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back to article TiVo subscriptions go up – for the first time in 4 years

TiVo in the US has definitively turned the corner, increasing the number of Tivo subscribers in the quarter for the first time in four years, turning a 33,000 deficit last quarter into a 117,000 gain this quarter. This long awaited milestone was greeted in the current US investment market with a yawn, and no significant rise in …

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"Even more impressive is that 40 per cent of these TiVo subscribers are new to Virgin Media"

Knowing how Virgin Media operates, and knowing someone who practically had a TiVo box thrown at them by support, I can't help but wonder how many of these actually wanted it, or just had it thrown in free as a sweetener.

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I'd be happy for them to throw one at me. When I first looked into they wanted £150 for the box alone! Is that not the case any more?

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I pay paid £49.99, free installation plus £3 per month, not sure what the £3 a month is actually for, although when my Virgin connection was down last week I couldn't even watch pre-recorded tv so perhaps these shows are stored in the cloud and downloaded on demand.

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@Dan White, Not the case any more.

My friend recently moved his virgin account to a new location, and just as a reward for staying with them, they gave him one for free. They are just throwing the things at customers now.

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@bob's hamster

"although when my Virgin connection was down last week I couldn't even watch pre-recorded tv"

Actually you can. Rather than pressing "OK on a programme in your recordings (which, as you've found, doesn't work as it can't bring up the info page to play the programme) just highlight the programme and press "Play" and it'll play just fine.

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As an existing VM customer, Tivo has cost me £50 install and £3 extra a month, a pretty good deal I think.

Have had the Tivo for just a couple of weeks and can already not imaging being without it. Also, less torrent downloading as I no longer have to torrent programmes which are on at a time that is inconvenient for me, I just series link it and watch when I think about it!

Say what you like about VM (no really, go ahead), but the Tivo deal is a big win for them and hopefully one that will start to eat in to Sky's customer base (assuming VM's customer services department don't start alienating people)

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Pint

TiVo...

TiVo has the same business model for TV as Live365 does for Internet radio. That is, insert an inexplicable paid (?) subscription architecture in-between content that is either free or already paid-for and the consumer.

What really makes it all come clear are the more technically savy consumers that insert a DNS redirect into their Internet router and obtain the TiVo compatible TV listings guide information from other free sources.

Paying a monthly fee for "PVR Service" (distinct from equipment rental) is only possible if one really avoids thinking too much about exactly what one is paying for.

PS: These Faultline drafted articles are really awful. The language is stilted; the grammatical equivalent of adenoids.

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Tivo is pretty good...

I don't have one, I have MythTV at home. But I've used Tivos before, they are slick, and even the old generation 1 was quick enough and reliable (it only had 16MB of RAM and a 54mhz PowerPC; I have no idea why such an odd clockspeed.) They really developed -- from scratch (Linux kernel, but from-scratch on top of that...) a good service and product, and I'm glad their decline has stopped and they are not just going down the tubes.

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Holmes

hmm, that clock speed looks familier....

if it's taken a line out of the amiga book, the CPU and custom chippery operate at a clock that is directly synced to the scanlines of incoming or outgoing video.

hence something like 7.14Mhz for PAL, and 7.29Mhz for NTSC. someone'll correct me i'm sure.

but take your 66Mhz cpu and clock it down to 54, and you can use that signal to drive everything else (gfx,ram,vdacs) in full syncro just using clock dividers where needed.

also reminds me of playing Idie500 in NTSC to get more fps back in the day.

geet orf moi lawn etc.

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Alternate business models...

I bought a satellite PVR many years ago for several hundred dollars (a top-of-the-line model at the time). For what it's worth, the satellite TV company in question recently sent me a brand new (free) replacement as they're changing their signal from MPEG2 to MPEG4. It's a lovely PVR, easy to use, and every bit as good as a TiVo (some pluses and some minuses).

The "PVR Service" with the satellite TV providers is a natural and completely free part of the satellite TV subscription. One does not need to pay TiVo, or anyone else, for a "PVR service" as it's really just the guide information that they send out anyway.

I'm not sure that people are quite getting this point...

WITH TIVO, YOU'RE PAYING MONEY FOR A "SERVICE" THAT IS NEXT-TO-NOTHING.

Perhaps these people would pay me a non-negligible monthly fee for a collection of links to the Interweb (a la Live365)?

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US Cable-Cos now required to support customer installed cable-cards

Up until recently, most cable companies in the US required a technician visit to install a cable-card, and the charge for that service could be $50-$100, plus time off work while you waited for the technician to turn up.

Earlier this year, the FCC ruled that cable cards had to be supported in exactly the same way as the cable-companies own DVRs - if the customer could pick up a DVR at the store and install it themselves, the company had to allow the customer to pick up the cable card themselves, and call in whatever activation numbers were required to get it working.

This has been a boon for the hobbyist who wants to use the Ceton InfiniTV or SiliconDusts HDHomerun Prime, cable-card receivers with 3 or 4 tuners, but it must also make it easier for Tivo who had been calling for this change for years.

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