TiVO is taking a while to catch on – meanwhile people poop in holes in the ground:
- While TiVo and Replay users enthuse about their personal video recorders, sales figures are not encouraging. PVR is a technology in search of a business model.
Tom Edwards, senior analyst at researcher NPDTechworld, questions the future of standalone PVRs. Yet as an embedded technology, the PVR could be on its way to mainstream adoption, with broad implications for TV and advertising. Mr. Edwards sees good potential building the technology into other devices, such as cable set-top boxes, TVs, DVDs and satellite receivers.
Cable and satellite
TiVo and Replay are licensing their technology and software for such uses. But they face competition from others developing PVR technology for cable and satellite services. In the end, Mr. Edwards said, the feature is likely to be unbranded to the user, negating the need for PVR suppliers to build consumer brands. “It’s an emerging technology, but it’s not hot yet,” he added.
….Outhouses vs. TiVos
A case of the law of large numbers coming into play? Hardly. In a neighborhood of 200 homes, only one on average has a TiVo. More U.S. homes have outhouses (671,000) than TiVos (504,000 to 514,000).
Another warning sign: Microsoft Corp.’s UltimateTV came within 200 units of TiVo in year-to-date retail sales through September, according to NPD. That came even though Microsoft in January disclosed it was exiting PVR hardware after it concluded the business model — subsidizing manufacturers and relying on subscriptions for profits — was not viable. It continues to develop PVR software while it looks for profitable ways to deploy the technology.
I have no further comment – I’m wiped out.