TiVo & Comcast Advertise Xfinity On Demand

Dave Zatz —  April 30, 2012

tivoxfinity-billboard2

Now that the roll out of TiVo Xfinity On Demand is complete in the San Francisco Bay Area, Comcast and TiVo are pumping the hybrid initiative via billboard, bus, radio, and television advertising in what’s been described to me as a “joint effort.” In recent years, TiVo has shunned most forms of advertising beyond the web… so I find this to be a refreshing change in approach that hopefully bears fruit in terms of new retail subscribers. As to the product itself, Comcast’s formerly inaccessible On Demand offerings, both paid and included with one’s subscription, are now automatically available at no additional cost via TiVo Premiere DVRs. At least in this one (large) Comcast region. TiVo suggests you register here┬áto be alerted when your Comcast neighborhood is upgraded. Of course, it’s also safe to assume we’ll continue to provide updates as they become available. Bonus advertising: One TiVo Community forum member also caught a TiVo Xfinity standee in a Bay Area Best Buy.

9 responses to TiVo & Comcast Advertise Xfinity On Demand

  1. Seems like the billboards and buses are rolling now, while the radio and Comcast’s television ads are still a few weeks out. For historic context, here’s a commercial Comcast & TiVo produced a few years back for the failed Comcast Motorola TiVo initiative that never made it out of New England. In terms of billboard/banner approach, I wonder if the TiVo name and character equate to set-top/DVR in enough people’s minds? Hm. Meanwhile, as a non-Comcast customer, I’m still awaiting that Spring update with new Netflix and YouTube clients… An Amazon Instant app would also be welcome, but it may not be in the cards. Yet?

  2. Well, I got the update over the weekend, so the rollout throughout the SF Bay Area continues. Honestly I just poked around a little to confirm it worked. As expected the menus are usable but about as baroque as you’d expect from Comcast. I doubt I’ll be using it much except to cover shows we missed since we didn’t know about them before we became interested. Still, glad to see the update.

  3. This is good news for TiVo. I think the additional subscribers in the Bay Area alone may be enough to result in break-even TiVo-Owned/Stand-Alone counts in Q2 to be released in August. Its my understanding that there are 1M+ Comcast subscribers in the Bay Area. This could also bring some new subscribers to Comcast from the competition.

    I also found this nugget tweeted by @tivodesign on Aug 16th confirming (sort of) that Xfinity is coming to Boston and other markets this year. https://twitter.com/#!/tivodesign/status/192064085960040448

  4. Now that my cablecard is properly paired, VOD sometimes works, other times I get a Comcast/TiVo error messages saying I need to unplug my cable and re-plug it in.

    Just as you expect with all modern TiVo devices, sadly the user interface is annoyingly slow to navigate.

  5. “Just as you expect with all modern TiVo devices, sadly the user interface is annoyingly slow to navigate.”

    What is your alternative – Comcast’s generic DVR is better? The latest software release from TiVo makes the HDUI very usable. The spring release in the coming weeks will add a new Netflix and Youtube client along with numerous tweaks to improve the user experience even more. I think its pretty clear that TiVo is one of the top DVRs on the market even with its sluggish user interface. More importantly, TiVo is on track to deliver an even better experience this year with more software improvements and new hardware boxes.

  6. @Sam
    Channel Up/Down used to be a universal kind of Next/Previous so you could quickly navigate not just external lists, but once inside a list item, move to the next/previous list item without getting out, moving once and then moving back in.

    Since they might never implement the generic discover-ability concept of grouping recordings under TiVo Suggestions, see how long it takes to navigate that list, find an episode of a series you like, enter it, change the keep until date and then go back to the suggestions list.

    Overall, in 2002 with a Series 1, the UI was much, much quicker. And that was on a hacked unit running TivoWeb, ftp and streaming in the background.

  7. Dwayne N. Zechman May 2, 2012 at 8:36 am

    @Robert
    I had the Series 1 Phillips DirecTiVo back in 2002 also. But if you hacked it all the way up to the (then) 128GB maximum, you also had a really sluggish system–so much so that the Cachecard got invented. (Thank God!!!)

    Similarly, my TiVo HD is noticeably slower with the 1TB drive in it than it was with the 160GB drive it came with. Not bad, just noticeable.

    Today we’re into sizes up to 2TB. I’m not at all surprised that the UI is getting sluggish again. And I’ll bet that if you dropped a 40GB drive in a new Premiere it would FLY.

    I’m not trying to say that space is the only factor, just that it’s more complicated than “New TiVo == Slow TiVo”.

    I do wish TiVo over-engineered their hardware a bit (or allowed for unsupported HW upgrades to memory, CPU, etc.). The HDUI is certainly ambitious, and running single-core for all that time is one of the things that held me off of going to a Premiere myself.

    Back on topic: Good for TiVo actually working with major a cable company for once. It’s a clear step up from being treated like the “red-headed step-child” that they’d rather have you replace with their own DVR. (Ah, DirecTV, I do *not* miss you….)

    –Dwayne

  8. The second core is now active… not sure how much it speeds up the UI, but certain tasks like booting or Season Pass reordering should be quicker I’d imagine. And while I wouldn’t call TiVo sprightly, its performance is decent – and with a more efficient UI than most competitors, it works out OK. The Xfinity stuff is using the older (HME?) SD UI I believe.

    FYI I’ve been told the next TiVo Xfinity on Demand market will be Boston… home of that ill-fated Comcast Moto TiVo.

  9. “The Xfinity stuff is using the older … SD UI I believe.”

    So if you are running a Premiere series box in SDUI emulation mode, you can still access Comcast VOD? (I’ve been wondering about that.)