“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.
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