Archives For TiVo

The story so far…

September, 2006
Digeo, maker of the Moxi DVR, files an antitrust lawsuit against Gemstar, the TV Guide electronic/interactive programming guide folks, as described in the Seattle Times:

The rivalry between Digeo and Gemstar surfaced Thursday in federal court in Seattle, where Digeo filed a lawsuit claiming that Gemstar violated federal and state antitrust laws. Digeo said that it asked to license a subset of the 249 patents in Gemstar’s IPG portfolio, but that Gemstar insisted Digeo license the entire portfolio. If Digeo didn’t sign that licensing agreement, the suit said, it would be sued by Gemstar for patent infringement. Digeo is seeking damages in court and an order that stops Gemstar’s licensing practices.

October, 2006
Gemstar responds (retaliates?) with with a patent infringement lawsuit against Digeo, as described in the Broadcast Newsroom:

“We have attempted over an extended period of time to engage in patent licensing discussions with Digeo regarding the Moxi guide Digeo’s refusal to negotiate a patent license with us, and its decision to file suit against us, left us no option except to pursue legal remedies to protect the value of our intellectual property,” Gemstar executive VP and general counsel Stephen Kay said in a prepared statement Friday.

No surprises here… Gemstar has been quite aggressive in going after competing EPGs and Digeo refused to be strong-armed. TiVo faced a similar Gemstar suit several years ago, which resulted in a partnership (notice the TV Guide logos and related TiVo Showcase). It’s also worth noting that Comcast has been an equity investor/partner with both Gemstar and TiVo. Corporate nepotism, anticompetitive practices?

Never enough time…

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Multichannel breaks down the current state of affairs for multiroom viewing (MRV), covering the various vendors, pricing schemes, and thoughts on consumer acceptance. They speculate Dish may have the largest distribution of MRV-capable products, though general home penetration is low and consumers show little interest. Given the topic I am somewhat surprised TiVo’s MRV didn’t get more coverage, though they did point out critics (which ones?) feel the Home Media Option (HMO) “falls short.” The article is a light on the technology and doesn’t cover the future of HD MRV — who approves it, who will offer it, how will it work?

Multichannel News writes: Of the estimated 12 million U.S. households with a DVR, only a fraction have more than one such set-top, and the number of homes with some form of networked DVR system is even smaller. But equipment providers say cable providers in general have shied away from aggressive promotions of the technology. “I would say quite candidly that the market enthusiasm has been quite light,” said Clark.

A TiVo spokesperson declined to comment on whether the new TiVo Series 3 DVRs would include a multiroom playback capability.

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While several TiVo representatives were (with me) at DigitalLife on Thursday, others were engaged with the FCC… What I found particularly interesting in the follow-up letter is “CableCARD deployment issues” — which has a decidedly negative connotation.

I experienced a great deal of pain and frustration at Comcast’s hands in getting my S3 up and running. If I wasn’t a blogger, I might have gave up on CableCARDs after multiple visits and numerous phone calls — they fought me every step of the way, and the few times they did try to help they were largely clueless how their own equipment, services, and billing work.

Never enough time…

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