Tivo on PC? Bad Idea Dudes


TiVo is trying to move its experience to the PC, which is an inherently a bad idea.

Thomas Hawk: I have suggested in the past that TiVo needs to offer a software solution to run on the PC. They did not elaborate on what form this “TiVo branded PC experience” might take. Could this be a possible competitor to Microsoft’s Media Center PC? Might TiVo begin to sell a stand-alone software package that could be installed on a PC with a TV tuner card?

Microsoft tried to move the Apple experience to the PC, and well you know where we are at. Media Center PC is just that – TiVo on a PC. Despite best efforts it still doesn’t translate as well to a TV. TiVo is about time shifting TV. They should be looking to enhancing that experience and not trying to reinvent themselves on the desktop. TVHarmony puts it well. “The value, however, is in the entire hardware and software solution and the television experience you have using it from the comfort of your living room couch. It’s easy to setup, use, and it’s very reliable. That integration is very hard to do if you don’t control the hardware specs, OS, and other software competing for resources.”


Om Malik

jon you do bring up good points and well, the functionality you talk about is good for some hard core tivo fans. most of the masses don’t use devices like the way you and i do. if you ask broadvoice, they would tell you the total number of folks who are using their service and the web features. i suspect the web dashboard users are not that many. just my two cents on the whole topic anyway


I’m more of a legacy ReplayTV type, but I’m intrigued by the topic. I think “recreating” PVR function on the PC has little value – but bringing the PC “into the mix” would enhance the PVR experience. I want total control of the PVR from any networked PC. I often control my ReplayTV from the web (but that’s only a once a day update – it’s much better for review my replaytv stored content and searching for future content) and would find PVR control much more valuable if it was realtime. I want the ability to stream content to my PC in addition to viewing on my TV. I want to edit my PVR content, but leave it on the PVR. My simple view – the PC can be great for controlling and enhancing other devices (look at Broadvoice’s web based VOIP control), but often isn’t the choice for replacing devices.

Tivo has a tough challenge with the cable monopoly, but if they can make their device enticing enough, *maybe* the cable monopoly will come to them.

Om Malik

Roger, you make good points. I do agree they are running out of options but if you look at what they have done over past two years in terms of innovation – or lack there off – it makes no sense to go after a new platform. i think companies which are facing dire situations have to zero in on their core competence

Roger McNamee

I agree that TiVO’s great opportunity related to time-shifting. Sadly, the company didn’t understand that opportunity as well as it needed to. It’s boxes have always had too little storage . . . and no way to add storage without an engineering degree. The user interface is pretty good, but not compelling . . . and hasn’t changed materially in several years.

I’m less negative than Om about the PC initiative, however. The company is running out of options and needs a partner to generate new customers.

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