TiVo set to launch in Taiwan Thursday (article)

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by dt_dc, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. Dec 6, 2005 #1 of 84
    dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

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    Full article:
    http://www.cedmagazine.com/article/CA6289447.html

    Apologies if this is old news ... search didn't turn anything up (although I thought I had seen some references).

    Edit: Here's the original thread(s) ... don't know what was up with search:
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=273681&highlight=Taiwan

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=273710&highlight=Taiwan

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=273683&highlight=Taiwan

    Tivo press release (11/29/2005)
    http://www.tivo.com/cms_static/press_68.html

    Anyway ... the Thursday part is new. :eek:
     
  2. Dec 6, 2005 #2 of 84
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Hot damn. Good on them. No doubt it is latin script chinese, so no way to tell if this also might mean they have internationalized their code base (at least unicode and large font library support).

    According to TivoPony elsewhere on this board, Tivo continues to make investments to upgrade their infrastructure in the UK, so the article is at best misleading to say they have departed the UK market.
     
  3. Dec 6, 2005 #3 of 84
    mmilton80

    mmilton80 Custom User Title

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    This is awesome. Let's attain global domination!
     
  4. Dec 6, 2005 #4 of 84
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    When Microsoft went international, they doubled in size the first year.

    There are huge payoffs, in markets that are not obvious at first glance. For example, many people would be surprized to learn that the Indian middle class is 250 million- that is the US's population, and they are hungry for technology products. Further, most of the middle class spells english better than americans, and mistaken romanizations of hindi as I understand it make one the instant brunt of ridicule.

    So you don't run into internationalizaiton issues for Tivo- first of which is missed hits due to varations of romanizations. In some languages, even proper names are romanized several different ways. Cyrillic characters for "Ludmila" could get romanized also as Liudmila, or Lyudmilla as well, and it is much worse for other words. Try doing an actor search with that kind of problem. Still, application of henry Kucera's Soundex algorithm will normalize such variations so the problem could be dealt with pretty effectively I suppose- provided you have an engineer motivated enough to encode the soundex algorithm for your data prep. YOu can probably license some C code if you want, but that's no fun.

    That would be an issue for Taiwan as well. They only started moving over to Pinyin recently (started teaching it in schools only in the 90's), and so there isn't a lot of uniformity in use yet.

    But romanization deals with the second huge issue which is text entry. It's hard enough to enter text expressions for roman script. Can you imagine how hard to type in one of thousands of Chinese glyphs? Pinyin is definately the way to go.
     
  5. Dec 6, 2005 #5 of 84
    TiVoPony

    TiVoPony New Member

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    Alviso,...

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    Just to be clear...we didn't make infrastructure improvements in the UK. The TiVo service has always been run from our server farm here in the US, even for UK subscribers (the Internet is a wonderful thing). We recently upgraded all of the servers hosting the UK version of the service - new servers & the latest software. They're running the equivalent of the US service now (from a server perspective).

    Pony
     
  6. Dec 7, 2005 #6 of 84
    peteypete

    peteypete New Member

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    Whud happened to Japan?
     
  7. Dec 7, 2005 #7 of 84
    d_anders

    d_anders Sr Legacy Member

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    Twin Cities...
    Sony
     
  8. Dec 7, 2005 #8 of 84
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    There were rumors and speculations in Japanese newspapers about that, but I don't recall anything official from Tivo confirming plans for Japan. Ramsay said something about exploring opportunities with cable partners in Japan, but they have a guy whose job it is to do that with everyone. There are some old threads about it here on TCF.

    Still, Megazone pointed out at the time that Tivo had a job listing out for an engineer with Japanese UI design experience, but who knows what that was. Maybe they were jumping through an INS hoop for a new hire (to hire a foreign national, you have to show you couldn't find the needed skill from the US job pool.- so you advertise for some obscure, but not too obscure skill- tell the INS you made a good try so give this guy a job permit/ green card whatever).

    Anyway, I don't recall anything specific confirming they actually planned to go into japan. Nor do I recall anything about Sony being involved in any way in blocking such a move. If anyone has more info, please chime in here.

    It's true there is a lot of stuff to speculate about- Yahoo is affiliated with a company that has like 80% of the world's VOIP subscribers and they are involved with internet TV (IPTV), so maybe a Tivo triple play unit could be trialed there.

    There are a lot of interesting opportunities out there in the world, and which ones Tivo moves on first will likely not be entirely predictable- if some carrier in Korea wanted to pull Tivo in as a partner and was ready to invest the money for the software port, then by golly we would see a Korean Tivo pretty darn fast.
     
  9. Dec 7, 2005 #9 of 84
    TiVoPony

    TiVoPony New Member

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    Alviso,...
    From our press release:

    "TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ: TIVO ), the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVR), and TGC , Inc., the exclusive TiVo partner in the China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Macao TV entertainment markets..."

    This is a launch of TGC's new product in Taiwan...which makes sense as TGC is our partner in Taiwan. :)

    Pony
     
  10. dylanemcgregor

    dylanemcgregor Well-Known Member

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    I believe he was referring to the anouncement about a year ago that TiVo was looking to expand into Japan. I think that the PR that accompanied that announcement said that TiVo was looking to partner with a Japanese cable company, as far as I know nothing has come of that yet. Maybe if it does well in Taiwan? :)
     
  11. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Japan is small potatoes. Last spring there were a lot of rumors and there was a Tokyo article that quoted Ramsay as saying they were looking into it. I don't recall anything official. Besides, I don't see what the huge opportunity would be there anyway.

    What's different about Tivo's so called "Taiwan" annoucement is that it is official, but I totally missed a teensy detail. Maybe you weren't paying attention even though Bob went to the trouble of excerpting a very interesting portion of the announcement. This isn't just Taiwan. They have rights to sell into the PRC and greater China markets. In fact TGC means "Tivo Greater China". The importance of that is a little mind numbing.

    Here's why.

    China is projecting monumental growth in Cable subscribers in PRC. Compared to America's 67 million cable homes, take a guess what the PRC's cable home population was as of 2001: (highlight for the answer)
    90 million cable Customerssource

    Further, this isn't some idea cooked up in a bar at a conusmer electronics convention. Take a look at the leadership of TGC-America: None other than Ta-Wei Chien is president and CEO. (formerly Tivo's Senior VP in charge of technology and licensing business.) This is starting to looking pretty incestuous. Tivo also owns the largest stake in TGC. 40% as reported in last conference call. (All this was noted in a thread that DaveZatz started on 11-30. I guess I missed that too while I was on walkabout.)

    And the TGC license is pretty interesting too. Authorized to do business in PRC, TGC has standing to bring suit against anyone infringing on their or Tivo's IP. Maybe I misunderstand this, but it looks pretty fricking clever to me.

    Especially section 10.1 b&c (excerpted):
    (b) Patent Prosecution in Greater China. Company and TiVo will cooperate with each other to ensure that the Parties are obtaining proper patent coverage in Greater China. .....
    (c) Company Assistance in Greater China. Company agrees to assist TiVo, at TiVo’s reasonable expense (except as otherwise provided in Section 10.1(b)(ii) above) and request, in prosecuting or registering TiVo’s IP Rights and rights in and to the TiVo Marks in the GC Regions. ​


    I keep babbling about how chinese manufacturer's are going to bury everybody with cheap knockoffs of every CE device and here Tivo was years and years ago laying the groundwork to make sure that the cheap Tivo knockoffs were going to all be Tivos. Any one of the advantages would have been enough to set such a structure up:
    • IP defence,
    • low cost manufacturing partners in PRC,
    • income from a burgeoning market that is already larger than the US's, and will soon be double.
     
  12. peteypete

    peteypete New Member

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    Surely, china is a bigger market than Japan, but Japan has a more tech sophisticated and richer population. I am a bit surprised that china is coming before japan, but it's all good. I suspect the legal/competive landscape in Japan is a little more difficult than taiwan. Still, i think Japan is no small beans. Also IP protection there is probably better.
     
  13. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Yeah. I know on the face of it you think Japan = rich, China = poor. China= exporter. China not = consumer. Reality is often different than stereotypes.

    1) First off. Japan really is small potatoes. Comcast alone has 21 million homes. The total number of cable homes in Japan is 10 million, and fairly static. The China cable population was nearly 10 times that in 2001. If I was less lazy I would look up where there are today, but the point is, the china number is exploding. You are right that the Japanese consumer has much more disposable income. But we are not talking about selling $1000 devices or even $500 devices. The goal is to manufacture them for practically nothing- and that is what the chinese do. If it turns out lots of chinese workers are being employed making Tivo DVRs, then TGR's complaints on patent infringement on behalf of Tivo have a great deal more weight. So both from a consumer and manufacturing standpoint, Japan is not anywhere near as significant as China.

    2) "Japan is little more difficult"? Yep, and then some. Japan is legendary in its ability to lock out intruders into its markets. Most of it is highly informal. If you have a non japanese brand device under your TV people think maybe you are having financial problems or you are such a cretin you don't appreciate Japanese quality. If you were are in a business and need a manufacturer for a device you require, many companies are so large that you can buy from a different division of the company, and to consider anything else would be a poor career move. If you are free to go outside, you use the old boy network, or the old boy network gets used on you. Some old university buddies on the golf course decide what your business group's hardware choices are going to be regardless what choice was a slam dunk as indicated in the mounds of documents you provided for the senior leadership. Of course such golf course arrangements are always mutually beneficial.

    3) With an mature market of CE companies, carriers, and content suppliers in Japan, you get guys like the head of a major broadcaster in japan saying that skipping commercials is against copyright law. He was totally serious, and if you think entrenched interests in the US was bad, Japan will make the MPAA and NTCA look like amateurs.

    Even though they are smaller markets, if some French or Australian or Japanese carrier was interested in using Tivo technology on whatever DVR they wanted to use, I am sure Tivo is positioned well for a deal and certainly something may be cooking in regards to Japan. Both Sony and Toshiba have manufactured Tivos in the past so that avenue is open. Doing a triple play Tivo device linking up with Yahoo's Broadband affiliate in Japan would have been interesting, but it looks like they have gone with NDS for their IPTV rollout.
     
  14. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    [​IMG]
    Possible Taiwan/ Shanghai Tivo Unit.​

    Business weekly Taiwan has a picture of what I assume is of the TGC branded Tivo that will be sold into the Taiwan market.

    It mentions that the next step after Taiwan is Shanghai [source- see caption under picture]. This is a huge huge market. This article assumed that the model would be as a subcription based service as in the US, but had no info on fees or the retail price of the unit.

    The form factor is very similar to a 540 unit. It will be interesting to see a picture of the motherboard when these finally hit the street. It would be a surprise if it were substantially different from a standard Broadcom based series two (aka series 2.5) which currently manufactured Standard definition Tivos use.
     
  15. Hew

    Hew New Member

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    Systems should have gone on sale today. So I'm sure a few people already have it sitting by their TV.

    If someone could take a picture of the system, the box and so and post it on here it would be great. I don't understand why they haven't announced pricing since they should be on retail stores by now.
     
  16. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Here's my crackpot idea of the day.

    Matt at PVRBlog did a great interview of Michael Cronan- designer of the Tivo logo. At the close of the interview, Michael made the following remark
    "TiVo has the potential to be what marketers call a Branded House, meaning that the brand evokes a level of trust that it can offer a large array of products and experiences. I actually think, from a brand perspective, TiVo has an advantage as a Branded House over Yahoo and Google. I'd bet that most people who know TiVo and Google would buy a TiVo toaster before a Google toaster."​
    I never really thought about it, but he's right. Tivo evokes an unusual amount of trust and goodwill. This is a leveragable asset of the company. Tivo works up into the space that taps into a general frustration that folks have about a lot of gadgets. Why does the blinking thing always flash 12:00 if I do any little thing wrong? What technology product can I give a grandmother and be reasonably confident that she can figure out how to use it?

    Why the ramble about the brand? Combine Tivo's reputation for quality and trust with Chinese manufacturing might. Sure there are a several dozen chinese companies making a digital camera. Easy to use? reliable? Who the heck is TCL anyway?

    So what? After all Sony has a camcorder plant in china too? Yeah, but have you tried to use a Sony camcorder recently? Try to hit the fade button on any of the screen oriented ones. It requires 5 button presses.

    Tivo digital camera? Tivo Camcorder? Tivo portable media player?

    So you take the Tivo design process and apply it to every electronics product. TGC lines up the manufacturing muscle and the crucial QC at the plants. Tivo Corp evolves from being just a one trick pony.
     
  17. dmdeane

    dmdeane sedentary adventurer

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    You have stumbled on to TiVo's sinister plan and will have to be eliminated. Bwahaha! :p

    Not a bad line of thinking actually but probably a bit more than TiVo can manage with what is on its plate currently. I could see this evolving naturally as extensions and evolutions to the existing TV oriented platform, however (after all, TiVo was originally Teleworld, a home automation system, before they wisely decided to concentrate on a TV DVR). Consider the consumer frustrations with multiple remotes. Tie the TiVo interface in with a user friendly universal learning remote, TiVo branded and TiVo ergonomically engineered of course. Likewise with portable video players. Then cameras and camcorders. I think that's probably still far off, though; still an interesting thought.
     
  18. ChuckyBox

    ChuckyBox New Member

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    I just want TiVo to use their great name and great web address (tivo.com -- you have to admit, it's pretty good) and create a content destination. "Downloadable content from the TiVo Network." They should start serving cool content that you can download to your PC or Mac and, of course, your TiVo box. They could start small, with quirky or niche content, and work up to the bigger stuff. Free stuff. Support it with ads (embedded in the content and sitting on the web site). Maybe some stuff exclusive to TiVo subs.

    They could leverage their search interface, their ad relationships, the capabilities of the broadband-connected boxes, with a brand that everybody knows. On the flip side, the content site would be a great place to advertise the box and the service. That's synergy, baby! ;)

    The TV world is changing, and fast. TiVo needs to seize this opportunity to be part of the new paradigm.
     
  19. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    I see Tivo as being more than a revolutionary who brought about a radically different weltanschauung of how we interact with video (if that weren't enough).

    They are a more fundamental revolutionary in that they have demonstrated a knowledge how to make ease-of-use drive design, rather than UI being a kind of wallpaper we put up over an engine as a kind of end of the process afterthought.

    People at user interface design conferences have been in agreement for decades that this sort of design process is exactly what is necessary. It's a motherhood and apple pie position. But the group dynamics and management discipline to make that process successful is a huge challenge. Maybe Tivo's design success was a one-off fluke like xerox alto. The ongoing innovations from Tivo suggest that it was not a one-off. If Tivo has actually revolutionized that process, and can replicate it- well then- they have an incredibly powerful tool that can be applied to a much broader range of CE products than those concerning video.
     
  20. ChuckyBox

    ChuckyBox New Member

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