Originally Posted by videobruce
A big reason for TiVo's near-monopoly is the inability of potential competitors to provide extensive TV guide listings with their would-be products.
Absolutely not. It's their stranglehold due to all the patents they have acquired by one means or another. Kinda hard to introduce a product when a good portion of the expense goes to a bunch of "robber barons". You gave the reason with your next statement;
You're not wrong at all. "Patent trolling" has become a huge
abuse in the US. There's even some joker now claiming to hold a "patent" on PODCASTS
and trying to strong-arm license fees out of every podcaster he can locate
But I still think the lack of extensive guide info is a big barrier to consumer acceptance of "no-fee" DVRs, particularly for folks who've been "spoiled" by subscription DVRs like TiVo. Although not a big deal for me and some others, there's just been too much sturm und drang
about the loss of OTA TVGoS for me to believe otherwise.
I accept that an integrated guide (beyond PSIP) is impractical in the USA, with licensing fees, user subscriptions, and the like.
I do not accept that at all.
To be fair, I should clarify: it depends on the guide provider. Rovi provides TVGoS, although it's Internet-only now. Their business model is license fees to the OEMs plus ad revenue. Their guides generally include ads. (The DTVPal DVR was an exception, but that was due to settlement of a lawsuit brought by Dish, so it can't really be replicated.)
Tribune provides Zap2it.com, and guide data for TiVo, Micro$oft, and Schedules Direct. Their business model is different: they seem more interested in subscriptions.
Actually, by using Schedules Direct, you may be right: a DVR like the PHD-VRX could provide an extensive guide with Schedules Direct data. They'd just have to give you a way to enter and save your Schedules Direct ID and password. Keeping your subscription updated would be your own responsibility. I regret I hadn't considered that possibility earlier.
so why can't someone just include a Web browser in the DVR?
I thought about that months ago, based on the fact there seems to be NO
issue with a "grid" for a program guide on a web site as there apparently is if a similar grid is used in a DVR. That makes little sense. AFAIC, it's the same thing.
If Titan TV can link to a specific piece of equipment and schedule a recording as a program guide in a DVR does, I would say that should not be hard to accomplish. If this can access You Tube (though not very well), why can't it access Titan TV or Zap2It?
I agree of course; I suppose retrofitting an existing product like the PHD-VRX might be a problem if there's not enough room left on the firmware flash ROM, but a new version of the product could surely be designed with a Web browser in mind.