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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Tough times for TiVo


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13 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 05:04 AM

Company struggling in DVR market it helped create
By Stuart Elliott and Ken Belson, The New York Times
August 23, 2004

TiVo has changed the way people watch television and added a new word to the vernacular. But that does not mean TiVo, the company, is thriving.

TiVo, which helped introduce the digital video recorder, or DVR, in 1999, now faces an onslaught of competition from cable systems and satellite operators, which are quickly eroding TiVo's once-dominant market share.

In late May, the company announced a first-quarter loss of more than $9 million, despite a 21 percent rise in revenues, to $25.2 million.

Adding to those woes was the recent disclosure that TiVo would lose its exclusive deal to supply DVR technology to satellite operator DirecTV, which has been its largest source of new customers.

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#2 OFFLINE   brykc14

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 05:27 AM

Like Gillette slashing prices on razors to make its profits in blades, TiVo will make up the difference in monthly subscription fees. Customers pay $12.99 a month - or $299 for a "lifetime" subscription - for services such as a two-week program guide that they can download through a phone line or broadband connection.


Thats always been my biggest complaint about Tivo. Dont get me wrong I love my tivo, but when I got my first one and paid 400 dollars for it and brought it home and hooked it up and then seen I had to pay a monthly fee or 299 more for a lifetime. I was floored. I thought what the hell. I just saved up 400 dollars to buy this and now they say they want me to spend another 300 to keep using the features. I almost took it back, but I didnt because I was hooked. But I did go 2 years without paying the fee. But I finally got a better job so I was able to pay it now. To this day when I talk about how great a tivo is to my friends and family I almost have them sold, but as soon as they find out about the other fee there jaw drops and says 299 more just to use it, I dont think so. And to see where they said thats where they plan on making the lost money up, I can see why a great product like tivo may no longer be if they dont change the way they think.
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#3 OFFLINE   AllieVi

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 07:10 AM

I doubt that people will be willing to pay a premium and/or extra fees for TiVo as more competitors enter the market. I don't see how they'll compete with cable and satellite companies that offer a similar product at a lower price. It's just a matter of time until all these devices offer similar features.
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#4 OFFLINE   scottchez

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 07:19 AM

Why would any one want to pay extra for a Tivo with the Slowest Guide in the world.
The Direct TV Tivos guide is slower than my old APple II computer.

When for No extra Fees I can get the standard DVR with a very fast Guide.

I think this is why Direct TV is dumping Tivo or at least pushing it to the side.

#5 OFFLINE   David_Levin

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 07:55 AM

In late May, the company announced a first-quarter loss of more than $9 million, despite a 21 percent rise in revenues, to $25.2 million.


Huh? 21% rise sounds decent.

I wonder if they'd be better off raising the price of the box by $100 and foregoing the monthly fee. It's a hard sell to after 20 years finally figured out how to program the VCR.

Philips' new HDD+DVR (hard drive + DVD recorder), uses the FREE quide plus program guide. Sure it has ads, but it goes out a week and say it with me kids... FREE. Even has an IR blaster for cable box control (no sat data unfortunately).
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#6 OFFLINE   Steve Mehs

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 02:26 PM

If the guide is really that much of a problem, maybe TiVo isn't your thing, but to me the slow EPG is just one of the very few negatives of the TiVo software. For everything that it does and how well it does it, I have no problem waiting an extra 3 seconds for the guide to fill in. Plus I hardly ever use the guide any more, I use the search function twice as much as I use the guide. I would have no problem paying up to $10 a month for the TiVo software with Season Pass and Wishlist capabilities.
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#7 OFFLINE   djlong

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 09:53 PM

I'll take a slow guide and all the other features of the TiVo over the bugs, crashes, wipeouts and other 'features' of my DIshplayer as soon as I can afford the switchover.

#8 OFFLINE   Flyboy917

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 10:26 PM

Tivo's marketing people blew it. I bought a Tivo the day it was introduced, then I watched the commercials advertising it. I was dumbfounded. Their commercials didn't explain a damn thing about Tivo. Pause Live TV was the only thing they ever touted....and they didn't even explain that.

I have loads of Friends that had heard about Tivo, seen the commercials, and never thought anything about getting one until they came for a visit and saw one in action. "Wow, it can do that!!!"

If Tivo would have marketed their product correctly, every house in America would have one or have it on their "wish list". Heck, their are still a lot of people who don't even know what it is!

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#9 OFFLINE   Mike123abc

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 10:46 PM

Another problem is that there is no technical information on the TiVo web site. I went there to find out some info (was thinking of getting my parents one for Christmas) but they have absolutely no information on that web site.

#10 OFFLINE   Richard

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Posted 23 August 2004 - 11:05 PM

Why would any one want to pay extra for a Tivo with the Slowest Guide in the world.
The Direct TV Tivos guide is slower than my old APple II computer.

When for No extra Fees I can get the standard DVR with a very fast Guide.

I think this is why Direct TV is dumping Tivo or at least pushing it to the side.

DirecTV is not dumping TiVo or pushing it to the side.

And no, the DirecTiVo's guide is not the slowest guide in the world. The guide on the Dish Network model 3000 that I have was slower to browse through.

I gladly pay for the 4 DirecTiVos that I have now, and will continue to do so for the forseeable future.

#11 OFFLINE   gglockner

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Posted 24 August 2004 - 01:39 PM

I have loads of Friends that had heard about Tivo, seen the commercials, and never thought anything about getting one until they came for a visit and saw one in action. "Wow, it can do that!!!"


Amen to that. I believe most TiVos are sold when someone sees one at a friend's home. Also, it's one of the few gadgets I know where the wives bug their husbands to buy one!

#12 OFFLINE   DBSPaul

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Posted 24 August 2004 - 06:27 PM

Amen to that. I believe most TiVos are sold when someone sees one at a friend's home. Also, it's one of the few gadgets I know where the wives bug their husbands to buy one!


I've easily sold at least 20 TiVos when friends come over and I can show the real power of the machine to them. It doesn't take that long to demonstrate, just someone who has adjusted to the TiVo "lifestyle" and knows the interface well.

#13 OFFLINE   joema

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 10:18 AM

Tivo's marketing people blew it. I bought a Tivo the day it was introduced, then I watched the commercials advertising it. I was dumbfounded. Their commercials didn't explain a damn thing about Tivo. Pause Live TV was the only thing they ever touted....and they didn't even explain that.

I totally agree. I just recently got two Tivos (DVR120 and HR10-250), and was flabbergasted at the capability. Previously I *thought* I understood what Tivos did, but I was wrong. Over the years I criticized Tivo users many times as people who couldn't figure out a VCR. The Tivo advertisements emphasizing pausing live TV was ridiculous to me.

Now that I have two DirecTivos and see the capability, I'm almost angry that the Tivo marketing people did such a poor job. If clever marketing can sell soft drinks that are mere sugar water, why couldn't they better represent Tivo, which has unbelievable advantages. Although I'm a late convert, at least I now see the light. But the poor marketing is a tragic missed opportunity.

#14 OFFLINE   Flyboy917

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Posted 26 August 2004 - 08:35 PM

I'm almost angry that the Tivo marketing people did such a poor job. If clever marketing can sell soft drinks that are mere sugar water, why couldn't they better represent Tivo, which has unbelievable advantages. Although I'm a late convert, at least I now see the light. But the poor marketing is a tragic missed opportunity.


Agreed!

Flyboy




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