Why are there No Name Brand OTA DVRs? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 106 Old 12-29-2013, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by DD24 View Post

So after TiVo, what competition is left? We have just a handful of DVRs manufactured by small companies which are greatly lacking in features and capabilities compared to the TiVo, some of which can't record reliably or can't keep time accurately, or require an AVS geek just to keep them functioning at all (please forgive me if I just trashed your favorite DVR ). smile.gif

If a big name electronics manufacturer can't smash that kind of "competition" something is drastically wrong.

Just because a particular market has no competition doesn't mean that it's a lucrative market. The market for Blu-ray players that also play LaserDiscs is wide open, but you won't see any company (name-brand or otherwise) trying to fill it, because there is no demand for such a device.
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And why do you think that OTA DVRs can't capitalize on the cord cutting trend and actually pull current cable and satellite customers away from them with a full featured OTA DVR at a reasonable cost?

People keep calling "cord cutting" a trend, but I have yet to see a single study demonstrating that pay-TV providers are actually losing more subscribers on a monthly basis today than they did a decade ago. Until somebody actually references such a study, there is no evidence that the pay-TV model is in any jeopardy. People seem to be equating a rise in Netflix subscribers with the death of cable, but we're a long way from that happening, and even if it does, streaming will kill OTA, too, rather than complement it.
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post #92 of 106 Old 12-29-2013, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DD24 View Post

So after TiVo, what competition is left?  We have just a handful of DVRs manufactured by small companies which are greatly lacking in features and capabilities compared to the TiVo, some of which can't record reliably or can't keep time accurately, or require an AVS geek just to keep them functioning at all (please forgive me if I just trashed your favorite DVR ). smile.gif

If a big name electronics manufacturer can't smash that kind of "competition" something is drastically wrong.

What you're asking is for a device that rival's TiVo's functionality at the small company's price. I don't think that's possible.

You'd either have to price it to compete with TiVo, who has a lot more marketshare and experience, or cut corners and wallow with the lesser DVRs.

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post #93 of 106 Old 12-29-2013, 05:45 PM
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Just because a particular market has no competition doesn't mean that it's a lucrative market.

 

I agree but at the same time the absence of any big name electronics manufacturer in the OTA DVR market in the US doesn't mean that there isn't a demand for that kind of product.  I just can't buy the argument that the US is a completely different market than all of the other countries like the UK where 47 different DVRs are being sold (can you imagine how much that market must be sliced for all of those competitors?).  I believe that other factors must be responsible for the dramatic difference, whether it is TiVo's patents which are enforced here and not elsewhere or whether it is something else.

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post #94 of 106 Old 12-29-2013, 09:01 PM
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I kind of side with the theory that part of the problem is people honestly don't know about OTA - almost all of the "cord cutting" articles I see talk about Netflix Streaming, Hulu, streaming video on websites, etc. People don't know OTA is available, much less that OTA offers higher quality video than any 'net service, satellite or cable TV. I've even had people argue with me that that because I don't have cable, I must not have HD by definition. Trouble is, who has an interest large enough to mount a branding and awareness campaign for OTA? Maybe the National Association of Broadcasters, in conjunction with the FCC?

I also subscribe to some small degree with the conglomerate theory - the big "name brand" consumer electronics companies are often corporate siblings to the content companies and cable companies, or are at the very least beholden to them - and there's too much money in satellite & cable for everyone involved to encourage cord-cutters such as us.
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post #95 of 106 Old 12-30-2013, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by dschulz View Post

I kind of side with the theory that part of the problem is people honestly don't know about OTA - almost all of the "cord cutting" articles I see talk about Netflix Streaming, Hulu, streaming video on websites, etc. People don't know OTA is available, much less that OTA offers higher quality video than any 'net service, satellite or cable TV. I've even had people argue with me that that because I don't have cable, I must not have HD by definition. Trouble is, who has an interest large enough to mount a branding and awareness campaign for OTA? Maybe the National Association of Broadcasters, in conjunction with the FCC?

Well another problem is a lot of the attractive content people want isn't available OTA. Sports is moving more and more content to channels only available via cable/sat/online - Big Ten Network, NFL Network, etc. HBO, Showtime, etc aren't available OTA. Netflix is starting to produce their own original content. It's a trend that's going to continue - owning the content is the key, not much profit to be made simply by delivering other people's content.
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post #96 of 106 Old 12-30-2013, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dschulz View Post

I kind of side with the theory that part of the problem is people honestly don't know about OTA - almost all of the "cord cutting" articles I see talk about Netflix Streaming, Hulu, streaming video on websites, etc. People don't know OTA is available, much less that OTA offers higher quality video than any 'net service, satellite or cable TV.

If the content on OTA is what people want. But as stated, the majority of content isn't available OTA.

Plus, people who had access to cable had access to just about everything OTA has already, minus maybe a few subchannels content. People's viewing habits don't immediately flock to something just because the signal is high quality. They watch it because they like the show. Unless they were watching a show on an OTA network already on cable, they're unlikely to do so just because.

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post #97 of 106 Old 12-30-2013, 11:56 AM
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If the content on OTA is what people want. But as stated, the majority of content isn't available OTA.

Plus, people who had access to cable had access to just about everything OTA has already, minus maybe a few subchannels content. People's viewing habits don't immediately flock to something just because the signal is high quality. They watch it because they like the show. Unless they were watching a show on an OTA network already on cable, they're unlikely to do so just because.

I definitely agree that for a lot of people, OTA doesn't work - sports fans, or those who want to be current on the water-cooler discussion shows on cable channels or premium channels.

But I have run into a surprising number of people who won't (or can't) pay for cable TV - they are living happily on a media diet of Netflix Streaming, Hulu, rented physical media, and websites. And those folks usually don't know they have free access to the 5 major broadcast networks, PBS stations and local TV, with a fairly cheap antenna. I think if the availability of OTA were more widely advertised, there would be a lot more households augmenting their internet-based content viewing with OTA, and they would be the target market for an inexpensive DVR.

As things stand, most of the cord-cutters aren't watching OTA (because they don't know it exists), so they're not shopping for a DVR.
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post #98 of 106 Old 01-06-2014, 11:21 AM
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I cut the cord in 2008. I bought a TIVO HD with lifetime subscription and it paid for itself in about 10 months of no cable bills. There was not an alternative for OTA HD dual tuner recording short of a HTPC at the time so I bit the bullet and paid the TIVO price. At almost 6 years later, I can honestly say that I have gotten my moneys worth. It still is a workhorse of a DVR and after I upgraded the hard drive to 1TB, I have more than enough storage for my needs. With that said, if there had been a more affordable option, I probably would have chosen it simply because I am always looking for the cheapest way out.
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post #99 of 106 Old 01-06-2014, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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With that said, if there had been a more affordable option, I probably would have chosen it simply because I am always looking for the cheapest way out.

 

Well, I think you've hit the nail on the head there. Many cord cutters, having cancelled their cable bill, don't want to pay for another service. Given that the free OTA broadcasts come with a free 1-day electronic program guide they see no need to pay TiVo or anyone else for this service.

 

Whether they don't have the money, or just refuse to pay on principle, the end result is the same.

 

Also, the fact that this low-cost alternative is available needs to be better publicized.

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post #100 of 106 Old 01-06-2014, 01:10 PM
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I have Time Warner Cable, with Dch6416 cable box.
I own a Magnavox 515 DVR.
Yes, the 515 only records in SD....but does it very well, and can burn a DVD, if I choose.
I am quite happy at this point.
If my financial status hits the skids, or TWC raises their costs above what I can accept, then I have a decision to make. Until then, all is good.
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post #101 of 106 Old 01-12-2014, 06:31 PM
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I'm surprised the bought and paid for DVR does not exist commonly, either. I had two Sony HDD 250 units, which took OTA and cablecard-bought them at the sony store for $250 each on closeout, and ran one OTA only with the (now discontinued) TV Guide OnScreen service, and the other with OTA and a cablecard.

They were clearly cranky beta units, but the thread on this forum kept them going. They still work. One is being used as a cablecard box, so I don't have to rent another box (just the CC) and the other is being used to convert the QAM back to RGB for an older TV in the office. This saves me renting a box for the office (great scam that....sell the signal, and make them also rent a box to watch it) and saves me renting a box for the other set. These Sony boxes have paid for themselves many times over.

My cable co gave me the SA8300 free for a year. What a piece of ...... I gave it back in month ten.

I had to go for Tivo when Rovi/Macrovision shut down the TVGOS service OTA. I'd have paid for it, but we were just cut off, without a "sorry" or a software update from Sony allowing a clock set. I can't complain about "free" listings, but not allowing a clockset was inexcusable.

Two topics-I'm pretty sure the CableCard Labs requires each box to be individually addressable and killable. This would also explain the killing of the Sony boxes...they escaped the corral before this rule happened. The other is that DVR makers would rather sell a million boxes to the cable company, and not handle any customer service. This all equals you get your box from the cable co....I have the same conversation every time I activate a CC in the Sony DVR...the prefix isn't tivo, so the service rep tells me it isn't the number he needs, and we launch into a "sony made a dvr for six months" conversation.

Even sony folded when Tivo sued....I like my TiVo but wish that there was competition in this space, like the OP. Cable box fees are the old telephone model, where the phone co rented the phone and made a bloody fortune over time. There is no technical reason why we can't have OTA/Cablecard DVR in the big box store, but for the fact that all established players don't want to see it.

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post #102 of 106 Old 01-13-2014, 04:11 AM
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You can buy Tivo Roamios all day long in Best Buy and other stores (I think WalMart is selling them now too). If those aren't big boxes stores, don't know what is.
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post #103 of 106 Old 01-13-2014, 06:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by speedlaw View Post

Even sony folded when Tivo sued....I like my TiVo but wish that there was competition in this space, like the OP. Cable box fees are the old telephone model, where the phone co rented the phone and made a bloody fortune over time. There is no technical reason why we can't have OTA/Cablecard DVR in the big box store, but for the fact that all established players don't want to see it.

 

Yes, I remember those days when the telcos made us rent their phones and wouldn't let us provide our own. Eventually the gov had to step in and change that.

 

I guess I can see a case for the cablecos needing to ensure that boxes and cards are compatible with their systems. But in the case of OTA, the signal is broadcast free-of-charge and arrives at my house over the public airwaves. I gather the main impediment seems to be overly-generous patent protection - and that's what's scaring off the name brands. Mebbe it's time the gov stepped in again? The patent situation seems to have gotten out of hand here. I'm just surprised we aren't hearing more about this. Where are all the media pundits and consumer advocates? Have they been muzzled somehow or is it just obvious to everyone that the political will is not there to do anything about it? No-one is willing to rock the boat.

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post #104 of 106 Old 01-13-2014, 06:19 AM
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I gather the main impediment seems to be overly-generous patent protection - and that's what's scaring off the name brands.
Scroll back and read through the whole thread.

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post #105 of 106 Old 01-13-2014, 07:02 AM
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Scroll back and read through the whole thread.

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post #106 of 106 Old 01-13-2014, 07:06 AM
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I'll lock it, then. No more ground to cover.

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