Tivo Exits the Hardware Business - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 51 Old 01-22-2014, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
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http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2014/01/tivo-lays-hardware-design-team-gets-ready-exit-hardware/
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Tivo Makes Its Hardware Exit Official, Lays Off Most of Design Team

Tivo has been bullish lately about releasing new products beyond its core DVR boxes. Today, we found out why. The company laid off nearly all the industrial designers of those products.

According to sources within Tivo, most of the hardware team has been let go. So far, that’s five employees. A skeleton crew of two engineers has been retained to handle support for current and upcoming third-party devices. The sources told WIRED that Tivo is getting out of the hardware business altogether and making a big direction change.

This jives with what the company has at least hinted at in the past. In May 2013, executive vice president and general manager of products and revenue, Jeff Klugman told WIRED, “Software is the future of Tivo.”

To that end, the company known for its easy-to-use UI and quirky mascot has been partnering with pay-TV providers and sticking its DVR software in provider’s set top boxes. The latest announcement, a prototype networked DVR called nDVR, won’t be available in stores and instead will be offered through your cable subscription. The service stores recorded shows in the cloud. That recorded content will likely be available through the cable provider’s DVR, mobile devices, and a Roku app.

The company’s vice president of corporate communications told WIRED via email: “We continue to balance appropriate levels of staffing and expertise necessary to support our existing hardware business…and there is no doubt that we expect growth in the cloud-based delivery aspects of TiVo’s business.”

Like your music, your next TV experience from Tivo will be tightly integrated with the cloud.

Interesting development in the DVR, especially the OTA DVR space.

edit. dammit, misspelled exits. no way for me to edit the title?

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post #2 of 51 Old 01-22-2014, 05:06 PM
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Fixed.

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post #3 of 51 Old 01-22-2014, 05:33 PM
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post #4 of 51 Old 01-22-2014, 05:52 PM
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Like your music, your next TV experience from Tivo will be tightly integrated with the cloud.

Because that's worked so well for people with Comcast's X1 system. rolleyes.gif
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post #5 of 51 Old 01-22-2014, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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nilay from the verge is saying that they are not leaving hardware and he will post it soon.

Check out @reckless's Tweet: https://twitter.com/reckless/status/426169242082619392

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post #6 of 51 Old 01-23-2014, 06:21 AM
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An interesting change of strategic direction, if it turns out to be true.

 

Looks like Simple.TV and Tablo are on to something!


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post #7 of 51 Old 01-23-2014, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

eek.gif Holy S***!!!!eek.gif

A Successful Hardware Company, which I once founded as Employee #1,
made the same transition after I was fired from the Board of Directors.
The Logic was Software was more lucrative than Hardware.

Two Years after the Transition - the Company was EXTINGUISHED.

The Management and the Board of Directors was WRONG.

GOOD BYE TiVo
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post #8 of 51 Old 01-23-2014, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drhankz View Post

A Successful Hardware Company, which I once founded as Employee #1,
made the same transition after I was fired from the Board of Directors.
The Logic was Software was more lucrative than Hardware.

Two Years after the Transition - the Company was EXTINGUISHED.

The Management and the Board of Directors was WRONG.

GOOD BYE TiVo

TiVo will still be selling the Roamio Series 5 TiVos for several years. It's just that there probably won't be any new hadware directly from them after that.

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post #9 of 51 Old 01-23-2014, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

TiVo will still be selling the Roamio Series 5 TiVos for several years. It's just that there probably won't be any new hadware directly from them after that.
\

Exactly the same scenario MY Company Went Through.

We gave our Hardware Customers a TWO YEAR NOTICE that we
were leaving the Hardware Business. They Continued to BUY our
HARDWARE for the TWO years.

Then Two Years after Hardware Sales Ended - SO DID THE COMPANY.
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post #10 of 51 Old 01-24-2014, 03:23 AM
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He who laughs last, I believe is the appropriate expression.

And the denials;
http://www.0hag.com/tivo-strongly-denies-rumours-suggesting-leaving-hardware-business/
http://www.newsfiber.com/p/s/h?v=Epo12VF%2BS1UY%3D+m4kny1EwJ%2FU%3D
http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2014-01/tivo-refutes-rumors-says-hardware-core-business/

Then there is these trying to salvage the situation;
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=9980713

.

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post #11 of 51 Old 01-24-2014, 07:31 AM
 
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Like I said, Panny also denied rumors about exiting plasma and I have seen many other companies deny things which were true. Look how often celebs deny rumors which are true, as well.
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post #12 of 51 Old 01-26-2014, 11:45 AM
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Given that the Roamios are pretty small (considering a full size HDD is in there), have the max # of tuners CableCard supports, appear to offer enough CPU for the SW to run snappily and have out boarded the PS (easily replaced/sourced in case of failure), what exactly would we expect a new Tivo HW platform to offer? I suspect Tivo figured they didn't need in house design for something that has a lifespan of years instead of months, and if some technology change requires a new platform, they can outsource the design as a one-shot effort. It really is pretty much up to the software at this point.

I think it is possible/probable that the decision to stop inside design of HW in light of the maturity of the Roamio platform (and the resulting layoff) os being mistaken for Tivo not offering a HW solution. They may also figure that cable & OTA is at increased rick from on-line disruption if the programming owners can get their head around the licensing changes. I find it difficult to imagine the cable industry won't evolve into an IP-based content delivery system (over their own broadband/wideband networks if not the internet). Tivo may have figured they have a good enough platform now to carry them for a few years while the industry evolves.
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post #13 of 51 Old 01-26-2014, 02:14 PM
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From day one TiVo has never made a secret of their desire to be a software company. Their only hardware involvement has been to support their software. When they were forced to by not being in bed with pay TV providers. They are also aware of the fact that they need pay TV subscriber numbers to be a profitable long term company. After more than a decade what dent have they made in pay TV's DVRs? Very little. I got my DirecTiVo back in 2000 and in the years since they have been very unsuccessful in getting pay TV customers to switch to their boxes.

 

As such their only real market is software. Software residing on pay TV customers' DVRs... of which they hope they no longer have to seed via their hardware. Margin wise you can't blame them for a second.

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post #14 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 06:36 AM
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As such their only real market is software. Software residing on pay TV customers' DVRs... of which they hope they no longer have to seed via their hardware. Margin wise you can't blame them for a second.
Software (not firmware) and hardware can and should reside separate. You can blame them for being suborn and forcing the customer to buy software for a product that should be optional. How many times have you seen opposition of their policy everywhere?

Would it be ok for GM for force the customer to subscribe to OnStar to allow the vehicle to be used? wink.gif

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post #15 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Would it be ok for GM for force the customer to subscribe to OnStar to allow the vehicle to be used? wink.gif
Yes, it would. Absolutely.
It's their option to sell whatever they want in whatever combination they want to achieve their business goals. They can't force anyone to buy their product package. If one doesn't like what they are selling or how they are selling it, there is always the option to buy something else or do without.

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post #16 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

You can blame them for being suborn and forcing the customer to buy software for a product that should be optional.

 

If you are suggesting you should be able to purchase a TiVo at the same price without monthly or Lifetime service that's silly. It's more than obvious the hardware price is factored into the service TiVo provides. That's as silly as expecting to purchase an iPhone without a service contract at the contract price... yeah blame everybody.

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post #17 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Software (not firmware) and hardware can and should reside separate. You can blame them for being suborn and forcing the customer to buy software for a product that should be optional. How many times have you seen opposition of their policy everywhere?

Would it be ok for GM for force the customer to subscribe to OnStar to allow the vehicle to be used? wink.gif

It would be OK for GM to force payment for OnStar if OnStar controlled the engine, the steering, the brakes, etc. But OnStar is just a bit of icing on the cake. TiVo's software is the essence of the cake, because it does control every aspect of the DVR's operation. If someone developed (independently, from scratch) new software to run on a TiVo box, TiVo might have a harder time suing them. But most of the people I see complaining don't want to run independently developed software, they just want to use TiVo's software (and guide service) without having to pay.

Used TiVos without lifetime service sell cheap on eBay. If you want to buy one and write your own software (or maybe adapt available HTPC software), I doubt the TiVo would sue you even if they found out. But it would be much easier to just start with a conventional HTPC like other people do.
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post #18 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Software (not firmware) and hardware can and should reside separate. You can blame them for being suborn and forcing the customer to buy software for a product that should be optional. How many times have you seen opposition of their policy everywhere?

Would it be ok for GM for force the customer to subscribe to OnStar to allow the vehicle to be used? wink.gif

where you this defiant when you were forced to use telephones instead of telegrams in your youth? wink.gif

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post #19 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 10:05 AM
 
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How can the hardware cost be what it is due to assuming there will be license payments? The XL4 cost me like $500. That's about what it would be worth including no license fees.
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post #20 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somelogin View Post

How can the hardware cost be what it is due to assuming there will be license payments?

 

Easy. They are not a seller of hardware per se. Certainly not designed as, setup as or intended to sell hardware. Rather only to provide it as a service to enable their software services. As such you can't compare them to large scale manufacturers of hardware either on a cost or retail basis. 

 

Quite a stretch to imagine if their company wasn't selling the software (licensing actually) they would be offering it at the same price. Could someone else... perhaps but that's irrelevant. For them as the previous example it's a discounted cell phone... not that hard to understand if one wants to...

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post #21 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by somelogin View Post

How can the hardware cost be what it is due to assuming there will be license payments? The XL4 cost me like $500. That's about what it would be worth including no license fees.

That's part of the problem. "Lifetime" subscriptions are slowly (or perhaps not so slowly) killing the company. Of course, when TiVo tried to end the "lifetimes" a few years ago, the "we-don't-feel-we-need-to-pay-for-anything" crowd screamed bloody murder and nearly killed the company then. Cursed if you do cursed if you don't ... eek.gif

IIRC ... I skipped over that era. smile.gif
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post #22 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 11:54 AM
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For them as the previous example it's a discounted cell phone... not that hard to understand if one wants to...
and wouldn't we all love it, if one could buy lifetime service for our cell phones.

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post #23 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
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and wouldn't we all love it, if one could buy lifetime service for our cell phones.

I wouldn't like it all except that it might add value to resale. I want to replace my cell phone every one or two years. And right now with Verizon, I save around $600 a year by buying an unsubsidized phone and keeping my grandfathered unlimited plan.

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post #24 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

I wouldn't like it all except that it might add value to resale. I want to replace my cell phone every one or two years. And right now with Verizon, I save around $600 a year by buying an unsubsidized phone and keeping my grandfathered unlimited plan.
And so for people like you, there is the monthly subscription option. smile.gif

Boy, this sounds awful familiar.

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post #25 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 01:21 PM
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It's their option to sell whatever they want in whatever combination they want to achieve their business goals.
Yep, corporations can and will do what ever they want. Of course it would only hurt their sales just like it did TiVo.
.
Quote:
If you are suggesting you should be able to purchase a TiVo at the same price without monthly or Lifetime service that's silly.
Never suggested or implied anything of the like. A incorrect assumption on your part.
.
Quote:
TiVo's software is the essence of the cake, because it does control every aspect of the DVR's operation.
This is about paying for a Guide, which is additional for, which is the issue that stops most from buying into it. They shot themselves in their own foot.
.
Quote:
and wouldn't we all love it, if one could buy lifetime service for our cell phones.
Very poor analogy. Most DVR's will work without a "Guide", which is basically what you are paying extra for. It's called "VCR style".Paying for 'services' that one watches is another subject.

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post #26 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Yep, corporations can and will do what ever they want. Of course it would only hurt their sales just like it did TiVo.
.
Never suggested or implied anything of the like. A incorrect assumption on your part.
.
This is about paying for a Guide, which is additional for, which is the issue that stops most from buying into it. They shot themselves in their own foot.
.
Very poor analogy. Most DVR's will work without a "Guide", which is basically what you are paying extra for. It's called "VCR style".Paying for 'services' that one watches is another subject.

The TiVo won't do that any more. Without service I think all you can do now is tune to a channel.

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post #27 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 01:54 PM
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Because everything else is locked out.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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post #28 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 01:57 PM
 
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Yeah lifetime subs sure are killing them and not me, as I am already done with my TiVo after less than a year so they got several times more than they would have other wise, and I doubt many do keep it long enough to get less of a charge than had they gone month to month.
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post #29 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 03:50 PM
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This might be a naive question, but if TiVo gets out of the DVR hardware business does that open the door for other manufacturers to step in and fill the void?

 

I'm thinking here about standalone units with very low or no monthly service charges. The kind of product that would be popular with the supposedly growing number of cord-cutters.

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post #30 of 51 Old 01-28-2014, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

This is about paying for a Guide, which is additional for, which is the issue that stops most from buying into it.


No, rather that's where tunnel vision comes in. It's paying for the TiVo service and hardware. A few like to dismiss all of the other features so they can justify saying it should be free. That's like refusing to pay the housekeeper when you supply the materials. Just because a guide exists in some manner it doesn't make any service which relies on a guide valueless.

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