Saturday, April 19, 2003 6:42 PM
Goodbye Tivo, I hardly knew ya...
Interesting timing... Last night I blogged about how Tivo should adopt the business model of a cable company, and this morning I read an ad in my local newspaper saying my local cable company now offers DVRs. For only $6.95 per month without any up-front costs, I can get a DVR that will allow me to pause live TV, record not just one but two shows at the same time and get Picture-in-Picture.
Sure, it doesn't have Tivo's AI that will auto-record shows based on your viewing history, but at this price-point, guess which one I will try first?
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Better check the details on that offering. I've heard rumors that the DVR / PVR offerings from cable companies don't allow FF or commercial skip....
Actually, it appears that it doesn't have any sort of auto-record functionality at all. At least according to the demo, you need to record shows one at a time, through the chronological/channel-based program guide. I don't see any "season pass"-type features, where it will automatically record all episodes of a show. Even my analog VCR could do that!
Also, commercial skip is wonderful. Won. Der. Ful. And I guarantee you any AOLTimeWarner-based product will never have it. (Even TiVo only has it as a secret code; it's off by default.)
I just picked up my DVR, and it does have auto-record functionality. I can set it to either record every episode of a show or only the new ones.
You're right that it does not have commercial skip, though the fast-forward gets you past them pretty fast as well. And (like Tivo I think) it jumps back about half a minute or so when you stop fast forwarding, which keeps you from fast-forwarding past the commercials and into the show.
I really don't like the grid-based on-screen guide it has as it only shows 5 channels at a time, and I can't reorder the channels or filter out channels I don't have or am not interested in. This makes it a pain to browse the guide.
I've never actually used a Tivo, but would guess that it is a better and more mature product. Is this worth the higher monthly charge? possibly. Is it worth $350 up-front for a box? I don't think so.
My guess is that every market where a cable-company introduces systems like this, Tivo's new subscriber rates will drop significantly. Current subscribers will stay on as they have invested in the hardware, but since Tivo's not currently making any money, they need those new subscribers to become profitable. Without them, Tivo will not survive.
TiVo vs. a Generic DVR
public virtual MemoryStream:
"...my local cable company now offers DVRs. For only $6.95 per month without any up-front costs, I can get a DVR that will allow me to pause live TV, record not just one but two shows at the same time and get Picture-i...