TiVo to return to the UK

Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by craig@rewind, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. Aug 25, 2006 #81 of 135
    Nebulous

    Nebulous New Member

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    Presumably, Tivo have some sort of hardware reference design on which they developed their software. Why don't they just release this design into the public domain. That way any enterprising company (or person) could take up the challenge and manufacture the units. Tivo could then just sell software packages in the same way that microsoft sell Windows. I can go out and buy a blank computer and a copy of Windows and I'm up and running in no time, or I can buy one with it pre-installed. There's no real reason that I can see, why Tivo couldn't be the same, except that Tivo not only get a sale for the software but subscription fees too.
     
  2. Aug 26, 2006 #82 of 135
    Richardr

    Richardr New Member

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    Don't forget that TIVO own a lot of patents, and one part of their business is enforcing them - see the current court action with Echostar in the US. They look likely to end up getting some quite large royalties as a minimum, and this could apply to a number of other PVR manufacturers / platforms out there.

    Could they put the TIVO reference hardware design into the public domain without losing this revenue?
     
  3. Aug 26, 2006 #83 of 135
    Mike B

    Mike B Senior Munkee

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    Couldn't they simply allow use of the reference design by hardware manufacturers under some form of strict NDA (non-disclosure-agreement) ?
     
  4. Aug 26, 2006 #84 of 135
    Nebulous

    Nebulous New Member

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    I haven't studied any of Tivos patents, but I would doubt that any of them are for hardware. Their core business is software and subscription services and I assume this is where they would have applied their patents.
    However, I'm sure someone will be along shortly with evidence to the contrary :)
     
  5. Aug 26, 2006 #85 of 135
    Nebulous

    Nebulous New Member

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    ...in fact, come to think of it, why don't they release Tivo as a software package, for PC's running linux. Tivo is written in linux anyway isn't it? There are PCI video and freeview cards available for use with Windows mce that could be utilised for such a scheme.
     
  6. Aug 27, 2006 #86 of 135
    hustler

    hustler New Member

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    May 3, 2006
    What year was this?
    ISTR, TiVo have always used the 'we are actively seeking partners for UK a re-launch' or words to that effect. I think that line is getting a little threadbare. Before re-launching in the UK...I think TiVo would require a few basic essentials such as premises and staff. Do you know the phone number of the TiVo UK HQ?? BTW, I don't think the Sky building in Livingston counts.

    Anyways, I think before launching any new hardware, TiVo should update and bugfix the prehistoric 2.5.5. software. One update in four years is really not reasonable support. My £20 Pioneer DVD-R drive has had three updates to fix bugs and add new features, within the last 18 months.

    :( Sad smiley for the lack of TiVo support.
     
  7. Aug 27, 2006 #87 of 135
    katman

    katman New Member

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    My SKY+ box has had a couple of Firmware updates since I got it last November and still locks up or plays with no audio if I fast forward into the program.

    My Tivo just works..... and works.... and works. I dont know what bugs you are refering to but I personally am not having any problems with my unmodded TiVo.
     
  8. Aug 27, 2006 #88 of 135
    cwaring

    cwaring VM Tivo User

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    I was just going to ask to which "bugs" hustler was referring as I haven't come across any on my Tivo recently (ie since I've owned it :))
     
  9. Aug 27, 2006 #89 of 135
    iankb

    iankb New Member

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    I think that hustler is under the impression that bugs and additional functionality are synonymous, and that TiVo can magically download the additional hardware resources that would be required to make a Series 1 into a Series 2.

    To me, the Series 1 TiVo is far more reliable, functional and user-upgradeable than any other PVR/DVR that I've heard of to date, so why would anybody want to change it. I would almost certainly upgrade to a Series 2 or 3 if it were available, but I see no reason for them to alter the Series 1, especially if that removed some of the ability to hack it.
     
  10. Aug 27, 2006 #90 of 135
    hustler

    hustler New Member

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    May 3, 2006
    Where did I say that? I never suggested that a software update can turn a S1 box into a S2.

    As I run a vanilla box, why should I care about you if you lose your hacks. When you hack the box, you accept that risk that perhaps an official upgrade will render your 3rd party hacks useless.

    iankb, you still haven't answered my question. What year were TiVo at a show looking for partnerships for a UK launch?

    TiVo bugs? http://www.tivobugs.co.uk/

    It seems the 'regulars' are oblivious to these bugs and are not affected by them, so they should remain unfixed. I've been affected by a couple of them...so pardon me for wanting a better product.
     
  11. Aug 28, 2006 #91 of 135
    iankb

    iankb New Member

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    I'm not in the trade, but if you searched on this forum you would find comments from people who are that TiVo have been seen in various trade shows in UK and Europe. While its obvious that nothing has happened, it doesn't mean that TiVo had been actively ignoring the UK. As to whether they've given up by now, I've no idea.
     
  12. Aug 28, 2006 #92 of 135
    Regor

    Regor part-timer

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    TiVo were at Mediacast2005 last year at Olympia. There is a thread about this in the archives called "Tivo Inc's 'finest' holding meetings in the UK?" Do a search for Tetris and you'll find it :D
     
  13. Aug 28, 2006 #93 of 135
    HyperionX

    HyperionX Back after 8 years

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    Bucks, UK
    Hi Hustler.

    what "bugs" are you referring to?

    I have an unhacked TiVo and I haven't noticed any bugs so far however it's very possible that I've missed them. - EDIT: Just saw the link to the Tivobugs listings. I've not seen many of these to be fair. :eek:

    On the wider point there is something that I think might have been missed in this conversation and that is - convergence or "not wanting another box."

    At present if TiVo were to simply license it's software to a hardware manufacturer if that manufacturer doesn't already produce a "tuner" device it means having to convince consumers to buy another box to go in to the already crowded TV real estate along with the DVD player/recorder, digital STB, etc.

    It's my understanding that there is a growing resistance to doing that. Since TiVo can't sell its solution to Sky and apparently the cable companies are too far down their own development route that only leaves the lower end market of Freeview. And there as someone above said the margins are very low...even basic PVRs can be purchased for £100 and no subscription.

    It's a shame that TiVo could never make it work with the cable companies - that would have the most viable and attractive solution.
     
  14. Aug 28, 2006 #94 of 135
    kitschcamp

    kitschcamp Tweaked and poked

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    And there clearly is a need for a decent PVR Europe-wide. When buying something for Swedish television, I mentioned that in the UK I had a TiVo and the guy behind the counter started drooling.
     
  15. Aug 28, 2006 #95 of 135
    cyril

    cyril New Member

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    Now that BBC HD looks as though it is here to stay, I think a High Definition capable series 4 TiVo with four tuners (2 Freeview, 2 satellite free to view) with DVD recorder and an analogue scart/component input could be a viable option.


    This would appeal as an all-in-one box solution.
     
  16. Aug 28, 2006 #96 of 135
    HyperionX

    HyperionX Back after 8 years

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    I would tend to agree...but...the way that the UK market is currently structured that would restrict them to the Freeview market.....the lower margin end. Admittedly this market is growing but the expectation and positioning has been and will continue to be basement pricing for universal television provision - effective something to replace the old analogue FTA stuff.

    Again this might have been more viable/practical at the outset of Freeview but now even Freeview is setting up its own cross-manufacturer Freeview PVR standard.

    At first glance most of what this new standard will do is "standard TiVo" fare (not enough to lead to copyright infringement I would assume) but again it makes the value proposition of a TiVo box even less attractive to manufacturers. When these manufacturers are building to a sale price of £200 max...where will TiVo recover the £250 lifetime subscription..? By its nature the ongoing £10 charge would not fit into the FTA (Free-to-All ;) ) mantra for Freeview

    If the rest of Europe has a similarly structured market...(to be honest I don't know how the rest of Euorpe's broadcast and TV provision market is structured) TiVo is going to struggle in Europe full stop...

    There may be some hope if they decide to move to something like a software strategy where it licenses the software to manufacturers and allows them to tweak as necessary....but they doesn't seem to be a path that they want to take.

    I wish I could be more optimistic about TiVo coming to the UK :(

    In fact I really hope that the TiVo spottings are actually the visible signs of TiVo working with the Freeview organisation...

    I wonder if the oft-predicted advent of cablecards might make TiVo more viable...?

    If I understand the concept correctly, cablecard should allow me to receive my cable subscribed channels and play them through any cablecard enabled device without the need for the cable companies own equipment....if that were the case all bets would be off! :up:
     
  17. Aug 28, 2006 #97 of 135
    Milhouse

    Milhouse New Member

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    Personally I still think a modular unit would suit TiVo best in Europe - how about a base unit with 4 slots that would accomodate any combination of cable (digital or even RF), CAM/CAM-free satellite or freeview tuners (including market/country-specific variants). Sell it bundled with one or two tuners and let the owners add additional tuners later. Of course this will add to the cost initially, but tuners should be made compatible across all manufacturers of TiVo (Sony, Pioneer, Philips - ok, I'll stop dreaming) so the cost will be shared.

    It will never happen of course, but producing a single unit for the UK that ignores cable owners or comes with 2 tuners that will never be used (eg. freeview for sat users and vice-versa) probably isn't sensible if TiVo want to target multiple platforms and multiple regions.
     
  18. Aug 28, 2006 #98 of 135
    BrianHughes

    BrianHughes Regurgitated user

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    Jan 21, 2001
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    Drool!!! :)
     
  19. Aug 29, 2006 #99 of 135
    mikerr

    mikerr TiVoCentral.co.uk

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    Its possible to watch encrypted channels on both sky and cable on PCs directly using a Dragon CAM - uses your subscription card, so it perfectly legal.

    I doubt tivo or any company would ship something like that though....
     
  20. HyperionX

    HyperionX Back after 8 years

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    Dec 30, 2002
    Bucks, UK
    It's a stretch I know and it actually refers to a recent in the US but I would suggest it does offer an better shape of hope that TiVo might explore markets outside of the US....

    TiVo cuts deal with Cox, hints at Series 3 HD box
    The link is from the CNet Alpha blog posted a few days ago called "TiVo cuts deal with Cox, hints at Series3 HD box".

    Basically it refers to a deal that TiVo have signed that will allow them to offer the TiVo software as an upgrade to existing PVRs in the wild rather than having to build and sell their own.

    Why do I see some hope in that....? If they continue down that route it's entirely possible that this could give them a viable route into the lower Freeview market without having to build and sell new hardware.

    Doesn't this contradict what I've said previously..? Well not exactly. I think they could offer a virtually neutered TiVo on a standard Freeview box and then offer the full TiVo experience for a nominal upgrade or monthly charge like the current £10 per month or similar.

    They could make a real play for the upgrade from Freeview market as well.

    Depending on how aggressive they might want to go there's no reason why they can't offer a highly customised version to the cable operators...running on the bespoke cable hardware.
     

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