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Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by craig@rewind, Jun 7, 2006.
is it in the ones from tesco?
Unfortunately, the hardware resources that are included in a cheap Freeview DVR box would be totally-inadequate to run the TiVo system. It's probably only 'top-end' companies such as Humax and Topfield that have the architecture to support it, and they seem to have resisted the TiVo licensing scheme. Global manufacturers probably already have dedicated US TiVo models that they could modify, if they felt so inclined.
In practice, buying into the TiVo hardware architecture is probably not much more than buying into the software architecture and licensing scheme, so I can't really see it taking off in this country. Current TiVo owners would be reluctant to 'upgrade' to anything that isn't a fully-fledged TiVo.
Not quite sure I understand what you mean by totally inadequate" for hardware resources to be honest....There are several very well suited hardware producers in the Freeview space already aside from Humax and Topview who could support TiVo. In addition TiVo could be offered as a value add-on in a similar way to the existing Freeview devices that offer recording or extended EPGs or multiple tuners compared to the basic devices.
Secondly my point was that by offering the TiVo system as more of a software add-on for the hardware they're already delivering...the licensing changes. TiVo could even offer licensing to the manufacturers that only charged if someone took up the TiVo option. This changes the dynamic for the hardware manufacturer significantly.
Lastly...I would never expect existing TiVo users to upgrade to a diluted introductory TiVo offering but as I think I indicated in my post my thinking was the initial free offering would be like the existing free TiVo offering....users (including existing TiVo users) could upgrade to the full TiVo experience for an ongoing fee.
For existing users they would have access to the latest software and/or the latest and potentially more varied hardware devices.
All of this is of course wildy speculative and unlikely to occur but we can still hope...
Sorry mark27 this is still limited to the US
...but I hope that it might signal a way for TiVo to spread out from the US....
We can but hope.....
I have seen a comment elsewhere saying that Tivo had a demo of their software running on a PC based platform at CES [Edit: changed as -> at]
It would be really-interesting to see how TiVo software and Windows MCE compare, when the hardware costs are similar. I suspect that TiVo would probably expect more for the software and a lifetime subscription than the cost of the Windows MCE OS.
In my case, the choice would probably be made on the ability of the software to be upgraded through add-ins.
However, if the hardware requirements are anything like MCE, it would probably be twice as expensive as a dedicated TiVo. The best solution might be a dedicated networked device that makes and plays back the recordings, and a PC-based software interface to control it. The database would be PC-based, and only hardware-control commands would need to be passed to the recording unit, so it would be dramatically quicker than using TivoWeb.
While running the TiVo software on a PC would be a step in some kind of direction, I'm not convinced it's the right one. In the US, the hardware prices of the Series2 TiVo units just kept dropping until there was no associated hardware cost, so long as you signed up for 12 months of TiVo service.
The way I see it, having had several buddies running MCE, is that the cheap little TiVo boxes win just on out and out reliability, as much as anything else. In over 5 years, my TiVo never let me down except when the network had screwed with the schedule at the last minute. Hardly the fault of my TiVo.
I don't intend this to be controversial, but with all the ruckus over Microsoft I don't understand why you friendly European folk haven't kicked up about the incumbent media suppliers. The behavior of Sky and friends is nothing short of anti-competitive and monopolistic.
In the US, it was federally mandated that cable companies have to supply you with a cablecard if you ask for it. This means that your TV can tune to all the channels that you pay for without having another box, and that your TV can be held responsible for decoding the video (for good or bad). The only thing cablecard lacks is Video On Demand, which in my experience is no big deal.
I don't see a similar setup here... from concept at least, cablecard makes it a whole lot easier to build boxes, such as Series3 TiVos, that can work in cable and OTA environments AND without losing channels you pay extra for.
For sure, I'd welcome TiVo to these shores. I recently bought a Freeview box (made by Humax) and returned it soon after. The interface was terrible. Humax UK should get in touch with their buddies in California
Murdoch & Labour
Murdoch has Labour in his pocket - I can't really see the UK government wanting to upset Murdoch by taking his company to court. Quite how Sky have evaded the interest of the EU with regard to the CAM is beyond me - friends in high places? Or perhaps no manufacturer has felt it necessary to complain?
And have you seen some of the media tycoons in Italy - they are the elected government!
I'd love to see the introduction of a CableCard-type requirement in Europe, compatability with the US CC would be sensible if feasible so that US devices would be easier to market in the European market (ie. make CC a global standard).
Will it happen with the corrupt media moguls we have in Europe - I very much doubt it.
Thanks for the info - enlightening
It would make sense to use the same cablecard as the US, just for manufacturing, but I don't see that as big a deal as having the capability in the first place.
The reality though regarding Sky is that:
a) Murdoch is not Sky. News International only owns IIRC 37% of Sky. Sky is a publicly listed company.
b) Sky have, essentially, single-handedly built the pay/multichannel TV market in the UK. They shouldered the risk, they are entitled to the reward.
c) Describing the people in the UK as European is more likely to be viewed as controversial than discussing Microsoft/Sky/Tivo etc. ;-)
That shouldn't make their behavior more or less excusable??
But regardless, they shouldn't be allowed to dominate, if we assume this is a free market environment? Or am I being too naive?
LOL! Thanks for that. I've already had my knuckles rapped by a few folk for just that reason... who'd have thought there'd be such sentiment
I'm not excusing the behaviour of Murdoch/Sky/NI, just putting it into perspective. I find the whole "it's all Murdoch's fault" just sloppy, lazy thinking.
Whilst Sky may or may not dominate pay TV (personally, I don't think that they do), the elephant in the room with regards to media in this country is the BBC. They are the dominant force, far more powerful than Murdoch, and one that does not have to respond to a free market environment as they have a guaranteed revenue stream.
If you consider that UK foreign policy for the past 500 years or so is to cause trouble and turmoil in Europe, you won't go far wrong!
I guess it depends on how similar the costs are i.e. would Tivo require a lighter weight platform than MCE and would this reduce costs in anyway?
I think in the long term I'm going to end up with a Linux PVR sitting in a cupboard somewhere and a slim box (something like Apple's iTV) sat under the TV(s).
Maybe so, but the BBC support a digital platform that is open to everyone whereas Sky have a closed and proprietary platform that is open to no one but their chosen hardware suppliers who cannot compete with Sky themselves. Granted this situation is no doubt due to economics - the guaranteed income from the BBC licence fee contrasted with the vast amounts Sky have ploughed into building their infrastructure. Now that Sky are turning a very nice profit (£805m in 2005), isn't it about time they relaxed the restrictions on hardware manufacturers entering the market (providing they don't permit theft of service etc.)? Innovation is never going to happen in the satellite market while it conflicts with Sky's own income stream. Who wins here? Certainly not me or you.
Legislation will be required before true innovation occurs in the UK satellite market, but unfortunately this will never happen while we have Rupert's buddies living in #10 (yep, more lazy thinking).
Reading through this, it strikes me that the BBC shoukd do with TiVo what they did with the Acorn (BBC Micro / Master).
BBC sells dual FreeView TiVos with DVD burners for, say £200.
For your licence fee you get free listings.
For, say £10 per month or £200 lifetime, you get TiVoWeb access (through bbc.co.uk/myTiVo), software updates, wishlsts, HMO etc etc.
The BBC then collect, monitor and sell all the viewer information - surely that must be worth millions to them - if they can show that the new series of "Celebrity Strictly Come Doctor Who" gets X Million viewers - that helps them market it abroad.
They also bolster the FreeView market. They can sell preview programmes (as long as it's something more interesting than Dosser and Joe).
Total fantasy of course - but when I become Director General of the BBC it will happen.
I like this idea a lot, BBC & Tivo. At least then I wouldn't grudge the license fee so much...
"terryeden for DG" would get my vote.
I did a google search for Tivo freesat and got all excited about it when I read quotes about a possible return, but reading this thread has wiped the smile from my face as it seems this prospect goes right back to 2006! With epgs on freesat and freeview i cant see the £10 a month option working, nor a one off fee. If they could make money from the box itself and could offer the kind of experience we got with the old tivo i would buy a HD freesat for a small premium above the Humax PVR.
Maybe not the right time now I guess, maybe Tivo's UK moment has passed forever now... a victim of Sky and those that let it get into the position of power in the UK.
Except that the don't need any help to market their shows abroad. For example, SCD is the most-used show format in the world
Who has priced the popular sports out of the range of most other broadcasters, including the BBC?
Same with movies.
Same with most US imports (I said most, not all. Plus the BBC aren't allowed to show many anyway!) and locks them up tight so no terrestrial broadcaster can show them, even years later.
As another user has already said, that is a good thing, isn't it? (The highlighted bit.)
I would also disagree with the "far more powerful than Murdoch" comment too. See above re Sports and films.
Sky make far more money than the BBC receives per year (from subs, ads and programme sponsorship!), yet they spend most of it on only two areas; the afore-mentioned sports and movies. They could quite easily spend more on other, more standard UK-centric productions (like the BBC) but they choose not to. That's fine. I don't have a problem with that. But how anyone can say the BBC is "far more powerful", etc., when it is Sky that earns all the money (mainly for it's shareholders of course!) is beyond me.
If you consider that UK foreign policy for the past 500 years or so is to cause trouble and turmoil in Europe, you won't go far wrong![/QUOTE]