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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Could Tivo make a comeback with Directv


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59 replies to this topic

#41 OFFLINE   BattleScott

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 06:49 PM

DirecTV characterized the loss as a deliberate effort on their part to shake out some of the "bad" customers. Any time you lose upwards of five percent of your customers, there should be a sucking sound of some sort. More than 1 million adds (down 9% from Q3 2005) resulting in less than 170,000 additional customers (of which less than a third are considered "quality")?

What caused this exodus will be debated for quite a while, but the likely answer is going to be a combination of the competition improving while not markedly improving themselves.


That would be the correct assessment in my opinion. Two years ago, I would have never imagined leaving DirecTV. I swore I would never even entertain the thought of going back to TWC but the R15 and a steadily degrading picture quality have basically eliminated any quality differences between D* and TWC. Price is the last advantage DTV has over the comparable digital cable package but that gap is narrowing as well. And when it comes time to pay for the fleet of new birds, it will likely close completely.

I sit patiently waiting for the arrival of FiOS. Then they can both take a hike...
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#42 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 06:59 PM

Not to beat the Tivo side to death, but I haven't had any problems with my Tivos not recording shows that couldn't be explained by looking in the guide or history. Tivos do miss recordings but when they do it's explainable.

As both of you have HR20s I can see your view. The HR20 seems to be a different animal than the R15 which has been out for over a year. The HR20 has a higher To Do List limit, the HR20 now has better history. The R15 hasn't had an update since before the HR20 was released. The R15 has always had a TDL limit of 100 items. I don't know how many R15s versus HR20s are in customer's hands but the R15, for some reason, seems to be lacking more than the HR20 is.

Again, my interest is a DVR (be it SD or HD) that works properly. One way for DTV to do that under Liberty would be with Tivo.
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#43 OFFLINE   Staszek

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 07:16 PM

Again, my interest is a DVR (be it SD or HD) that works properly. One way for DTV to do that under Liberty would be with Tivo.


I dont think its as easy are you are stating it though. I remember when Tivo first came out my family had one, it missed recordings, and had issues. But it was the only thing out there nothing to compare it to except the vcr which wasnt much competition even if the Tivo had problems. Remember the constant GSoD (green screen of death) issues?

But guess what the Tivo got better after it was revised and fixed to make it was it is today.

As for going back to Tivo, its a huge investment after D* invested the money to create what they have now.

And Tivo cannot even decode Mpeg4 so even if it was so easy to just port its code over they would still have to figure it out.

I am very happy paying an extra $0 a month for 2 DVR's. Mine work just fine, I know there are bugs and I feel sorry for the people that have them, but this in my estimation is the right direction for D* to go. I honestly doubt that they would bring Tivo back, and if they did, I dont think it would make a difference anyway because by time they did the current DVRs will have much more functionality then Tivo ever did.

#44 OFFLINE   bidger

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 07:24 PM

Not to beat the Tivo side to death, but I haven't had any problems with my Tivos not recording shows that couldn't be explained by looking in the guide or history. Tivos do miss recordings but when they do it's explainable.


When I said "hiccup", I meant like a spontaneous restart, which far more HR10 owners see than SD D-TiVo users. I wouldn't dispute reliability.

Again, my interest is a DVR (be it SD or HD) that works properly. One way for DTV to do that under Liberty would be with Tivo.


Sure, it's an option. It's just that I have to believe you'd see DVR costs and charges closer to a S3 than what the current D-TiVo user is accustomed to since it would involve re-negotiation of the current contract, which is maintenance only. I have to imagine TiVo wouldn't find the $1/unit deal in their best interest since they're badly in need of revenue.

Your die-hard TiVotee will say, "Sure, bring it on!", but then you're investing a lot into what still remains a niche market. Would there really be a return on the investment? Even with the bargain rate that exists now, it's still 10-15% of your market. Would doubling the rate, but restoring the TiVo brand really cause a big enough spike to justify the investment? I personally doubt it.

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#45 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:06 PM

Given the title of this thread, I'd say anything is possible.

What everyone needs to keep in mind is that when drilling for oil there's only so long one can justify the continued drilling by saying...."well we've gotten this far, it would be a waste to stop now".
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#46 OFFLINE   bullwinklehdtv

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:18 PM

Given the title of this thread, I'd say anything is possible.


Two questions I have

-NDS is a Newscorp sub, so Malone is going to have to pay a DVR fee to them just like TIVO, right?

-Is it possible that Malone will open up receiver manufacturing to other companies like D* used to?

#47 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 08:41 PM

Two questions I have

-NDS is a Newscorp sub, so Malone is going to have to pay a DVR fee to them just like TIVO, right?

One would think. Although I'm not sure if the HR20 uses any NDS code. Also some fee for the access card technology that DTV uses from NDS.

-Is it possible that Malone will open up receiver manufacturing to other companies like D* used to?

DTV already does. The HR20 is manufactured by Pace out of the UK. The R15 is manufactured by Phillips, Humax and RCA IIRC.
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#48 OFFLINE   bobnielsen

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 09:10 PM

I think NDS does the software for the HR20 and maybe some of the others. Of course, finding a new source for the software isn't necessarily a bad thing. I suspect that this kind of thing will be addressed in the details of the sale.

#49 OFFLINE   Staszek

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 09:18 PM

Oh btw just a little more backup for my arguement that the R15/HR20 problems have nothing to do with subscription numbers

"In the meantime, DirecTV (DTV23.60, +0.07, +0.3%) must find a way to kick-start subscriber growth, which has slowed down in the face of more rapid acceptance of cable's "triple play" bundle of digital video, digital phone and broadband services. It must also stave off the less-imminent threat of the phone companies. "

#50 OFFLINE   Clint Lamor

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 09:12 AM

I think NDS does the software for the HR20 and maybe some of the others. Of course, finding a new source for the software isn't necessarily a bad thing. I suspect that this kind of thing will be addressed in the details of the sale.


NDS doesn't do the software for the HR20 it's done internally by DirecTV. They handle the code and if I remember correctly it doesn't even run on the same platform that the R15 does. I think people figured out the HR20 is running on a Linux core.
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#51 OFFLINE   wilbur_the_goose

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 09:55 AM

You know what could happen, though..

Liberty could dump TiVo AND the NDS receivers and start providing cheap cable-like set top boxes.

That thought makes keeping NDS and/or TiVo seem great.

---------------------
Anyway, it seems like Liberty and News Corp have a relationship already. This from Liberty's website:
Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LINTA,LINTB,LCAPA,LCAPB) is a holding company owning interests in a broad range of electronic retailing, media, communications and entertainment businesses. Our businesses include some of the world's most recognized and respected brands and companies, including QVC, Encore, Starz, IAC/InterActiveCorp, and News Corporation.

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#52 OFFLINE   Clint Lamor

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 01:15 PM

You know what could happen, though..

Liberty could dump TiVo AND the NDS receivers and start providing cheap cable-like set top boxes.

That thought makes keeping NDS and/or TiVo seem great.

---------------------
Anyway, it seems like Liberty and News Corp have a relationship already. This from Liberty's website:
Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LINTA,LINTB,LCAPA,LCAPB) is a holding company owning interests in a broad range of electronic retailing, media, communications and entertainment businesses. Our businesses include some of the world's most recognized and respected brands and companies, including QVC, Encore, Starz, IAC/InterActiveCorp, and News Corporation.


Yes News Corp is trading Liberty DirecTV for all the shares that Liberty owns in News Corp.
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#53 OFFLINE   untouchable

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 01:21 PM

I have read interviews where Malone says that he is VERY interested in TIVO, so I could see him using the 550 million for buying out TIVO and making it a exclusive D* product...sounds like a very smart business move to me at least..

#54 OFFLINE   bidger

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 05:49 PM

I have read interviews where Malone says that he is VERY interested in TIVO, so I could see him using the 550 million for buying out TIVO and making it a exclusive D* product...


Problem is, TiVo has contracts with 2 cable companies to develop DVRs for them.

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#55 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 06:07 PM

I have read interviews where Malone says that he is VERY interested in TIVO, so I could see him using the 550 million for buying out TIVO and making it a exclusive D* product...sounds like a very smart business move to me at least..

Wouldn't have to be exclusive to DTV, just some features are exclusive.
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#56 OFFLINE   morgantown

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 06:17 PM

Basically invert the DTV and TiVo relationship... Okay cable Co's, you get what you were promised (TiVo2Go, etc), but future enhancements stay within the Liberty/DTV/TiVo umbrella unless you want to pay an extra premium.

Honestly though, Liberty historically does not seem to me to have the best relationship with DVR's, period (TiVo or not). Given, times have changed and Liberty is not so foolish to covet their advertising dollars only via traditional commercials more than their subs -- and they are more ways of making an advertising buck with DVR's than simple commercials.

TiVo is ripe for a buyout. DTV has been their single largest source of subs. Win-win-win...
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#57 OFFLINE   untouchable

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 02:06 AM

Wouldn't have to be exclusive to DTV, just some features are exclusive.




that's what I am talking about, not the product itself...but even if D* bought the company out, they could still technically continue on as two separate companies, much like Wal*Mart and Sam's Club...but regardless, D* would still make a killing off of it...To me it still seems like a great business move.

#58 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 12:50 PM

To me it still seems like a great business move.

As business moves go, it would be a tragedy. It may represent an "interesting" competitive move, but you can't lose sight of the short term goal of DirecTV: jacking the stock value up. Taking over a company that has a balance sheet like that of TiVo would be counter to the goal of News Corporation in their effort to unburden themselves of DirecTV.

#59 OFFLINE   morgantown

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 06:22 PM

As business moves go, it would be a tragedy. It may represent an "interesting" competitive move, but you can't lose sight of the short term goal of DirecTV: jacking the stock value up. Taking over a company that has a balance sheet like that of TiVo would be counter to the goal of News Corporation in their effort to unburden themselves of DirecTV.


Great business move...post take-over. If it lowers the stock price (temporarily) it just makes picking up more of the company (DTV) at a discount.

TiVo is cheap in the grand scheme, and the brand name has allure if the company had sufficient capital to become cost-competitive. DTV has been the single greatest incidence of TiVo's effective market penetration since the cost to the consumer was at or, more likely, below the sweet-spot.

Nonetheless, it is still wishful thinking all the same.
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#60 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 06:25 PM

The two biggest things TiVo has...

1) Name Recognition
2) Their Patents

Their subscriber base (minus the DirecTV users), is very very low.

The Name "TiVo" is almost worth as much as their Patents.

TiVo would not be where it is today, without the DirecTV partnership.

I mean... They where charging $12.99 a month, for each box originally...
Then when the DirecTV came around... $4.99 for as many boxes as you could have on the account... PLUS the hardware was sub $100...
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