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TiVo Moves to Bypass Cable

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the changing-the-middle-man dept.

Television 286

Thomas Hawk writes "TiVo is throwing in the towel on cable. According to CEO Mike Ramsay, 'offering service through one of the primary cable platforms is not the best way to grow our business at this time, because the economics are not very attractive, instead, we have decided to embrace the PC as our friend.' This may add to the complexity of an already convoluted message that TiVo has been criticized for being unable to articulate to the masses. In the same article TiVo says it plans to introduce a new line of recorders that will accept CableCards. The company has declined to say when new machines will be introduced or how much they will cost. Most significantly, there is still no elaboration as to whether this new standalone box will be able to record cable or satellite HDTV."

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huh (2, Insightful)

menace690 (531682) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284733)

What is a cable card?

Re:huh (1)

TPIRman (142895) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284798)

Essentially, it's a cable card in a box.

http://tech2.nytimes.com/mem/technology/techrevi ew .html?res=9C0DE1DB1739F933A05751C1A9629C8B63

Re:huh (1)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284811)

Presumably the smartcard that you can use to tune your cable company's digital cable offering without using their box, which was mentioned in the article.

Re:huh (5, Informative)

plilja (91030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284813)

A cable card is a hardware card, issued by your cable provider, that allows the decoding of cable channels that are broadcast with encryption. I don't believe any of the large cable companies are currently issuing cable cards, but they are supposed to start issuing them by the end of 2006. Cable cards are required for any third party hardware to decode encrypted channels on third party hardware. Pretty much all extra content (HBO, Pay-Per-View, etc.) is encrypted, and most of the cable companies are concidering, or already have, started to encrypt non-extra content as well (that is any content above "basic-cable" level).

Re:huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284832)

All the major cable companies will give you a CableCard if you ask for it.

Re:huh (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284841)

All cable companies have and support cable cards per the FCC. Many of Toshiba HDTV's support it already and more are on the way.

It allows you to decode digital cable channels (including HDTV) without a "box". Encrypted or not, the major point is decoding the digital QAM from the cable network.

The downside is that it is only one-way. There is no ability to interact back with the cable company hence no Video on Demand OR Impulse PPV (all Pay-per-views will require a call to customer service).

Other than that they are pretty cool. I am eagerly awaiting a PCI based cablecard device for the computer. *drool*

dpjax

Satellite? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284995)

All cable companies have and support cable cards per the FCC.

Anybody know if the FCC has this requirement for Satellite providers (despite the moniker)?

I'd love to get out from under my uberbuggy Dish PVR but I like the Dish service apart from that. I'd get the TiVo but would rather use Myth, if possible.

Re:Satellite? (1)

FredThompson (183335) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285060)

Uh...given DirecTV with TiVo receivers are hackable to extract unscrambled raw feeds, why would you want to use Myth?!?!?!

The TiVo interface, augmented with TivoWebPlus and JavaHMO, will give you just about everything you're probably interested in.

Forget Myth, use MediaPortal. There's a long history of DTiVos with it.

Re:Satellite? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285151)

Uh...given DirecTV with TiVo receivers are hackable to extract unscrambled raw feeds, why would you want to use Myth?!?!?!

That's where I am now with Dish. I just want to put the DVD-R in the DVR and be done with it.

Re:huh (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285000)

My parents just got a new Sony tv that accepts a CableCard directly into it so you don't need a separate box. I called their cable provider (Comcast) and asked if they offered them. They said yes but currently there is a shortage at the moment so they put us on the waiting list. So as far as I know, they are currently offered but they just don't have enough at the moment to give out.

Re:huh (1)

my moustache (839297) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285099)

Time Warner runs cable card TV commercials in NC.

Cablecard deployment (4, Informative)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285107)

All cable companies do it right now, every single one of them. They probably don't advertise it because they'd rather you not use cablecard (they make a killing off of you leasing or buying the digital cable box off of them.) They were federally mandated to carry the cablecards by June 1st 2004. I already know for certain cox is doing it, and they don't advertise it at all. The only way you can find out about it is if you dig around their website.

Re:huh (1)

TPIRman (142895) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284819)

Sorry, fixed link:

NY Times Link [nytimes.com]

Re:huh (1)

Lackaff (247537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284820)

It's a coded card that identifies the device -- so the cable company, for example, can tell that you have subscribed to premium channels, bill you for pay-per-view movies, etc.

Re:huh (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11285163)

YOU PUT IT IN YOUR ASS

Inevitable... (1, Funny)

thezapper77 (842213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284735)

But can it run Linux?

Re:Inevitable... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284757)

It already does.

First Post! (0)

darklingchild (726827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284737)

If they are no longer going to support cable directly, how do they plan to muster any support? Can't the cable companies just encode the signal to prevent Tivo from recording int?

Re:First Post! (1, Flamebait)

dknj (441802) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284876)

someone obviously has no clue of how tivo works. our tivo sits between our cable box and tv and changes the channel on the cable box automagically. cable is already 'encoded' which cable ready tvs can decode. change that scheme and you break a few million tv sets.

do you even know how a tivo works or are you taking wild guesses and posting in hopes to get mod points?

-dk

Re:First Post! (1)

XxXoldsaltXxX (829366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285053)

the cable companies cant do jack shit to stop tivo from recording tv shows(technology-wise). if the cable companies encode the signal, how can they make it so that every other device in the house that uses cable can decode it, but the TiVo can't. it just doesnt work that way

Obligatory (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284739)

Foist Poist

Re:Obligatory (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284904)


Take that dick out of your mouth, you sound like an idiot!

In other news ... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284746)

.. Slashdot moves to bypass FP.

How is that redundant? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284845)

How is that redundant?
How is that redundant?

So ... (3, Insightful)

tim_mathews (585933) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284748)

What's it do? If you don't hook it up to cable or satellite (unless you get a special card), it just becomes a fancy hard drive in a fancy box? Why do I need one again?

Re:So ... (1)

sporty (27564) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284951)

For the fancy box. tiny tiny tiny nice looking boxes for entertainment centres are hard to find.

Lost (5, Insightful)

confusion (14388) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284759)

First, I am a huge Tivo fan. I've got 2 of em, and I would be lost without them.

Tivo's recent actions have left me pretty convinced that they're lost. They don't seem to have a cohesive business plan on how they are going to fend off all the "generic" pvr/dvr's that come free with cable or satellite service, or for the onslaught of PC based solutions.

Tivo certainly has refinement and ease of use in its court, but I can see that eroding quickly. They are having to keep adding new features under the same pricing model just to stay competetive.

Long live Tivo...

Jerry
http://www.syslog.org/ [syslog.org]

Re:Lost (2)

SunFan (845761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284893)


I don't have a Tivo but have seen people start getting PVRs with satellite service. What is Tivo's "value added proposition" specifically? Or is it a case that their product is too easily cloned?

Re:Lost (2, Insightful)

confusion (14388) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284940)

When it came out, it was revolutionary. Right now, its the dominant player, and probably the most refined, to the point where my parents are comfortable using it.

The problem is that there really isn't much value proposition left. Tivo has been riding on reputation while the market has been changing. That happens over and over in the business world, but I'm sad to see it happen to my beloved Tivo. Tivo seems to be trying to play catch-up by doing things like tivo2go, and find a new niche, like the partnership with netflix. In the end, I think they got too comfortable with the Directv partnership and they got dropped on their butts, and now they are trying to find their way again.

But that's just my take on them.

Jerry
http://www.syslog.org/ [syslog.org]

Re:Lost (1)

JJahn (657100) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284969)

I agree with your conclusion that Tivo doesn't have a coherent business plan. However, there are no free pvr's with cable or satellite service right now. They all cost at least a $5 / month fee (Charter Cable wants $10, bastards...), and an additional fee if you rent the unit. Still pricey enough over time that Tivo has a chance, but that could change quickly enough.

Re:Lost (5, Insightful)

Hollins (83264) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285003)

I'm also a TiVo subscriber and huge fan.

The rub for me is that most competing PVR services are owned by companies that are also content creators or which have close ties with content providers. Look at the contractual relationship between Comcast and Viacom, for instance, or even DirectTV and the NFL. So I'm very suspicious of Comcast offering PVR service with my cable package while Viacom is lobbying congress for extensions to the broadcast flag.

I think it comes down to a question longevity. If TiVo dies, then I expect these other providers will begin crippling PVR features. However, after the broadcast flag becomes effective, Viacom may start pressuring Comcast to deploy DRM restrictions, at which point TiVo becomes the hero, and shores up market share.

Regardless, things don't look good for TiVo in the long term. Their hardware is a loss-leader that is entering the commodity realm, free software implementations of the same features are improving rapidly, and we seem to be converging on effective web services that can serve the data I currently pay a subscription fee for.

Lost? We'll see... (3, Insightful)

roshi (53475) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285141)

I am also a big TiVo fan. I'm on my second unit, having given the first away to my sister to spread the love. I agree that a lot of their recent moves have been pretty worrying. I actually started putting together a MythTV box when the banner-ad-while-fast-forwarding announcement hit.

After some thought, I've decided to give them the benefit of the doubt for the time being. TiVo has a lot going for it. The user interface is brilliantly executed, both simple and powerful enough for anyone. TiVoToGo, especially if they get on the ball with Mac support and DVD burning (hopefully Mac DVD burning, as well, but I'm a realist :) just sweetens the deal, and will let me do literally everything I want with my TV content.

A bit more on topic WRT TFA, I'm pretty psyched for the Netflix/TiVo thing to actually materialize. There was a great quote on that topic from a bigwig at Netflix to the effect of (paraphrasing) "we always intended to deliver movies via the internet, we didn't name the company 'DVDs By Mail'." It says something about TiVo that it is the first product out there to fit the bill as a delivery vehicle for that dream.

As far as the Cable Cards and today's announcement go, it seems pretty sane to me. The cablecos are clearly dragging their feet on opening the set top boxes. Every day they do so, their crappy, barely usable DVR units and WinMCE gain ground on TiVo. So they have to do something to differentiate themselves in the meantime, until they can compete on a level playing field. And besides, they can always hijack the signal from the cableco STB just like they do now, so what's the loss (never-ending wait for HD aside)?

So I don't know, TiVo is one of those perpetually-going-out-of-business-companies-with-a -great-product, call it Apple Syndrome; but if they can continue to provide the excellent service and interface, and find ways to deliver more and better content, I'm pretty sanguine about their chances long term. ...and I guess I'll just have to learn to put up with the banner ads.

Re:Lost (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285173)

And since TiVos don't work without calling home, I suppose they become scrap metal if the company does under. Maybe that will happen, maybe not, but the thought would certainly cross my mind if I were considering buying one.

Re:Lost (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285181)

um, not "does under," but "goes under," i.e. out of business.

tivo beaten in 2005 (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284767)

I predict that the 2005 ces devices introduced will beat tivo at its own game.

Dvd recorders with hard disks cost $399 now (excluding the buggy $250 ILO one at Wal-Mart). By the end of the 2005, they should cost $225.

It is like the 5mp name brand (canon, nikon, etc) digital cameras. They cost $400 just before Christmas 2003 and then dropped $100 or more by Christmas 2004.

cable companies allow this? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284779)

How are they doing this without reverse engineering the cable companies card info? Are they working together with them?

http://www.immigrantornot.com/ [immigrantornot.com]

Re:cable companies allow this? (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285011)

the cable card interface is an open standard (forced on the cable companies by an anti-trust suit) - theoretically anyone who want's to can make/buy/lease a settop - however it ain't easy to implement

No registration link... (3, Informative)

antdude (79039) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284788)

Click here [nytimes.com] . Thanks to NY Times Link Generator [blogspace.com] . :)

Re:No registration link... (1)

TobyIRC (582495) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285172)

I was going to post that but you did already. Thanks to whoever posted that generator a while back when I grabbed it, it now lives in my bookmarks toolbar. What a great thing!

How about this (5, Insightful)

yorkpaddy (830859) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284800)

I doubt this is what Tivo will do. but, how would this work. Tivo could act like a cable provider, but use the internet as the transfer medium instead of coaxial cable. Networks could offer tivo shows which they could offer to their users. The users could watch the shows at any time based on their choosing. The super small cable channels (Outdoor life network, knitting central...) would love this. ? ... profit

When I first read the title (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285113)

what you suggest is exactly what I thought they might do.

When should we start working on this? :-)

Rule #1 about Tivo Cable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284805)

Do NOT talk about Tivo Cable!

Re:Rule #1 about Tivo Cable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284919)


How about I talk about it in German: BUUUUURRRRRP!

Perhaps (0, Troll)

Tobias.Davis (844594) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284815)

But... PC: You're on one Tuner card: $50-150 Hard Drive: $50 PVR Software: Negligible ----- Sticking it to TIVO and having your own PVR, priceless.

Re:Perhaps (2, Insightful)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284854)

But... PC: You're on one Tuner card: $50-150 Hard Drive: $50 PVR Software: Negligible ----- Sticking it to TIVO and having your own PVR, priceless.
You've forgotten the CPU, RAM, video card, motherboard, case. Don't forget that you'll want it quiet so standard components (with fans) won't cut it. And most of the remotes that come with PC cards are crap so you'll need a better solution there. Not so cheap, or easy.

Re:Perhaps (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284937)

I think your standards are a little high. I've got some old parts to use for CPU, RAM, etc. They'll do for what I need them for. And as far as quiet components are concerned, that's why my stereo goes up to 11.

Re:Perhaps (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285040)

Old parts are all very well for you, but as far as sweeping generalisations go we're better off looking at what it would cost to get equivalent functionality from scratch. That's where the quiet components come in. If you're not actually replicating what a Tivo does it's not a very valid comparison is it? I mean most people have already got a VCR and that does approximately what a Tivo does, so you might as well say "existing VCR: $0, sticking it to Tivo, priceless". It'd make as much sense.

Re:Perhaps (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11285186)

dear sir,

you are stupid fuck asshole and should shut your fuck up. you know SHIT about SHIT. in conclusion, shut your fuck mouth and die dickhole

Re:Perhaps (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285076)

Don't forget getting a OS/software setup that works properly with all your hardware, including the remote control, and a way to link it up to your telly properly.

Re:Perhaps (1)

XxXoldsaltXxX (829366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285119)

i made my own pvr,
$50 cpu, $50 ram, $100 mobo, $50 hd, $50 ati tv tuner, a cheap-ass case i picked up a yard sale, and a $20 USB bluetooth dongle so i can control it all from my cell phone.

works like a charm, but unfortunatly, its still not as nice as having a tivo.

Re:Perhaps (1)

roshi (53475) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285170)

TiVo Unit: $200
TiVo Service: $13/mo.
Never having to recompile a kernel module, resolve a dependency, or run Windows: priceless.

TiVo. It's everything your home PVR wants to be.

No offense to everyone here (2, Insightful)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284821)

But who cares? I don't want this to degenerate into some sort of "my tv show is the greatest" rah rah session, but what could possibly be on tv that is so good that it warrants recording?

It's not like tv became garbage overnight. It's been pretty bad for a while. What shows are there today that in 10 or 15 years people will be reminiscing about? Where are the Knight Riders, the Happy Days, the Sledge Hammers?

I look at the spring lineup and can't find a single thing that warrants shelling out the cash for something to record this trash. Am I watching the wrong channels?

Re:No offense to everyone here (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284899)

Fucking Night Rider???? Please tell me you are trolling.

Re:No offense to everyone here (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284907)

Make your mind up bro, either you don't this thread to "degenerate into some sort of 'my tv show is the greatest' rah rah session" or you do. Anyhow, assuming you really want to know what other people are watching on their TVs, here goes:

Battlestar Galactica
ER
Little Britain*
QI*
Question Time*
Stargate Atlantis
Stargate SG-1
Teachers*
The West Wing

The shows marked * are probably only relevant to us Brits, and unlikely to be seen much elsewhere. However, the other shows should be familiar to most people around the world.

These are the things that I'm watching currently and of which I'd hate to miss an episode. You make like some of these shows or you may hate them, but they form the backbone of my current TV viewing. Throw in news, sports, some documentaries and films and you've got the rest too.

I can see why some people watch no TV whatsoever - I'm not one of those people who can't imagine not owning a TV at all - but I enjoy what I watch and I make no apologies for it.

Re:No offense to everyone here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284945)

Dumbass.

Re:No offense to everyone here (1)

MikeXpop (614167) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285001)

I find it funny that you don't mention The Office when you even have a quote from it in your sig.

I just picked up season one the other day and loved it so much I picked up season two the next day. Very, very good series. I wish more Americans enjoyed British humor so we could get more shows coming on our shores. We're making an Americanized version of The Office which I assume is going to suck, and hard.

Re:No offense to everyone here (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285134)

The Office isn't exactly a current show anymore. And as no more episodes or specials are ever going to be made, and I've seen them all, there's little point in me listing it as a reason for me to carry on watching TV.

By the way, as well as the two series that you have, there are also two Christmas specials, both of which are available on a single DVD, if I remember correctly.

As for the US version of The Office, well I have to agree with you there. Most recent cult British comedies and dramas that have been remade for the US have failed miserably (Cracker/Fitz, Coupling, Cold Feet and Red Dwarf spring to mind; the last one didn't even make it past its pilot episode). I see no reason why The Office would buck that trend.

Re:No offense to everyone here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11285138)

Dumbass

Re:No offense to everyone here (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284930)

Am I watching the wrong channels?

No, you're just making the common mistake of believing your cherished childhood entertainment was somehow better than what is available now. The shows you reminisce about are essentially trash. Just take the rosy glasses off of your hindeyes.

Don't be offended by this comment - everyone does it, me included.

Re:No offense to everyone here (2, Insightful)

YggdrasilOS (713459) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284933)

Your commentary about the quality of tv shows aside, you're kinda missing the point. TiVo isn't designed to archive, it's designed to time-shift. The whole point of TiVo is that you can watch what you want, when you want. You set it to record the shows you want to see, and then play them back at your leisure. So if they're running Futurama reruns at 0-dark-30 in the morning, fine and dandy. With TiVo, I can watch them the next morning with my cereal. In effect, it's a more flexible replacement for all those VCR's that have VCRPlus functionality.

He he (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284947)

Where are the Knight Riders, the Happy Days, the Sledge Hammers
Good one!

Re:No offense to everyone here (1)

RadioTV (173312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284973)

In my opinion most of the good shows have moved off the broadcast networks and onto the secondary cable channels. Monk and The Dead Zone on USA, The Daily Show and Southpark on Comedy Central, Stargate SG-1 and Atlantas (and hopefully Battlestar Galacticia) on SCIFI. I am also able to find shows that match my interests on the History Channel, TLC, DIY, Discovery, etc.

I do agree that it seems like the networks have decided we are all morons. On the other hand people must be watching or they would show something else.

Arrested Development (1)

centipetalforce (793178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284983)

It's the opposite of everything on Fox, funnier than anything else on TV. Your welcome.

Re:No offense to everyone here (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284996)

What shows are there today that in 10 or 15 years people will be reminiscing about? Where are the Knight Riders, the Happy Days, the Sledge Hammers?

What the hell?! Who on earth is reminiscing about Knight Rider, Happy Days or Sledge Hammer - other than to poke fun at them? Most people under 25 don't even know what Knight Rider or Sledge Hammer is and only knows Happy Days from the Weezer video.

There's nothing worth watching on television. Nothong on network television worth my time and nothing on cable worth my time _and_ money. The last show I found worthwhile was Farscape, but they took that off the air before its time. There are occasional other shows but they are not series and they do not comprise enough material to justify spending $100/mo on.

I ditched cable about a year ago. I also stopped watching TV about a year ago. This isn't one of those "you people are stupid, I don't watch TV so I'm better than you" comments. This is just . . . "there's nothing worth my time and money on television, so I don't bother watching it".

Dishes are for eating off of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11285018)

Get cable so you can get something besides the few channels that actually provide reception on satellite on only a perfect day for weather (not to mention real broadband access), then browse the programming lineup in your digital gateway. If you are just using rabbit ears forget about it, you are the mercy of network broadcasting companies that think crap like reality shows are where it is all at. Who is your Daddy? YO MOMMA!

There is plenty of programming out there old and new that is great if you have a reliable medium to get it to you to surf through and find. Using a DVR from your cable company or a Linux version you can catch the shows you like but may miss working or sleeping.

Re:No offense to everyone here (1)

DJBigShow (761810) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285049)

Why, exactly, are you bothering to read an article and/or comments about a PVR if you don't think anything warrents recording?

And what exactly is insightful about that? Geez...

-DJBS

Re:No offense to everyone here (1)

StormyWeather (543593) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285081)

I personally like some of the shows on the home and garden channel because they give me good ideas on how to do things to my home. I also really enjoy some of the History channel shows, the monster series of shows on the discovery channel, and The Daily Show, with John Stewart. I work wierd hours so I seem to miss all of these, so I record them to mpeg with my 8500dv and watch them when I get home.

I'm sure a lot of folks would find shows that they miss that are off of the beaten path if they had the option to watch them any time they like. That's how I got to watching the Daily Show.

Granted the 8500dv was a pretty good video card when it came out, and I use it for a few other things as well :).

Re:No offense to everyone here (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285166)

You are watching the wrong channels. :-)

Seriously, my favorite channels dont show good things when I am able to watch them. They are on at weird times, very early morning, while I am at work, etc, etc. Now I record them, and watch them as I like.

Bonus is, when the kids or dogs start fighting, or the wife comes over and *has* to talk, I can press pause, deal with the situation, then go back to what I was watching ( more or less, I have a DirecTivo, and an SA8000 unit, the SA8000 has the uncool habit of coming back out of pause randomly. But, to be fair it is after it has been sitting for an hour or more. )

Course, non of the above float my boat, I am into the older movies, like what is on TCM and AMC. Black and White, baby!

Translation from exec talk to geek (5, Funny)

the angry liberal (825035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284824)

'offering service through one of the primary cable platforms is not the best way to grow our business at this time, because the economics are not very attractive, instead, we have decided to embrace the PC as our friend.'

Translation: Guys, we have not posted a profit yet and our doors have been open almost 8 years. We have got to do something FAST! Drop the cable, push the DirecTV DVR and extend functionality to the PC fast. Otherwise we are going to lose more investors.

I like my Tivo, but I wish these cats would figure out some way to make a profit.

Re:Translation from exec talk to geek (1)

TPIRman (142895) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284856)

They'll have to push that DirecTiVo pretty hard now, since DirecTV has their own ideas [nytimes.com] .

Re:Translation from exec talk to geek (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284886)

Actually, the DirecTV DVR with TiVo isn't the horse TiVo should be placing its bets on because DirecTV's building their own... [pcmag.com]

What TiVo's planning on is forgetting about partnering with the cable systems. The cable systems are affraid of letting content be streammed to PCs and won't include that feature in their DVRs, but TiVo will be able to build a CableCard-enabled box and then be able to do what they want with the digital video stream without having to please the system owners.

What is it about suicide (4, Funny)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284825)

that is so attractive to companies?

Boss: "Hey! Wow, everyone sure did love feature x and y."

Engineer, proudly thumbing suspenders: "Yes sir, we really hit the nail on the head!"

Boss, now turning to glare at the engineer: "Pack your bags johnson. If we don't tolerate your kind here"

Ok, this should be interesting (0, Redundant)

ACK!! (10229) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284829)

Will the cable companies work with Tivo to get this going or will they do what another poster said and reverse engineer.

Of course btw, to another poster it runs linux.

There is a linux port to just about everything. Hell, my toaster runs linux produces GNU/Linux toast with the faces of Stallman and Linus facing off to each other for goodness sakes.

I really do wonder though how long it will take before someone out-Tivo's Tivo.

Re:Ok, this should be interesting (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284880)

Will the cable companies work with Tivo to get this going or will they do what another poster said and reverse engineer.

Cable is now standardized (OpenCable), so the cable companies will not work with Tivo and Tivo will not have to reverse-engineer anything.

I really do wonder though how long it will take before someone out-Tivo's Tivo.

I think that's called Moxi [moxi.com] .

Killer App (5, Funny)

itoleck (304334) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284844)

What TIVO needs is a new box with a midget inside that does all of my work, so I have time to watch TV!

Re:Killer App (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284932)


Hey, don't stick that in the midget!

I wouldn't pay $12 a month for TV _programming_ (1, Insightful)

melted (227442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284847)

Let alone for a service that allows me to record this poorly made chewing gum for brain. It's really scary to see that some folks pay $70 for TV and then go out and pay extra for this stuff. I sense a full-blown addiction there. It's deeply rooted, and it turns one's brains into propaganda receivers.

Re:I wouldn't pay $12 a month for TV _programming_ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11285073)

Someone mod this idiot off topic please. He's one of those people who hate TV so they have nothing to do all day but bitch about TV.

Re:I wouldn't pay $12 a month for TV _programming_ (1)

dabigpaybackski (772131) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285114)

No, school turns one's brains into a propaganda reciever by making you illiterate and incapable of thinking critically. Television disseminates propaganda that isn't covered in the school curriculum.

Complex and Convoluted? (2, Funny)

jigyasubalak (308473) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284859)

This may add to the complexity of an already convoluted message that TiVo has been criticized for being unable to articulate to the masses.

Like this line of yours??

R.I.P. (1)

papasui (567265) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284862)

I knew Tivo as it originally started was a failed business model. Cool, but doomed. It was priced way too high with the subscription fee or lifetime purchase to really make it. Yes, a lot of people bought Tivos, but a lot more didn't. The competion from Cable companies who offer their own DVR for $10 a month while not as good as Tivo was good enough. Dual tuners, a single box, no serial or IR blaster configuration, replacement boxes if one goes bad, no initial investment in the box itself.

who cares (0, Troll)

Mr.NedJimbo (847207) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284867)

who cares

What Tivo is doing (3, Insightful)

RebornData (25811) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284928)

I think this is the ultimate acknowledgement that they have been unsucessful getting the cable companies to license / resell their technology. Tivo's obviously been trying to make themselves less threatening to content vendors by limiting PC interoperability. But, since "big cable" is for the most part not going with Tivo for DVR, the incentives for Tivo to kiss their asses has gone away.

Yes, it's a desperate attempt to stay in business... Tivo has realized that, aside from DirecTV, they're going to have to sell their own units on their own merits, and that they'd better close the gap in PC interoperability. Let's hope it's not too late.

Of course, it will be a cold day in hell before any of these new features makes it to my DirecTivo... DirecTV is as strict as any about content control.

-R

But wait, there are more nails (1)

bubba451 (779167) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284970)

Tivo has realized that, aside from DirecTV, they're going to have to sell their own units on their own merits...

Perhaps you missed this other announcement [reuters.com] . DirecTV will be selling their own non-TiVo DVR (and spec-wise it's pretty nice). They claim they'll continue to sell/support TiVos, but it's unlikely they'll be adding any features or pushing them much.

BitTorrent distribution? (2, Interesting)

Manchot (847225) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284934)

If I were Tivo, I'd try to set up deals where shows can be distributed over the Internet via a BitTorrent-like protocol. IMO, this is one of the easiest ways in which they'd be able to maintain a viable business strategy. There are several advantages to doing this: 1. Low maintenance costs. Aside from hosting the tracker and a high-speed seeder, the bandwidth required would be extremely low. Also, since the torrents would be distributed only to Tivos, they wouldn't have the MPAA or anyone like that worrying about PC users getting a hold of them. 2. Tivo Series2 models (the standalone units) already have all of the hardware required. In case you don't know, Tivos can be networked via a USB slot in the back. Though the hardware is actually USB 2.0, the drivers are 1.0. They'd simply need to change this. Also, a software update would be necessary, but Tivo already does this on a regular basis. 3. Money, money, money. As mentioned by someone already, small networks would jump on the chance to have this type of distribution. In fact, this opportunity would even turn Tivo into a cable-like provider, maybe even putting them into the black again. Time after time again, I've seen posts on Slashdot where many pine for such a television distribution medium. I just hope Tivo sees the golden opportunity that its new strategy affords.

Said it before said it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284949)

TiVo is doomed.

They are going to now try to muscle in on the "PC" market where you already have existing alternatives that are FREE such as FreeVo and MythTV. It is only a matter of time before like all other open source free projects they become so functional and easy to use people can distribute images of them that are easy to configure and setup. On the unsecure unstable side of things there are Windows Media Center PCs rolling out as well. For the cherry on top, most cable companies also over DVR services for significantly less if you don't want to fuss around with a PC at all.

Why pay for the cow when you get the milk free?

I think Tivo is going to die soon... (4, Informative)

doormat (63648) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284952)

Last year, Tivo announced TivoToGo at CES 2004. They annouced availablity this past Monday (Jan 3, 2005), and a very few people have got the new 7.1 software required for TivoToGo at the moment (check out the Tivo Community [tivocommunity.com] ).

Tivo showed a demo of a CableCard 1.0 demo at CES today. They plan to offer a CC HD Tivo in 2006. They needed to get this cable card Tivo out in APRIL 2005, not 2006!!! CableCard is an open standard anyone can implement, Tivo or anyone else doesnt need permission from the cable companies.

There is only one caveat with their 2006 annoucement - there are a few limitations that Tivo might be waiting for CC 2.0 to come about for. The first big thing is that now CableCard 1.0 is unidirectional (from the cable co to your box). CC 1.0 is also limited to one tuner (analog or digital channel) per physical cable card. CableCard 2.0 is bidirection (so the Tivo box can talk to the cable company, allows PPV-on-demand, interactive guide data, etc), and CC2.0 provides up to 5 tuners per physical cable card.

I would bet that if Tivo is waiting until 2006 to release their CableCard HiDef-capable Tivo, it damn well better be CableCard 2.0. Tivo can provide splitters inside the box to allow for anywhere from 2, 3, up to 5 tuners. I doubt most people have a practical need for 5 tuners UNLESS... (this is my wish) Tivo enhances their Home Media Option to allow smart scheduling, so that you can have one SuperTivo and several client Tivos (pass through tuner, no Hard disk) that just stream content from the SuperTivo over a home network.

They are supporting cable. (3, Informative)

tji (74570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284954)

The original poster seems a bit confused. The CableCard version they are working on is their solution for cable TV systems.

CableCard is the open standard for digital cable. It allows a TV to work with a cable system without needing a seperate cable box. The CableCard is a PCMCIA card that works with the cable security system to allow viewing of premium channels, PPV, etc. CableCard support is currently available in several high end HDTVs (it's only in the high end units now, because it requires a built-in HD tuner).

The new Tivo will have dual tuners, and will support QAM256, for full HDTV viewing/recording. It will be very similar in functionality to the HD DirecTivo (dual tuners - record two programs while watching a third).

There are some pictures of it here [avsforum.com] .

and a happy new year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11284963)

what a stand up move it was for them to announce it after the christmas buying spree. thats right folks theyll probably be obsolete by next year! merry christmas!

I want "insanely great" from Tivo (2, Interesting)

jhoffmann (42839) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284964)

I have a Tivo. I like Tivo, but it's nothing more than a souped up VCR. It's an incremental step, not a quantum leap. Any idiot who sat down and thought about it could make it better. Start by adding in IMDB integration. Just put a little link in the listing info. Half the time I watch a movie, I'm looking something up on IMDB using my laptop anyway. You don't need to bloat the thing, but stuff like that seems like such a natural fit. If you're willing to pay for a Tivo, you probably have broadband of some sort, why not make good use of it?

Nice IDEA! (1)

yuriismaster (776296) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285088)

Tis a novel idea. Sicne the 'broadband' users probably use a USB Wireless dongle to connect, then there should be no reason why this won't work, but they'd have to parse out the data and shove it through TiVo's GUI.

Semi-related-intersting-thing: IMDb's Link-It [imdb.com] is an interesting service (has anyone used it?) that has you email link-it@imdb.com an html page with the artist/movie title names and imdb will link it up with the appropriate pages all href'd for you.

ahh they opened with the Bypass Gambit (1)

revery (456516) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284989)

If they do try to record HDTV, I predict that Cable/Satellite will follow up with DMCA-to-Tivo-King-4.

It looks like it's going to be a classic match.

The Tivo Interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11285002)

Tivo's interface is far beyond any other DVR out there. And while everyone claims that this interface is easily copied, no one has yet to come close. It reminds me of Apple & Microsoft. Bill and co. have been trying to "out-interface" Apple for years, and they still come up short. And while they have eroded Apple's overall user base, there is still a dedicated population of people out there to keep Apple running.

Tivo's product & interface is so good that everyone I know that owns one has eventually purchased a second box. Tivo also garners the *exceptionally high* approval ratings amoung its customers.

My hope is that they play the game smart and remain the thorn in the side of cable companies the way Apple has remained the thorn in the side of MS.

RIGHT HEADLINE - WRONG CONCLUSION (5, Informative)

pikapp767 (781015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285032)

I've researched this issue and the headline of the article is correct. TiVo is moving to bypass cable but not by throwing the whole system away and not allowing you to record cable BUT by integrating a cable card into a standalone TiVo box. This eliminates the need for a cable decoder. Their intent is to differentiate themselves further from the cheap knockoff PVRs that the cable companies are deploying. As an avid TiVo user myself I assure you that TiVo will not be dropping the capability to record cable programming.

Here is an article that better describes what TiVo is doing: http://olympics.reuters.com/audi/newsArticle.jhtml ?type=technologyNews&storyID=7252458/ [reuters.com]


More information and analysis will most likely be available at my source for TiVo information http://www.tivoblog.com/ [tivoblog.com] tomorrow.

They were too busy to have a plan. (4, Interesting)

Dot_Killer (473321) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285033)

They were so busy allowing 'content' providers to decide what features to include they forgot to keep an eye on the market. The law about timeshifting was on there side so have the balls to put on the features that will keep at the head of the pack.
They could have been selling branded TiVos to cable companies, just like the DirecTV TiVo. The should have encouraged the hackable TiVo. Since anyone can make a pvr they should have made it more open so they would be the M$ of pvrs. Now it seems they are moving to put TiVo on the PC, something that people had been wanting for years.

I knew it was a bad sign when Series 2 DID NOT come with an ethernet port, my god; just so they could sell licenses to TiVo certified USB ethernet cards.
Plus the company seems to have moved away from the geeky silicon valley feel, if it was ever there to the greedy dumbass business types who want as much control as possible but forgot what made them successful.
You cannot even set up a TiVo without a phone line or internet connection to connect to them. Something as simple as switching from cable source to antenna source has become a pain.
On the Series 1 you could do manual recordings without a subscription. My nephew got Series 2 and you cannot do anything but switch channels without a subscription. That kind of crap annoys the hell out of me. They want absolute control of everything and still want their hand in your pocket after you buy the device.
It was fun while it lasted
Hopefully some company will make a device that did what the TiVo didn't, or maybe they'll just hack the Xbox 2.

A little concerned and cornfused... (2, Interesting)

midifarm (666278) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285077)

I'm kind of glad that I haven't purchased a TiVo box yet. Does anyone know the future of the service with current boxes and/or providers? I don't want to have to succmb to the wills of Redmond in order to use TiVo. Besides I really don't want my computer to be the center of my TV. I like the separation of church and state.

Peace

OpenCable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11285080)

I believe this has something to do with the OpenCable [opencable.com] intitative. I know that there was talk of an HD Tivo being built for OpenCable.

HDTV Tivo cablecard units are currently in beta (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285085)

NT

they need to diversify (2, Insightful)

Dot_Killer (473321) | more than 9 years ago | (#11285123)

They could try to move into the Windows arena and make software to compete with Windows Media PC. Sure there are Linux programs that act like TiVo, but Windows is bigger and that could carry them. Vendors could build these Media PCs and put TiVo software on there instead of Windows pvr software. Then they could build interoperability with the set-top.
TiVo is chasing volume, and with a tech device the best way to do that is put as many features people want in it and also allow for newer features to be added, some not even from the company itself.
Look at the way they half heartedly added the Media Option; pictures and mp3s, who cares.

They could save themselves, but do they want to.
For God's sake, put a damn fast ethernet port in the device.

And in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11285162)

My VCRs still work just fine, and Tivo still sucks.

Yes, I've tried Tivo. No, it doesn't offer the functionality which my VCRs provide for me.

I'm still waiting for a unit which builds on and adds to a VCR's functionality. When the clueless companies finally start making one, only then will I buy.

Subscriptions - hah. DRM - heh. Tivo - bah. Spit.
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