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TiVo Aims for Mass Market

TiVo, in a bid to increase its market share and fight off new rivals in the video gear business, is going to launch an economy version of its HD-DVR, according to company executives. Despite being an early starter in the digital video recording business, it has faced challenges that are increasing by the day.

TiVo needs this cheaper box to increase its market penetration. While it’s still the premiere DVR brand in terms of features, the company’s technology is also going facing challenges from P2P solutions like BitTorrent, IPTV set-tops and web-enabled devices like the Apple TV.

And in a conference call discussing its quarterly earnings, TiVeo CEO Tom Rogers suggested that a “Series 3 Lite” or less expensive HD DVR offering in the $400 range is in the works. Ars Technica speculates on some features that might be left out of the cheaper box.

TiVo announced an $835,000 first quarter profit, beating analyst expectations by a whisker. Though they projected a larger second quarter loss than expected, largely due to ad campaign spending and lower prices in an effort to broaden the appeal of their product with the mass market, as cable and satellite company branded DVRs have proved more popular.

TiVo Series 3 DVRFor instance, TiVo is currently running a $200 rebate offer on its top-of-the-line Series 3 HD DVRs over at Amazon.

TiVo was an early player in changing how the world watched television. TiVo has started to integrate some of the online video services and offer popular shows like Rocketboom and Diggnation on TiVo via direct downloads. It had worked with C/Net on an online tech channel. We believe that TiVo could be more aggressive in bridging the gap between web video and the living room, otherwise it could slowly start losing traction to new devices like Apple TV. Apple recently introduced a new YouTube channel on AppleTV.

5 Responses to “TiVo Aims for Mass Market”

  1. What is wrong with TiVo? Despite a fanatic community of users, they have failed to leverage that community into something bigger.

    They had the vital shelf space in the living room, but as IP video becomes the norm, they stand to lose that space to a more IP-centric device like Apple TV.

    Ironically they had all the components, but never really realized that the fact that they were a bridge between web and television.

    They should have embraced the web video and I see that as an opportunity lost.

  2. What TiVo needs is to finally realize it is a software company first.

    Cheaper TiVos will not greatly help in the “mass” marketplace against what cable and satellite companies offer in DVRs. It will still be too expensive and a pain to integrate a TiVo STB into the average person’s cable system.

    They need to do a better job of seling their software to the cable and satellite guys to reach a “mass” market or they will remain a “niche” player in an ever growing crowded STB market. Apple, Intel, HP, the list goes on with none becoming mainstream anytime soon.

  3. I’m guessing because it would compete with the content providers they have agreements with? But true, vexing. Also, TiVo isn’t in the business of hosting content, and may be worried that if they open up their platform to, say, iTunes-formated mRSS feeds it might not work, and spur calls to customer service and tech support that they don’t want to handle.