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· Contra sceleris
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1,715 Posts
davezatz said:
... I wonder why they didn't go in as themselves...
It is surprizing how something minor like the broadcast flags gets such huge attention and things like Tivos in greater China gets practically zip attention.

I don't suppose you have developed any theories on why TGC is developed at arms length from Tivo?
 

· Funkadelic
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3,527 Posts
Justin Thyme said:
I don't suppose you have developed any theories on why TGC is developed at arms length from Tivo?
I don't... I would imagine it probaly has to do with international business rules and dealings, and perhaps insulating themselves in some way. Maybe some SEC rules get in the way? I just don't know much about how business works at that level. (I do have a few theories regarding Apple not releasing a DVR next month, though:))

If I haven't mentioned it before, I was corresponding with Thomas Hawk (www.thomashawk.com) about this and he found it strange that the press release (http://www.tivo.com/cms_static/press_68.html) refers exclusively to "TGC" and that they've migrated from the name "TiVo Greater China."
 

· I can't explain
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19,455 Posts
Justin Thyme said:
It is surprizing how something minor like the broadcast flags gets such huge attention and things like Tivos in greater China gets practically zip attention.

I don't suppose you have developed any theories on why TGC is developed at arms length from Tivo?
actually it was not at arms length at all. It was very much a TiVo involved venture and got some threads here on what was up with it when they started up about a year ago. It was always to make a unit for the far east and also to give TiVo more hardware manufacturing options. It even has the possibility of letting "TiVo inc." become a total software company and TGC become the hardware branch along with software versions for Asia.
 

· Registered
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544 Posts
I find it staggering that TiVo has chosen to launch in Taiwan BEFORE Canada. Do we smell? Are you angry that Canada didn't support the U.S. in the Iraq war (I did). We here in Canada can access the TiVo service but only if we go through the pain-in-the-butt process of ordering boxes from the U.S., and paying outragous brokerage and shipping fees.

Really, was it THAT MUCH EASIER to launch in another languge in a country a couple thousand miles away, vs. launching right next door?

I'm REALLY confused by this.

...Dale
 

· Contra sceleris
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1,715 Posts
Canada doesn't have 90 million cable customers.
ZeoTiVo said:
...TGC become the hardware branch along with software versions for Asia.
Did Tivo come out and officially and put it that way? That makes it tough to approach an OEM and try to persuade them to license and build a Tivo powered device if you come out and say you are also going to compete with them head to head.
 

· 国際化 Member
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535 Posts
Dajad said:
Canada has a higher per/capita cable penetration than does the U.S. Canada is larger than California has more cabled-homes. I note that California is served by Tivo.
That's because California smells better. :p :D
 

· Contra sceleris
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1,715 Posts
Well, my crackpot theory of the day is that on one dark day when the MPAA comes to threaten the mother of all lawsuits unles Tivo does some [fill in the blank onerous change in Tivo behavior], then whoever the Tivo CEO is pushes back in his chair and says.

"Well, I'm sorry, but the board is completely behind me on this and we just can't comply. We will fight and know it will be extremely expensive. So we have decided that effective on your filing of this suit that we shall prepare our legal defence fund by selling worldwide rights of Tivo Patents to TGC, and be making an IPO listing on the Hang Seng of TGC, divesting ourselves of our 40% holdings."

"Naturally, their investors will want TGC to come out with the kind of features we think in the long term would hurt the Studios. One popular feature would be to copy files without any encryption. This actually could be accomplished as a minor software upgrade that could be sold as a chinese product to all current Tivo owners...."

"Lord knows what other things that TGC might come up with, since they don't have the same spirit of cooperation that Tivo has tried to foster with the Studios."

"TGC may be your worst nightmare come true, and as a Chinese company employing thousands of workers you will find it very difficult to establish any kind of leverage on them, short of attempting to block import of one of America's most beloved products."

"But of course you understand our position. We will require funds to defend ourselves and will have no choice."

"But maybe we can work out some sort of alternate arrangement instead...."

"Get back to me when you have discussed it with your handlers, Good Day."
 

· Fanboi.. So what?
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494 Posts
Dale:

To answer your question => Yeah.. it was easier.. much MUCH MUCH EASIER.

All TIVO did was license the platform to a company over there for a joint venture about a year ago. All during that time, work has been progressing on testing, developing the systems, all by the company that licensed the TIVO backend.

A little research I did on this reveals they are launching with a version of the TIVO software that is roughly equivalent in terms of features and abilities with the 2.0 version of the software here in North America. No HME features for example.

TIVO isn't providing any of the support for this. They are providing the backend systems and the know-how. That's it. It's pretty much a straight licensing deal with part ownership.

Contrast that to Canada.. where they will be providing ALL the support, the hardware.. etc... and launching with the current version of the software with all HME features enabled etc. I suspect by spring there will even be Showcases for the Canadian market. (just a feeling - I have nothing to base that on)

TIVO's *will be* in stores in Canada in February ~ April timeframe. This will coincide with new HD capable boxes as well as (probably) new standard definition hardware. I can't blame them for waiting tho really.

If they launch in Canadian retail channels now with the current generation of hardware and then debut new boxes in February what will happen? The customers are mad that TIVO didn't tell them that new boxes were coming. TIVO's biggest mistake in prepping their Canada launch from what I can tell, was tipping their hand before they were really ready. It's just created bad blood across the board(s).

Proof positive you can't please any of the people any of the time is available in many many threads at these message boards -- IMHO, TIVO is really just covering their a** as regards the Canadian market.

Now, for some clue that new versions of boxes are coming - notice that the more expensive and larger capacity boxes are now disappearing from retail channels. You can't buy a 140 hour S2 anymore. The 300 Hr Humax boxes are no longer being made. The 80 DVD Humax box is no longer being made. The last time that larger capacity boxes started disappearing .. was just before the S2 540 series nightlight edition showed up on store shelves.

I suspect the hardware you see listed in this thread could very well be the future of the standard definition hardware in North America. Higher resolution video, bigger processor, more memory, bigger harddrive, probably better encoding chips and possibly even MP4 support (?!).. and with 160 GB of storage.. would nicely replace the 140 hr unit...

I mean really, stop and think about it. From TIVO's point of view, there would be no point in having stocked, support and developed a warranty program, service centers etc.. for Canadian retail channels with boxes you were discontinuing in less than 60 to 90 days.

It's short term pain.. for longer term gain in this case.

Frankly, I think TIVO is wise to enter the Canadian market with an HD capable box that can compete with the cablecos; or at the very least a redesigned standard definition box perhaps with improved features (like we see in Taiwan)

You could very well ask "How hard would it be for TIVO to launch that Ethernet capable higher resolution box in North America before Taiwan?" -- the answer is the same.

.
 

· Contra sceleris
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1,715 Posts
Did you look into Universal Scientific much? (The folks doing the manufacturing?) Interestingly, they have a plant in Mexico which I presume they can use for assembly and thereby use Nafta to get the cheapest import price into North American markets.

I didn't look far enough to verify the theory that this setup would allow them to do board and component manufacture in PRC, TGC management and engineering in Taiwan, and assembly in Mexico.

If it is true what Zeo said, such a structure would allow the new CC HD Tivo to achieve extremely low price points.
 

· Hardcore TiVo Geek
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2,853 Posts
Justin Thyme said:
[*]No mention of PRC- which is like not talking about the elephant in the room- conspicuous by its absence.[/list]
TiVo mentioned China in their original press release several weeks ago:

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, today announced the expected upcoming availability of the first DVR with TiVo technology in Taiwan for retail purchase, where overall cable penetration is over 80 percent.
 

· Contra sceleris
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1,715 Posts
Yeah, and earlier Shanghai was mentioned as the next step for TGC after taiwan- which surprizes me since I thought SCN was in bed with OpenTv.

I just would have thought we would have had more information on the plans regarding the mainland manufacturing and retailing.
 

· Registered
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106 Posts
Could someone here who is familier with FreeView tell me what it is. I've read a few posts from the TiVo UK Thread and have seen that FreeView subscriptions are in the millions. It almost sounded like a type of cablecard device.

If it is a Cablecard Device then TiVo could easily include the UK when it launches a CC TiVo DVR. TiVo's CEO has said that expansion to Europe was a top priority, could this be the way they get in?
 

· Fanboi.. So what?
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494 Posts
Hew said:
Could someone here who is familier with FreeView tell me what it is. I've read a few posts from the TiVo UK Thread and have seen that FreeView subscriptions are in the millions. It almost sounded like a type of cablecard device.

If it is a Cablecard Device then TiVo could easily include the UK when it launches a CC TiVo DVR. TiVo's CEO has said that expansion to Europe was a top priority, could this be the way they get in?
Freeview is a service.. with its own set top box... or it works with the UK digital television standard built in to some new sets over there. I'm not sure that it's a 'cablecard' thing exactly.

Freeview of course gets into the home on a free basis, but then offers you upgrades to many 'pay services' as well.

Any TIVO hardware for the UK would have to be custom built - since the UK operates on a different television standard, a different electrical voltage and I'm dead sure that freeview H/W support is not the same as cablecard.

That's a lot of technical hurdles to 'fix' -- you'd be better off with a box built for that market.

More details at the link below.

http://www.freeview.co.uk/aboutus/
 

· Contra sceleris
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1,715 Posts
Not sure why freeview is germaine here. Do that have this in Hong Kong or something?
lajohn27 said:
Any TIVO hardware for the UK would have to be custom built - since the UK operates on a different television standard, a different electrical voltage and I'm dead sure that freeview H/W support is not the same as cablecard.

That's a lot of technical hurdles to 'fix' ...http://www.freeview.co.uk/aboutus/
I think the main one you didn't mention- no guide data. Having lived in Europe, I know that Pal->NTSC and generating 120 are insignificant obstacles.

So you could record with an SA- except for the fact there would be no guide for the channels, and maybe no IR code set compatible with the Freeview box.

I know the Kiwis and Ozzies are doing something down under to get Tivos to work, but surely they have no guide info. Surely they don't pay 12.95/mo and just set time and date.
 

· formerly TiVoOpsMgr
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1,354 Posts
davezatz said:
If I haven't mentioned it before, I was corresponding with Thomas Hawk (www.thomashawk.com) about this and he found it strange that the press release (http://www.tivo.com/cms_static/press_68.html) refers exclusively to "TGC" and that they've migrated from the name "TiVo Greater China."
I can't really comment on much here, but I did want to point out there's no "migration" -- TGC was incorporated as TGC and has always been TGC, from the very first press releases about this. No one has "migrated" -- TGC is the name of the company and always has been.
 

· Funkadelic
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3,527 Posts
TiVoOpsMgr said:
I can't really comment on much here, but I did want to point out there's no "migration" -- TGC was incorporated as TGC and has always been TGC, from the very first press releases about this. No one has "migrated" -- TGC is the name of the company and always has been.
Interesting, thanks for clearing it up - I will pass the word on. If I remember correctly he thought he read "TiVo Greater China" in other materials but not within the latest set of announcements and articles. I'm wondering when we'll see TLA... you know, TiVo Lesser Antilles. ;)
 

· I can't explain
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19,455 Posts
lajohn27 said:
I suspect the hardware you see listed in this thread could very well be the future of the standard definition hardware in North America. Higher resolution video, bigger processor, more memory, bigger harddrive, probably better encoding chips and possibly even MP4 support (?!).. and with 160 GB of storage.. would nicely replace the 140 hr unit... .
There it is in a nutshell. TiVo, inc. wants to be in the software business so it looks to be trying to move hardware core competence to a different group it has a large interest in, TGC. I looked back but did not find what I was thinking about in my post above but clearly TGC has taken the lead in improving the series 2 hardware and clearly TiVo still wants to attack the large analog market out there.

This will help the TiVo books considerably if they can put manufacturing overhead in another company and just "buy" the boxes for sale in this country. Also this way when they go into Europe they have the knowledge of having done this once and can replicate it if they chose with an European company if that eases entry into those markets or use TGC again to supply the boxes.

This way they freed up anyone at TiVo inc. with good engineering experience on the series 2 to refocus them on the cable card and let them advise on Comcast efforts as well.
 
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