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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really don't know why DTV wouldn't offer customers a choice between the R10/R15 and HR10/HR20 DVRs. Given the number of problems/bugs with the DVR+ versions of DVRs, why not stock extra R10s and HR10s and let the customer make the decision if they want a "next generation" DVR that may or may not work as advertised or if they want a "old fart" DVR that does what it's told to do?

The DTV/Tivo contract runs through 2010. Surely by 2010 DTV should be able to get the DVR+ models working properly and could stop offering the "old" Tivo models. CSRs still need to support the R10s ad HR10s as there are still many in the field.

So what reasoning does DTV have to not offer customers this choice? Someone doesn't want to take the risk of "old technology" they get a R15/HR20. Another someone doesn't want to miss recordings or have their units lock up, they get a R10/HR10.

Almost seems too simple.
 

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Like any problem, there are simple solutions and there are complex ones. My current best guess, based on public information and lots of guessing, is that:
Tivo wanted too much money,
Tivo was too slow fixing bugs, (don't get us all started on this one...)
Tivo wouldn't go with the Unified UI plan where all D* devices would menu the same
Tivo was too slow or unwilling to add the active channel options
D* was too much in a hurry to slice off their nose to spite their users.

Was this a good decision? Hard to tell without more inside information. And perhaps time will be the best way to tell.

Cheers,
Tom
 

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Wolffpack said:
I really don't know why DTV wouldn't offer customers a choice between the R10/R15 and HR10/HR20 DVRs.
I can't claim to know, but I suspicion:

1. They are out of new R10s and HR10s.
2. The don't want to set someone up with a receiver that doesn't do the interactive stuff.
3. As far as they are concerned, the TiVo agreement is to prevent TiVo from suing; it has little to do with keeping the DirecTiVo machines running.
4. In the case of the HR20, they know from experience that they will have to pry the HR10 from cold dead hands in too many cases.
 

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Greed and not caring about the customer. They should of atleast had enough HR10s in stock till OTA was active on the HR20. The HR20 with out OTA is worthless to me since 90% of my recoding is OTA. Being in DMA 168 it will be a long time before I see HD locals over the dish. Even then I will still use my antenna. I think it was rotten to force customers to a product that was not fully functional. If I had a real alternative I would of left but no cable or fios and well the vip 622 had 1 ota tuner which is a deal breaker to me.
 

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How about the fact that D* just doesn't want to INCREASE it's Tivo population, but decrease it. By giving people a choice, those who are familiar with TiVo (being the generic name for a DVR) would choose Tivo. Not everyone out there is as savvy about this stuff as we are, so if you are a layman and offered a Tivo vs. some other DVR, most people are going to choose a Tivo. This is not the way D* wants to get their DVR out there.
 

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Wolffpack said:
So what reasoning does DTV have to not offer customers this choice?
I would think one reason for thr HR10 is it doesnt support MPEG4 and supposedly soon all HD channels will be MEG4 making the HR10 useless for HD.

I have read, like you have too, DirecTV plans for the future and the DirecTiVos are just not capable of what DirecTV is planning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In my original post I guess I wasn't totally clear. I was questioning why both Tivo and DVR+ units are not offered as a temporary solution to the fact the DVR+ units don't function properly. I wasn't asking why DTV doesn't offer a choice forever. Just as an interim solution.

I know DTivos can't receive MPEG4 and don't have the interactive features and can't receive showcases. But currently MPEG4 is only if you need to get your local HD via SAT, there's not much going on with the interactive features (in fact some would rather turn the features off as they tend to be annoying during NFLST) and many could care less if they received the current batch of showcases.

Eventually, once the problems get worked out of the R15/HR20's, DTivos could be put to bed. But as it stands right now if a customer has problems with a R15/HR20 all DTV can do is ship them another unit knowing full well the problems will most likely continue. It would be nice, from a customer service stand point, to be able to tell the customer "Since you're having problems with this unit, we'll ship you one of our older models and once the new units are properly debugged we'll upgrade you to the new model.". Might actually help them reduce their voluntary churn.
 

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Wolffpack said:
The DTV/Tivo contract runs through 2010. Surely by 2010 DTV should be able to get the DVR+ models working properly and could stop offering the "old" Tivo models. CSRs still need to support the R10s ad HR10s as there are still many in the field.
http://www.tivo.com/cms_static/press_85.html

The extension applies to EXISTING DIRECTV/TIVO subscribers. The agreement doesn't allow D* to sell new Tivo boxes.

That's why you don't have both being offered.

Certainly they could have negotiated the ability to continue to sell, but we don't know what TIVO was asking in exchange for that right. Could be that it was cost prohibitive, or it could be that D* thought their own boxes would be good enough that they didn't need those rights. Either way, they are supporting existing boxes, but not new ones...
 

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Seems to me that DTV wanted to go with a new overall architecture. Not just for the DVR, but in general. It appears that they want to add functionality (interactive, DTV2Go, et. al.), and that means having products that can support that architecture. My guess is that TiVo doesn't/won't, which is probably why DTV went with their own box. In a way it makes alot of sense - I was always kinda surprised that they allowed the manufacturers of their receivers design their own interfaces, and to some extent, functionality. As to why TiVo wouldn't still be offered, as an alternative. My guess is that it was just too expensive to do that. DTV would be doing support for multiple platforms, which is more costly.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist by any stretch of the imagination - so I don't get into the "they just want to squeeze every penny out of it's customers, and they don't care about the customer anymore..." Sorry, but in business, if you do that, you disappear. Companies that succeed do so because they provide a product or service that their customers want and need. Stop providing that and your company goes down the toilet. There's a saying that I heard once "if you nickel and dime your business to death, all you end up with are nickels and dimes..."

It was that very notion that led DTV to move into the DVR market to begin with. From what I understand, it started with companies like Comcast offering (limited) on-demand. Not being able to compete with that, DTV created the deal with TiVo and started offering DVRs - as a response to a challenge that surface. If DTV really didn't care about keeping customers happy, they wouldn't have done that to begin with.

It seems to me that the consistent platform was a decision driven to implement an overall strategy. Which led to the R15, et. al. Yeah the R15 has issues, and it would be nice if they offered TiVo as well. But TiVo is no longer in their long-range game plan. They're looking to get to 'point B', and this is the path they've chosen. Whether it turns out to be the right one or not is still to be seen.

All that being said, if it turns out that the new DVR platforms really start causing the company problems, it wouldn't surprise me if they extended their contract with TiVo even further, and would consider starting to offer the boxes again. Overall though, when it comes to implementing a strategy like this, hedging (still offereing TiVo boxes) can cripple you. Sort of like leaving port... withought heaving anchor. Yeah, you'll still be safe... but you won't get anywhere. As an entity, when a company makes a "strategic" decision like this, it needs to lead. Hedging can be seen as a sign of weekness, and ambivalence (lack of leadership/direction).
 

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Or, in other words, I don't believe that DTV created the R15 to "build a better DVR." I don't believe that was their goal. I believe their goal was to "build a DVR that was in line, and would support, their overall strategic vision - the architecture that they want to create." Of course, it would be nice if the DVR didn't have the stability issues that it does :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sharkie_Fan said:
The extension applies to EXISTING DIRECTV/TIVO subscribers. The agreement doesn't allow D* to sell new Tivo boxes.
That could be a valid reason but the press release doesn't contain contract language. I know I received a new HR10 in June and up until at least September they were selling new customers HR10s, well after the signing of the contract extension. There also could be language in the contract stipulating DTV could sell the remaining R10s and HR10s they had in stock but could not manufacture any more which would answer my question. We don't know exactly what was in the contract.

It's just that after the R15 was released in November of 2005, DTV should have though a little more about covering their backside and had some option for unsatisfied customers other than "we'll ship you a new unit".
 

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Once they made a business decision to go this route instead of that route, they certainly would not want to invest in another production run of either R10's or HR10's. Furthermore, there is lead time required in producing inventory, and probably when the deadline for any new production arrived they were (or thought they were) on course for rollout of the R15 and HR20. So the decision was made to go this course, and here we are.

As for offering a customer an older product (Tivo) to replace their non-functioning R15 or HR20, you saw the amount of turmoil there was among people used to the Tivo interface who had to learn the vastly different DirecTV interface. Now go the opposite direction also, give someone who never used a Tivo an R10 to replace an R15 and you have just as much confusion. I got both an R10 and an R15 at the same time, and learned the R15 before the R10. Never used Tivo before. Let me assure you, I had just as many issues with "that stupid tivo interface" as those experienced with Tivo had "with that stupid R15 interface".

Carl
 

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Wolffpack said:
That could be a valid reason but the press release doesn't contain contract language. I know I received a new HR10 in June and up until at least September they were selling new customers HR10s, well after the signing of the contract extension. There also could be language in the contract stipulating DTV could sell the remaining R10s and HR10s they had in stock but could not manufacture any more which would answer my question. We don't know exactly what was in the contract.

It's just that after the R15 was released in November of 2005, DTV should have though a little more about covering their backside and had some option for unsatisfied customers other than "we'll ship you a new unit".
True enough. I'm making an assumption based on the language in the Tivo press release. Since they specifically pointed out that the agreement covers existing subscribers, I assume that it does not cover new subscribers.

It's probably a fair assumption also that they stipulated D* could sell existing machines, but not manufacture any new ones.

In the end though, the result is basically the same. D* felt their machine was good enough that they didn't need Tivo anymore. That's why they're not offering both.

And, to boot, D* isn't going to want to spend a plug nickel on manufacturing new machines that they plan to make obsolete with the new satellites. If they were selling the Tivo boxes now, those subscribers are going to turn around in six months and raise hell that they can't get all the new channels, and they're going to blame D* for selling them a box that they knew would be obsolete.

You have to remember that the general consumer is probably not as well informed as the people on this forum and others like it. I did no homework before I got the HR20, I stumbled on this forum when I had questions about the box. Most people are going to call up and take whatever D* sells them, and if D* was offering the old boxes, those less informed customers are going to be pissed when they find out there's a bazillion HD channels that they can't get on their outdated box...
 
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