"The retail market for TiVo days are numbered...enjoy it while it lasts"..???

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Intheswamp, May 1, 2018.

  1. May 1, 2018 #1 of 44
    Intheswamp

    Intheswamp South Alabama

    457
    132
    Nov 14, 2017
    Ok, I don't frequent the forum *nearly* as much as I did when I was researching about buying my Roamio OTA or soon afterwards when I was setting it and my Mini Vox up. I've been using Hyrda since the beginning, it worked, I know no better, I'm ignorant, it's the best/worst UI ever created on the planet. Ok, so no debate on all that...I was figured "what the hey?" and went with the flow. Not worried about discussing that. :)

    But, in a thread reporting a new TE4 update, New TE4 update starting to roll out, I stumbled across the below quoted message (middle part removed for briefness). This highly concerns me, especially coming from a long-time Tivo user. The bolded and underlined part is what triggered the little alarm in my pea-brain to go off. Whether it is a false alarm or not, I don't know.

    My situation is that I've been planning on buying two more Roamio OTA for my daughters. They are both cord-cutters but neither have DVR capabilities. They're both in good shape (courtesy of Daddy:D) antenna-wise and currently receive OTA and also stream content. The DVR will give them the ability to not miss their favorite network shows and local news reports...basically what I use my Roamio for. I had purchased a couple of the CM Stream+, but they were RMA'd back to CM due to too much tech needed to use them...and my daughters need a working solution...not a solution to work on. But, I digress... So, I've been waiting on a Tivo Roamio sale to come along.

    BUT...the quote below from a long-time Tivo user seems to say that the "retail market days" (me!) are limited. I don't want to invest a chunk of change that's going to be a useless piece of silicon and silver traces. I can't believe other people are still investing in Tivo's if this is the case, but I'm a newcomer to Tivo so what do I know? Any thoughts on the "retail" future of Tivo's boxes, maybe expressly the OTA boxes? Would I be better off buying some iView PSIP boxes a couple of USB hard drives and tell my daughters to "figure it out"? :confused:

    Sorry to ramble about this, but two of the Roamios would be a large chunk of change for us and we want to invest in something that will be useful for our daughters for several years down the road.

    Thanks,
    Ed

     
  2. May 1, 2018 #2 of 44
    BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

    3,279
    612
    Mar 21, 2004
    Tivo is hitting a technological wall. Cable users account for 2/3 of their retail customers. Cablecards will *eventually* go extinct as systems move to IPTV, and there's currently no standardized technology to replace it to make a retail cable DVR possible after that point.

    Tivo has said they will support cable DVRs as long as there are cablecards. They can't commit to anything beyond that.

    That being said, providing guide data to existing customers is cheap. They now own the data and its delivery, so they can continue to deliver data to existing customers from hell to breakfast, in all of the universe, in perpetuity. I don't think folks (cable or OTA) have anything to worry about at all as far as basic data support goes. There's no reason for them not to continue to do it for many years to come.

    Now, OTA has its own unique "problem", and that's the ATSC 3.0 standard which will allow for 4K OTA. Existing Roamios and Bolts don't support it and they would need to be replaced with a new box. But as long as ATSC 1.0 airwaves are still transmitting, those customers will be fine. This will also probably be for a long time, though some of the "lesser" channels will be going away in a couple years as the airwaves are repackaged.

    Tivo has hinted at a possible 2019 product that supports ATSC 3.0 (and I'm betting it'll also still support cablecard), so they aren't finished with retail yet. I think buying a Tivo OTA box is still a viable option.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
    Bigg, CloudAtlas and NashGuy like this.
  3. May 1, 2018 #3 of 44
    johnfasc

    johnfasc Active Member

    214
    54
    Dec 24, 2014
    You realize VCRs are still in use? I am not a techno freak but thinking a DVR would still record and playback as long as it is in working condition. You may not have the guide as you know it. But I think that quote was just a general statement that everything does not last forever. Go ahead and splurge, you can always save bucks by going the refurbished route. Besides your daughters are worth it!!
     
  4. May 1, 2018 #4 of 44
    TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    12,232
    1,745
    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    Give that current new TiVo’s use specific inputs that are starting to phase out, they will not last past the full transition to IPTV and ATSC 3.0. Until then (and that is still some distance away for the majority of customers), TiVo is a great solution. Unless they come up with workable adaptors of some kind, a new approach will be needed or TiVo will fade away.

    I’d comfortably buy one today, though, since the usefulness of consumer electronics is becoming a shorter window.

    Using a VCR in a digital world needs adaptors and they exist. Will the same be true for a Bolt?
     
  5. May 1, 2018 #5 of 44
    JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    18,911
    3,408
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    We really really need a doom & gloom forum.
     
  6. May 1, 2018 #6 of 44
    Intheswamp

    Intheswamp South Alabama

    457
    132
    Nov 14, 2017
    Need a moderator for it??? :D

    Or, rather than a doom&gloom forum a GMC forum....gray-matter-challenged???? :rolleyes:

    But seriously, I wasn't trying to spread doom and gloom, just that inquiring mind of mine..... :confused:
     
  7. May 1, 2018 #7 of 44
    JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    18,911
    3,408
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
  8. May 1, 2018 #8 of 44
    stile99

    stile99 Well-Known Member

    813
    653
    Feb 26, 2002
    This is not intended to say everything is perfect and will last forever. There are indeed some technical challenges ahead, some of which I have no doubt TiVo will handle, and some I doubt they will.

    That said, the death of TiVo has been predicted since about a week after the first box was bought. There was some dude (I want to say his name was Sean, but you know what they say about memory being the second to go) who constantly spammed the Usenet group with the phrase "Dead company walking".

    Almost two decades later TiVo's still around, Sean is not.

    The main takeaway from this should be will TiVo be around forever? No. Will it disappear tomorrow? No. Are there technological changes ahead? Yes. Did TiVo weather the change from analog to digital, and from SD to HD? Yes.

    Additionally, cablecards could all disappear off the face of the planet tomorrow and your Roamio OTA won't notice.
     
    johnfasc likes this.
  9. May 1, 2018 #9 of 44
    TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

    12,232
    1,745
    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    Agreed.

    But remember there are two things going on. Cable cards will go away eventually but OTA is changing as well.
     
    mschnebly likes this.
  10. gigaquad

    gigaquad Tivo Image Master

    197
    120
    Oct 25, 2004
    On the CableCard vs IP delivery thing, didn't the FCC decide that cable companies MUST support set-top boxes way back in the early 2000's? If the stupid, buggy, horrible implementation known as CableCards go away and the FCC upholds its ruling that set-top boxes are a consumer right, then I'm sure Tivo will have a solution. I'm not the least bit worried as of this moment.


    Edit: After further research, Tivo has been in talks (and agreements) since 2014 with Comcast to deliver IP content to Tivos. And Comcast agreed to provide CCs up until the delivery method could be standardized.
     
    kpeters59 likes this.
  11. ManeJon

    ManeJon Active Member

    142
    32
    Apr 14, 2018
    On the other side - at the moment Spectrum (at least in this state) doesn't offer whole home and only offers DVR's with 2 tuners. There really isn't much other choice these days - No one has a perfect solution but no whole home and only 2 tuners isn't a solution at all.
     
  12. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    3,561
    1,656
    May 2, 2015
    I think the bottom line is this: if you and your daughters are happy with the way that a Roamio OTA works for them today, and you're comfortable spending the required amount of money to buy them, I don't think you have any reason to be worried.

    I don't see anything on the horizon that would stop those boxes from working. Yes, it's possible that in the future TiVo will decide to completely get out of the business of selling new retail DVRs. But as long as the company exists, they'll have to keep offering program guide data for those retail DVRs they sold in the past with "lifetime" service. As pointed out above, TiVo now owns that guide data. (TiVo merged with Rovi, the guide data provider, over a year ago.) I can't imagine the courts allowing TiVo to get out of providing ongoing free guide data for working DVRs with "lifetime" service that are less than, say, 8 years old. Even if TiVo stops selling retail DVRs, the company will still be around for a long time because retail DVRs are now just a small part of their overall business, which has deals with place with large pay TV providers around the world.

    As for the next generation of OTA TV that's on the horizon -- ATSC 3.0 -- it's true that it won't work with today's TiVos, including the Roamio OTA. But I wouldn't expect ATSC 3.0 broadcasts to begin in your area (Mobile?) until late 2019 or early 2020. And since ATSC 3.0 is optional, some stations may not start using it until much later. Meanwhile, the FCC is going to require that stations continue to broadcast in the current ATSC 1.0 format for several more years. So maybe come 2020 or 2021 your daughters will want to upgrade to a newer OTA DVR that can tune in and record the new ATSC 3.0 signals (which will offer better picture quality). But their Roamio OTAs will still work the same as always with the "regular" ATSC 1.0 channels, which should still be around, at least for the main networks, until the middle of the next decade.
     
    Intheswamp likes this.
  13. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    22,720
    899
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    The problem with continuing to broadcast in ATSC 1.0 is that many stations will combine to broadcast on the same frequency for ATSC 1.0. While using their normal frequency to switch to ATSC 3.0. So stations will be even more bitstarved or might not even have an HD option for ATSC 1.0 any more.

    So while you will technically be able to receive a broadcast with ATSC 1.0, it will be crap quality.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
    Bigg likes this.
  14. series5orpremier

    series5orpremier Well-Known Member

    2,887
    747
    Jul 5, 2013
    Yeah, the price of an all-in Roamio OTA should fully amortize within a few years and any value you get out of them after that is gravy.

    The crap quality comment above is not a given and would likely only apply to the very largest markets if it comes to fruition. I don’t believe small and mid size markets are likely to see any worse picture quality on ATSC 1.0 than they currently have.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  15. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

    3,329
    794
    Aug 21, 2002
    New York...
    As the person that made the original comment, let me expand on it a bit...

    First, let's consider cablecard based DVRs. With the elimination of the requirement that any operator provided unit include a cablecard for CA control, getting cablecards and getting them properly activated and paired is becoming more and more difficult. Comcast (the largest cable company in the nation) has already announced plans to move to all IP delivery. Altice/Cablevision has the same plan. Verizon has piloted an all IP system and has gone back to polish it some more. Add in the cord cutter phenomenon, and the fact that TiVo never captured more than a tiny fraction of the home DVR market, plus the cord-cutting trend, and TiVo's market gets really small. At some point, continuing to maintain the manufacturing, warehousing and shipping will get too expensive to support. The IP delivery systems have no standard authentication process - conditional access will be proprietary to the cable provider and they have no incentive to allow third party boxes to use their method (it took a FCC rule-making to get cablecards in the first place). I'm not saying this will happen soon...but the end of cable DVRs in general, and TiVo's in particular, is coming - probably in 5 to 10 years, unless you are served by a small independent provider (in which case it might take 15 years).

    Now, OTA DVRs. While there is a small market for these devices today, they face ATSC 3.0 issue. Not only will new tuners be needed, the ATSC 3.0 tuners will be expensive, and there is a distinct possibility (some might say probability) that at least some ATSC 3.0 services will be monetized and so, again, TiVo can be left out in the cold because of conditional access control issues. Imagine a network affiliate offering a 480p or 720p feed on their "open" channel, but charging a monthly fee for access to the 4K feed (lacking congressional rule-making, there is nothing to stop them.

    Finally, OTT services like Netflix, Prime Video, etc. There is no reason to believe that the migration of entertainment to OTT/on-demand services will abate in any way. Over the long term more and more content will be sold that way. We could end up with Sports and News being the only thing NOT delivered strictly as on-demand. In that world, there are few people that even need a DVR, of any kind, shape or brand.

    DVRs were a reaction to burgeoning advertising breaks and the availability of cheap digital video encoders. Cord cutting is a reaction to burgeoning cable rates. Both problems are addressed by On-Demand or PPV. That is were we are headed, and without some major event that changes the course of the market, it is a world that has no need of DVRs, TiVo or otherwise.
     
    tim1724, mschnebly and NashGuy like this.
  16. stile99

    stile99 Well-Known Member

    813
    653
    Feb 26, 2002
    I know more than one person who got a TiVo explicitly for, and ONLY for, sports. Trickplay is a sports lover's dream. I'm going to have to disagree and say that saying the world of sports has no need for a DVR is as true a statement as the Earth is flat. While some people may believe it, the facts don't play out that way.

    Exactly how and why DVRs came into existence can be disputed, but there were ways of recording TV and skipping commercials before it happened. The capacity was usually quite limited, and you HAD to watch the most recent recording to create space, or swap tapes. At the time of creation, the "killer app" of DVRs wasn't even increased capacity, but the ability to watch recordings "out of order", and the trickplay giving you control of Live TV as well.

    Some people believe on-demand is where we're headed. The antenna installers making their living installing antennas think it's not quite cut and dried as that.

    To get things back on track, is TiVo dying? Yes. So am I. So are you. So are we all. Plan accordingly and appropriately. Generally this means you don't really have a pressing need to cancel this weekend's plans. If a Roamio OTA currently fits your needs, feel free to buy it. Assuming your needs remain, it will fit your needs tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and so on.

    One final thought, in response to the idea that there is no reason to believe the migration to on demand will abate in any way...there are entire websites dedicated to the discussion of internet speed throttles and caps. If there is anything in all of this that is uncertain, it's exactly this issue. Even the supposed death of net neutrality (which itself is not an actual death, the issue is by NO means settled) has been delayed. Nobody can predict where this is going.
     
  17. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    3,561
    1,656
    May 2, 2015
    Yeah. Let's say you pay $400 for a new Roamio OTA with lifetime service. In three years, you decide to switch to something else that better suits your wants/needs and you net $75 selling the Roamio OTA used on eBay after fees and shipping costs. (Lifetime service stays with a Tivo even as it switches owners.) So you paid $325 for use of the TiVo for 36 months, which works out to $9 per month (not including whatever sales tax you originally paid on the TiVo). Of course, if you keep and use the TiVo for less time, it works out to spending more per month; use it longer, then less per month.

    Is it worth spending $9 per month on a TiVo when you can get Hulu (with limited ads that can't be skipped) for $8 per month (or ad-free for $12 per month)? Hulu offers next-day on-demand content from ABC, NBC and Fox, plus a slew of other stuff (original series, mini-series and docs, uncut Hollywood movies, past seasons of broadcast and cable series). But it's missing next-day access to current CBS series, which you could record with a TiVo. Meanwhile, you can get free access to recent content from PBS and The CW using their own apps, so you don't really need a DVR for that. (The CW app forces you to watch ads, though.) And of course you can still watch live local OTA channels for free using the tuner already built into your TV.

    I'm not arguing in favor of either a Roamio OTA or Hulu, necessarily. But I am saying that spending around $9 per month to use a TiVo for the next few years seems to be a reasonable entertainment expense compared to the closest comparable streaming replacement.

    Have you heard anything more about this? Last I heard, the entire managed IPTV project was dead after they killed the beta last year. I think Verizon (like AT&T) is moving on from the concept of managed IPTV in favor of a next-gen OTT service that can be deployed nationwide. Verizon is supposed to have their new OTT TV service ready in time to bundle it with fixed 5G home internet service in Sacramento in a few months.

    Remains to be seen how expensive these tuners will be. I think broadcast groups like Sinclair, Nexstar, etc. know that if 3.0 is going to succeed, they have to get tuners into consumers' hands. The concept of broadcaster-subsidized tuners has been floated in the past. We'll see. Anyhow, I'm doubtful that the main 3.0 feed of any major network is going to be as low as 480p. 1080p HDR has repeatedly been mentioned by networks and broadcast groups as the likely format for 3.0, at least in the first few years. I can imagine an upgrade to 4K (via a broadband-delivered upgrade signal) costing money, or at least an opt-in to targeted advertising.

    Yep. Well put.
     
  18. series5orpremier

    series5orpremier Well-Known Member

    2,887
    747
    Jul 5, 2013
    By “any value you get out of them after that is gravy” I was mainly referring to the value of continuing to use them as DVRs for ASTC 1.0 broadcasts (effectively for free), which is what most people will be doing. Use them a total of ten years in your example, even if you throw them away afterwards, and the monthly cost drops to well below $3.50/month.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  19. CloudAtlas

    CloudAtlas Bryan TCF Club

    423
    294
    Oct 29, 2013
    New York, NY
    Humor in the TCF forums?! You risk the moderators kicking you off TCF.

    Too funny.
     
  20. foghorn2

    foghorn2 Well-Known Member

    1,313
    321
    May 4, 2004
    Las Vegas
    They pretty much are crap quality already!
     

Share This Page