back to article Tivo's new owner ponders binning its own boxes

Tivo's new owner Rovi has hinted that it might get out of box retailing and focus on software and services. The source of the news is an SEC filing that records a presentation Rovi made to analyst firm Cowen and Company's Technology, Media and Telecom Conference. The document details Rovi chief financial officer Peter Halt's …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What he really means is...

    Amazon TV stick is spanking our ass - please buy us before we sink further into oblivion

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: What he really means is...

      " search capability and Tivo's recommendation engine..." there's more money in ad slinging and pushing people into sponsored links.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What he really means is...

      Apples and ostriches comparison.

      Amazon stick is streaming with no onboard storage

      Tivo is a DVR with 500GB or 1TB onboard storage.

      Completely different markets and use cases.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    As usual

    A company having complete control over its presence decides to surrender the hard part thinking things will go better.

    Regardless of whether or not Tivo is doing well or why, what makes them think that handing over the hardware to a 3rd party is going to make things better ?

    Yes, they will get rid of hardware issues. They could also get rid of that by making a better product, but that is clearly pie-in-the-sky thinking these days.

    What they will actually be doing is handing over the platform to someone who will have a vested interest in expanding the platform to other players to increase the footprint. Meaning they will abandon their power to dictate what the platform does and does not. They will be forced to deal with platform changes that, in the long term, may not favor them.

    But hey, long term is someone else's bonus, right ?

    1. DougMac

      Re: As usual

      You could look back to DirecTV's reboot of their TiVo box offering after they had dropped it for some time in lieu of their own boxes. The TiVo option was never advertised or pushed, the installer that came out was unfamiliar with it, I was the only one that insisted on getting one and he never had done any others.

      The box itself was brand new, but yet ran the many years previous TiVo software, with all the interesting services (ie. multi-room viewing) stripped out.

      still-birth on delivery.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only of marginal interest to UK readers

    since Virgin have sole right on renting out a cripple TiVo ....

    1. Jay 2

      Re: Only of marginal interest to UK readers

      Indeed. In the UK at least it seems that TiVo (initial launch aside) seem more interested in getting into bed with Sky and Virgin to produce something that most TiVo fans always say is a pale imitation of what is (or has been) possible.

      Come to think of it, getting out of hardware is something they've more-or-less been doing for ages over here anyway. But if they can't be bothered to flog their own PVRs (that are not part of a sat/cable providers offerings), then is anyone else going to bother?

  4. Rob Crawford

    Looks like the MBA crew have taken full control and see hardware (and R&D) as unessicary expense

  5. Wade Burchette

    I always feared the worst

    I always feared the worst when Macrovision decided to buy TiVo. (Macrovision changed their name to Rovi.) And now my fears are being confirmed. Despite the email I received telling me that Rovi is committed to doing things the same, here we have them already thinking about changing things less than 6 months after the acquisition. I fully expect that one day, my lifetime subscription will turn in to the lifetime of the device which means that once they end-of-life the product, the subscription will expire.

    1. Michael Hutchinson

      Re: I always feared the worst

      Macrovision? Macromedia was bought out by Adobe...

      1. MD Rackham

        Re: I always feared the worst

        Yes, Macrovision. The company that used to provide "copy protection" for VHS tapes.

        Utterly unrelated to Macromedia, which is why they have different names.

    2. Ian Bremner

      Re: I always feared the worst

      It's already happened to us Thomson TiVo box owners.

      Paid for a lifetime subscription only to have TiVo turn off the service when they announced they were jumping into bed with Virgin and the rest of us could get stuffed.

      Extended the life a little bit thanks to the work of other TiVo enthusiasts who maintained a free service for it but I;ve eventually given up and replaced my trusty Tivo with an Asus Eee PC box running Kodi.

      It's a pity because I miss the TiVo recording software that could be set to record specific genres and anything by my favourite directors or starring my favourite thespians.

      1. JeffyPoooh

        "...other TiVo enthusiasts who maintained a free service for it..."

        What a stupid business model. A "service" that's so trivial that amateurs can do it for free, and of course the infamous Tivo 'keep alive' flag. A monthly fee to keep on using "your" (sic) hardware.

        Utterly daft, but not as daft as those that actually paid for it.

    3. Wade Burchette

      Re: I always feared the worst

      Just for the record, I made a slight mistake and confused MACROMEDIA with MACROVISION but corrected it a few minutes after I posted. That is why there is the discrepancy above.

    4. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      Re: I always feared the worst

      " I fully expect that one day, my lifetime subscription will turn in to the lifetime of the device which means that once they end-of-life the product, the subscription will expire."

      That could be difficult to do for existing boxen. Not impossible, but certainly difficult, at least in the US. I have papers on all my Tivos, going back to an ancient and not currently in use Series 2 box which plainly state that the Lifetime Subscription is for the life of that unique and serial numbered hardware device. When that discrete and physical box dies, the subscription dies with it. Not before. Altering that is almost certainly tantamount to altering a contract. Because I have actual paper and not some stupid and alterable web link, it's theoretically harder for anyone to alter it until that contract expires upon death of the device.

      Now, that being said, they could certainly change that for any NEW purchases and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see them do it. This is why I plan to buy the latest model very soon before they enact any such shenanigans.

  6. ChrisCabbage

    Tivo have had 3rd parties building some of their STBs for some time now.

    I've worked on supporting software for 3rd party built Tivo boxes myself.

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