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TiVo May Be a Buyout Target 149

Moose writes "Ars Technica has a piece up about the takeover rumors surrounding TiVo, now that it has a lawsuit win to boost its chances in the marketplace. From the article: 'It appears that TiVo is at a major crossroads, with brilliant technology under what now appears to be enforceable patents and a rapidly growing subscriber base, but with larger players in the TV market lurking just out of sight, possibly with pen to checkbook already. The DVR innovator seems to have little control over its own destiny now, and future success may rest in the hands of the legal system. Godspeed, TiVo.'"
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TiVo May Be a Buyout Target

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  • by Fubar411 ( 562908 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @08:47AM (#15147932)
    I bought my TiVo series 2 the week it was released. I think it was about $300, plus activation at $250. (Also added a huge, at the time, 100GB second drive) At first, I was amazed at this little box. But as Echostar has shown, there is no pixie dust that can't be duplicated and there have been some missteps by TiVo. I'll list a few - The large popup ads that took up the screen and wouldn't go away - Misplaced copy protection - Routinely taking away the 30 second skip - The double button press in v7.2 that only now seems close to being fixed - The recent removal of lifetime subscription options I like how easy to use the TiVo is, but others are catching up. I've used other PVRs and they're not half bad. The only huge advantage I see w/ my TiVo is I can transfer recordings to my desktop.
  • Tivo rules! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ragnarr ( 555058 ) <mads0100&gmail,com> on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @08:51AM (#15147957) Homepage
    For those of you who haven't tried it, Tivo really changes how you watch TV. I have a difficulty watching "live" tv since getting mine about 6 months ago, and it's mainly due to the fact that during your recordings you can "30-second" skip through the commercials. Also, you can watch shows whenever you want. For instance, I was gone for the last 2 weeks on business. I didn't have time to catch the shows on TV where I was. When I got back, there they were! The other thing, the user interface is amazing! It's simple, intuitive, and works as you expect it to. I've tried MythTV, and for all the work you put into it, it's still just a beta system that will fail you when you least expect it. Some people talk about the Cable provider's DVRs; they can't touch the usability of Tivo. Tivo just works, and it works well. Oh, and for you portable fans out there, there is software to download your tivo shows to your PSP/Palm/Cell/whatever. It works well, doesn't take up a ton of space, and can even be automated. Now that's a cool feature! As for cost, Tivo used to have a $299 lifetime (for the life of the hardware) user fee. I was lucky enough to sign up for this when I bought my box. Unfortunately, that was recently taken away in favor of providing "free" hardware to the consumer. Would I pay 15-18 bucks a month for a Tivo? I'll cross that road when I come to it. Oh, and for you "hax0rs" out there, you can even upgrade your tivos with bigger hard drives and the like. I have a 300gig drive in my 40 hour tivo :). Tivo will continue to be a wonderful innovation, and hopefully this will allow it's interface to spread into other venues.
  • by ThiagoHP ( 910442 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @08:53AM (#15147970)
    . . . when the fate of a company is not defined by wether it is better than its competitors but by the legal system?
    The DVR innovator seems to have little control over its own destiny now, and future success may rest in the hands of the legal system.
  • by madman101 ( 571954 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @08:55AM (#15147982)
    If you use a Tivo for a week, you'll see what how bad other DVR's are in comparison. I'd gladly pay more for the Tivo...
  • by Kombat ( 93720 ) <> on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @09:09AM (#15148068) Homepage
    I have Rogers' PVR service, and they use Scientific Atlanta units. They are terrible. The interface is ugly. It occassionally "forgets" to record programs you've set up to record. Sometimes it freezes during playback for 5 - 10 seconds, then resumes. If you're recording a program, and you decide to start watching it while it is still recording, and you're only halfway through when the episode ends, the PVR jumps you to the end, and you have to start watching it again from the beginning, and fast-forward back to where you were.

    That said, it's only $25/month to rent the unit, and it has 2 tuners, meaning you can record 2 things at once (and watch a pre-recorded third program at the same time, if you want). I'd gladly pay a little extra to have a real Tivo unit.

    Why aren't any Canadian companies using Tivo's technology? Has Tivo tried to crack the Canadian market? As I said, Rogers uses Scientific Atlanta. Bell has their own ExpressVu box. I have a co-worker who claims he bought a Tivo on his own, and it works on Rogers' network. So what's holding Tivo back from breaking into the Canadian market? Just curious, because I'm really getting sick of this Scientific Atlanta crap and would gladly upgrade.
  • by DarthBart ( 640519 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @09:09AM (#15148077)
    You're telling me. I have HD+DVR service from comcast and the Motorola 6412 DVR/Dual tuner box SUCKS ASS. It routinely wanders off requiring a reboot (which flushes all program guide information and it takes 3-4 days to get it all back). It also pulls this crap where it decides to ignore commands from the remote for a while and then execute them all at once, especially while fast-forwarding or rewinding through a show.

    Whenever TiVo decides to release their cable compatible HD set, I'm taking this 6412 and inserting it into a Comcast Employee's ass.
  • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @09:42AM (#15148390) Homepage Journal
    brilliant technology

    Can someone please explain what brilliant technology is in a Tivo? I thought it just records and plays back video in digital form. From what I can gather what's made Tivo big is its usability. Am I missing something technical?
  • by wolff000 ( 447340 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @10:04AM (#15148634)
    With Cisco buying everything in sight thiese days Tivo would be great acquistion. They have already purchased some other consumer electronics firms. Can't think of who at the moment but it was here on /. that I saw it. Anyways Tivo would be great if it could do half of what my homebuilt dvr does. I run mythtv its friggin awesome and beats the hell out of tivo. I could see Cisco adding some much needed network compatibility to the tivo so you could stream recorded stuff to anywhere on your network. Of course there is always the possibililty MS will buy them and the Xbox III will have much better dvr functions.
  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @10:29AM (#15148865) Journal
    The pause feature is the easist to market. The folders are very nice (my HDtivo doesn't have them, and it sux), but with a stock TiVo, they can fill up fast. Not everybody hacks their box for 150+ hours, though I don't know why not. Heck, for TiVo, it would seem a bonus to offer plug-n-play expandability with PATA or SATA drives - they only sell the service, and the more programming features, the better their position.

    For my wife, the best part of the whole thing are the suggestions. It's likely the reason that we will jump from DTV when they pull the plug on TiVo. She doesn't want to surf around for shows to record, she wants to pick and choose from shows that are similar to a few select genres. Her tivo has gotten pretty good after some training, and now she has 20-30 hours of programming that shes interested in when she grabs the remote. I'm not aware of any other DVR box with that functionality.

    Of course, TiVo, being cash strapped, can't fling themselves against the litigation wall to put all the really good features into their boxes. Replay tried and died. I just wish TiVo would play quite as nice with the content police.
  • Re:Tivo rules! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MindStalker ( 22827 ) <> on Tuesday April 18, 2006 @10:47AM (#15149049) Journal
    I had problems at first with my PVR 250 cards recording blank 0 byte files occassionally which I eventually traced down to an IRQ conflict with an LPT port.

    BZZZ you lose the Tivo Vs Myth for the average consumer.

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