Tivo out of hardware manufacturing

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by David Knowles, May 10, 2018.

  1. John Gillespie

    John Gillespie Well-Known Member

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    Would a different manufacturer be able to bring back the TiVo guy boot up animation?

    I'd buy that!
     
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  2. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    Why does it look like they will stop supporting their boxes? That makes no sense. They have tons of boxes out there with smaller cable companies as well as the retain boxes. Why would they stop supporting them? Seems to me that just because someone else makes the boxes doesn't mean TiVo won't continue supporting the software in them.
     
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  3. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    The Sky Has Been Falling for as long as I've been on these boards...
     
  4. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    The fact that TiVo has gotten a major electronics company to take over manufacturing their retail DVRs, to me, looks like a vote of confidence in that business line. Why would a company make that deal if they thought it was doomed? Of course, all the things we know about CableCARD slowly dying are still true. This doesn't change that. But perhaps this new arrangement increases the likelihood of a new ATSC 3.0 network DVR hitting the market in 2019-20.
     
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  5. bobfrank

    bobfrank Active Member

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    Other companies used to make Tivos. My Series 1 was a Phillips. So, I'm not sure if this is good news or bad news.

    If the only choice is Hydra for the new boxes I'll try the cable company DVR before buying my next Tivo.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
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  6. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    I am guessing the hardware manufacturer is taking on the business mainly for the MSO box business and they'll try out the consumer-side for a little while. If the consumer-side doesn't hold up, they'll drop it, and you can guarantee customer support will go downhill when they no longer sell consumer boxes. On the other hand if consumer sales are good, you could see some improved products.

    It is an exercise left for the reader how they feel the consumer market will go. It already wasn't doing well with TiVo as the manufacturer. With a 3rd party doing the manufacturing, sales, and support and TiVo concentrating on MSO licenses, I will guess that there will be at least transition pains, but future features will be even more MSO focused and less consumer focused (ie less about making your TV watching experience better and more about extracting more revenue out of you)

    In all the past TiVo doom and gloom scenarios, TiVo never stopped making boxes so they at least had some skin in the game on the consumer side. They are now becoming a pure software company. Any issues we have go through the manufacturer, who then communicates them to TiVo. This manufacturer could drop the consumer side and it would have zero impact on TiVo other than some accounting line item.

    Having said that, I don't care about new features, I'm already sticking with Quattro, and I just want my box to continue working as is. TiVo can probably manage that ok since their cost structure is low, but who knows what an aggressive CEO might try to push to squeeze extra savings.
     
  7. Charles R

    Charles R Well-Known Member

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    My take is they have never wanted to mess with hardware and since Rovi probably even less so. I believe they have stated their (proposed) direction for years. The hardware is/was simply a means to sell their service and they are more than happy to let someone else handle it. I'd guess it was more a matter of finding someone who (finally) would versus recent change in philosophy.
     
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  8. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you there is no surprise TiVo is getting out of hardware business. My main point is they had skin in the game before, even if they were trying to get out of the game, so that was some incentive to worry about the consumer market. They still had customer support, manufacturing, logistics, etc. Now that is all someone else's problem, and from TiVo's standpoint, someone like Arris just says, we are dropping consumer because it isn't profitable and TiVo just has some accounting line item to reduce license fee revenues, nothing really significant. Their main business is MSOs. We are essentially just beta testers for that market now.
     
  9. HuskerMike

    HuskerMike Member

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    I agree with some others here - if the best that the current TiVo team can do is the Hydra interface, then they have no business whatsoever creating professional products. Personally, I think that Hydra was designed by an engineer (or perhaps someone in ad-sales), and not designed by anyone who has ever worked on anything like this before.
    It's really too bad. Such an enormous mistake by TiVo.

    Many people like what a TiVo can do, but the Hydra interface is SUCH an enormous deal-breaker, that nobody who cares about UI design would ever willingly use such a terrible interface.
    Such a terrible shame. A company truly CAN lose it's reputation as a result of a few very simple but exceptionally poor decisions.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
  10. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    If the new manufacturing partner chose to exit the retail market, it would mean more to TiVo than just reduced licensing fees. It would also mean a loss in monthly/annual/lifetime service fees tied to new retail devices. Those fees will still go to TiVo, as before, even after a new company takes over manufacturing and selling the boxes. Of course, it's true that TiVo's main business is MSO, not retail, and retail users are mainly beta testers, but that's been the case for awhile now.

    Now that there will be a different company making money off the hardware versus the ongoing service, it will be interesting to see whether there's any change in the hardware pricing. And, assuming that Arris is the new retail manufacturer (given that they're TiVo's main MSO manufacturer), I'm curious whether we'll see them roll out a retail version of the Android TV box running the TiVo UI (but with access to the Google Play store for Android TV apps). There's such a device being made for MSOs (by Arris?). Why not a retail version with CableCARD and/or OTA tuners?
     
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  11. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    If my understanding is correct, TiVo--the original--never wanted to be in the hardware business to begin with.
     
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  12. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    That's actually what I was referring to as licensing fees. I should have said service fees. In any event there would be losses of future "new" fees going forward, something which is already shrinking quite quickly for the retail market all on its own.

    The difference is TiVo used to invest money up front on the hardware manufacturing/distribution/support infrastructure, so they had actual out of pocket costs, to get those service fees. Sure revenue is revenue, so they care about it to some extent, but they'd care about it more, if they were also on the hook for inventory collecting dust and supporting a retail/manufacturing/support infrastructure. Someone else is on the hook for the retail hardware/marketing/support/etc now.

    I am guessing this new manufacturing partner is going to take over TiVo's existing manufacturing/distribution/support/hardware servicing infrastructure, part of which is already outsourced. They could create their own, and maybe they will on the manufacturing, if that is their expertise, but the support and retail sales stuff would take a lot of training.

    I don't see why TiVo itself would keep support and warranty for their existing products and duplicate stuff the new partner already needs to handle. Everything related to retail hardware should switch over to the new partner. I wouldn't be surprised if all the service transfer promotions were to pump up the retail numbers to convince a hardware partner it is worth it to take over the whole hardware business for MSOs and retail. If I were a hardware manufacturer, given the history of past TiVo hardware partners, I would much rather be contracted by TiVo to build units for them than to take over the hardware business. There is far less risk when you are contracted to build a certain number of units and you get paid for those units, regardless of whether they sell.
     
  13. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Right, the original S1's were Philips and Sony. TiVo started making/selling their own to continue business as apparently their original partners didn't want to continue (Sony did release the SVR3000 I believe).

    Scott
     
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  14. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Well you wouldn't be right since Margret Schmidt was Chief Design Officer and VP of Product Design when Hydra was being developed and won an Emmy back in 2006 for Outstanding Achievement In Enhanced Or Interactive Television (Television) (along with 3 other TiVo staff members). She had joined TiVo very early on (2002?).

    Margret Schmidt | Television Academy



    Scott
     
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  15. bobfrank

    bobfrank Active Member

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    Aside from a few features that Tivo has, their major advantage over cable companies DVR has always been the UI. With the Hydra UI Tivo no longer has that advantage. Next they'll probably ruin the best remote design ever made as well.
     
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  16. stile99

    stile99 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  17. rdrrepair

    rdrrepair Bill Knapp

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    It's probably more appealing to sell the manufacturing end of TiVo with the repair too. Perhaps the wording is designed to also go after companies like WK?

    If I was doing manufacturing & sales I'd also like the opportunity for service too. Rereading the new TOS, coupled with TiVo getting out of manufacturing, with that thought in mind make sense.

    We might be seeing bigger and better boxes with atsc 3 and IPTV and android rolled into one. TiVo doesn't need to pay royalties as the current manufacturer of today's IPTV boxes either already own the patents or has the rights to them. They would be paying TiVo royalties and we could conceivably be getting a lot more in the future.

    My S2 & S3's still work. They haven't changed anything to affect these boxes. My S1 with lifetime was compensated fairly.

    As a long time TiVo consumer, I'm more hopeful than skeptical.
     
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  18. tapokata

    tapokata Active Member

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    ATSC 3 and IPTV well be a consideration in this- none of the current RF tuners- in TiVo boxes, or all currently produced Television sets- will work with ATSC 3. In the absence of a cable-card like tuning interface, it's doubtful how you can expect to have a user experience that supports the guide and TiVo functions when the box can't tune the channels- and then how is Rovi/TiVo supposed to support those lifetime devices?

    I'm not all that concerned. I got over my outrage, long ago, when Rovi stopped distributing extended guide information OTA via public broadcasting stations. That change basically bricked an old Channel Master DVR that I had at the time, that depended upon that service. That lesson from that experience is that there are no guarantees when it comes to technology standards and use in the private marketplace. When I purchased a lifetime guide service, I knowingly took a chance that a.) TiVo DVR technology would still be viable down the road, and b.) TiVo would still be in business. Rovi/Tivo doesn't owe me anything- I've long recovered the cost of lifetime service on my old HD units, compared to month-to-month rates, and the same when I upgraded one of those licenses to a Bolt unit, so I basically won the bet.

    And by the by, one other change in the terms of service is that you waive the right to litigate via jury trial, which essentially wipes out a "class action" lawsuit, but instead consent to using arbitration over disputes. I had to consent to that verbally, over the phone, when ordering a new Mini VOX.
     
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  19. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your optimism. Personally, I don't absolutely feel it, but I would like to. :)
     
  20. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    That change has been there for a number of years, now, I believe--3+? Also, note that you can opt out of the ADR provisions by letting TiVo know in writing of that desire within 30 days of the date on which you purchase your initial TiVo product. (I'm a bit unclear about what that exactly means--does that mean that if you are now buying your second TiVo product and now want to opt out of ADR as to it but didn't opt out for your first, it's too late?)
     

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