Originally Posted by ncaahoops
Yeah, I don't think it's a market size issue for the US market. It's probably a combination of factors and the timing of various mandated restrictions (analog/digital tuners, requirement to have digital tuners, cable cards, legal actions, etc)
I need to check out the thread AC refers to, but I think you are correct that there are likely multiple factors at work.
Sean wrote: "America has TIVO, but I can't see it making that big a difference given that it's just one of the competing units with the same sort of Cable and Satellite PVR boxes used in Canada."
Well, I think there is more than a little truth in several of these theories. The Cable / Sat PVR boxes are
a path of least resistance. You rent them for a modest additional charge, instead of a big upfront purchase, and you don't have to be very proactive in terms of product research or scoping out the best deal. Your service compatibility is assured. You likely don't even have to know how to hook it up, as a service provider tech can do it for you. From what I'm hearing, the learning curve may be far less than with a Pioneer DVDR . . . even though it is much easier to learn and use than most of the more capable, competing DVDRs. (And probably the cheap and crappy Chinese units, too.) Never underestimate the percentage of techno-clueless consumers.
TIVO is going to occupy somewhat of a more grey, middle-ground. But a lot of the market does not seem to be that interested in archiving to DVD; timeshifting is quite sufficient for them, with far fewer variables to worry about.
There is also something to the "many U.S. consumers are cheap" angle. Walmart and Target reign supreme here. But this idea only goes so far. If you read those (previously linked) company balance sheet reports and the Pioneer press releases, you could legitimately conclude that higher-end DVDRs were a big disappointment for them in this market, and they made a business decision to pull the plug. And even cease further development on new models. But the newer Euro models and these new Canadian models seem to indicate that Pioneer has backpedaled on those decisions -- at least for certain markets.
I think AC may really be on to something, with his patents, industry pressure, and litigation fears speculation, and I'll probably have some comment for the other thread.
As a sort of bottom line, though, I do have a problem imagining that there is no sufficient
market for these things stateside. I count at least three hardcopy publications devoted to high end video gear. (Not to mention all the online forums and websites.) A significant number of people seem to have at-least-moderately-fancy home theatre setups. If you are going to go that far, how can you not
have a good DVDR with archive-to-disk capability ? Your HT installation would be very incomplete without it.