Archive | Commercial Set Top Box PVRs

TiVo and DirecTV Parting ways?

Posted on 24 July 2005 by

I had to take a quick break from the studying and homework of Summer Session College Class (R) to spread the word that TiVo may be in some trouble. Over at PVRWire I read that there are rumblings of DirecTV making its own in house PVR solution and cutting TiVo loose. Around 70% of TiVo’s subscription base comes from the deal with DirecTV, so this could be very bad for the company. Read up on it. Heres a small excerpt:

Is the marriage between DirecTV and TiVo coming to a close? J.P. Morgan seems to think so according to comments made on Friday (July 22, 2005). J.P.Morgan’s expectation is that DirecTV will roll out their own PVR technologies and no longer need to rely on TiVo.

Even though I built my own, I would hate to see the company that popularized DVRs go away.

UPDATE: via PVRSpot has some scoop on DirecTV signing a deal with Pace Micro Technology to provide future statellite set top box’s (and presumably DirecTV PVR’s)

Hidden TiVo Web Server

Posted on 20 July 2005 by

Looks like Dave Zantz has found a hidden web server on Series 2 TiVo boxes. I ran across the article at eHomeUpgrade and it seems like a nifty little hack for all you commercial TiVo owners. Head on over to Dave’s website and readup on the howto and get yours rolling now! From the news post at eHomeUpgrade:

Dave Zantz is up to his TiVo hacking tricks again. He informs us that TiVo Series 2 DVRs have a hidden web server integrated into the system that allows remote access to stored video content. Dave says, “it’s no Slingbox, but for many people it doesn’t require any additional equipment or expense.”

I hear the back doors creaking open. 🙂

More Tivo Ad Changes

Posted on 18 July 2005 by

Well, while running around over at PVRWire and Engadget I saw that the good ol’ boys at TiVo have done a software upgrade:

The jury’s still out on TiVo’s plans to insert ads during fast forwarding, but they’ve come up with another NAB-friendly ad hook that rolled out today: instantly respond with your TiVo to certain advertisements. (Quote from Engadget Article)

The PVRWire news article on the new ad widget says that the software upgrade has been done on around one million boxes, only Series2 that arent DirecTV units. There is also a longer more in depth post on for your reading enjoyment.

MediaReady 5000 Linux Powered Digital Media Center STB

Posted on 29 June 2005 by

Video Without Boundaries is making a linux Media Center/DVR STB with all the trimmings called the MediaReady 5000 Advanced Digital Media Center ( PDF spec sheet)

The MediaREADY™ 5000 combines a suite of popular TV-centric applications for digital media management and communication with an advanced electronic program guide and the ability to record broadcast media on either the unit’s internal hard drive or DVD recorder.

The MediaREADY™ 5000 lets users customize viewing by recording shows on a built-in computer hard drive or DVD recorder. Users can access digital media files on the unit’s internal drive, any PC or on the same in-home network, connected peripheral devices. In addition, the unit brings On-demand content, E-mail, Internet browser, Games, and MP3/CD/DVD/MPEG-1/MPEG-2/MPEG-4 playback to any connected television.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting SageTV 3.0’s prebuilt linux systems, but if the MediaReady 5000 is available soon…. I’m gonna have to increase the byopvr review budget by a LOT! 🙂

hat tip to the up and coming PVR blog PVR Spot & eHomeUpgrade

Comcast & TiVo Together At Last

Posted on 15 March 2005 by

Looks like TiVo’s self-predicted path to profitability might not be hyperbole after all…

Deal will put TiVo system on Comcast DVRs
PVRblog coverage: Comcast and TiVo seal the deal
TiVo Press Release
Yahoo news story
Thomas Hawk coverage
TVHarm me with Harmony coverage

I immediately wonder if this relationship will make it easier for TiVo to get to a bidirectional CableCard standalone HDTV going. Or even a single tuner cableCARD HDTV standalone unit. I hope that is the case. Although on the flipside, TiVo getting cozy with content providers and cable companies could end up being a bad thing for consumers. Should be interesting none the less..

SlashDot discussion on TiVo Comcast deal

Alex Rowland’s excellent breakdown of the tivo/comcast deal Why Comcast + TiVo is Actually Bad for TiVo (Sorry)

TiVo to Aim for PC Desktop (?)

Posted on 11 March 2005 by

TiVo to Aim for PC Desktop

TiVo bullish on the future, “PC experience”

Of course, the big question is how TiVo is going to stay strong as the competition heats up. The CableCard mandate is something that TiVo takes seriously, and they are developing products that will support CableCard, including the existing unidirectional specification. Nevertheless, Ramsay noted the a number of “large monopolies” were doing their best to inhibit CableCard use for companies such as TiVo, but the company is hopeful that the law will be maintained in favor of competition, rather than in favor of the cable companies, who would like to use CableCard technology to lock customers into their own PVR solutions.

What really piqued my interest were brief comments about a TiVo-branded service on the PC. The company didn’t say anything beyond the fact that they are looking into this, but it would fit well with their broadband plans. The goal is clear: adding value to their service is the only way to differentiate the company from the competition. “Wherever” people want to watch is important to the company, and they want to embrace choice. They know that the PC platform is going to continue to play a big role in home entertainment, but they’re not yet talking about what this means in the long run.

I’m not holding my breath on the TiVo-branded service on the PC (after all this conference call is designed to keep the investors interested, and excite the fanboys, not necessarily reflect the reality). It would be pretty cool if they expanded their offerings in such a way to utilize the PC as content delivery or retrieval mechansim, but i’m not holding my breath after the delayed and then somewhat half-baked TiVo to Go implementation.

The CableCard technology and legislation is going to be paramount, IMHO, to TiVo’s future success. I’m also hoping they can make the breakthrough/headway so that legitimate PC based CableCard technology can follow in it’s footsteps.

Check out TVHarmony’s condiment flavored take on the TiVo come PC experience

Also worth reading is the venerable Thomas Hawk’s take on the subject TiVo Pauses Company Costs and Growth: My thoughts on the TiVo Fourth Quarter Conference Call

TiVo Releases SuperBowl Viewer Statistics

Posted on 09 February 2005 by

Tivo has released the aggregate “anonymous” viewing stats garnered from sampling random TiVo DVR users during the Super Bowl. via engadget

According to TiVo stats these were the Top 10 Commercials on Super Bowl Sunday.

1. Emerald Nuts – Unicorn
2. Anheuser Busch – Designated Driver
3. – Censorship Hearing
4. Diet Pepsi – Cindy Crawford Eye Catcher
5. Ameriquest – Robbery
6. – Monkey Brown-Nosing
7. Tabasco – Burn
8. Fed Ex – Super Bowl Commercial Formula
9. Paramount Pictures – War of the Worlds
10. Anheuser Busch – Thank You to Troops

TiVo to Offer SDK

Posted on 31 January 2005 by has a link to an article on C|Net about TiVo’s attempt to open up to 3rd party developers. In short, they’re going to allow plugins like we’ve got for SageTV, etc. to enable RSS feeds, weather, games, and whatever else those TiVo lovers develop. Looks like a clear response to the pressure building from the BYOPVR world!

V.A. -> After reading some of the comments, it sounds like the folks at Slashdot are regarding this as a sign that the end of TiVo is near. It seems that with cable companies building their own DVR solutions, and TiVo trying desperatly to get your $13/month that perhaps we are seeing the begining of the end for TiVo.

ArsTechnica is piling on too! TiVo: it’s time to be a platform “Everyone knows it: TiVo is in trouble…”

CES 2005 Rumor: TiVo to announce CableCard support?!

Posted on 05 January 2005 by

CES 2005 Rumor: TiVo to announce CableCard support?! (nytimes, free reg required or bugmenot action — scroll down to second article/story)

“What about the TiVo? If the cable-TV cable now goes straight from the wall into the TV set, where do you plug in a recording device?… So I emailed TiVo, the company, to see if they’d thought about this. Their response: Stay tuned. TiVo will make an announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week that, I’m told, should address this problem.”

hat tip to pvrblog commenter john

I’m hopeful that this is a reality. I’m also hopeful it’s not a paper/vapor announcement frought with delays and PR hyperbole for months and months. We’ll see, i’m cautiously pessimistic=P

UPDATE Rumor no longer…

“TiVo said it would launch in early 2006 a cable-ready, high-definition DVR with CableCARD built in, that also includes a cable tuner.”

TiVo Developing High-Definition, Digital Cable Ready DVR
Continue Reading

More TivoToGo Details & Impatience

Posted on 05 January 2005 by

ZDnet story: TiVo subscribers want mobile upgrade sooner (including me… I keep forcing connections to the TiVo Mothership but am stuck at 4.X software revision — version 7.1 required for TivoToGo)

Telling/interesting quote here on some of the mechanics (supposedly) of TiVoToGo which conflicts with what I’ve heard previously:

“To transfer television programs onto a laptop, subscribers must install the no-cost TiVo Desktop software on a portable computer. The system encrypts the program during the transfer, so subscribers must use a password to decrypt and play back the show.”

Previous TivoToGo Coverage