So, I'm a long time fan of TiVO, I was customer number 156 or so in the original, but the customer base is now less than half of what it was in 2007, and the decline continues. I've filled out survey after survey from TiVO telling them what they are doing wrong and they just really have hopelessly lost their way as a company, I have concluded. The bottom line: per-unit cost over user experience. Back with the original TiVO, it was awesome. Innovation abounded, software innovation was rapid and updates came often. And then innovation died, the machines and software languished, software patent lawsuits consumed the company's resources, per-unit cost cutting trumped innovation, and mass marketing decaying products became the new MO of the company. I had just about written off the company when they released the Premiere & XL. I eagerly ordered one despite the horrific reviews about sluggish performance and screen switching, lack of a second CPU core enabled, and poor terrible UI for non-core DVR functions like Netflix, Pandora, etc. Doing a bit of research, it became clear what the problem was: the company had skimped on the processor in the Premier, opting to sacrifice user interface performance for a few dollars of per-unit costs. In fact, tragically, the Apple iPhone 3GS outperforms the TiVO Premier. See bit.ly/phXFwp for the graph This one fact banished TiVO's hopes of becoming the "entertainment hub" of the home, and made the non-DVR functions painful and unpleasant to use. The introduction of the iPad and iPhone apps helped, since the UI was finally responsive, but using the actual box UI remains painful to the point where, if any reasonable alternative were available (hello, Apple, come and collect 2M users), TiVO would find itself without a user base, left as nothing but a shell company / patent troll in the course of a year or two. Why? Why did it come to this? Shortsighted focus on per--unit costs and a fundamental lack of understanding of the importance of the user experience. For a prime example of a fluid-to-the-point-of-liquid interface, take a lok at the XBox 360. The controller is all wrong, sure, and there's no cable connection or DVR functionality, but the UI is liquid fast and smooth as butter. Even dipping out into the far reaches of the interface is painless, because the UI is simple and wicked fast and fluid. Sure it's basically a little supercomputer Microsoft had to sell at less than cost for a few years, but if TiVO would simply shell out the extra $50.00 per box for a circa-2010-era CPU in it's new boxes, it might have a chance at survival. The really tragic irony is: post after post of TiVO die hards proclaim their loyalty and willingness to pay up to $1,000.00 per box for something stunning and magical. But somehow, somehow, TiVO doesn't get it: you simply cannot expect to become the "entertainment hub" of anything when it makes users experience actual, physical pain to use your product. And adding even more functionality and services to a grossly underpowered machine will not improve things. Certainly, you can never expect to be able to innovate like Dish has with their DVR unis adding Internet Slingbox capability to them, for example, since the box is too anemic to ever perform such demanding tasks in addition to it's original functions simultaneously. And the lack of simple Gigabit-capable ethernet in the Elite is another example of long term blindness for short term savings. How much money did they save by using a 100Mb ethernet chip vs a Gigabit chip? Maybe $5? That would have enabled wicked fast inter-home video transfers and enabled future applications not yet conceived of. And customers have proclaimed in writing they are wiling to foot the bill already! It's insane. No, I think we are seeing the death throws of the star that was called TiVO. If they continue on their current path, the star will soon collapse onto itself, having run out of fuel or users, accelerated if a company like Apple seizes the opportunity, and TiVIO will be a white dwarf shadow of it's former self we can all sadly point to in the sky and say, "I knew them when they had so much promise, look at them now". Here's hoping that won't happen. But I fear it's already too late. Analysts believe Apple is coming to this space in 2012 and that one single announcement, if and when it comes, will wipe TiVO off the map for good. Apple loves a good patent fight after all. And they know User Experience is King, something TiVO has long forgot.