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Tell us something we don't know

PRNewswire has a piece on how analysis of DVR owners shows that they like their DVRs and when they have more than one TV, they want DVRs on all of their TVs.

Results of the analysis of the survey data showed: (a) a deep and broad interest in Multi-TV DVR among DVR owners, (b) a high correlation between multi-year presence of DVR in a home and consumer interest in obtaining DVR capability throughout the home; and (c) a high correlation between consumer interest in multi-set DVR capability and multi-set ownership.
"It is particularly striking to see strong evidence that this effect deepens over time. Consumers with multiple TVs are increasingly likely to own multiple DVRs as time goes on. As well, their interest in DVR everywhere continues to build. It's clear evidence that consumer interest in DVR does not stop at one TV and that the right solution for the consumer is a whole home, multi-TV solution."
PRNewswire:: Latest Consumer Research Indicates Broad and Growing Interest in DVR on Every TV

September 30, 2003 in News | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

DirecTV Growth

In a Motley Fool article about the growth of DirecTV, there are some rumors that may impact Tivo.

Meanwhile, while DirecTV is marketing a digital video recorder (DVR) that's co-branded with the popular TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO), many are wondering whether that might end soon. The reasoning is that since News Corp. owns NDS Group PLC (Nasdaq: NNDS), which has a similar technology, it might lose interest in TiVo once it controls DirecTV.
Needless to say, if DirecTV drops Tivo as a partner for the DVR service, that would be a tremendous blow to the company.
Fool.com: DirecTV Booming - September 30, 2003

September 30, 2003 in News | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004

media center 2004

Microsoft has just announced and released Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004, the updated version of the media center OS. Here's a list of all the updates.

The biggest new feature appears to be the addition of radio to the media mix, and the ability to pause and rewind live FM radio. They don't mention the ability to schedule recordings, but I'm sure that's just another software update away, and they'd have created every geeks dream: tivo for radio. I would love to come home and be able to enjoy one of many recorded radio programs at my leisure.

The interactive demo is a great way to see everything that is new. Due to the weird restrictions that the OS is only offered on new PCs, users of the previous version will need to contact their vendor to get the new OS, which is kind of lame.

September 30, 2003 in News | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Disney unveils VOD that's almost a PVR

moviebeam interface

Disney announced a new service called MovieBeam today. While it's video-on-demand using a Samsung setop box, it looks like a combo aimed squarely at services like Netflix and TiVo.

Basically you've got a box with 100 movies on it at all times, with 10 new ones available each week from Disney's stable of movie studios. They charge $6.99 a month, plus $2.50-$4 for each movie you watch, which could be quite lucrative to them, especially since they are selling direct to consumers and cutting out middlemen like Blockbuster video.

The setop box does do digital audio out and s-video, but I wonder what sort of copy protection is in place on delivered movies. Also they mention all transmission is over-the-air, using a small antenna, but I haven't seen any details of the technical specs on that.

September 29, 2003 in News | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Roku, from founders of ReplayTV

Serial entrepreneur Anthony Wood (founder of ReplayTV, Dreamweaver, and other products) has started a new company to focus on the HDTV market. An HD PVR must not be too far behind, although I wonder about the HD space needed for HDTV.

[Roku is] the first digital media player to be designed for high-definition televisions, which are gaining in popularity as prices drop.

The HD1000 can play slideshows, video or music files from its four built-in memory card slots, or play files streamed from a computer via an Ethernet network connection.

AP - ReplayTV Inventors Aim at Living Rooms

September 29, 2003 in ReplayTV | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

TidBITS reviews Tivo Series 2

Alex Hoffman of TidBITS loves Tivo Series 2. For him Tivo = no need for NetFlix.

But despite the cost, believe everything you have heard about how great TiVo is. We have gotten more out of it than we would have gotten out of a new computer. Or two new computers. Whether you love movies (catch them to record even when you don't know that they're on), episodic television (never miss a show) or sports (watch replays when you want to, and then catch up by fast-forwarding through the commercials), TiVo changes the way that you watch television, and the Home Media Option is the best way I've seen to play MP3s on your living room's sound system.
TidBITS: TiVo Series2 Improves on Original

September 29, 2003 in TiVo | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

PVR stats US and worldwide

Yankee, Instat, and Jupiter are all predicting big changes for TV viewing due to the popularity of PVRs. You have to take this stuff with a lot of salt, in my opinion.

Adi Kishore, Yankee Group Media & Entertainment Strategies analyst, estimates that by 2007, nearly one-fifth of all U.S. homes will be able to fast-forward TV commercials, eventually disrupting the entire value chain for television. The report details the impact the PVR will have on the television advertising industry, noting that roughly $5.5 billion in revenue — or 11 percent of their TV ad budgets — will be lost by 2006 when more than 19 million U.S. homes own a device.

We all know the advertisers and broadcasters will do anything not to lose that revenue that Kishore claims could be lost.

Remote Power: Can PVRs Kill TV Spots?

September 29, 2003 in News | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

New Series 1 upgrade brackets

Anyone thinking of upgrading their old Phillips or Sony series 1 TiVo should know about Weaknees' new TiVo Series 1 upgrade bracket. It's simple, cheap, and includes the torx tools needed to crack open your TiVo. If the fit and finish is anywhere close to their series 2 twinbreeze kit, it's a bargain.

September 27, 2003 in Products | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Echostar scores millionth customer

Today Echostar reported surpassing one million Dish Network DVRs. This is a huge industry milestone that TiVo was projected to reach by the end of this year. Analysts have long said after this "tipping point" is reached, subscriptions may skyrocket as the technology hits critical mass. Echostar took a different aim at the market, by giving their boxes away to gain new satellite customers and increase satisfaction among their current users.

I think this does a great job of demonstrating that TiVo's business model of moderately priced boxes and monthly fees is likely their achilles heel; other upstarts are gaining marketshare by the day through either including free service for life on single cost boxes, or giving hardware away freely in exchange for content subscriptions.

September 25, 2003 in News | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Building a Wireless Home Media Network Server

Extreme Tech has a great, comprehensive article on Building a Wireless Home Media Network Server. They explain system choices with regards to cost/benefits and performance, and also throw in a smaller Shuttle PC case as an alternative. The review contains a lot of great information about what good, cheap parts are out there, and where you could save money, and where you should splurge. They picked SnapStream as their PVR software after reaching many of the same conclusions I did. In the end, the systems come to around $1400, but if you are using parts from old computers, it's possible to cut that down quite a bit. [via gizmodo]

September 25, 2003 in News | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack