After finding a few minutes to scan TiVo’s quarterly call transcript what stands out, other than hoarding $200+ million in cash, is what appears to be a slippage in the delivery of a new DirecTV TiVo DVR. 2009 has become 2010. CEO Tom Rogers, via Seeking Alpha:
DIRECTV not likely to rollout until early next year
We’ve pointed to that timeframe in early next year
our expectation is early next year that the DIRECTV new product will be available
I can’t say I’m surprised. And have been suggesting for some time that it’s unlikely we’d see the renewed DirecTV+TiVo relationship bear fruit this year.
Regarding TiVo’s cable partners, the Cox TiVo may finally progress beyond trials in the “next two to three month timeframe” and Comcast may finally expand their TiVo footprint beyond New England – “launching TiVo soon in Chicago.” (We’ve heard these proclamations before…) Perhaps more importantly, TiVo confirms they’re developing for the tru2way platform:
we are working with Comcast to develop a TiVo application that is truly compatible with the tru2way stack, which is somewhat different than the current middleware that we are operating on in the Boston and New England market[...], the fact that Comcast’s R&D activity with us involved upgrading TiVo’s application to their tru2way middleware stack.
I assume pieces of this could be reused for some future stand-alone retail tru2way DVR. However if Comcast picks up the pace and the DirecTV DVR starts shipping in a timely fashion, TiVo may want to limit continued investment in their direct-to-consumer product line. (If I were an investor, that’d be my advice. As a customer, I hope not.)