Archives For TiVo

tivo-glitch-slide-pro

TiVo’s minor spring software update was plagued by a few issues, including an inadvertent software rollback affecting ~200 DVRs and potentially resulting in some tedious cleanup. Well, kudos to TiVo for voluntarily squaring things with those subscribers.

Due to an operational issue, some TiVo boxes were inadvertently sent an old version of software which may have changed your channel lineup, your “To Do List“, and your “My Shows“ list. We have since mapped the correct software version to your DVR but you may still have to reconfigure your channel lineup, To Do List, and My Shows settings. As an apology for the inconvenience, TiVo is sending you a complimentary Slide Pro remote, free of charge.

In other TiVo software update news, it sure looks like the company is preparing to replace their ancient Amazon Instant experience with something a bit more modern… and unsuitable for the SDUI. Prime, please?

A change is being made to your Premiere Series DVR that we want to make you aware of. Soon the Amazon Instant Video application will be removed from standard definition (SD) menus on your DVR and going forward will it will only be available in high definition (HD) menus.

(Thanks Sam, Barrett, and Andrew!)

By way of CableFAX and TiVo VP Tom Elan, we learn TiVo is once again expanding their cable operator offerings:

The other one that’s cool is a hybrid set-top box. It’s essentially combining broadband with DTA technology. By adding broadband you get all of the economic advantages of DTA and the simplicity… but then all the benefits of broadband. So we can bring Netflix down to a low-cost set-top box product. It’s a non-cable card product, so it avoids the cost and complexity of cable cards and yet you get the full power of the TiVo experience and the OTT experience combined with the operator’s linear experience.

It just so happens that we have a few friends at The Cable Show and the esteemed Alan Wolk shot the above photos at the TiVo booth, which we believe could be the referenced box. If so, this wouldn’t be the first time TiVo partnered with Evolution Digital, given a few other cable-centric offerings including the original TiVo DTA. Sadly, this sort of simple, inexpensive solution will never make it onto retail shelves until the industry, with or without the FCC’s encouragement, develops and agrees upon a CableCARD successor.

tivo-money-bags

In conjunction with the opening of The Cable Show, that Mari is attending, TiVo has fired off a press release trumpeting a record 4.5 million subscribers — the majority of which originate from cableco-deployments.

TiVo Inc., a leader in the advanced television entertainment market, today announced that it has more than 4.5 million subs who are now enjoying the TiVo experience, surpassing the previous record number of 4.45 million hit over eight years ago in December of 2006. 

While more than half of TiVo’s subscribers were DirecTV customers back in ’06, in 2014 nearly half of TiVo’s 4.5m subs are deployed by Virgin Media in the UK. Meanwhile, TiVo’s retail subscriber count remains stagnant at late 2004 levels despite the superior Roamio platform… and perhaps why they recently brought on a seasoned, new Chief Marketing Officer.

rcn-tivo-netflix

Well that was quick. Netflix had informed investors that their streaming video service would be available via US cable operators “this quarter” … and, just a few days later, here we are with RCN, Grande, and Atlantic identified as the first partners to serve up Netflix via customer-leased TiVo hardware. At this stage of the game, as we’d presumed, Netflix subscriptions are managed independently by customers without the cableco’s involvement. However, folks can subscribe to Netflix directly from the TiVo set-top and we wonder if the providers get a little kickback. Related, while Netflix has clearly resolved the content licensing issues that previously prevented this sort of deployment and beyond an Open Connect implementation, we’d sure love to know more about the nature of these relationships – if and how money changes hands. Sources tell us Netflix will appear on RCN TiVo hardware Monday, April 28th.

tivo-mini-netflix

While investor calls generally bore us, Netflix dropped quite the bombshell this afternoon:

This quarter we will launch the first MVPD integrations in the U.S. As we did in Europe, we will start with U.S. MVPDs that use the TiVo set-top box and try to extend to non-TiVo devices after that. From an MVPD point-of-view, they would rather have consumers use Netflix through the MVPD box and remote control than have consumers become accustomed to watching video from a smart TV or Internet TV device remote control.

So many possible angles to explore here… RCN is arguably TiVo’s most aggressive US partner, one that previously expressed interest in offering Netflix, and Suddenlink recently polled subscribers regarding the possibility of a Netflix addition. Then we’ve got the whole peering dealio with cable/broadband providers like Comcast to ponder. And, of course, finally is the elephant-in-the-room premise that Netflix had been a cable competitor (although many of us here subscribe to both). Yowza!

cablecard

As the story goes, CableCARD support has deteriorated since the FCC inadvertently relaxed the requirement last year. Indeed, Tim Gibbons reached out this weekend regarding his inability to tune Fargo … and ignorance (at best) or deception (worst case) from Time Warner Cable’s first line phone support agent. What makes this especially ironic (or depressing) is Tim’s role in the cable television industry. If the producer of Curb Your Enthusiasm can’t keep his TiVo’s CableCARD going, what hope do the rest of us have?

Beyond public shaming, we currently have a rare and unique opportunity to influence the FCC as they evaluate Big Cable’s push to end CableCARD … without having identified a successor. But you better fire up those word processors post-haste as today, April 21st, is the deadline. Hit this FCC link, click Reply To Comments, and make sure you reference Proceeding Number 14-16. For comparative purposes, you can review previously submitted comments here.

Tim’s TWC transcription follows: Continue Reading…