Archives For TiVo

TiVo’s always had a bit of a marketing problem. Yet it’s not exactly clear if it’s because their value proposition is difficult to communicate (possibly) or their efforts are misguided (definitely) or a bit of both (likely). But it’s deliciously ironic that they’ve announced they’re dialing back their advertising spend … the very same month their research unit indicates a negative impact on brand awareness and sales. Skate to where the puck will never be?

From Broadcasting & Cable:

Cutting TV ad spending led to much lower sales for most of the marketers included in a new study. […] For every dollar cut from the TV budget, sales fell $3 dollars, the research found. Return on investment dropped as well. The average marketer reduced its ad budget by $3.1 million, resulting in lost sales of $8.6 million. […] In terms of other marketing goals, the companies that cut their ad spending reached fewer potential customers.

From TiVo’s quarterly call:

And then on the consumer side, we are going to be investing less in the Marketing of consumer.

TiVo’s new CEO has hit the ground running… with a buzzsaw. In a move aligned with today’s quarterly earnings call, 50 employees and additional contract staff have been laid off to likely reassure investors that the company remains on the path to profitability, despite what I assume to be stagnant retail sales and patent setbacks, by clearing several million dollars from the expense column.

From Multichannel News:

Signaling a greater emphasis on MVPD partnerships and a reduced focus on its retail strategy, TiVo is pushing ahead on a restructuring and reorganization

On the other hand, an anonymous source has characterized this as the unloading of dead weight for a leaner operation rather than a wholesale shift in strategy and abandonment of retail. Indeed, Mutilchannel goes on to indicate that TiVo continues to crank away on consumer offerings, with a new non-DVR product headed to market later this year.

tivo-lifetime-sale

By way of DVR reseller Weaknees, we learn that TiVo’s recently devalued Lifetime Service is once again available for $400 under the company’s newer “All In” label. While the math, during this promotion or trial, is certainly more compelling than the prior $600 rate, the cost is not insignificant. Further, existing Bolt hardware configurations, with limited storage and tuners, may not appeal to the sort of power user that recognizes TiVo’s long term value as we collectively await a CableCARD replacement. Based on forum chatter, this reduced All-In rate may also apply to previously purchased hardware of different flavors, with something like a 26 month break even point. Should you find yourself more enthused than I, you’d take part online directly through TiVo (as pictured above) or by activating retailer-purchased units by calling in and mentioning the deal (possibly with Weaknees’ “TiVoInstall200” code word).

TiVo has once again launched a priority software update page, as they prepare to deploy version 20.5.9 to retail Roamio and Premiere DVRs, along with the TiVo Mini extender. There’s nothing really flashy here, as this is effectively TiVo’s Snow Leopard build — a substantial update of unsexy but critical bug fixes. Having said that, with no fanfare, TiVo blessed these very same boxes with HBO GO last week … plus SkipMode commercial avoidance will hit all TiVo Roamio models 3/10. So while TiVo the company does a piss poor job in talking up their accomplishments, they are indeed taking good care of customers. And, if you’d like to be first in line for some stability improvements, get your TiVo Service Number entered here.

ZNF regulars know HBOGo is headed to TiVo’s platform, although management has yet to say anything publicly… until last week.

The new partnership will enable Buckeye’s customers to enjoy a consistent TV experience combining TiVo’s feature-rich User Interface with a market leading content experience — the best of traditional cable content combined with diverse broadband-delivered OTT content, such as Hulu, YouTube, HBOGo, and more.

While this (surprisingly detailed) press release is specific to a new cable provider partnership, I can’t imagine HBOGo would not make it’s way to retail TiVo boxes as well. The only real question is: Will HBO Now also make an appearance for the cord cutters amongst us?

Continue Reading…

TiVo Roamio OTA *with Lifetime* back in stock for $300

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TiVo Mini On Sale for $69.99

Dave Zatz —  January 14, 2016

Woot’s clearing reburb first generation TiVo Minis, once again, for a compelling $70. As a refresher, the TiVo Mini extends a TiVo Premiere, Roamio, or Bolt to another TV in the same home – both live television and DVR recordings, carried via Ethernet or MoCA. And the primary, noticeable distinction of this original TiVo Mini, vs the current model (MSRP $130), is inclusion of an IR remote. So you can’t easily hide the extender inside a cabinet, as you can with the RF remote capabilities that ship with v2.

tivo-mini

(Thanks Greg P!)

By way of Com Hem, an international TiVo partner, the DVR pioneer appears poised to launch smart watch apps for remote control — citing both the Apple Watch and Android Wear platforms. Beyond replicating existing smartphone app functions, like changing channels as while browsing the live guide, TiVo indicates voice control is also on the docket… as alluded to last September.

Initially, these Dick Tracey-esque wrist interactions appear specific to Com Hem TiVo customers (and the apps are saddled with a ‘beta’ designation). Yet, with CES just kicking off, I suspect we could learn more about potential retail customer support within the next 48 hours.

As to other TiVo news from the Vegas trade show, an HBO GO announcement seems like a lock and I’m hopeful we’ll learn more of an OTA-only Bolt solution… with or without “Aereo” branding. Continue Reading…