DirecTV prepping new digital video recorder, which spells trouble for TiVo

Peter Rojas
P. Rojas|11.30.04

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Peter Rojas
November 30th, 2004
DirecTV prepping new digital video recorder, which spells trouble for TiVo image
DirecTV prepping new digital video recorder, which spells trouble for TiVo image
DirecTV dish

We knew we smelled trouble for TiVo when DirecTV said back in August they were going to start offering their subscribers an alternate digital video recorder box to the TiVo-based ones they currently offer. We thought maybe TiVo had a little bit of breathing room (their contract with DirecTV doesn't expire until 2007), but DirecTV isn't waiting and has let slip that they'll have new DVR boxes powered by software from NDS Group ready sometime in the first half of next year. They wouldn't say much about them, except that they'll have all the same features that TiVo boxes have now (apart from the 30-second skip, which is technically a hidden feature on TiVo anyway), as well as integrated video on demand and pay-per-view features. Maybe wouldn't be such bad news if TiVo wasn't so dependent on DirecTV. They recently revealed that three-quarters of new subscribers last quarter came from DirecTV, which means they're doing a poor job convincing people to buy their standalone boxes, and once DirecTV dries up as source of customers (and it will, you best believe that they will push those new boxes hard, since NDS Group is owned by the same parent company), they won't have much else to drive growth, except maybe that deal with Netflix which may or may not pan out. We wish we had an easy answer for what they should do to stay in business (remember that they've basically never made money), but we don't. Creating a standalone product that people could install on media PCs would be a good start, but that almost definitely wouldn't be enough to keep them in business, and no cable company seems willing to put TiVo on their set-top boxes (they seem pretty happy with what they've got already).

[Via TechDirt]

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