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Europe; would you believe over 47 PVR's are available for purchase??

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Contrary to my comparison thread, I found this very amusing and more so, sad to see how pathetic things are here;
http://www.which.co.uk/technology/tv-and-dvd/reviews/pvrs/

From the same site;
http://www.which.co.uk/technology/tv-and-dvd/guides/how-to-buy-the-best-pvr/
Edited by videobruce - 12/21/13 at 10:25am
post #2 of 27

Yes, that is interesting, Bruce. I see all the big names are there along with many others. This is the list I was expecting to see last month when I cut the cord, but sadly, over here it's much different.

 

The thing I find odd is that consumers here aren't making a bigger fuss about this. They seem to accept TiVo's monopoly over here or, even worse, to defend it as being fair business somehow.

 

Thanks for posting this. Consumers in N. America need to see that things just aren't right over here compared to the rest of the world. Maybe then there will be some kind of grassroots movement for something to be done about it. Reminds me of that line in the movie Network "I'm mad as hell and not going to take it any more"

post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
They seem to accept TiVo's monopoly over here or, even worse, to defend it as being fair business somehow.
No different than what things certain individuals "defend" here. rolleyes.gif
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post


No different than what things certain individuals "defend" here. rolleyes.gif


Why is that? Do they really believe it's a fair market here?

Or are they trolls for the status quo?

 

Only someone with a conflict of interest could argue that the consumer isn't getting the shaft here.

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
That comment was not referring to just consumer electronics.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

That comment was not referring to just consumer electronics.


What was it referring to then?

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
I'd rather not say.
post #8 of 27
Quote:

Originally Posted by laridae View Post

 

They seem to accept TiVo's monopoly over here or, even worse, to defend it as being fair business somehow.

 

I have heard about TiVo's patents but have not really done any research on them.  But what I do know is that no US company with a decent patentable idea will just apply for a patent in the US.  They will, at a minimum, apply for patents in Europe and Japan and likely in other countries as well.  So were TiVo's patents rejected everywhere except in the US?

 

Several years ago I worked for a small company who wanted to have a few ideas patented and I had the opportunity to work with a top notch patent attorney who not only had a law degree but an engineering degree as well.  He would always make the joke that if we wanted to patent a ham sandwich he could do it for us. The problem was, he wasn't really joking.  Is that why we don't have much choice in the US?

post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DD24 View Post
 

 

Several years ago I worked for a small company who wanted to have a few ideas patented and I had the opportunity to work with a top notch patent attorney who not only had a law degree but an engineering degree as well.  He would always make the joke that if we wanted to patent a ham sandwich he could do it for us. The problem was, he wasn't really joking.  Is that why we don't have much choice in the US?

Yes, that's what I understand. TiVo has effectively patented the ham sandwich, the bread, the mustard, the butter, the lettuce, and the air in between.

And they back it up with a very aggressive legal department.

 

I was shocked to find this out only recently. There were some very good posts to this thread if you want to know more about it;

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1504128/why-are-there-no-name-brand-ota-dvrs

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
TiVo has effectively patented the ham sandwich, the bread, the mustard, the butter, the lettuce, and the air in between.
I wanted to dig into their 'patent collection' and this is what I found. I good percentage of the patents they own were "bought" when they acquired other companies and/or products. The best example is when Goldstar acquired the Zenith name in the late 90's, the rights to many broadcast related technology came with the deal. MTS audio for one. I'm sure they didn't care about the name, it was the patents they 'bought'. (BTW, this was mostly concerning the grid type of Guide, though it still applies across the board)

www.avsforum.com/t/1408026/lawsuit-happy-tivo-program-guides-countersuits-tivo-just-sell-your-product-stop-your-greed
Edited by videobruce - 12/22/13 at 5:09am
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

 (BTW, this was mostly concerning the grid type of Guide, though it still applies across the board)

 

A "grid type of Guide".  Now there is something that is non-obvious! :eek:  Who would have ever come up with the idea of putting information in a grid??

 

"Under the patent law non-obviousness is a requirement for obtaining a patent. An invention will meet the requirement of non obviousness if it would be viewed as an unexpected or surprising development by someone skilled in the technology of the particular field. It should be so non obvious that a person having ordinary skill in the field would not know how to solve the problem at which the invention is directed by using exactly the same mechanism."

post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Who would have ever come up with the idea of putting information in a grid??
As in a spreadsheet?? eek.gif
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post


As in a spreadsheet?? eek.gif


Maybe someone holds the patent on information presented in a grid and can sue TiVo for infringement. :cool:

post #14 of 27
Yet another Tivo patent rant thread under a different name. Some things never change.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by laridae View Post

Consumers in N. America need to see that things just aren't right over here compared to the rest of the world. Maybe then there will be some kind of grassroots movement for something to be done about it.

Why would it change? The UK has predominantly received digital television service OTA for almost two decades. It has a large selection of good quality channels available via a standardized Freeview system, OTA guide data and only a small segment that use cable or fiber. The rest use Sky for satellite reception. 76% of viewers in the UK are hooked up to OTA Freeview.

In the US the television market is dominated by cable and satellite services which require co-operation from those services for hardware and support and they already supply the hardware to the end user. That is enough to dissuade consumer electronics manufacturers from making retail DVRs. They are competing with cheap devices from MSOs of widely varying services.

In the UK if you want to record TV at all you need a DVR and since there is an open system delivering those signals it's a large market. Unless OTA signals becoming significantly more enticing than the big 5 and handful of pitiful afterthoughts and rerun stations then the DVR situation will stay exactly the same in the US.

The US is playing catchup with the OTA digital world and it's now running into the streaming technology crossover so there is even less incentive for manufacturers to care about recording devices.
Edited by VisionOn - 12/22/13 at 9:52am
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by laridae View Post

Consumers in N. America need to see that things just aren't right over here compared to the rest of the world. Maybe then there will be some kind of grassroots movement for something to be done about it.



Don't hold your breath. Grassroots movement and the American consumer go together like oil and water. Most are content with their cable/sat DVR and just need something to record Pawn Starsl/Duck Dynasty/Honey Boo Boo, watch it once, and delete, all for $10 a month. The concept of putting down real money for something that doesn't start with Playstation or Xbox is lost on them.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

Don't hold your breath. Grassroots movement and the American consumer go together like oil and water. Most are content with their cable/sat DVR and just need something to record Pawn Starsl/Duck Dynasty/Honey Boo Boo, watch it once, and delete, all for $10 a month.

I think you'll find that "most" want to watch sports. That's the big earner for pay services. Always has been.

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2013/12/17/cable-top-25-monday-night-football-tops-cable-viewership-for-the-week-ending-december-15-2013/223182/
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post


Why would it change? The UK has predominantly received digital television service OTA for almost two decades. It has a large selection of good quality channels available via a standardized Freeview system, OTA guide data and only a small segment that use cable or fiber. The rest use Sky for satellite reception. 76% of viewers in the UK are hooked up to OTA Freeview.

 

 

Sounds like a great system! I see that Freeview is totally free and owned by 5 broadcasters including the BBC.

 

This is the way it should work. How do we get from here to there?

post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by laridae View Post

This is the way it should work. How do we get from here to there?

Move to the UK.




biggrin.gif
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

I think you'll find that "most" want to watch sports. That's the big earner for pay services. Always has been.

Whatever they want to watch doesn't matter. Most see DVRs as a cheap recording device that does exactly what they want.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by laridae View Post

How do we get from here to there?

You'd need to convince the major networks to work together. To which they'll reply "Why? Just subscribe to cable or satellite."
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Yet another Tivo patent rant thread under a different name. Some things never change.
Just another unwanted "troll" like comment from the peanut gallery that won't accept the negatives of a overrated product that in turn is choking completion. Yea, some things never change.
A flawed product that ruins it for just about everyone else.
post #23 of 27
It is what it is, Bruce. You can complain about the patent system and Tivo's ownerships of them for DVR use all you want, but you're really just pissing in the wind here. I think the sad state of the DVR market here is a bad thing too, but bitching endlessly about Tivo's control over it gets us nowhere.
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
So does sitting back and doing nothing.
post #25 of 27
TiVo isn't the problem: the patent office is. Software patents should be forbidden, as TiVo is hardly the only company that abuses them.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

TiVo isn't the problem: the patent office is. Software patents should be forbidden, as TiVo is hardly the only company that abuses them.

 

That may be true but right now I can't think of another company that has such a strangle hold on a whole class of products (because of its patent portfolio) as TiVo does.  I have worked for several high tech companies and most of them actively encouraged new patent applications but none of them viewed their patent portfolios, in general, as a weapon to attack competitors in order to drive them out of the marketplace.  Yes, there were times when they would file a law suit against a competitor when there was a clear violation of a very specific and critical patent which they felt was essentially "stolen" from them.  But in general, patent portfolios were viewed as defensive in nature to discourage another company from suing them.

post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DD24 View Post

That may be true but right now I can't think of another company that has such a strangle hold on a whole class of products (because of its patent portfolio) as TiVo does.  I have worked for several high tech companies and most of them actively encouraged new patent applications but none of them viewed their patent portfolios, in general, as a weapon to attack competitors in order to drive them out of the marketplace.  Yes, there were times when they would file a law suit against a competitor when there was a clear violation of a very specific and critical patent which they felt was essentially "stolen" from them.  But in general, patent portfolios were viewed as defensive in nature to discourage another company from suing them.

Suing IS Tivo's profit base. It's the only way they really "make" any profit at all. All I can figure, is it must be a very poorly run company if they've not been able to make a profit any other way up to now.

What's odd to me, is that Charlie Ergen didn't just buy them out a few years ago as was speculated instead of paying them off after they lost the lawsuit to them. Charlie is sure used to lawsuits... Of course if he did, it really would be an even more poorly run company...
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