DIRECTV HD Receiver with TiVo (Official Q1 2011 Thread)

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Mike Bertelson, Dec 28, 2010.

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  1. Jan 5, 2011 #241 of 1101
    Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Watching TiVo's history, I've come to the following thoughts:

    At one time, TiVo had the whole enchillada: great programmers, great execution, great customers, etc. And a great concept.

    Then they went and all got drunk (just kidding) and lost darn nearly everything.

    Look at their last 8 years (or so) of development: seems like a string of delays on every front--multiple cable companies, DIRECTV, and now DIRECTV again. I don't know what happened, but they sure aren't executing like they used to.

    I also think they blew their business opportunities. They should have reduced their monthly fees after a few years to get more and more customers--meaning more and more data. Data they could sell for more money than the customers would give them.

    But something went wrong and unfortunately TiVo is in serious trouble in my opinion. If they don't deliver soon, they might not be able to recover.

    By the way--my guess is TiVo is not suffering any scope creep... Far more likely they are rapidly dropping features so they can get anything out this year.

    Hopefully, again my guess, they will eventually get most of the features out at some point. Or they will die. (sadly.)

  2. Jan 6, 2011 #242 of 1101

    Adman1 New Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Thanks, Mike.

    I suppose I have been saving many posts in my head; finally sat down and put it on paper so to speak. Sorry for the length.
  3. Jan 6, 2011 #243 of 1101

    Adman1 New Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Tom, a couple responses to your post. Realize, again, I have no inside info. Just an interested view from afar:

    1) Agree that they have seemed to lose their mojo. Would like to have been fly on wall during their product dvmt and marketing sessions. I still think they don't do this right at all. As an "Adman", I do have some insights on this. Great brand name. Ubiquitous, even! But if consumers don't know why they're different, big problem. You're also right that price -- or perceived price -- has stymied distribution efforts. Cable, sat and telcom have advantage of bundling which services. TiVo perceived as expensive and unnecessary add-on.

    2) That said, I will defend to a degree some of their failures over last few years. Arguably, their IP has been pilfered by many, if not all, DVR competitors (D* excepted.) And D* split with them. If TiVo had any real chance for long-term survival, they had to defend the IP in the courts vs. Dish -- the lowest hanging pilferer -- at same time establishing precedent versus the others. It is very difficult for a company like TiVo to sell services to content distributors who decide they can produce their own DVRs with impunity. At virtually every stage of the nearly 6-year court battle with Dish, TiVo has won. But Ergan's game of cat and mouse with the courts has further delayed TiVo's ability to establish precedent against others. So 6 years have elapsed and TiVo has gone from virtually 100% market share of US DVR category to about 10% -- without a dime to show for it (excepting D* licensing and recent court award vs. Dish.) This greatly impacts a company's ability to establish a business model -- as well as invest in development.

    3) Since D* went their own route and Dish was pilfering and otherwise engaged in cat/mouse, TiVo's only US play was cable. But cable wasn't wild about surrendering DVR revenue to TiVo either. (See above.) Thus, no super hurry from the big boys to deploy a TiVo solution. Plus a 21st century TiVo deployment required a significant upgrade in DVR hardware from the cablecos -- not something they wanted to do either. So bleeding D* subscribers and an end game with Dish nowhere in sight, TiVo's only option was accepting a test with Comcast of a port of the TiVo software onto the top of Comcast / Motorola middleware running on clearly inferior set-top boxes. I'm not an engineer but according to all reports, this was a disaster. Cox, I'm sure, was watching this closely and decided not to touch. Hard to say how dedicated or motivated for success Comcast was/is. But let's say TiVo hasn't had much leverage in negotiating fair and attractive cableco deals -- at least with the big boys.

    4) TiVo can still execute. They have recently deployed versions of their new TiVo Premier product with both Suddenlink and RCN in the US and Virgin in UK. These products blazed to market. Haven't seen any user reports on these yet. But I expect to see very positive reviews excepting the usual minor launch bugs.

    5) On the other hand, the half-finished HD interface on the stand-alone TiVo Premier is a real head scratcher. This product was undoubtedly rushed to market before ready -- and in the 6+ months since launch, little progress had been made in finishing it. Really odd. And in many ways an insult to long-time highly loyal TiVo fans. I have not purchased one since it is not substantially different than the TiVo HDs I own (and I may come back to D* pending DirecTiVo feature set and pricing). Who knows how they're prioritizing software developments worldwide. But contrary to an earlier poster's guess that they are preoccupied with the TiVo Premier (rather than the DirecTiVo), I suggest you read the vitriol from TiVo Premier users who are equally frustrated that little progress has been made there either!

    Hopefully they'll fill their development openings, get the DirecTiVo launched, the Premier finished, their lawsuit with Dish finally settled and get their mojo back.
  4. Jan 6, 2011 #244 of 1101
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    All excellent points. I'd say it's even sadder to think they can still execute and they just don't.
  5. Jan 6, 2011 #245 of 1101

    Brennok Legend

    Dec 23, 2005
    The one thing I still think primarily has to due with the delays is the implementation of features into the old UI.

    It drives me nuts because I can't find the clip or interview it was from, but TiVo, possibly even Tom Rogers, around the launch of the Premiere addressed why features as basic as the free space indicator weren't added before the Premiere. It had to do with how the early code was written and how it had been modified over time. They found it somewhat easy to add some functionality like we saw over the series 1-TiVo HD, but this was why we didn't see anything major that involved changing any of the screens for the most part. Yeah we saw them add a single line option or separate screens, but no real changes to existing screens.

    My guess is they keep running into issues with the coding of the old UI and trying to implement the DirecTV features. The other issues mentioned above like the suit, job openings, etc definitely don't help either. Of course if and when we see it finally we may still never know what took so long.
  6. Jan 7, 2011 #246 of 1101

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    I can't see how saying leave a few things out is going to cause them that many issues to delay its launch by an order of YEARS... If anything, saying they can;t have Netflix should make it easier, they don;t have to make sure it works with the new box.

    And there is no way they are constantly changing what they are saying they can or can't put in their unit...

    Just saying.. :D

    I think where they screwed up is they didn't try and release a HR10-250 with MPEG4 and swm capabilities... AT this point, they are so far behind in features, I don't see anyone who has a HR now with WH service ever going with a tivo...
  7. Jan 7, 2011 #247 of 1101

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    I believe tivo has fallen victim to the people running it.. They got way to arrogant when they survived and replaytv (which was always far superior, but totally lacked in the marketing and promotional realm and of course, the backing money that tivo had, which is why they faltered) and figured the market is theirs, and it will advance at whatever pace they wanted, and slowed their product development, and by the time they started to ramp it back up, if they ever did, they where so far behind in having to rewrite code, that its killing them and causing them to miss every deadline they have ever had...

    Tivo has been all about the bottom line, where replaytv was about developing an unmatched product.... Unfortunately, unmatched means nothing if no one knows who you are, and you don't have any money to market yourself...
  8. Jan 7, 2011 #248 of 1101

    CuriousMark Icon

    May 21, 2008
    I am with you on this one.

    As I recall it was a post by TiVoPony at TCF that described the difficulties with the existing interface and code dependencies that had crept in over the years. He was explaining why the Premiere went with Flash.
  9. Jan 7, 2011 #249 of 1101

    smiddy Tain't ogre til its ogre

    Apr 5, 2006
    Is TiVo at CES this year?
  10. Jan 7, 2011 #250 of 1101
    Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 24, 2007
    Dang good question. I think they're there but we'll have to wait for our members at CES to let us know how relevant it will be.

    I’m hopin’ we’ll learn something new. :)

  11. Jan 7, 2011 #251 of 1101

    Steve Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    The zatz web site says TiVo has a private meeting room, like last year, but hopefully our guys in the field can get in to see if there's any sign of a DirecTiVo.

    They have announced a new iPad app, but nothing new comes up if you google TiVo and DirecTV for the past week.
  12. Jan 7, 2011 #252 of 1101

    cbessant Cool Member

    Jan 4, 2011

    Las Vegas — More than a year behind schedule, the TiVo-based HD digital video recorder for DirecTV will launch sometime in 2011 -- a development the DVR company is hoping will help it stop the tide of subscriber losses.

    The development of the DirecTV box, which runs on a Thomson hardware platform, has "taken longer than we expected for a variety of reasons," said Naveen Chopra, TiVo senior vice president of corporate development and strategy. He declined to provide a more specific launch window for the product.

    TiVo has been steadily losing customers over the past three years. For the quarter ended Oct. 31, 2010, the company had 2.27 million subscribers, down from 2.74 million a year earlier.

  13. Jan 7, 2011 #253 of 1101
    David Ortiz

    David Ortiz Save the Clock Tower!!

    Aug 21, 2006
    Fresno, CA
    They have a block of meeting rooms this year, in the same location as last year. Two prominent signs outside the entry said that admittance was by appointment only. I already have a TiVo plush doll, so I didn't bother trying to go in.
  14. Jan 7, 2011 #254 of 1101

    Sixto Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Man, if they're still not showing anything at CES, then they are even worse off then I would have ever imagined. (I know, I know, others have always predicted the worst. :))

    I originally was expecting a quick prototype at CES 2009 to gain mind-share, but understood that maybe it was overly aggressive.

    Then figured that they'd show something at CES 2010 for sure. Nada.

    Was almost positively certain that they'd show off the near final box at CES 2011.

    Well, it sure seems like they're again showing nothing.

    Either they have some gag order, or they are really hurting big time.

    I've never been one to bad mouth TiVo, since I believe any technology on DirecTV is interesting to evaluate whether I'd ever purchase it or not, but this is now way beyond bizarre.

    If they truly are showing nothing again at CES, 2.5 years after the announcement, then they have some serious issues.
  15. Jan 7, 2011 #255 of 1101
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    At this point, I'm done predicting. You all laughed when I said 1Q11... and now that seems like it won't even happen.
  16. Jan 7, 2011 #256 of 1101

    cbessant Cool Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    I am a hopeless optimist, and thought 1Q11 was reasonable, and really thought TiVo had their collected act together. Now they look like a bunch of Shriners' clowns piling out of a little car. I think Google developed their search engine in less time...

    You'd think if they really wanted to shore up subscribers, they'd put their nose to the grindstone and offer good bonuses, incentives, stock options to their engineers to get the DTV product out the door ASAP. Sounds like they need a new stable of managers.

    I picture a sloth with a foot stuck in a tar pit, and we know what eventually happened...really sad.
  17. Jan 7, 2011 #257 of 1101

    ATARI Hall Of Fame

    May 10, 2007
    too late

    The *new* HD DirecTiVo has officially become the Duke Nukem Forever of the hardware realm.
  18. Jan 7, 2011 #258 of 1101

    emmpee New Member

    May 25, 2009
    Glass half full ... hopefully the delay is due to implementing WHDVR or something.
    Glass half empty ... well ...
  19. Jan 7, 2011 #259 of 1101

    CuriousMark Icon

    May 21, 2008
    TiVo did not show the Premiere standalone DVR at CES last year. (publicly) It debuted in March at a Company event.

    Perhaps that is what will happen here too. Perhaps not, but for the perennially hopeful, that is the precedent we have so far.

    Let us all hope that this one doesn't ship unfinished like the Premiere did.
  20. Jan 7, 2011 #260 of 1101

    SledgeHammer Icon

    Dec 28, 2007
    Yup. In fact, I laughed so much, I almost busted my gut 4 realz :). The new HD DTivo has been talked about since 2008. Its now 2011 without a word. Nothing out of CES (natch...). I think we can safely assume its gone the way of the dodo bird.

    EDIT: Actually, to be honest, I don't think it was *ever* supposed to be released. Not basing this on anything but a hunch, but I think its pretty obvious DTV "let" Tivo make one as part of the lawsuit settlement, but it was more of a conversation that went like this:

    Tivo: we want to make you a new box!!!
    DirecTV: Um... ok, sure, go ahead (DTV CEO turns to his yes men and smiles -- wink, wink, nudge, nudge)
    <Tivo leaves the room>
    DirecTV: hahahahahahahhaha... that was hi-larious guys... awesome burn!
    (1 yr later)
    Tivo emails DTV for some technical specs
    Recipient "accidently" spills coffee on keyboard and hits the delete key "uh.. what email? I never got any email?!?!"
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