamlessly integrated into the tuner experience,” Malone said. “We don’t have any plans to announce right now, but… I would like to have something to announce in the area.”
     
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