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TiVo exec explains Bolt strategy, Fire TV app and new Pro next year

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When the TiVo Bolt was unveiled earlier this week, most of the questions (that weren't about its odd shape) came from long-time enthusiasts wondering why it doesn't cater to them? Many aren't willing to downgrade from a Roamio Pro's 6 tuners and 3TB storage just to add 4K and commercial skipping. Dave Zatz points out that today TiVo Chief Marketing Officer Ira Bahr has faced the company's most dedicated fans in a thread on TiVo Community, and says not to worry. According to Bahr, "we already have a roadmap plan to bring you something you'll like way better in 2016 (more on this shortly)." As I figured during our Bolt preview, this device is an attempt to connect with new users, among the millions of people buying streaming boxes as they use internet video services to replace or add to traditional TV. As far as the look of the Bolt, Bahr said "my view is that we have to look different."

The posts also added detail on the yet-to-debut Fire TV app by explaining it will arrive next week, ready to work both in and out of the home. At launch it will only support recorded content, but that includes watching content while it's still recording.

As far as TiVo's future, Bahr says that TiVo will keep selling the current Pro until a new model is available, and a 4K capable Mini extender should arrive next year. Acknowledging TiVo's lack of individual profiles or ability to setup and save app logins under one user ID, he said the company is looking at ways to address that. We've long wondered when TiVo would address some of the longest-standing issues with its platform, and along with new hardware maybe 2016 will really be the year?

TiVo CMO Ira Bahr:

As an overarching thought for this whole conversation I would emphasize what many of you have already inferred. And that is, that the Bolt product was not really designed for the TiVo enthusiast. So your lukewarm reaction is not unexpected. Bolt is low on Tuners, light on storage, doesn't fit into your racks and really doesn't offer this group much more than 4K and software features you figure we'll roll-down anyway.

So this leads to "why the hell did you NOT design for the TiVo enthusiast?" First, we already have a roadmap plan to bring you something you'll like way better in 2016 (more on this shortly). This product is on the already established 3 year product cycle which you're used to. Second, there just aren't enough of you to sustain the company's retail business alone. If there were, I assure you we'd have a way different approach. TiVo is simply unable to build its business on the backs of its ever diminishing group of loyalists. We did 150,000 activations in our last fiscal year. Compare that to the millions of streamers out there, and the tens of millions of DVRS out there and you see that we've got a lot of ground to make up. In order to win for the the company, and for YOU, we need to expand our market. If we fail to do this, we're not going to be able to do much of anything, We think we've got a plan for both the mass market AND for enthusiasts. So snuggle up with a warm multi-meter, walk through the answers and we'll try to talk more when you're done.

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