Archives For TiVo

TiVo visited with the FCC last week, lamenting the current state of CableCARD and Section 629. And, to reiterate their points, submitted the above letter. While we can’t speak to TiVo’s survey methodology, they report diminished CableCARD support with increased operator-implemented roadblocks – presumably intended to discourage third party set-top usage… such as TiVo and perhaps Samsung, should they stick with it. Some cited examples:

  • 36 percent of MSO agents surveyed in Dec. 2013 said that self-installation of CableCARDs was not allowed, up from 25 percent in Feb. 2013. (Note that self-installation of CableCARDs is required by 47 C.F.R. § 76.1205(b)(1).)
  • For those retail customers that self-install their CableCARDs, 24 percent would be charged a fee for self-installation, with fees increasing since EchoStar, including a fee as high as $39.95 imposed by two operators.
  • 36 percent of MSO agents surveyed in Dec. 2013 offer their own operator’s DVR on an unsolicited basis to customers requesting CableCARDs for retail devices,up from 26 percent in Feb. 2013

Beyond CableCARD, TiVo wants any successor “to assure the availability of bidirectional video signals to retail devices” put into play… Continue Reading…

tivo-roamio-hero

Via TiVo VP Margret Schmidt, we learn TiVo is poised to deploy a “Spring Update” to Roamio, Premiere, and Mini hardware – possibly beginning “late next week.” The DVR maker is once again going with a staggered release and if you’d like to be first, register your boxes here. And, for the first time in eons, I gots nothing on this one – your guess is as good as mine. I’m hopeful we’ll collectively be in for a fun surprise rather than this merely being a minor maintenance release not worthy of mention via my traditional channels. As previously discussed, a highly reliable source has indicated an improved Amazon Instant experience is in the works but it’s looking like June is the current target for Android streaming support. What are you hoping for? Continue Reading…

evolution-tivo-pricing

In a rare peek behind the curtain, Evolution Digital has itemized their TiVo MSO pricing in conjunction with an April 1st increase in fees. As a reseller, Evolution is sure to split this revenue with TiVo, but this provides investors an unprecedented look into ARPU and potential licensees the high water mark for ongoing service and back office functionality.

In our continuing effort to provide you with the latest TiVo products and technology, we have had to make new additions to our operator platform. These new upgrades will allow for new features, functionality and applications that will be available to your subscribers. The development of this new capability will require us to introduce a modest price adjustment for the Operator Portal and TiVo services starting April 1, 2014. The updated pricing is below:

  • $3.35 for all active TiVo DVRs
  • $1.85 for all active non-DVRs
  • $.60 for active TiVo Streams

While the cost to acquire a retail customer is higher, along with bankrolling hardware subsidies (to varying degrees) and customer support, it’s seems that over the long-term TiVo would generate more revenue per Roamio at $15/month versus say 60% of $3.35. And surely why TiVo sticks with retail despite their limited penetration.

(via Investor Discussion Board)

tivo-mynickjr

By way of The Drum, we learn that Virgin TiVo set-tops have just published My Nick Jr – a customizable app of pre-school edutainment:

My Nick Jr. features 650 Nick Jr. episodes including episodes of beloved Nick Jr. titles such as Dora the ExplorerBubble GuppiesTickety Toc and Dinosaur Train. Using the app, parents can create an individual My Nick Jr. profile for their child. Within this profile, parents may select specific topics that they wish to make prominent in their child’s My Nick Jr. playlist as well as the duration for which they wish their child to watch Nick Jr. programming. Once a child has finished watching an episode they are asked to rate the show using the ‘arrow up’ or ‘arrow down,’ via Virgin Media’s TiVo remote. The Nick Jr. app learns the preferences of the child and chooses episodes to play accordingly. Through the app, parents may elect to be sent emails summarising what their children have watched and which topics have been covered within the viewed episodes.

What makes this interesting to TiVo devotees in the US is a reinforcement of Glenn’s point – with 2 million deployed boxes and the backing of a major cable provider, Virgin TiVo customers may see more attention and partner experiences than the several hundred thousand retail Roamio and Premiere DVRs afford. Having said that, despite TiVo’s small retail numbers, the company has generated oversized buzz these last few months… and we have it on good authority the Amazon Instant experience is being reworked.

xfinity-tivo

There wasn’t a whole lot of interesting news out of TiVo’s quarterly call for retail customers. Despite the holiday shopping season, bolstered by multimillion dollar radio and airport advertising campaigns in select markets, TiVo only managed to net 6,000 additional retail subscribers — keeping the count at 2004 levels. Having said that, TiVo CEO Tom Rogers indicates the company “saw gross additions increase at a meaningfully higher rate” in areas where they did advertise along with “continued outperformance of Comcast markets from a retail point of view” … perhaps due to Xfinity On Demand availability in numerous regions. Indeed, after a several month hiatus Comcast and TiVo resumed their roll out in December and have now declared:

Continue Reading…

wireless-joey-fcc

The DISH Network Wireless Joey, unveiled at CES, is one step closer to release having just passed thru the FCC. The Echostar-produced Hopper extender hums with 802.11/a/n/ac to handle those high def streams of live and recorded content, without requiring a coaxial connection. Those with 802.11g networks need not apply. Via the filing, we also learn the Wireless Joey will ship with an RF remote – meaning a more sprightly response and the ability to hide WJ in a cabinet or behind your television. While I prefer DISH’s whole-home solution over TiVo’s, due to unrestricted placeshifting and Android support, I’m not quite motivated enough to switch providers given an ongoing reliance on Comcast or Verizon for broadband services. And despite TiVo’s recent layoffs and new emphasis on cloud services for cable providers, like Jason Nealis of RCN, I too hope they have a little more hardware left in them and pine for a similarly specced wireless TiVo Mini.

virgin-tivo

While TiVo’s US retail operation hasn’t fared so well in recent years, Virgin Media has seen great success from the TiVo platform in the UK… having just crossed the 2 million customer mark after about three years of availability. Virgin’s experience is largely TiVo as we know it, yet the 3-tuner hardware is foreign to us, as is the tent pole BBC iPlayer app. And with all their success, outfitting nearly 50% of television customers, we find it less likely Virgin’s new owners would dramatically drop TiVo for Liberty’s Horizon.