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mikeinla said:
First, there's been a great misreading of history.

Beta was not better than VHS. The picture quality difference was negligible (especially on smaller tv's) and VHS had a much longer recording capacity. Consumers made the choice: much longer recording capacity over marginal picture improvement. Easy to understand.

Apple's problems were solely due to they refused to license their operating system to other computer makers; Microsoft freely licensed DOS/Windows. The result: more manufacturers of Windows computers, lower prices. I love Macintosh, buy they are way overpriced. Easy to understand.

Cable DVR's are bound to get better, especially since they view it as a principle tool to fight satellite. If DirecTV goes backward with a product no better than cable, why would you switch? If you have cable internet, the price differential is largely negated. Additionally, what keeps most from using DirecTV is the equipment investment.

Hubris...such a good word!
None of that negates my point, which was that superior technology does not always win out over other factors, be they marketing or other issues. Beta PQ was, even if only slightly, better than VHS (as you admit), the Mac OS is far superior to Windows(it costs more, but that doesn't change the fact that it's better), and Tivo is not necessarily the gold standard for DVRs. Whether the R15 is better than the D*Tivo it is supposed to replace remains to be seen. I hope it is, because the D*Tivo, like all products, can stand improvement. Even if it's not, that does not necessarily spell the end of D*. I maintain most D* customers are with them for reasons other than the DVR, and if you give them a decent one, regardless of what name is on it, they'll stay. I know I wouldn't go back to cable with a gun to my head.
 

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mikeinla said:
First, there's been a great misreading of history.

Beta was not better than VHS. The picture quality difference was negligible (especially on smaller tv's) and VHS had a much longer recording capacity. Consumers made the choice: much longer recording capacity over marginal picture improvement. Easy to understand.

Apple's problems were solely due to they refused to license their operating system to other computer makers; Microsoft freely licensed DOS/Windows. The result: more manufacturers of Windows computers, lower prices. I love Macintosh, buy they are way overpriced. Easy to understand.

Cable DVR's are bound to get better, especially since they view it as a principle tool to fight satellite. If DirecTV goes backward with a product no better than cable, why would you switch? If you have cable internet, the price differential is largely negated. Additionally, what keeps most from using DirecTV is the equipment investment.

Hubris...such a good word!
Beta Tapes... Where SO MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE then VHS tapes. And you had to usually by them by the case. That was another major factor in it's demise.
As a fun "fact": The adult" industry liked VHS better... (it has been shown in many studies.. that when the "adult" industry sinks it's paws into something it has a much better chance of surviving)

Apple's where and still are to a degree, locked to "their" own hardware.
The hardware aspect of the non-apple "PC" also led to the margin that Microsoft has. When I could go and get a $30 Sound Blaster card for a PC, and the equivelent sound card for an Apple was $300 .... (just an example... This also happend in the PC world as well... IBM's Microchannel PC's for example, could run windows, but die off because the hardware was so much more expensive) IMHO.

And I do pay for Cable Internet ($56 a month, and do "technically" have basic service since it was $1 cheeper then Internet alone). I stay with DirecTV not because of the hardware investimet (if you take away the HD-Dtivo, it was only on average $50 a box).... I stay with them, as history has showed me first hand how troublesome cable is. Since going with DirecTV almost 10 years ago, I have only suffered minor outages that lasted on the scale of minutes... Versus some outages with Cable that have lasted days (in one case my In-Laws entire block was down for an entire week before it was fixed)...

If the R15 is a dud... then well it will grab some shelf space with some of the other equipment I have. If it is better then TiVo then well.... HMC is what I am most intrested in anyway...
 

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People come to Directv for all sorts of reasons and people leave for all sorts of reasons. Directv's agreement runs out with Tivo in 2007. Directv is being a smart business by introducing their own DVR product more than a year before that. It gives them time to introduce it to the customer base and fine tune any problems that might arise.

What others have said is true, the vast majority of users will accept any DVR as long as it does the basics that the Directivo does with a similar easy interface. If the R15 does this, then come 2007 Tivo is gone and at some point after that Directv will come up with an offer for folks to swap out the Directivos for their in-house product. If for some reason, Directv finds out that its customer base completely hates the R15 they have time to either fix it or get a new deal done with Tivo to continue their relationship.

What will decide if Directv survives and thrives is not its DVR product, its the rollout of local HDTV content to stop defections to cable where HD is readily available and idiot-proof for the typical consumer. Remember most people on this board are not typical, tell a typical suburbanite all he needs to get local HD content from Directv is to put up an antenna like its still 1972 while Comcast can just flip the switch, you see why Directv has a serious problem. Thus the best and brightest at Directv better be far more focused on HMC and making it into a killer app to have hand-in-hand with the rollout of local HD. Thats Directv's future, not its DVR product.
 

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The only reason I can think of for DirecTV to offer a non-Tivo dvr is so Rupert can save the $1/mos fee he has to pay to Tivo. It doesn't take a genius to read the R-15 manual and realize it's an inferior platform. That's being penny wise and pound foolish.

Unfortunately , history is littered with companies who make fundamentallly bad decisions and some never recover. Sony/Betamax and Apple are but a few. Movie studios originally opposed the idea of selling movies on video tapes. The guy who convinced them bought some old movie titles and made himself a multi-millionaire!

How bout AOL "there's no future in broadband"? Or GM "there's no money in small cars." Or Steven Jobs when he said "300 mb hardrive is large enough" on the original Mac. Or people who laughed at TimeWarner in 1975 when it thought that people would PAY for a television channel (HBO)? Or people who laughed at Ted Turner's idea of 24 hour news channel? Or people who laughed at the idea of a 24 hour weather channel?

If DirecTV drops Tivo, that will rank right up there with all these.
 

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mikeinla said:
The only reason I can think of for DirecTV to offer a non-Tivo dvr is so Rupert can save the $1/mos fee he has to pay to Tivo. It doesn't take a genius to read the R-15 manual and realize it's an inferior platform. That's being penny wise and pound foolish.

Unfortunately , history is littered with companies who make fundamentallly bad decisions and some never recover. Sony/Betamax and Apple are but a few. Movie studios originally opposed the idea of selling movies on video tapes. The guy who convinced them bought some old movie titles and made himself a multi-millionaire!

How bout AOL "there's no future in broadband"? Or GM "there's no money in small cars." Or Steven Jobs when he said "300 mb hardrive is large enough" on the original Mac. Or people who laughed at TimeWarner in 1975 when it thought that people would PAY for a television channel (HBO)? Or people who laughed at Ted Turner's idea of 24 hour news channel? Or people who laughed at the idea of a 24 hour weather channel?

If DirecTV drops Tivo, that will rank right up there with all these.
So what you are saying is: DirecTV and Rupert spent several millions of dollars in research and development into the R15 (and any other of it's kind), to save $1 per month per account.... That just doesn't make "buisness" sense.

More likely is that DirecTv would like FULL control over the DVR product that works with their system (just like all of their competitors). It has been reported multiple times that DirecTV asked TiVo to implement different types of "security" features to the software that TiVo wouldn't do.

Once again... don't judge a product by it's manual... how often does the manual simply "skim" over the top of things. The R15 might be 20 times faster then then the DTivo types... hence why, you simply have to reserve judgement until at least the first one hits the streets and is used in a "real" home enviornment.....

The consumers ultimately decided the market... The vendors put the products out there... VOOM for example... Great Idea, but customers where just not ready to buy into it. DVRs... Replay was the first kid on the block... how many people do you know who actually have or had a ReplayTV ?

That "Palm" pilot thinging... Or a "car phone"... who would want to make a call while you are driving....

:( very tired of people judging the R15 before it actually is in the market place...

This is like... Let's buy that car, since the Internet Pages and the "manual" look terrific. Who needs a test drive....
 

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bonscott87 said:
Uhhh, we'll have no way of knowing that until someone tries it. If it's like the BBSky box on which it's based then dropping in a hard drive will be easier then a Tivo (basically drop it in and forget it, no hacking).
This is actually the first truly exciting speculation about the R15 that I've read! I just hope it's true the R15 can be upgraded by the end-user ...
 

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ebonovic said:
So what you are saying is: DirecTV and Rupert spent several millions of dollars in research and development into the R15 (and any other of it's kind), to save $1 per month per account.... That just doesn't make "buisness" sense.

More likely is that DirecTv would like FULL control over the DVR product that works with their system (just like all of their competitors). It has been reported multiple times that DirecTV asked TiVo to implement different types of "security" features to the software that TiVo wouldn't do.

Once again... don't judge a product by it's manual... how often does the manual simply "skim" over the top of things. The R15 might be 20 times faster then then the DTivo types... hence why, you simply have to reserve judgement until at least the first one hits the streets and is used in a "real" home enviornment.....

The consumers ultimately decided the market... The vendors put the products out there... VOOM for example... Great Idea, but customers where just not ready to buy into it. DVRs... Replay was the first kid on the block... how many people do you know who actually have or had a ReplayTV ?

That "Palm" pilot thinging... Or a "car phone"... who would want to make a call while you are driving....

:( very tired of people judging the R15 before it actually is in the market place...

This is like... Let's buy that car, since the Internet Pages and the "manual" look terrific. Who needs a test drive....
Of course it makes sense to judge the R15 from the manual. It clearly doesn't have two buffers, which is a serious drawback.

I'm betting Rupert wants the profits from the hardware as well as the programming, which I think is silly. Isn't the R15 just a version of his European dvr?

He's already got a HUGE jump on his competitors with Tivo. Since DirecTV accounts for about 2/3 of Tivo subscribers, those boys are going to do whatever Rupert wants; they can't afford not to.

The problem Replay and Tivo originally had was cost. $500, the original price, for a dvr is just too much; $13 monthly fee is also pretty steep. Also, the sa Tivo is simply not as good as the DirecTV tivo; only having one tuner is a serious drawback. Note that all the cable companies are offering the two tuner SA/Motorola models.

The cable companies are now taking DirecTV very seriously. Adelphia last year alone lost 400,000 cable subscribers. They're ramping up their marketing and their product. The R15 seems silly and a waste of resources.
 

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mikeinla said:
Of course it makes sense to judge the R15 from the manual. It clearly doesn't have two buffers, which is a serious drawback.

I'm betting Rupert wants the profits from the hardware as well as the programming, which I think is silly. Isn't the R15 just a version of his European dvr?

He's already got a HUGE jump on his competitors with Tivo. Since DirecTV accounts for about 2/3 of Tivo subscribers, those boys are going to do whatever Rupert wants; they can't afford not to.

The problem Replay and Tivo originally had was cost. $500, the original price, for a dvr is just too much; $13 monthly fee is also pretty steep. Also, the sa Tivo is simply not as good as the DirecTV tivo; only having one tuner is a serious drawback. Note that all the cable companies are offering the two tuner SA/Motorola models.

The cable companies are now taking DirecTV very seriously. Adelphia last year alone lost 400,000 cable subscribers. They're ramping up their marketing and their product. The R15 seems silly and a waste of resources.
Profit from the hardware NOW THATS FUNNY. Tivo isn't going to and never has done what D* wants simply because they want it. Facts speak for themselves. Replay was $13 when it started and neither was Tivo. The cable companies bite pretty hard according to most people who have used any half decent DVR. Tivo isn't the absolute best product on the market anymore their turnover time for new innovations is HORRID and the product is suffering because of that. I give D* some credit they are taking a gamble, it will either end up being as good or better then Tivo or they could fall flat on their faces. Knowing Murdoch I SERIOUSLY doubt they will fail.
 

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I think it's funny how the standard seems to be, "It has to do EVERYTHING my Tivo does better and faster or I'm pissed about it."

Since when was that the standard for new products? Keep in mind that the DirecTivo is now on version 6 of the software. I'm willing to give the new one until version 2 or even 3 before I decide if it's better or not. In any case no one is going to come looking for your Tivo to take it away. If you don't like the new DVR then don't get one!

By most estimates DirecTV will be eventually saving over $100 million a year by dropping Tivo in favor of the new unit. For half that money they can hire the entire Tivo engineering staff and triple their pay.
 

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I think what it all comes down to is that those of us going ga-ga about this on this forum are a tiny minority of people who have the D*tivo. Think about it -- how many D* customers even have a D*Tivo? A lot still use VCRs, or SA Tivos or UTV (they're still out there). And of those that do have a D*Tivo, how many even know about this forum, and how many have even heard of the R15? It's not like D*'s marketing department is pumping up the DVR -- the majority of their ads seem to be focused on the "100% digital picture and sound," or the Sunday Ticket. I believe the vast majority that will eventually have a D* DVR will actually end up with something D* puts out, as opposed to some Tivo configuration --- and they'll be OK with it. The Tivo-vangelists are but a small minority of D* customers. Give 'em a simple, easy to use DVR and they won't care if it's a Tivo or not.

And I agree -- let's not judge the R15 until it's actually in use by someone, somewhere.
 

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HiDefGator said:
Keep in mind that the DirecTivo is now on version 6 of the software.
"Technically" this is only the 3rd or 4th core version we have seen on the DirecTivos

I can't remember the version number that the original Series 1 DTivos where... I think it was 2.0 but I could be wrong. Then we got dual tuners and that was 2.5ish.

Then the 3.0 came along....

Then finally the 6.x line.

Sure there have been some "bug" fixes, but we definently have not had 6 core versions on the DirecTivo line.
 

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The $.02 question I have is will these forums still be considered "Tivo" forums once DTV releases the non-Tivo dvr and people start discussing the non-Tivo dvr rather than the Tivo?

I was upset when DTV dropped the "Tivolution " magazine. I get sick of paging through the same titles in the wishlist over and over again as HBO, Starz, Max and Showtime keep repeating the same movies, Tivolution listed each title once. I can't understand why more DTV customers didn't get frustrated with losing Tivolution Magazine. Apparently most DTV Tivo users only use their units like digital vcrs. These people will not miss Tivo at all, because they never really used their Tivos to the full extent, they just wanted an tapeless vcr.
 

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Without even doing any fancy analysis like a time-series, using the subscriber data from earlier in the thread, I think that the attached chart may refute the premise that TiVo greatly helped DirecTV subscription rates. Note that at the DirecTivo start date of around 2000-2001, the subscriber trend actually drops off somewhat.
 

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mikeinla said:
Of course it makes sense to judge the R15 from the manual. It clearly doesn't have two buffers, which is a serious drawback.
I'm guessing there are plenty of us (like me), who never use the 2 buffers and really don't care. I don't switch back and forth between live TV, I record and watch things on my Tivo..

I think too many of us make the mistake in thinking that if we love a feature and use it, that everyone else must use it too. I for one rarely if ever use the dual buffers. I also tried and found the Thumbs up/down to be worthless (except for scheduling a recording or getting info on one of those rare commercial I see that has the thumb's up displayed). I think it's pretty simple. If you use a feature and it's not offered in the R15, don't buy it and let DirecTV know why. Maybe in their next release they'll offer that feature since they will control the box now, not Tivo..
 

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Hodaka said:
I'm guessing there are plenty of us (like me), who never use the 2 buffers and really don't care. I don't switch back and forth between live TV, I record and watch things on my Tivo..

I think too many of us make the mistake in thinking that if we love a feature and use it, that everyone else must use it too. I for one rarely if ever use the dual buffers. I also tried and found the Thumbs up/down to be worthless (except for scheduling a recording or getting info on one of those rare commercial I see that has the thumb's up displayed). I think it's pretty simple. If you use a feature and it's not offered in the R15, don't buy it and let DirecTV know why. Maybe in their next release they'll offer that feature since they will control the box now, not Tivo..
I would be willing to bet the opposite: that most DirecTV Tivo users find that 2 buffers one of the most important features. I also find the thumbs up/down feature handy...it tends to find old movies I like based upon those ratings.

Whether you find them useful, if the R15 lacks them, it's a lesser product. Explain the logic of dropping a better product in favor of a lesser product.
 

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ebonovic said:
Which there isn't one yet, and TiVo/Comcast is the only one's to have announced a partnership to make one.... And even that is a ways off.
Luckily, about the time that lack of Tivo/Directv cooperation can be expected to seriously negatively impact DTivo users (ie, no HD support as the new MPEG4 birds are brought up, no networking as the alternative DTv DVRs are released).
 

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PaJo said:
The $.02 question I have is will these forums still be considered "Tivo" forums once DTV releases the non-Tivo dvr and people start discussing the non-Tivo dvr rather than the Tivo?
from a post by ebonovic:
I sent a PM to Unixadmin, about posting a Review on the R15...

He said for the time being, R15 discussion will be allowed here, primarily for it "comparison" quality to the DTivos...

BUT... when it get into support and "upgarde" discussions for the R15, then that is where the line will be drawn... And we will have to move ( sniff ) else where... Avsforum has a DVR section, SATguys, DBSforum ect...
...although I'll bet that david will quickly have a forum for it on the avs board.

As far as this forum... well, it IS the "Tivo Community", right?
;)
 
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