TiVo considers hardware to be a "necessary evil"

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by bob343, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. bob343

    bob343 New Member

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    On the July 30 edition of C-SPAN's "The Communicators", Matthew Zinn, Sr. VP and General Counsel at TiVo said "Well, TiVo's a software company. We make hardware mainly as a necessary evil. We don't make money on hardware. We don't really like making hardware." See [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfQiKrJPRtQ&list=PL488946669A5E518E[/media] at about 1:50 in.
     
  2. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...
    What do you expect? The guy's a lawyer. He justifies his existence by suing other companies for s/w patent infringement.
     
  3. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

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    I would think any company operating with a business plan of selling hardware at a loss and trying to make it up and hopefully make a profit on software and providing a service feels exactly the same way. Of course a representative from TiVo needn't state the obvious, such statements never put the company in a good light.
     
  4. Riverdome

    Riverdome Member

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    Most of us know that if Tivo could get out of the hardware business and only sell software to STB companies they would in a heartbeat. I've always wondered what the software would be like if they could have $0 expenses on the hardware side - it might be amazing.
     
  5. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    News Flash TiVo started out as a software only company. TiVo wanted to follow the Microsoft model not the Apple model.

    Series 1 and some Series 2 TiVos were not manufactured by TiVo. TiVo was forced into the hardware business because volume wasn't enough to keep the major hardware manufactures interested. If DVR sales had continued to grow and were millions of units a year our DVRs would likely say Sony, Humax, or Toshiba on them not TiVo.

    Even now look at their deals with Best Buy, Direct TV, and Virgin Media all deals for TiVo software on someone else's hardware.
     
  6. yoheidiho

    yoheidiho Member

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    Or it might be just as buggy!
     
  7. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

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    No surprise. Many of us here at TCF have known and been saying for years that Tivo takes a loss on hardware which is why they charge a subscription. Obviously they are a software company. Imagine if MS had to sell a computer every time they came out with a new version of Windows.
     
  8. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    +1 :up: Although I think TiVo has had a quarter or two where they actually made (a little) money on their hardware sales.

    Comparing TiVo and Microsoft is a stretch though. Microsoft never made any hardware to host their software. Initially, the only hardware to run TiVo software was made by TiVo. And for the Series 3 and Premiere software this is again true.
     
  9. SullyND

    SullyND W: 31-17 TCF Club

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    This is not true. Initially, the only hardware to run TiVo was NOT made by TiVo.
     
  10. tomhorsley

    tomhorsley Well-Known Member

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    It is unfortunate that a company which considers itself a software company is so incompetent at writing software.
     
  11. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    I thought TiVo didn't start making hardware until the Series 2 TiVo?
     
  12. yoheidiho

    yoheidiho Member

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    Exactly!!!!
     
  13. magnus

    magnus Tivo User

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    Yep, we'd probably all be running OSX which in my opinion would be a good thing. OSX runs so much better.
     
  14. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...
    When examining the TiVo company's relationship to the hardware, the question is not who manufactured/manufactures it, it is who designed/designs it and who controls that design.
     
  15. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    OK, don't keep me in suspense. Who made the first TiVo box? Was it TiVo branded? Who controlled the design? Was it a vendor making the box to TiVo's specs? (I didn't get a TiVo until 2006 so maybe my impression is wrong.)

    As a previous poster pointed out, it's who controls the design that is important.

    Microsoft was selling their Basic Interpreter software long before they partnered with IBM to produce DOS for the PC. Did TiVo have significant software sales before there was a TiVo box?
     
  16. DrewS3

    DrewS3 Member

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    Yes. I wouldn't trust Tivo to be able to write a tip calculator, and they are a "software company". Ha!
     
  17. DrewS3

    DrewS3 Member

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    Tivo considers customers to be a necessary evil too.
     
  18. RangerOne

    RangerOne The Hub

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    I believe that Phillips made the original TiVo. The model numbers were HDR110 and HRD310.

    If memory serves, the packaging was co-branded. It featured the Phillips name and the TiVo logo. Sony, Thomson and Hughes also made series1 TiVos. Some of the were DirecTiVos.
     
  19. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    There was actually a TiVo-branded Series 1 box, PTV100 or some such. TiVo designed the hardware and manufactured it through a subcontracter (Solectron, I think) on behalf of Philips and, later, Sony.

    TiVo has always said that it wanted other companies to take on the hardware, but they never succeeded in that.
     
  20. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...
    Why on Earth would any third party company take on the responsibility for h/w that isn't profitable? I'm talking about now, not then.

    TiVo doesn't even come close to acting like a s/w company when it comes to customer support. If your system drive dies in your PC, do you have to buy a new copy of the OS and application s/w that was installed on the drive or beg someone for an image? Yes, you could have made a backup copy, but not by any method supported by TiVo.

    Actually, at the moment, I am pretty happy with TiVo due to something they did for me recently that they were under absolutely zero obligation to do. It is just that some of their policies suck.
     

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