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TiVo Stock Falls As DirecTV Sells Shares

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Chris Blount, Jun 8, 2004.

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  1. Jacob S

    Jacob S Hall Of Fame

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    Everybody should know that DirecTv will get their own branded DVR. Dish Network sells more DVR's than DirecTv and Tivo standalones combined the last time I heard and DirecTv wants to sell a lot more DVR's I am guessing and do what Dish is doing.
     
  2. hax0r

    hax0r AllStar

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    Let's face it, any competent software engineer can implement a PVD these days. What does TiVo offer that is unavailable elsewhere?
     
  3. Tusk

    Tusk Back in the Game DBSTalk Gold Club

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    It's funny how all of the disgruntled Dish subscribers hijacked this thread spewing nonsense about how the Dish PVR's are the best. I feel for all of you because I too suffered through owning a Dish PVR for over a year. I would search the boards looking for any information that would make me feel superior for subscribing to Dish and (I admit it) stretched the truth to cover up the inadequacies I felt for not owning a TiVo. :icon_cry:

    I finally saw the light a month ago and have been freed from the bondage of inferior products. All hail the TiVo. :bowdown: Liberator of television watchers everywhere.

    :D
     
  4. Tusk

    Tusk Back in the Game DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Do you think Dish is planning on hiring any? :lol:
     
  5. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    The reason why this disgruntled Dish subscriber went to DirecTV was because of the $5 fee. I had no problems with a fee-less DVR, even if it meant a little more work on my part. But for $5, I consider the TiVo software to be superior to Dish's DVR software. The two tuners helped.

    (Although DirecTV didn't quite understand why I was wanting to forgo the early bird savings and cancel NFL Sunday Ticket this fall. Answer: Uh, because I wasn't watching any of the games because I work NFL sundays.)
     
  6. Greg Bimson

    Greg Bimson Hall Of Fame

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    A) DirecTV probably doesn't need more money. They've sold PanAmSat for about $2 billion.

    B) DirecTV would not need to divest to simply offer their own version of a DVR. DirecTV would have to enter into an agreement to use TiVo-patented features on a DirecTV group/NDS DVR. An investment in TiVo is not an issue.

    C) I think we have a winner. Since most of TiVo's growth is based on the contract with DirecTV for DVR service, DirecTV figures they can divest now and make more money, instead of holding the stock. It would not surprise me that a year from now, DirecTV may have 2 million subs with TiVo service. At that point, DirecTV may try to do to TiVo what they've done to Pegasus; buy out the TiVo patents at a lower price, especially if TiVo manages to win their suit against Dish Network.
     
  7. det058

    det058 Cool Member

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    So can anyone really say how this might affect somebody who is days away from purchasing a DirecTV DVR, namely myself? From all I've heard, most people who already have a DVR think they're great, but I don't want to invest in a piece of equipment that DirecTV doesn't plan to support in the future or wants to replace as soon as possible. I'd like to avoid buying something that's doomed before I open the box. I haven't seen any information to this affect, but I'd like to be reasonably sure this won't happen before I make the purchase instead of after.
     
  8. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Heh heh... I love volatile stocks. Bought at 6.50 this morning, resold at 6.81 as it bounced (a usual thing after a big drop like yesterday). My IRA is a few hundred dollars larger. ;)

    The stock value will probably go down a bit the rest of the day in my opinion. I'll probably pick up a long term stake once the price settles down some.

    Disclaimer: I don't recommend investing in this manner with the majority of your funds. However I keep a portion of my retirement IRA liquid just so I can take advantage of fluid situations like this.
     
  9. Tusk

    Tusk Back in the Game DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Buy it now. No one knows what will happen in the future, but in the mean time, you can be enjoying a TiVo.
     
  10. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    Dripping...
    I doubt that even if they stopped selling the box today that they wouldn't be providing support for a number of years down the road, so go and get one.
     
  11. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I think in a worst case situation Tivo might be sold off to another company and won't simply cease to exist. Thus support of one variety or another from Tivo should still be present.

    Any future product that DirecTV might produce is still a year or more off in the future, and because it would be a new service, there is no telling what the quality might be. I'd say you are quite safe buying a DirecTV Tivo product now.
     
  12. awp

    awp Cool Member/Supporter

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    You are betting on the whim of the courts. While TiVo agreeably has a currently superior user interface, what they are just some software patents for software running on a commodity PC platform running Linux.

    So what TiVo really owns is a patent much like the Amazon "one-click" patent.

    Cable companies (and now Direct TV) want to own the box so THEY can capture the subscription revenue stream that TiVo gets... Also.... they want to own and control the distribution of software to the DVR box.... Gives them the power of control over your living room.



     
  13. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    You are betting on the whim of the courts. While TiVo agreeably has a currently superior user interface, what they are just some software patents for software running on a commodity PC platform running Linux.


    Nah, I'll probably sell my stake long before Tivo is every really challenged court wise.

    For now what I see is Tivo at a year low without any real change in fundamentals. Tivo still has absolute name recognition compared to any challenging product, and as you said still has one of the best products of its type in the market with fewer bugs. A review of this board shows that more people are flocking to the HD Tivo than to the 921, so its obvious they are doing something right. Its primary support in DirecTV isn't going to change in the next year that I can see. Its subscription base is still increasing and customer loyalty borders on the fanatical.

    Over the next year Tivo stock should easily recover to $10 or so I'd say, making it a pretty good buy now.

    But no, I'd not recommend this as a long term stock choice over more than a year period.

    And today it was an excellent day-trader's choice as yesterday's sell-off was a panic'd over-reaction to unexpected news... Such sell-offs almost always have a brief bump up the next day as bargain-hunters and day-traders such as myself swoop in. As the day progressed the price stabilizes.
     
  14. DChristmann

    DChristmann Mentor

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    This is a business deal to raise a few bucks. The technological ties are continuing.

    D* is not about to drop a product whose owners have practically 0% churn and which has such high customer satisfaction ratings. D* knows that once people buy a DirecTiVo, they generally stay customers for a very, very long time, much longer than with the non-TiVo receivers.

    Murdoch's boys know that that sort of customer loyalty is darn near impossible to reproduce and they're not about to flush it down the crapper anytime soon.
     
  15. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    I'd be careful about that kind of investment. If, as has been pointed out here, there is another technology waiting in the wings, this could represent a serious blow.

    Let's assume (with no solid justification), that DirecTV goes elsewhere:

    Here we assume that future users will have to go with an standard TiVo unit. TiVo standard is a fairly significant downgrade from DirecTiVo. It doesn't coexist well with material that it can't tune directly. For recording serials and stuff that was otherwise done with SLP VHS, TiVo probably won't disappoint quality-wise, but for recording movies and specials, it is less than optimal at its highest quality mode. The series 2 boxen have S-video connectors finally but that seems to be more of an answer to ReplayTV than anything else.

    Another major downer is that the standard product requires a subscription for each machine. Currently at $12.95 per month for the first unit and $6.95 for successive units.

    Finally, how 'bout that only being able to record one non-basic-service program at a time and downloading the guide over dialup?

    Let's assume (momentum) that the relationship remains:

    Whether or not DirecTV can continue to provide the growth that TiVo needs to stay afloat is certainly questionable. With alternative offerings coming from cable companies, I would speculate that the standard TiVo sales won't increase dramatically. The set top box providers, perhaps depending on the outcome of the PVR dispute, may well improve their offerings. Then there's the recently added facet of cable's demand viewing which takes away both from DVR and satellite interest.

    I think that given the disparity between the DirecTiVo offerings and the standard TiVo, that the DirecTiVo feature set and pricing structure is actually doing more harm than good. I've talked with more than a few standard TiVo owners who were enchanted by the DirecTiVo offering only to find that standard TiVo is half the product at a much higher price. It is arguably worth it, but it seems somehow unfair that the satellite subscribers get a whole lot more for a lot less. Then again, that's why we're here...

    I wouldn't be surprised if the stock doesn't continue to drop for a while as the analysts get their questions answered about DirecTV's intentions for the future. Strangely, if Echostar is successful in the legal proceedings, DirecTV will be a beneficiary as they won't have to do battle with TiVo should they indeed go another direction.
     
  16. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    I guess that kind of depends on who buys it, doesn't it.

    Say, for giggles, it is purchased by Echostar, Motorola or Scientific Atlanta.

    I wonder how long the contract with DirecTV would stay in place.

    Then again, it could be that any otherwise disinterested buyer would be looking to squeeze a little more blood out of the turnip and jack the rates anyway.
     
  17. DBSPaul

    DBSPaul Mentor/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    If you can make the above statement, you've never had to go through the process of getting patents for tech-related items.

    TiVo has some very broad patents not just on software IP, but on functionality. Whether that is enough to maintain a sustainable business model is another argument, but the patents I've done are micro-tiny in breadth compared to some of the ones TiVo has.

    Never underestimate intelluctual property rights and law.

    The real question is what happened when the DirecTiVo turned into the "DirecTV DVR Service (little letters: powered by TiVo)". I doubt DirecTV has anything but license to use - Rupert trying to bring in his NDS boxes may discover the reality of US patent law.
     
  18. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    By the same token, one must never underestimate the difficulty (and expense) associated with defending a broad target.
     
  19. gglockner

    gglockner AllStar

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    TiVo also offers a lifetime subscription. Buy the box, pay $299, and never pay again for TiVo service. Satellite has nothing like this. Where this may get very interesting is if TiVo ever develops a standalone that records over-the-air SD/HD. You could timeshift the original digital signal and record with two tuners, all with zero monthly fee. This would be an attractive alternative to DirecTiVo.

    The Home Media Option makes it possible to download guide data over home broadband. Furthermore, this makes it possible to program your TiVo from any web browser, even when you're away from home. And this week, TiVo announced that the Home Media Option is now included with the service - no extra fee.

    Additionally, the upcoming TiVo-to-Go feature will allow you to copy TiVo recordings to your laptop to watch while you travel, or to burn a favorite program onto a DVD via your home computer.

    Actually, I imagine it is the TiVo-to-Go features that are blocking DirecTV from upgrading their TiVos to support the Home Media Option.
     
  20. gor88

    gor88 Icon

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    I'm with DChristmann, DirecTV is not about to leave TiVo owners high and dry. We are DirecTV's most loyal customers. I wonder about patent concerns, especially if the new receivers use logic similar to Season Pass. I would imagine TiVo patened this long ago, so the new receivers may not work as wonderfully. Besides, TiVo is still getting a monthly fee from us to basically keep the guide information current. With the changes being made to the standalone units, the standalone units will probably start selling better and the number of customers will rise.

    Last night, I was out with friends. One of them mentioned that DirecTV was going to leave TiVo behind. I told him no, since (as I understand it) Ultimate TV is still in operation, despite not selling units anymore. TiVo is not in danger. They simply need to move forward with innovation to separate themselves from the plain jane DVR/PVR units with the standalone units so that they sell better. My wife stated, quite forcefully that DirecTV better keep supporting TiVo. She says it is easy to use, unlike my previous PVR 508. You couldn't give her $1,000 for the receiver. That's how much she likes it! :D
     
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