Is TiVo in trouble?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Sparky1234, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. Apr 8, 2019 #321 of 350
    mntvjunkie

    mntvjunkie Active Member

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    I could be interested in both, but again, probably not at the same time. Right now, the balance I have is I have 2 standard services that never get cancelled (Netflix and Amazon). I will keep Amazon because of yearly pricing and free shipping (with other benefits), and likely keep Netflix at least for the short term, as they have a variety of content. Then, for the third service, I rotate based on what is available. Right now, it's HBO (catching up on shows and movies I missed while I was on "break"). In June, (if the ads bother me) I will pick up Hulu for Handmaids Tale and drop HBO (I get free Hulu with Spotify now, but it's got ads). When HMT is done, I may pick up CBS All Access to watch Twilight Zone, etc. That seems to be the sweet spot FOR ME, but I also still have Cable and Tivo. If I ever dropped cable, I wouldn't hesitate to have 4 or even 5 streaming services, as I would still save quite a bit over cable (and still have room to buy the occasional show that just isn't on ANY streaming service) but again, I would probably look to make those "efficient" by only subscribing to services that have shows I want to watch, and letting a few episodes or more pile up before I subscribe.

    This, and no commercials, is the value to streaming services. If you let cable "lapse" for a few months, aside from paying install fees, etc. you will simply miss those shows, or need to wait for them to repeat. With HBO, Netflix, Hulu (mostly) etc. once the show "airs" it lives there forever. Miss True Detective? No problem, it's waiting for you!

    And again, because "basic" cable (well, technically not basic, but the one that gets you most of the major cable networks) is over $90 and rising, you could subscribe to almost every streaming service out there and STILL save money (and have WAY more content than time to watch said content). Sure, you may not be able to watch The Walking Dead episodes as they air, but you could BUY them and watch them the next day WITH NO COMMERCIALS for less than you pay for cable (and watch on your terms, and as many times as you want because you have licensed that content for as long as the service is around). And that's only for the shows that aren't available anywhere else, which should be pretty minimal (thinking networks like AMC, and for now TBS).
     
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  2. Apr 8, 2019 #322 of 350
    dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Well-Known Member

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    Everyone I know does that. We share in the family. Everyone uses my Netflix. My mom uses my Prime (which I have had for the shopping for ages). I use her Verizon login to watch Philly sports since I'm just OTA. And we'll share HBO during GOT and probably ditch it after.

    Sent from my SM-N960U1 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  3. Apr 9, 2019 #323 of 350
    d_anders

    d_anders Sr Legacy Member

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    Good points on the variety of streaming choices exploding.

    My tie to cable Is mostly sports, but my wife loves the life and drama channels like hgtv, food network, hallmark (Christmas).

    So it is still looking at live-tv plays (cable, YouTube tv, Sling, DirectNow, Vue, etc) plus the stream services....with Hulu playing in between.

    I still see Comcast/xfjnity and major mso’s looking to try tie some of these together like Xfinity is already trying to do with their x1 platform and handling the billing and customer relationships.

    Interesting times




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  4. Apr 9, 2019 #324 of 350
    Michael Miranda

    Michael Miranda New Member

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    Streaming is nice, I have Netflix, Amazon Prime, and my Friend's Plex server. Love TiVo for free TV. I would rather do without the streaming before I gave up the TiVo. That's how much I like it. I watch my favorite shows on my schedule.

    As for the demise of TiVo, don't they get some cash for the information they supply on what we are watching and recording?
     
  5. Apr 9, 2019 #325 of 350
    chiguy50

    chiguy50 U.S. Army (ret.)

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    I have no clue what technology is on the horizon or even in the pipeline, which is why I used the caveat "if you believe Comcast's published guidance.";) But the mere fact that they state that they "believe" it will be available implies more probability than not (under the assumption that the corporate lawyers vet these marketing publications). Otherwise, it would have been very simple for them to use more non-committal terminology such as "may be possible" if the objective is to allay the trepidation of potential customers who would rather not be tied to a rental gateway.

    As you probably know, the Google gateway (which they term a "Network Box") is included in the price of their fiber service. I do not believe that it can be replaced by a third-party device; however, you can add your own router.
     
  6. Apr 9, 2019 #326 of 350
    chiguy50

    chiguy50 U.S. Army (ret.)

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    I can't speak to the other CTV services, but with Comcast you would be better off having the premium channel subscriptions (HBO/SHO/Cinemax, et al) through their service if your goal is to save money via intermittent usage. AFAIK any OTT SVOD service is going to charge you by the month regardless of how many days you use it. With Comcast, you can start and stop at any time (and any number of times, I am told) and you will only be charged a pro rata fee based on the actual number of days that the subscription was active.

    It may not be "easier" per se (perhaps, depending on your particular account setup, requiring a telephone call rather than a few mouse clicks), but it can certainly be advantageous from a monetary standpoint.
     
  7. Apr 9, 2019 #327 of 350
    smark

    smark Well-Known Member

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    Most XB3s support RDK-B.
     
  8. Apr 9, 2019 #328 of 350
    trip1eX

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

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    I think it will be named something else and then possibly bundled (at a discount) with HBO.

    I think the HBO brand has its own identity and it would be weird to see Turner stuff on there.
     
  9. Apr 9, 2019 #329 of 350
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I would have thought the same but AT&T execs have repeatedly indicated that HBO content will be the cornerstone of this new service. So it's hard for me to see how they don't use the HBO name in the branding for it. HBO is *clearly* their standout brand.

    They've also stated that standalone HBO as it exists now -- HBO Now, essentially -- will continue to be available.

    Here's just one recap (from Engadget) of the three-tiered strategy that AT&T announced last fall for the service:

    The "entry" tier would be focused on movies, while the "premium" tier would offer more of what you're actually looking for, including "premium & popular" original shows as well as "blockbuster" flicks. And if you're determined to go all-out, a "bundle" tier would throw in classics, kids' programming, niche material and other extras.
    How does that middle "premium" tier sound any different than HBO Now? OK, it's possible that this tier will only contain a subset of HBO content -- maybe only past seasons of their series? -- along with a mix of original premium content that isn't found on HBO. But that really would be a mess to explain to consumers. It would essentially be a sorta-replacement and sorta-complement to HBO. Weird.

    This is what leads me to believe that the "HBO Now" brand will die and that it will simply become this middle "premium" tier inside this new service. Folks will still be able to get standalone HBO as a streaming service, it's just that the branding and app will change.

    Here's another quote from a great piece at Deadline about all the content this service will feature:

    HBO customers will be able to keep a stand-alone HBO service or buy into the combined service. “When they are offered together, they will be a seamless consumer experience, so you’re not going to have to toggle back and forth,” he added.

    So it definitely sounds like the app for this new service will house all HBO content for HBO subscribers (potentially replacing the HBO Go and HBO Now apps), along with all the non-HBO stuff the new service is going to have (which, per the above link include Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo, The Lego Movie, The Flash, RBG and The Alienist with movies including The Lord of the Rings, The Hangover and Casablanca).

    I'm not sure how you put all those pieces together in a logical way that differs very much from the scenario I sketched out in my earlier post above.

    Since then, AT&T's CEO has stated that some of the less premium content would be ad-supported. It's a cinch, then, that ads will appear in that entry tier focused on movies. I could be wrong to say that this tier will be free. Maybe it will cost a few dollars and screen all the movies that debuted on HBO and Cinemax six months ago, sort of making it to HBO what Encore is to Starz (except that Encore doesn't have ads). Will that sell though? I kinda doubt it, especially given how many movies stream for free with ads from Vudu, Pluto, Roku Channel, Tubi, Amazon/IMDb, Filmrise, etc. Free ad-supported VOD is a huge growth area in streaming right now and I see this entry tier as AT&T's play there. And free stuff would draw people to the app, where they would hopefully upgrade to the paid tiers.

    Perhaps that top-level "bundle" tier will have ads too but that would seem sort of weird. If the anchor middle level below it is premium HBO content, which must always be ad-free, will folks buy the add-on upgrade tier if it has ads? Getting subscribers to pay for content with forced ads is a tough proposition; Hulu does it but I think it's because they largely offer current stuff from the major broadcast nets that just aired last night. People are accustomed to watching ads on ABC, NBC and Fox. I'm not sure people will pay to watch ads on library content from Warner Bros., especially when its commingled in the same app as their ad-free HBO.
     
  10. Apr 9, 2019 #330 of 350
    Joe3

    Joe3 Active Member

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    I have not heard one good thing about AT&T, not a god damn thing. AT&T is in the same anti-consumer, money grubby, swill class as Comcast and Viacom, the same two who's swill brought down cable and caused the consumer runaway to cord cutting. AT&T in this content area sucks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  11. Apr 9, 2019 #331 of 350
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Maybe two tiers. Maybe. You get to 3 and it's just a confusing, jumbled mess. Then again, AT&T has made fortunes on wireless with a confusing, jumbled up mess of a poorly executed branding strategy that no one understands, so maybe they figure it will work here too.

    That's a good point.

    Can there be a set of "core" DOCSIS channels that all modems on the node have to use for multicast, and a bunch of others that are only for unicast/HSI?

    Shouldn't content be king though? The most interesting content that the most people talk about it almost entirely on Netflix. For back catalog, it's a bit more spread out, but mostly OTT SVOD or premium.

    Either they are going to offer a way to buy their EPON gateway, or they are going to let Arris sell it, I can't imagine anyone else is going to make retail EPON hardware for such a tiny market, especially when it's useless if you move, since it's only in certain communities. At least DOCSIS is available almost everywhere unless you're in the boonies, or apparently one of these Comcast EPON communities.

    It's not officially supported or easy, but it can be done.



    Yeah, but who wants to call 1-800-Comcast every month to cancel stuff? If you have a bunch of people who are watching a lot of content, the mondo bundle that includes Netflix, HBO, Showtime, Starz, and TMC offers some savings, but very, very few families actually watch all those on a regular basis to make it worthwhile. I think Amazon is the best deal, as their UI/UX is far better than the individual apps, and you can manage your subscriptions through one interface.

    They're a pretty awful company with a completely unintelligible mess of billing systems on wireless, they've ruined DirecTV, and they dumped us to suffer with Frontier and not get fiber. That being said, their wireless network is pretty darn good, and it's getting faster (aside from the results that they cooked the books on with fake 5G).
     
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  12. Apr 9, 2019 #332 of 350
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Well, that's part of the reason why I think that the first tier is free. So only 2 paid tiers. (And keep in mind that consumers are now used to the concept of streaming services that have a base tier and an add-on tier -- Hulu and Prime Video both offer various add-ons in the form of HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc. This thing from WarnerMedia may just be the other way around: HBO is the premium base tier and you can add on a non-premium upgrade tier.)

    Imagine opening the app and it has three tabs at the top, going from left to right: "Freeview" / "HBO" / "+ So Much More". (The ad copy writes itself -- "Introducing HBO+: It's HBO. Plus so much more.")

    That rightmost tab is where they're going to cram all that content from the Turner nets, classic cartoons, old films from TCM, CNN docu films, kids' stuff, DC superhero series and films, classic WB network TV series like Friends, etc. Everyone gets the first Freeview tab just for downloading the app, because AT&T has some ads they'd like to show you. Everyone who subscribes to HBO, regardless of how they get it/whom they pay through, gets access to the middle tab, home to all HBO content, ad-free as usual. Anyone with an HBO subscription would also be able to pay a few more bucks to also stream all the content in the rightmost tab. All combined, it could be a pretty compelling bundle of content, combining new, original prestige TV, a lot of familiar old "comfort food" TV favorites, plus big recent Hollywood movies. I could imagine a number of Netflix subscribers thinking "Maybe I'll switch between Netflix and this new HBO thing every 3 months or so."

    That's true and it makes me nervous about what they're going to do to HBO. Done right, this could be a good thing. But it could also be a big mess too. Devil is in the details.

    Yes, I think so. If you really want to geek out on this stuff, you might be interested in this 2017 white paper from Arris that I stumbled across recently. Start reading at pg. 21: https://www.arris.com/globalassets/resources/technical-white-papers/big-network-changes-coming.pdf
     
  13. Apr 9, 2019 #333 of 350
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    I see a big mess on the horizon. What I'm more concerned about, however, is AT&T micromanaging HBO and scaring off the content creators.

    Thanks, I'll have to take a look! I skimmed it and two things stood out to me:

    1. Their extrapolation of Nielsen's law of internet bandwidth is off the rocker. There is only so much video people can consume in a day, and only so much resolution you need before you can't physically tell the difference anyway. There is no organic demand for gig internet today, people on that tier are mostly driven by upload speeds, the rest is marketing, and the network is driven by capacity, not peak speeds.
    2. The selective FTTH installation sounds like a giant support and installation nightmare. The only scenario I could see where they offer selective FTTH would be something like Cox's implementation of RFoG, where GPON and RFoG co-exist on the same fiber, and lower-tier or lighter users might get RFoG with 256 or 512 subs/node, while high utilization users would get GPON or EPON brought into the house via Ethernet. Two physical plants makes absolutely no sense.
     
  14. mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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    Well they can always talk to Netflix or Amazon. They certainly are willing to put out some great new content and are getting well known for it.
     
  15. chiguy50

    chiguy50 U.S. Army (ret.)

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    It is a bit of a hassle, but if saving $10 p.m. ($120 p.a.) is meaningful enough to you (i.e., using the subscription for just a few days per month), a couple of minutes on the phone is probably not going to amount to a big deal. Besides, I think non-bulk service customers can probably start and stop the premium channel subscriptions on-line. In my case, as a bulk subscriber, I am compelled to call in.
     
  16. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    FiOS is way over compressed.it looks like crap now. aMC looks much better from my recordings on Philo than it does from recordings on FiOS. All FiOS channels look terrible. FiOS has been racing to get quickly to the low Comcast quality. They aren't there yet but they are getting close. I cringe anytime I watch video on FiOS . Its the entire reason I watch 98% of my broadcast content from streaming now. Either commercial free or the ability to scan past commercials, like with Philo.

    Sent from my Nexus 7(32GB)
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
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  17. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Just curious: why do you pay to keep FiOS TV at all? You're already paying to replicate some of that content from streaming sources like Philo. If you added YouTube TV alongside your Philo subscription, would you be missing any linear channels that matter to you?
     
  18. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    The triple play package I have with FiOS has Custom TV. So I can change that every day if I want to get another channel, but that's a last resort. I am currently only using Custom TV for news, and as a backup to streaming.

    If I dropped custom TV and went to Youtube TV, my monthly price would skyrocket. Besides I tried all the streaming services. My requirement was to be able to either not see commercials or be able to scan past them. And youtube TV, DirecTV Now, PSVue, etc did not fit that bill. It didn't work with the CW shows. And their cost is rather high as well, especially to get the proper amount of DVR storage, if they even offer it.

    So I ended up signing up for Philo to get Discovery, AMC and a few other channels. They have unlimited DVR storage, but can only be kept for 30 days. Which for me is much better than 20 hours of storage with shows kept for six months, like some of the other streaming services. I also got Hulu commercial free for most of the NBC, Fox, and ABC shows. Then I buy the CW shows outright. And subscribe to CBS AA commercial free part of the year. As well as HBO, showtime etc. as needed. This way I still get access to the content I want without being forced to watch commercials, and the video quality is much better than FiOS has now. And as icing on the cake, it cost me less than when I was on the Ultimate HD tier on FiOS.

    Ideally I would have rather stayed on the Ultimate HD tier, but I just could not stand how bad the video quality had become. I was shocked at how bad it had become.
     
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  19. jefny

    jefny Member

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    I have been following this discussion for some time now. I should mention that I have been a Tivo customer for over ten years with 2 Tivo HD's (all life time). Last year I transferred my life service to a new Bolt and several months ago I took advantage of a refurbed Bolt with lifetime service for the price of the hardware. As I read through the discussion I am wondering if I made a mistake in getting the Bolts but a recent visit to a friend of ours convinced me otherwise.

    There are millions of people who continue with the standard cable service, over pay for what they get and would benefit from a Tivo in place of their cable box/DVR. Our friend has Cablevision with an antiquated modem, router ans cable box. Her rental for an extremely outdated cable box (with no DVR capacity) costs far in excess of a Tivo with Tivo monthly service and a cable card. At my urging she called Cablevision to complain about the antiquated equipment to which they sent her a new modem without the power cable. When she called on the missing cable they told her to use the one for the old modem which, however, did not fit into the new modem. She is paying through the nose for a basic triple play service.

    She would be a perfect customer for Tivo but she is afraid of the complexity. I am working on her. I think there are tens of thousands of customers like that that Tivo can market to. Tivo may be a niche product but it should be around for a while. At least that's what I am hoping.
     
  20. trip1eX

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

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    All makes sense. Just skeptical they'll brand it all with the HBO name. Nothing mentioned there precludes them from offering a tiered Warner service and then bundling HBO in there under the same UI.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019

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