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TiVo trial to begin over EchoStar DVR

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by Chris Blount, Mar 27, 2006.

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  1. Mar 27, 2006 #1 of 175
    Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    DALLAS (AP) -- In a case beginning this week, a Texas jury will be asked to decide whether satellite-TV giant EchoStar Communications Corp. stole TiVo Inc.'s technology that lets viewers skip the commercials. \

    The trial is scheduled to start Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Marshall, 150 miles east of Dallas. It is expected to last about two weeks.

    If TiVo wins, it could sue cable companies that offer other set-top boxes or at least force them to pay licensing fees. Defeat probably would relegate TiVo to a niche place in the market it created, analysts say.

    More HERE.
     
  2. Mar 27, 2006 #2 of 175
    roddiaz1

    roddiaz1 New Member

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  3. Mar 27, 2006 #3 of 175
    bobukcat

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    I think Dish (and probably all non-Tivo DVR owners) subs need to be rooting for E* on this one because if they lose I have to believe licensing fees and other costs will be passed directly to us!
     
  4. Mar 27, 2006 #4 of 175
    Fifty Caliber

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    :mad: DVR fees
     
  5. Mar 27, 2006 #5 of 175
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Without DirecTV, TiVo will already be marginalized. Not too long ago, DirecTiVo users represented almost 80% of the subscribership and that number is dwindling. The DirecTiVo faithful will tell you that they have even more units in use, but when you see that some of them are using five receivers with no additional fees, it isn't financially beneficial to TiVo. DirecTV has stated that the service will continue through 2007 at the outside and other reports place the cut-off at early 2007.

    Granted, DirecTiVo users probably pay 20-30% of what conventional TiVo users pay and that figure may be subsidized by DirecTV so the hit would likely mean a much smaller than 80% drop in subscription revenues, but to a company that has never made a profit, this is a big red item. What remains to be seen is whether or not TiVo can convert enough DirecTV customers to cable and set them up with Series 3 receivers which will surely come with a big up-front cost and a much higher subscription fee. TiVo will have NOTHING to offer digital satellite users.

    Given the relative resources of Echostar and the fact that there are so many other similar devices using functionally similar technology, I don't see much of a future for TiVo Inc. I wouldn't be surprised to see a number of "friend of the Court" offers from those who offer competing technology.
     
  6. Mar 27, 2006 #6 of 175
    Rogueone

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    IF Tivo wins, this will be in appeals courts for a long time. And I can foresee the possibility a jury or judge could rule that the dvr concept and the technological steps to make it viable, could be considered Tivo's. Especially NBR. No VCR ever did NBR, the best they did was the VCR+ thing with the numbers from the local tv guide.

    I wouldn't be surprised if it's more of a split decision. DVR is just an upgrade to VHS, so the idea of copying a show, and forwarding thru commercials, has been around since VHS (used to have a VHS which had a 30 sec forward skip button too). So Tivo can't really claim that as their own idea, plus they don't even do that function. Tivo is simply a glorified VHS recorder in that sense.

    But, NBR, that they created. That is something intellectually they developed, and I could easily see a judge saying that anyone using NBR tech, regardless of how they implement it, are doing so based on Tivo's designs (it's not like there's 2 ways to do it). I would expect some sort of "payments" to Tivo for NBR, but nothing else, and I'd consider that fair. NBR is the only part that is original in and of itself. Everything else is simply converting VHS to a harddrive tech.
     
  7. Mar 27, 2006 #7 of 175
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    There were digital video recorders on the market before TiVo shipped their first unit.
    ReplayTV offered something like that (and was subsequently required by the courts to remove it) and I believe that JVC still offers a feature on their VHS VCRs that will automatically blank and fast forward over commercials.
    I used to think that too until I picked up a vintage TV tuner card for Windows that is able to do basic NBR and is even capable of starting recording based on finding specified text in the closed captioning!
    I would disagree and apparently so would TiVo or they would be suing over it.

    The suit is not about NBR. It is about fast forwarding, rewinding or jumping around in a program while recording it.(Time Warp in TiVo parlance).
     
  8. Mar 27, 2006 #8 of 175
    olguy

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    What ReplayTV had to remove was an actual commercial skip function. It tried to determine when a commercial started and ended. Some programs it worked great on and some not so good. I have a ReplayTV 5080 that has that feature. I believe they still had the Quick Skip feature.

    Another feature ReplayTV has that I would like to see on my 625 is the ability to skip X minutes ahead or back. You hit the number keys for how many minutes and then the Quick Skip or Replay button and there you are.
     
  9. Mar 27, 2006 #9 of 175
    Rogueone

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    well if Tivo is only suing over jumping around, then that's a waste. Tivo jumps around totally differently than Dish. Dish has the 30 sec feature Tivo for some reason never has had, and other than that, Dish simply fast forwards and rewinds. I noticed using my dad's tivo, that it puts markers on a recording, so you can jump around in the recording, or to the beginning or end with a key press. Dish doesn't do that, that I've ever noticed. So how would dish be stealing Tivo technology by putting a fast forward/rewind on their box ;) doh


    and i recall that replaytv feature, I think it tried to gauge the start/stop of commercials based on the obvoius changes in volume, or something similar. I wish someone would devise a tuner/receiver that auto adjusts commercial volume levels down to normal, i hate getting blasted when I'm watching HD and a commercial starts. Its so much louder it's crazy.
     
  10. Mar 27, 2006 #10 of 175
    Earl Bonovich

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    "Technically" TiVo doesn't have 30s skip.

    It is a backdoor "unofficial" feature of the system.

    This suit will go a long way in dictating the future of TiVo, Inc.

    Win, and they may survive on their own..... or the cost to purchase them may just go up.
    Lose... they might as well shut the door the next day, as IMHO.... they are spinning down the drain very fast.

    The only reall "asset" they have, are their patent's and the name "TiVo"

    Other then that, they have been superseeded by the latest DVRs to come out (Dish, DirecTV, CableCo, and non-provider specific ones... such as Microsoft Media PC).....
     
  11. Mar 27, 2006 #11 of 175
    CopyChief

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    I think you're right, and it might serve to be a bellwether case for other industries, too. The question to me has to be whether Echostar used the idea for a DVR, or whether they stole the fundamental technology behind it. That said, Tivo has to prove they inveted it, not just that they were first to successfully market it.

    I don't know the specifics of the case, but if it's about patent infringement, using someone's idea is meaningless, but if they stole specific patented technology, that's another story.

    Win or lose, I think Tivo is prime buyout bait.
     
  12. Mar 27, 2006 #12 of 175
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    I'm not sure you are required to invent something to patent it. I think you just have to be the first to document it and have the permission of the inventor. The issue is whether or not E* violated the TiVo patent. I'm not convinced that it takes into consideration the validity of the patent. E* was two years behind TiVo in delivering a DVR, so there wouldn't be much chance that E* did something first.

    My recollection is that E* actually has a hefty DVR patent portfolio of their own.

    In the long haul, if TiVo loses the lawsuit, the legal expenses alone will drive it directly into bankruptcy. Punching a big hole in their patent portfolio would leave little more than a logo and a history written in blood.
     
  13. Mar 27, 2006 #13 of 175
    Larry Caldwell

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    I think TIVO owes me royalties. I have been recording TV shows and fast forwarding through commercials since 1984. Where do they get off, patenting my idea?
     
  14. Mar 27, 2006 #14 of 175
    Larry Caldwell

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    I used to have a Magnavox VCR that had that feature, plus a 30 second skip button. It also had a "go to" button. You could tell it to cue any position on the tape.
     
  15. Mar 27, 2006 #15 of 175
    airpolgas

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    Damn, did Tivo really patent the FF idea? Are they like the company that patented the "Ice Blended" drink?
     
  16. Mar 27, 2006 #16 of 175
    Fifty Caliber

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    Or the Democrat who "invented" the internet.
     
  17. Mar 28, 2006 #17 of 175
    Chris Walker

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    A desperate financially struggling company making one last gasp for some lawsuit cash before they go belly up.. What a surprise. Tivo will lose
     
  18. Mar 28, 2006 #18 of 175
    Steve Mehs

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    With the nations largest multi-channel video provider behind them, TiVo's not going anywhere. Sorry guys but the best is here to stay.
     
  19. Mar 28, 2006 #19 of 175
    LtMunst

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    All Bow Down Before Lord Comcast and Despair!........don't think so.
     
  20. Mar 29, 2006 #20 of 175
    abricko

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    Tivo is limping at best, i'm sorry, i know the interface / scheduling of the Tivo is light years ahead of the rest, but the lack of a HD box has hurt them, they are now behind and this *new* S3 HDTIVO that is coming out (mid year?) just doesn't do it for most people (unless you have cable). E* is now on their 3rd gen HD-DVR and D* is on their 2nd (although I'd consider it 1st gen due to them dumping their HDTVIO and supposedly re-doing it from scratch and you think the 622 has bugs, just wait...)

    Beyond technology of the boxes... how can Tivo survive on charging people 20 a month for the ability to record shows and get guide data? Or the better question is who the hell would pay 20 / month to get guide data (and a leased box) for the ability to *smart* record your OTA shows (unless you also sub to cable also, that's a big $$$ add on)...

    A buyout makes sense, maybe comcast will take them over and just use the tivo brand to boot their sales. Tivo's future depends on their ability to license their interface / scheduling / os... they are dead as far as hardware goes. For OTA/cablecard you can buy a Sony DVR which will do DVR w/o monthly fees (uses FTA TV Guide info).
     
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