Line up deals with content sources..
This is actually very close to right (you're not crazy), but it's wrong.
What this industry's player products, video services, and the users of those products and services, really need is for the player-manufacturer-makes-a-deal-with-the-service-provider to not happen, and for all the industry's mis-steps in this direction, to be rolled back.
If we can prevent these deals from happening, and instead put pressure on these video services to conform to a STANDARD INTERFACE for doing the same kinds of operations that you talk about -- so that any player is allowed to implement it, then Tivo (and MythTV and Sickbeard and AppleTV and your "smart TV" and Intel's new product and Roku and the hacker in the garage next door) would just have to write one component that speaks that protocol, and you would be able to use your player (whatever that may be) with any and all video services that you subscribe to, without giving a competitive advantage to Amazon and Netflix and Hulu (and by corollary: a disadvantage to their competitors, both present and future) .
Standard interfaces are what made analog TV (both OTA and cable) great. It's what makes OTA digital TV great, and it's how digital cable fails and why people stopped subscribing.
It's what made the web great.
This is how video could open for business again, instead of giving up and admitting that pirating is the only way to get things to work right. And right now, pirating is the only way to get things to work right, have clean interfaces, be user-friendly and hassle-free, etc. It's not even about money right now, it's about not-brain-damaged functionality and the fact that pirates use standards and the people they pirate from, don't.
Using congressional force to make video services use standards instead of DRM, would be easily justifiable and there's already ridiculous amounts of precedent (thanks, fifteen years of DMCA) that it's within Congress' powers and that no voters have a problem with it. It'd vastly improve the quality of consumer experience, and increase revenues since it'd remove the need for piracy. If video copyright can still be saved, this is how it'll be done.
But we can't get there, the more "deals" that are made between manufacturers and service providers, to make things work about 25% as well as they ought to while at the same time, excluding competition and innovation. That just makes it harder to get progress, and with each passing year of the current clusterfuck, more consumers "drop out." This should have been part of the 2009 mandatory digital OTA TV thing.