Blog Post

TiVo Finally Wakes Up, And Offers Worthy Upgrades

TiVo Series3 With yesterday’s announcement that it will offer support for the My DVR Expander, progressive viewing, TiVoToGo, and a multi-room viewing feature, TiVo is finally giving its Series3 and HD boxes an upgrade.

It’s been worth the wait.

TiVo’s (TIVO) decision to partner with My DVR Expander is one of the most important strategic moves it has made in quite some time. My DVR Expander is essentially a big hard drive made by Western Digital, that can be plugged into a TiVo or a set-top box to expand its storage capacity. As you already know, some Scientific Atlanta (CSCO) cable boxes offered to subscribers of cable companies like Time Warner (TWX) and Comcast (CMCSA) already support the use of the My DVR Expander. TiVo too seems to have realized the advantage of incorporating the device, especially now that HD is becoming common place and needs a lot of storage room.

Next, it’s quite apparent TiVo is feeling the heat from Vudu. By allowing users to download movies at any time and start watching them even before the download is complete, Vudu is eliminating what can be a prohibitive waiting period for viewers. Realizing that Vudu is a threat to its TiVoCast and Amazon Unbox (AMZN) options, TiVo is offering similar progressive-download capability on its own device.

In an attempt to address some issues TiVo users have had with their inability to take files from a PC to a TV, TiVo now allows you to do just that with TiVoToGo. It should have been available a long time ago, but it will compete well against devices like Apple TV (AAPL) or Media Center Extenders.

But perhaps the most sought-after feature by TiVo fans is the ability to stream video from one room to another. With the inclusion of this feature, viewers have yet another reason to dump the DVR and pick up a TiVo. And while, similarly, it would have been nice if TiVo offered this functionality sooner, its addition is further evidence of the company’s ability to adapt in order to create a more rewarding experience for its customers.

What do you think about these new features? Do they make you love your TiVo more than you already did? Or are you ready to move on to newer devices?

8 Responses to “TiVo Finally Wakes Up, And Offers Worthy Upgrades”

  1. Brainwave

    I’m a huge fan of TiVo and it’s great to see that they’re fighting back the cable companies with new hardware options. The place where they’ve really been lacking, however, is in software innovation – at least that I’m aware of. They should be taking greater advantage of their STB as a platform for creative applications. How great would it be if they opened up the box for the developer community to create apps for the device. Seems that new, creative apps could help drive additional demand, and really differentiate their offering from their competitors.

    I posted a suggestion on my blog today for how broadcasters and record labels could make it easier for people to get music featured in tv shows and on commercials – and maybe start to get a little better foothold in the music download business outside of iTunes.

    Here’s the link

    This is a space where TiVo’s got game – with their system (software and big hard drives), they could bring something pretty innovative to the table.

  2. These moves are nice, but I think it is too little too late. Expansion should have been available a LONG time ago (and it was, from hackers), and the other features were already available in S2 boxes.

    That Tivo Subscriber graph is depressing. If anything, it shows the death grip that cable/sat providers have on the set-top space.

    I was in the same boat as quirk until the horrible, horrible, DirecTV HR-20 HD box finally drove me to cable and a new Tivo HD. Hopefully, this new price point will help them grab new subs…

  3. I have the Direct TV TiVo leftover from two years ago when those companies parted ways. I won’t leave Direct TV because they do so many things right, but I won’t get their new PVR box because I’ve heard terrible things about it. So there is no way to have both now without using an older TiVo box. It hurts me.