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DIRECTV to Introduce Additional TiVo Features

Discussion in 'DIRECTV SD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Earl Bonovich, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. Aug 3, 2007 #121 of 275
    Schyler

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    Is that something that TiVo insists on, then? Because the HR20 thankfully has no such requirement.
     
  2. Aug 3, 2007 #122 of 275
    TheRatPatrol

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    Earl, as they say, the 3rd times the charm. :D

    And I thought the stock swap was approved, but just not "completed" yet?

    And why would you be so against D* offering a Tivo option again, in addition to the HR20? The HR20 could be the "basic HD-DVR" while the Tivo would be an option for those that wanted it. You could keep your HR20's while others would be able to keep/go back to their Tivo's. No big deal, everyone would be happy, it would be a win-win situation for everyone.

    :D
     
  3. Aug 3, 2007 #123 of 275
    Tugboat

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    Doubtful Directv would even bother with an update since the Directivos are already working fine (our two are, at least). Why add any functionality at all? What difference would it make? Seems pretty strange. See you are sticking to your "Tivo will have no place at Directv once 2010 hits" mentality.

    Sure, Liberty has nothing to do with Directv's decisions at this time. Say what? Is that because Earl says so? Give me a break about legality, etc.
     
  4. Aug 3, 2007 #124 of 275
    Tugboat

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    On the money. This latest announcement is much more than a rumor, it's happening. Some folks on DBSTalk don't like the fact that a Tivo-Directv relationship might be renewed because they have invested so heavily in saying and hoping otherwise.

    The more choice, the happier the subscriber base. Why not at least look into an HD Tivo for MPEG4? Seems to make sense to me. If Comcast gets its Tivo interface out there, the are gonna market the crap out of it, believe me. Directv will want to be in the "me too" mode. Just look at the nonsense on HD PQ going on right now.
     
  5. Aug 3, 2007 #125 of 275
    bidger

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    I'm not sure what Malone really intends to do with the company right now or in the future. Let's not forget how he got his shares, a billionaire who was quite fervent in his pursuit of DIRECTV became disillusioned, even calling the company "turd bird", offered the shares so that he could have more control over his primary company. For all intents and purposes, the company fell in Malone's lap.

    I'm sure Malone has ideas as to what he'd like to do with DIRECTV and being a businessman, I'd have to assume profitability is first on the list. He could wait until the company is at its peak from a profit standpoint, both new satellites deployed and operational, 100% local-in-local US coverage, and a healthy HD package, and then sell it. Maybe he's in it for the long haul, but could find the same or similar frustrations Murdoch experienced.

    Either way, I don't see how TiVo offers any significant added value. It's only netted ~ 2 million subs to this point. I think more HD is a far bigger potential for sub growth than a DVR platform.

    Bottomline is, I need to hear it from Malone or a highly-placed DIRECTV official before I believe a MPEG 4 TiVo is imminent.
     
  6. Aug 3, 2007 #126 of 275
    Earl Bonovich

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    The stock swap has been "approved" to continue it's process... but until it is "complete"... it is not complete.

    In fact, there have been a few entities that have filed "issues" (not sure what the official term is), about the stock swap... (Dish Re: BTN; Couple local station groups, ect...)


    I am not "against" TiVo comming back into the fold... I just don't see it happening. You won't see me with a sour face if they do come back in, unless I got a bad BBQ sauce for the crow.

    My biggest concern... would be the progress on either platform be stagnet, and we run into support/feature issues, like with RCA and wInk (which failed misserable, because only a small portion of the user base had it)... interactive, unless the new TiVo would have the same interactive engine... major feature differences between the two... that would make support of the products that much more difficult.

    Confusion on sales... (especially if the feature set was different), ect....
    (Which is similar to what happen when UTV and TiVo were out at the same time.... UTV didn't get that much "acceptance", and eventually had to be shutdown.... and many argue that it was a better system then both the DVR+ and TiVo...)

    That is my only concern with TiVo comming back into the fold.
     
  7. Aug 3, 2007 #127 of 275
    Earl Bonovich

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    There are plenty of reasons.... to do it, and has been discused a few times in this thread

    Do you have an understanding of how these mergers and other things take place? The legal restrictions that go on?

    I hae been part of some, of magnitudes less of dollars... and their are so many restrictions it is just nuts.... the proposed new owners of our company were not even allowed to talk to the employees, until it was a done deal.

    So the notion that Liberty would be working out deals, and extensions with a third party vendor of this magnitude... come on now...
    What if they work out something, and then the stock swap gets nixed at last moment... then what happens?
     
  8. Aug 3, 2007 #128 of 275
    Earl Bonovich

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    As pointed out... this is the 3rd such announcement... and the first two have lead to nothing more, then (The 2nd, and now this 3rd)...

    So pardon us for not screaming from top of the moutain that the savior has returned...

    There a SIGNIFICANT issues, based on historical reasoning... to not have a 2nd vendor...

    Let's wait and see what the Comcast TiVo is going to be like, before banking on it.... they can market the "crap" out of it... but if it is "crap" (because of what ever modifications COMCAST has requested), are the cries going to be out there... "Bring TRUE TiVo to COMCAST"... going to be just as loud, and as proud as the ones that are here on the DirecTV side.

    There MUST be a reason why... TWC, DishNetwork, Charter, Cablevision, and other carriers... are NOT using TiVo... are they all "as dumb" as people are painting TiVo.

    Where is the COX version of the TiVo... it has been what a year since it's announcement... and there hasn't be as much as a sniff on it's progress.

    The COMCAST one has taken over TWO years... and it is not even in a consumer's home yet...

    Look at the T3... all the fan fair... and then boom when it is released...
    What is one of the first posts: WHERE ARE ALL THE OTHER TIVO FEATURES?

    So... why don't you sit back... and enjoy the announcement for what it actualy contains... enjoy speculating some... but don't be too broken hearted if this turns out to be nothing more then, just an extension of life for a 5+ year old hardware/software platform.
     
  9. Aug 3, 2007 #129 of 275
    MikeR

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    It's not happening today or in the near future....

    http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6463882.html
     
  10. Aug 3, 2007 #130 of 275
    Fygg

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    Sure there's a reason! We've had years and years of their competitors and the media and telling us and any one else that'll listen that "tivo is just a dvr". (As a matter of fact, just stick that phrase in google and see how many articles pop up.) And if "tivo is just a dvr", why pay tivo when you could do it yourself? They keep telling us that tivo is nothing special at all.

    I'm not going to argue that point. I'm just offering that up as a reason why, just to answer that one question.

    Once you know what a tivo can actually do, some of those statements can be rather comical. Also, I HAD to reply to have a chance to use this quote from one of the many "tivo is just a dvr" articles:
    I swear! It's real!!!

    http://www.vectorpedia.com/news.php?CatID=34&ArtID=55304

    What a HOOT!!!!
    :D
     
  11. Aug 3, 2007 #131 of 275
    rahvin

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    Pardon me while I come out of the woodwork, but I'll tell you something you don't know, which is how Malone and Liberty Media run their business. He's a ruthless believer in growth. When Liberty Media took over the LA Times newspaper in the early 90's it had won 19 Pulitzer prizes, was either the top ranked or second highest ranked paper in the country (depending on who you asked of course) it was also making a PROFIT of $200million a year. He immediately slashed journalist staff and started sourcing most of the stories through the AP. Within 2 years less than 5% of the original journalists remained and the paper had been reduced to something similar to other papers around the country. He increased his profit substantially in the short term. In an interview the reason cited for doing what he did is that papers are in general in decline due to the internet, and it didn't matter that the LA Times was profitable in the short term, costs needed to be cut NOW to keep profitability in the future.

    What I expect will happen once he has control is that he's gonna put the numbers to the costs of all those in house programmers (not just their salaries either), then he's going to compare that support costs of both the Tivo's and the internal stuff and he's going to price shop the TIVO software on the HR20, and although remote possibly a new S3 Tivo for DirecTV. And based on where the finances come out he's going to cut, and cut big. I would imagine (although I won't predict) that the internal costs far exceed a subcontracted feature based contract with a small yearly service fee for security updates etc... This is especially true as he won't ever be able to get rid of the in house programmers if features need to be added because he has to engineer everything from scratch and this type of programming isn't the type of stuff you can hire out unless you buy a complete product.

    It's rare in any industry where it make sense to start from scratch where you can buy completed pieces on the open market for cheaper than you can do it yourself. Software engineers are expensive, amortized long term costs will likely reveal that it's twice as cheap to hire Tivo than build the stuff in house. And given Liberty Media's relentless drive for profitability we will either see an immediate sale of DirecTV as an unprofitable enterprise or Malone's gonna cut heads left and right.

    Either way I think your prediction that the TIVO option doesn't make sense financially is shaky at best. I would agree with you if by XX date every programmer was fired but that's not what you appear to think is going to happen. Your statement leads me to believe that you think it's cheaper to retain all these in house programmers for eternity rather than buy features from Tivo as needed. In that regard I think Tivo will beat in house options hands down. As I said, the times where it's cheaper to build it in house are extremely rare, and the only times it really works is when you bring the programmers in write the application and fire them all and work on security updates only. (and in most cases it's only the most severe that you fix). Malone runs his business very differently than any previous owner of DirecTV, regardless of what happens it's going to be painful for the employee's, that I guarantee.
     
  12. Aug 3, 2007 #132 of 275
    bidger

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    Maybe one aspect Malone will take into consideration is the TiVos tend to be hacked and that's not true of the in-house DVRs.
     
  13. Aug 3, 2007 #133 of 275
    jal

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    Excellent post!
     
  14. Aug 3, 2007 #134 of 275
    Chuck584

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    By that reasoning Windows should only run on one CPU with one support chipset.
    By that reasoning I can't have Apple's OS/X running on my Inspiron 6400
    By that reasoning Linux shouldn't have been ported to just about every CPU ever made including the Broadcom chipset in question.

    Consider these verifiable facts:

    1) The Broadcom chip has the drivers to handle TiVo right now.
    2) The Broadcom chip is used in S3 TiVo
    3) TiVo uses a different chipset in the new TiVo HD
    4) TiVo has ported their software to Motoroal boxes for Comcast

    It sure looks to me like TiVo's software engineers have the talent to do the job.

    In theory, D* could keep the current OS for people like you who don't like TiVo.

    In theory, D* could keep current and future D* TiVo fans happy by offering TiVo on the HR20.

    To offset the expense, they could implement a new "choice" fee. Say a half a buck a month. They could use the procedes from the fee to fund the selected software development. Then the market could decide.

    Software is not a mystery, it is a well defined science. The primary factor in how well the software does it's designed function couples specification with implementation.

    Once the specifications are drawn, the engineering begins. Ten engineers may well tackle the same job using different paths. One or several engineers may be very talened and use "best practice". Some may get to the same end by a long and convoluted path with many false starts and falls along the way.

    I understand you have a very close relationship with D* and, perhaps, have a close relationship with one or more people on the D* software team. Please understand I am not attacking you or them.

    I'm simply saying TiVo knows DVRs. They have a long track record of success. No TiVo product has ever had the myriad issues on a continuing basis.

    The HR20 is currently the only choice for D* HD. If a D* TiVo competitor shows up, well, doesn't competiton drive innovation?

    Let the market place decide. D* knows, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that D* customers embrace TiVo for SD. Have you not said there is no reason for D* SD customers to move from the TiVo box to the in-house box?

    Why would they expect it to be different for HD? Give us, the customer, the people who pay for the service, the option to decide which we like best.
     
  15. Aug 3, 2007 #135 of 275
    Chuck584

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    I get it.

    You don't like TiVo.

    You wish TiVo would fail.

    If TiVo goes away, the HR20 will look good why?

    TiVo just won't go away.

    So just bash TiVo some more while they continue to explore options with D* competitors. That goes a long way toward making the HR20 a wonderful, bug free product.
     
  16. Aug 3, 2007 #136 of 275
    Chuck584

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    Thank you for coming out of the woodwork. :)

    You've made excellent points.
     
  17. Aug 3, 2007 #137 of 275
    Chuck584

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    Um, okay.

    The TiVo community embraces enhancement to functionality through use of the GPL which does not result in theft of services and this is a bad thing how?

    I can install two drives in my TiVo, a terrabyte each, for 1400+ hours of SD storage and this is a bad thing how?

    Um, if I put a terabyte drive in my HR20, did I just "hack" it?


    Um, okay.
     
  18. Aug 3, 2007 #138 of 275
    Chuck584

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    I'm going to write a letter tomorrow to Malone and outline my experience with the HR20 as compared to my experience with the Philips DSR704 and Samsung SIR-4120R.

    No opinion, just a side by side comparison.

    Not that he'd listen to someone who is just a customer...
     
  19. Aug 3, 2007 #139 of 275
    bidger

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    Sweet Jesus, what is this, the "Chuck584 thread"?! So you liked what rahvin posted, was it really f&$#ing necessary to quote it twice?! You could have edited your original quote to add your appreciation.

    And if you knew the history of the D-TiVo you'd be aware that there was a hack that added a phony "Lifetime Service" entry for Account Status. That "theft of service" enough for ya? Um...okay? :rolleyes:
     
  20. Aug 3, 2007 #140 of 275
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    If I didn't like TiVo... I wouldn't have spent over $3,000 on their hardware over the last 7 years... nor would I have just installed one at my Mother's home... or continue to work with my other family members.

    I have never once said I wish TiVo will fail... not once.

    You just seem not to understand... that TiVo is not the end-all-be all...
    That there are alternatives out there... and the world will not come to an end if TiVo doesn't return to DirecTV.
     

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