I remember when Motorola (yes, my employer) rolled out its first HD DVR years after TiVo and ReplayTV first hit the market. There was some general concern about Motorola being late to the game, but the truth was that DVRs hadn’t really made a splash yet, at least in terms of mass adoption.
Today, Leightman Research Group says that one in every five US households has a DVR, up from roughly one in thirteen in 2005. (NewTeeVee picked up the story) That’s pretty big growth, and yet TiVo isn’t seeing much of the profit compared to the cable and telecom companies that have swept the market. It’s an old story. TiVo is expensive. Leased set-tops from operators are cheap.
The situation could still change of course if and when Comcast starts rolling out TiVo software on Motorola set-tops. (Cox also has a deal with TiVo in place.) We’re supposed to see initial trials in New England this month. Will TiVo hit Comcast markets in the next nine days?