Originally Posted by Aleron Ives
There is no reason to doubt that TiVo will continue providing the guide service for the forseeable future, so you might as well buy the lifetime guide. Your current hardware will probably fail before TiVo stops selling its services, as that appears to be the company's new business model.
I think that making any inferences about TiVo's long term strategy based on the lay off of five "hardware engineers" is, at best, premature.
The release of the Series 5, Roamio, Models signaled that TiVo was upping the ante hardware wise and understood some of the parameters of what it will take to compete in a market that has the "cable" providers offering what they call Whole House Systems. It will be interesting to see if the demand for over the air (OTA) drives TiVo to offer a six tuner OTA model or models that support OTA and Cable concurrently. I know that OTA demand surprised Magnolia. Initially the basic Roamio model was not being offered in the Magnolia Design Centers inside Best Buy Stores. Now it is available.
Obviously, the settlement and winding down of patent litigation forces TiVo to rely on their product and service offerings to remain profitable. Given TiVo's fairly long product cycle it would seem to make sense to concentrate on internal software development and outsource much of the hardware design function.
Historically, TiVo has never been close to break even on the hardware side of their business. All of the profits have come from patent litigation, licensing and services such as Monthly and Lifetime subscriptions.
The keys to TiVo's kingdom are its software and user interface. Included in that user Interface is, perhaps, the absolute best Remote ever designed. It's shape and button layout are superior to anything on the market in MHO as well as the opinion of many others. Now with the Roamio offering RF communication with its remote , the best has gotten even better.
I was initially alarmed by the first post in this forum based on Wired's speculation. After reading TiVo's response and thinking a bit, I am no longer alarmed or worried.