TIVO + HDTV Antennas – Check the DTV Pro’s Comments

August 13, 2007

Today a comment came in about HDTV antennas and TIVO’s. About 8 percent* of TIVO owners are using their TIVO with a antenna. Probably more consumers will discover the TIVO as a great option compared with cable and satellite TV. Check out a site called HDTV Antenna Guide – to learn more, if you will.

Anders Bjers

* unconfirmed source.


New TiVo HD + DTV Transition = True

July 24, 2007

Yesterday TiVo released it´s new TiVo HD, a less pricy model with HD recording capabilities. And the TiVo HD will be able to convert digital broadcast signals to analog if you use an antenna. And instead of 20 hrs of recorded HD TV you can record up to 180 hrs in standard TV. And the pricetag? It is set for $299.99.

USA Today reports that by the end of 2007 as many as 36 percent of U.S households could have HDTV. Consumers want to view TV in HD. The new TiVo HD reaffirms that. But what about digital broadcast HD? If you know something about that please drop me a note. Consumers with a rooftop antenna will ask “what about me-will I get HDTV?” Consumers may think that the DTV transition will bring HDTV to everyone, but that isn´t the case.

Comments in the blogosphere about the new TiVo have focused on the low price, features and TiVo’s challenges to reach out to a broader audience of users. Bussinessweek view TiVo HD as a way to target mainstream consumers. Engadget HD has some points from TiVo’s VP, Jim Denney. John Murrel discuss the product at Goodmorning Silicon Valley, he writes that “…the machine it should have rolled out two or three years ago…”. Wilson Rothman at Gizmodo gives it a long review with pros and cons. And Alec Saunders blogs about some advices to TiVo. Such as using TiVo as a platform and to reach out to Canada’s TV-viewers!

However, I think the new TiVo might be a great buy for consumers affected by the transition. They get a box that converts the signals from digital to analog, a great deal of recording capability and an option to connect it with cable TV or use it with a broadband connection and download movies from Amazon’s Unbox service.
That is good if users change their mind about how they want to receive TV. I think the built in program guides looks great. Something you don´t have in today’s analog broadcasts.

I wrote recently about TiVo as an alternative to traditional converter boxes. No converter boxes with built in hard discs (DVR) have been released yet. They will arrive. The question is what the price tag will be and what kind of features they will carry. Will TiVo compete with them? The subscription fee will certainly be a downside for TiVo compared with a traditional DVR or for instance Apple TV.

Finally, will TiVo market themselves actively as a choice for consumers affected by the upcoming transition, since their market share is declining? Will the transition be a window of opportunity for TiVo?

Stay tuned for more…

Anders Bjers

PS TiVo´s challenges are also PR Firm Ruder Finn´s. The firm is TiVo´s new PR partner as of yesterday according to PR Week… DS

A Tip For Tivos

July 11, 2007

One comment on my piece about Tivo suggests that the lastest and most expensive ($ 799.99) Tivo Series 3 can recieve digital TV broadcasts. That´s good news. But what about the millions of Tivo consumers that don´t have a model 3? Can Tivo make or make use of a small adapter just like Grundig has launched in Europe? It´s called a micro adapter. Check it out on Grundig. Plug it in on the back of your Tivo and it would make the Tivo work with only digital broadcasts. But it would be smarter if Tivo made an adapter – in that case one remote (Tivo´s) would be enough.

Anders Bjers

Reminder: This blog is not about DTV technology – I want to stay out of that and focus on the information and communication aspects. But now and then I want to dip into tech stuff. Only to bring in some inspiration, awareness and maybe help out a bit at it´s best.

Tivo can become the smartest way to bridge the DTV transition

July 11, 2007

Today Tivo relaunched an improved service with Amazon.com – the Unbox. Bringing movies on-demand and smarter search tools to Tivo users.

But will your Tivo be able to work as a converterbox if you are an analog OTA TV-viewer? Think about it!

There isn’t one line telling on Tivos site, yet. But think about it. Its February 17 2009. You connect your antenna to your Tivo – do a search and new channels will pop-up. Atop of that connect the Tivo to your broadband and you will have an on-demand service and free channels with great picture quality. Even in HD -for free! With a roof top antenna – simple as that.

Plus – you don’t need to buy another converterbox! (If your Tivo has a digital OTA-tuner built in).

That would be great news for Tivo users with analog reception over the air only.

But, will Tivo care about the upcoming market of 30 million households making a shift in their behaviour how they want to receive TV? And would you be able to use one of the coupons from NTIA to fund part of the Tivo?

I think the greatest war among platform operators wont be the last couple of months prior the actual transition. It is from now and 6 months before February 2009. To build the relationships and start to spread the news and understanding to every analog TV-set owner who is about to make a change. To reach out to media and retailers. It is a bit more complicated to explain for someone in a hurry who scrambles to Best buy to get a converterbox, in a mission to save the TV from going black.

Tivo could become one of the smartest and most valuable ways of bridging the gap or jump from analog to digital TV.

Anders Bjers

PS Maybe someone at Tivo will laugh when they read this, sitting on top of the box I am writing about. That’s on me. I think the transition to DTV in the US will bring many more good laughs, sweat, tears and rollercoaster like experiences than in a long time DS

PS2 Techmeme and bloggers picked up the story – check them out: Engadget, Tivoblog, Profy, The Register, TechSpot and last but not least the Reuters blog. DS