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Summary:

A lot of Americans know about digital video recorders, aka TiVo-type devices also referred to as PVRs, except they don’t want to buy them, according to Ipsos-Insight research. The number of americans who know about digital video recorders stands at 77%, up from 70% in 2004. […]

A lot of Americans know about digital video recorders, aka TiVo-type devices also referred to as PVRs, except they don’t want to buy them, according to Ipsos-Insight research. The number of americans who know about digital video recorders stands at 77%, up from 70% in 2004. Only 8% of Americans are likely or very likely to purchase a digital video recorder in the next 12 months, consistent with last year’s results, which showed only 9% purchase intent.

So what does this mean? Early adopters don’t make the market, and a lot of investors fund a company based on early adopter reactions. A lot of people laughed at Steve Jobs when he introduced a hard-drive based music player nearly three years after the competitors introduced theirs. But his timing was right. It is the same issue at work here – TiVo and its ilk came out too soon. The Ipsos study finds that people would rather get a DVR from their cable or satellite (or soon telephone) company than buy a standalone product.

“We typically see purchase intent scores above 20% when technology products are ready to go mainstream. With purchase intent in the single digits for DVRs, we expect it will be a few more years before this technology is as widely penetrated as DVD players or digital cameras,” report says. This is reflected in the sharp increase in the total number of PVR shipments from Motorola and Scientific Atlanta.

  1. As both an owner of a TIVO box and a user of two boxes from a cable provider, there are several reasons for using the cable box instead of the TIVO box.
    First, cost. The price tag when I was purchasing TIVO was about $250.00 and I paid for the programming for an additional $250.00. The cable box costs an additional $6.95 per month on my cable bill. The net present value of a series of $6.95 payments once a month for two years is in the neighborhood of $135.00, much less than the price I paid for TIVO.
    Second, flexibility. TIVO can only handle one channel. As a result, you can either watch live, or record but not both. You can watch a recorded show while you are recording another show. With the cable box you have access to two channels at the same time. Therefore you can watch one show live while recording a second show, record two shows while watching a third recorded show, etc. If I decide to add more boxes, it costs just $6.95 per month per box. I could add a box for a special month, such as the ACC basketball tournament, etc and then return it when the tournament is over.
    Third, reliability. If my TIVO fails, I would have to send it back to TIVO for repairs. Once outside the warranty, I get to pay for it myself. For the cable box, I just take the box back to the cable company and get a new one.
    TIVO does have some advantages. My family really likes the remote and the interface for finding and recording programs. TIVO is coming out with an ability to download a TV program to your home computer. With the network interface, there are all kinds of possibilities on that front.

    Bottom line for me, the cost, flexibility and reliability advantages of the cable box significantly outweigh the TIVO advantages. If I had waited a few months, I would have never bought the TIVO.

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    1. Man you need to get with the times. Its obvious by your post that you have no clue. As a TiVo owner and user myself, and always looking for the best deals, you are misleading people with your post by not properly educating yourself on the current TiVo products and their benefits now, as compared to your legacy Single Tuner TiVo you bought back in the stone age. Technology changes and if you choose to not get with the times, dont bash them for your ignorance. First, TiVo now offers dual tuner HD DVRs with different storage capacities. Second,TiVo now connects to your home network to allow you to enjoy your own music and photos and personal videos you have on your computer thru your TV, if you have broadband, you can access your netflix, jaman, or amazon accounts to watch your movies on your tv for everyone to enjoy, instead of your computer screen, listen to over 100,000 internet radio stations via live 365, Second, your $6.95 cable box is just that, a cable box, not a DVR if it were a cable HD DVR box it would be 15.95 or more for each a month. Service for TiVo is only 12.95 a month, so if you had 2 cable HD DVRs, thats $30 a month not to mention FCC taxes and all the other stuff they throw in, and when you cancel your cable dvr’s, there goes all your recordings….gone. It only costs 1/3 of that to run a TiVo. So there in itself, your just watching the games one time and then reflecting by watching endless hours of sports broadcast just to catch glimpses of game highlights when you could have had it recorded and watch the whole game at anytime you wish. Anyhow, sorry for the book, but it just turns my stomach when someone just throws things out without thinking about it or educating themselves.

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  2. The G(r)eek Tragedy of Tivo

    What happens when you have a product that is designed for the masses but remains with the minority? Nobody could…

    COMMENT:
    AUTHOR: Aswath Rao

    Almost a year back (http://www.mocaedu.com/mt/archives/000030.html) I wrote that TiVo model of under charging for the hardware, but recovering by charging a monthly fee is faulty. I still beleive so. Subsequently I bought HW/SW costing about $200 to do the same thing. The cable companies have done one better by charging almost the same amount (assuming 2 year lifetime for a consumer product), but distributing over the period.

    This holds a lesson for VoIP service providers in that apart from PSTN connectivity the only service they offer is directory service, which can not inherently generate much revenue. So do not rejoice that PSTN is dying/dead; along with it VoIP service business is also gone. (Got to get that in ad nasum. :-) )

    COMMENT:
    AUTHOR: Sagacious Copycat

    A better reason for DIY PVR is to avoid draconian restrictions like the proposed, inane FLAG system that will retard the functionality of commercial DVRs. I’ll record what I want, when I want, thank you.

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  3. early adopters do not a market make

    Om Malik has a bunch of links to new survey data that supports information we have known for quite some time. A lot of people laughed at Steve Jobs when he introduced a hard-drive based music player nearly three years

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  4. Nega-Spin, Indeed! The Study Never Even Mentions Tivo!

    What a terribly flawed (or limited) study on which to base such a provocative–and negative–headline: We Like TiVo, Just Don’t Want To Buy It! So inflammatory, I don’t even know where to begin…..

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