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The Rocky TiVo-DirecTV Relationship 219

Posted by timothy
from the after-that-she-hardly-spoke-to-me dept.
Thomas Hawk writes "Phillip Swann's TV Predictions is out this morning alleging that before dumping their TiVo stock last year, Rupert Murdoch's DirecTV had made a pass at buying a controlling stake in TiVo. According to Swann, 'TiVo's top management did not like Murdoch's offer,' and Swann alleges that this is why you had a fallout between the two companies. As an interesting aside, Rob Pegoraro over at the Washington Post was out yesterday warning people to not buy an HDTV TiVo, as DirecTV will be changing their high-def signal later this year and that if you bought the HDTV TiVo that you might not be able to watch network TV in high def. As an owner of one of those expensive high-def DirecTV TiVos, I sure hope this isn't the case."
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The Rocky TiVo-DirecTV Relationship

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  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Monday April 04, 2005 @02:45PM (#12136139) Homepage Journal
    Mirrored links

    Thomas Hawk [networkmirror.com] writes "Phillip Swann's TV Predictions is out this morning alleging that before dumping their TiVo stock last year, Rupert Murdoch's DirecTV had made a pass at buying a controlling stake in TiVo [networkmirror.com]. According to Swann, 'TiVo's top management did not like Murdoch's offer,' and Swann alleges that this is why you had a fallout between the two companies. As an interesting aside, Rob Pegoraro over at the Washington Post was out yesterday warning people to not buy an HDTV TiVo [networkmirror.com], as DirecTV will be changing their high-def signal later this year and that if you bought the HDTV TiVo that you might not be able to watch network TV in high def. As an owner of one of those expensive high-def DirecTV TiVos, I sure hope this isn't the case."
  • When will they (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RedElf (249078) on Monday April 04, 2005 @02:47PM (#12136159) Homepage
    Standardize on one format or another so we don't have to buy a new TiVo like device every 6-18 months?
    • Re:When will they (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jm92956n (758515)
      ...Standardize on one format or another so we don't have to buy a new TiVo like device every 6-18 months?

      As soon as planned obsolesence becomes illegal.

    • Re:When will they (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sc00ter (99550) on Monday April 04, 2005 @02:53PM (#12136220) Homepage
      DirecTV is coming out with their own DVR that will be some kind of home entertainment thing. You'll have one "master" system that will do all the recording and then other systems hooked up to other TVs that will get the information from the master system. It will also allow streaming from your computer for music and pictures.

      There is only two "formats" of TiVo for DirecTV, the normal ones that record the stream from the sat, and the new HDTV TiVo's that cost a grand. So I don't see why you would have to buy a new one every "6-8 months" as you suggest.

      If you call them now and inquire about a DVR they direct you to the new home entertainment unit that will be coming out soon

      • Re:When will they (Score:3, Informative)

        by jlaxson (580785)
        And there are multiple types of streams from the Satellites, plus ATSC from the OTA tuner. DirecTV is rolling out MPEG-4 for new HD channels, which the current HR10-250 currently can't deal with. And you do have to buy a new one every 6-8mo if you're doing HDTV Satellite. I just had a HR10-250 (my first Satellite system ever) installed today. They sure as hell better offer a cheap upgrade path.
        • if it's just a matter of the encoding used for the video streams can't TiVo just offer a firmware update?
          • You can't just flash an MPEG-2 encoder and turn it into an MPEG-4 encoder. It doesn't work like that.

            Plus, there's the issue that the HD Tivo can't handle Ka signals, so it wouldn't even be able to receive the MPEG-4 stream in the first place.

            Bottom line: the current HD Tivo will not work with DirecTV's new HD rollout.
      • DirecTV is coming out with their own DVR that will be some kind of home entertainment thing.

        Let's keep in mind that DirecTV has only announced a DVR system (to be built by News Corp subsidiary and fellow Murdoch-empire-stablemate NDS), but hasn't yet delivered a product, and the ship date continues to slip. It'll be interesting to see what they come up with, but if the current level of competition is any indication, TiVo will still have a superior UI and more robust scheduling system.

    • Re:When will they (Score:4, Insightful)

      by taniwha (70410) on Monday April 04, 2005 @02:56PM (#12136264) Homepage Journal
      Actually I think they probably are - DTV was bought by Sky a while back, DTV's signal is just about the most non-standard satellite/cable signal there is out there (everyone else uses relatively standard transport streams, DTV use something of their own design). Sky on the other hand uses DVB (what just everyone else in the world but the US cable/TV guys use - including DiSH).

      While I work in the biz (but none of sky/dtv/tivo) I'd guess that Sky are making DTV switch to DVB so all their gear is interoperable

    • Re:When will they (Score:4, Insightful)

      by baudilus (665036) on Monday April 04, 2005 @02:57PM (#12136274)
      When people stop buying them every 6-18 months.
    • Re:When will they (Score:4, Informative)

      by Em Ellel (523581) on Monday April 04, 2005 @02:58PM (#12136288)
      personally, I still own a pair of Series 1 DTivos from about 5 years ago and they still work great - no plans to upgrade any time soon. You do not HAVE to buy a new device of any sort every 6-18 mos, you WANT to. Do not confuse the two.

      -Em
    • Analog is always compatible. I've been happy with my first-generation Philips-branded TiVo for years now.

      No, it doesn't record HD, but at the moment I'm willing to live with that, seeing as how my other choice seems to be to spend hundreds on a machine that might not record HD anyway.
  • it's true (Score:5, Informative)

    by skaeight (653904) on Monday April 04, 2005 @02:48PM (#12136175)
    Directv is switching to MPEG-4 encoding this year with the launch of the spaceway sats. I'm sure there will be a transition period so your HDTiVo should work for a while, but there will come a point where you will have to upgrade.

    A couple of good sites to find more info are:

    http://www.dbsforums.com [dbsforums.com]
    http://www.dbstalk.com [dbstalk.com]
    http://www.tivocommunity.com [tivocommunity.com]
    • I feel sorry for all the people who bought their directivo hd boxes for $1200. This is why I like cable's rent the box model, $7 a month. Can't go wrong.
    • Re:it's true (Score:3, Informative)

      by mr_zorg (259994)
      Most of the HD channels currently on DirecTV aren't worth a damn anyway so no real lose. The regular sat channels will not be changing, AFAIK, and the OTA functions of the HDTiVo will still work.
  • by Ironsides (739422) on Monday April 04, 2005 @02:49PM (#12136179) Homepage Journal
    As DirectTV is moving forward on changing to Advanced Video Codecs (AVCs) such as H.264 the current HD Tivos will become obsolete as they can only recieve the current encoding of MPEG-2. Sorry, but tis true. I also doubt that Tivo will make an update to the MPEG-2 HDs to recieve the new codec. Also, I have heard that DirectTV is moving to the DVB-S2 transmission standard from their current DVB-S. Extra information and/or signal strength, their choice.
  • cablecard (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alatesystems (51331) <chrisNO@SPAMtalkingtoad.com> on Monday April 04, 2005 @02:49PM (#12136186) Homepage Journal
    This is why the CableCard [timewarnercable.com] is so important, so that multiple devices can operate like the company provided boxes. I have a cable company dvr, and it is really awesome, but if I wanted to use a brand name TiVo, I would be pissed at having to use IR blasters.

    As far as I know, there's no cablecard equivalent for satellite boxes, but there should be. Ahh, the incredible balance between freedom and regulation.
    • Re:cablecard (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wembley (81899) on Monday April 04, 2005 @02:55PM (#12136242) Homepage
      The cable companies hate CableCard, which was federally mandated. They lose another revenue stream (hardware), and you have an interface they can't necessarily control and spam OnDemand ads onto.

      With the repeated granting of 1-year extensions on the CableCard deadline, don't hold your breath waiting for it. We still don't have all the HD content that was FCC mandated...
      • My company [twcablesport.com] already offers [timewarnercable.com] the cable card.

        Time Warner seems to be a pretty good company all around. My internet access is awesome, the dvr is awesome, and they haven't ever gone up on my rates.
      • Re:cablecard (Score:2, Informative)

        by hazman (642790)
        Bzzzzt...

        There is no FCC mandate of HDTV content. The FCC has asked nicely, with a cherry on top, that broadcasters produce and deploy HDTV in hopes that the 15% of the US population that currently receives their TV content from NTSC broadcasts would go out and get a shiny new digital TV that can recieve and decode the mandated ATSC digital broadcast signal and the HDTV feature in supposed to entice that portion of the population to do so.

        Note: Those broadcasts are not required to be HDTV. They can be S
        • My mistake. I blobbed digital and HDTV together.

          The FCC mandated a switch to digital (not HDTV per se, although it is heavily being used for it), which was repeatedly appealed and postponed.
        • Close. Not perfect. One hundred percent of the US population receives TV content via NTSC broadcasts. I think you're probably thinking about over-the-air versus cable and satellite. I don't know if the 15 percent number is right; I'll take your word for it.

          NTSC defines a picture format. All television signals broadcast or received in the US are NTSC signals except for ATSC broadcasts.
      • Re:cablecard (Score:5, Informative)

        by Lumpy (12016) on Monday April 04, 2005 @03:34PM (#12136643) Homepage
        you are a fucking liar.

        the Cable companies do NOT hate the cablecard. It's motorola, Scientifica Atlanta and Jerrold as well as other sattelite and Catv headend gear makers.

        all of them REFUSE to follow any standards and intercooperate to ensure headend and plant lock-in on cable companies. If you are an all motorola cable company you haveto throw away EVERYTHING to use any SA gear. Motorola Loves that. SA does the same damn thing.

        the cablecard gives up the monopoly of locking in the cable companies to a single vendor for their headend gear.

        the rest of the world uses a single standard... the US has several that are bastardized by each equipment makes to ensure there is no interoperability.

        so take your cabletv company hating LIES and go elsewhere.

        if you want cablecard to exist then tell Motorola to quit fighting it as well as the other equipment makers.

        if they ran the damned DVB standard like the rest of the world this all would be a non issue.
        • Re:cablecard (Score:5, Insightful)

          by PepeGSay (847429) on Monday April 04, 2005 @03:43PM (#12136725)
          Moderate parent up. He is dead right. Cable companies do not make any appreciable money on cable boxes. This is because the cable companies screwed up their provider model for the cable boxes and locked themselves into the few providers which they pay nearly $500 for a cable box. I worked for a cable company and this was one of the big reasons they supported the DOCSIS standard for cable modems which brought cable modems down into the $80 range, and possibly even lower now.
          • While this may be true in the recent past, do you remember your pre-digital cable box?

            Was it, like mine and many others, a faux-wood-panelled box with two red LED numbers? Was that box 10-15 years old, long since paid for, and you were still charged $5-10 for it? Remember how they charged you extra for the remote?

            You can't tell me that by renting out all those ancient Jerrolds and General Instruments boxes, the cable company wasn't making a profit on hardware rental.

            The brave new world of cablecos losing
          • Re:cablecard (Score:3, Informative)

            by Lumpy (12016)
            That is the bigest point. The suppliers INTRENTIONALLY obfuscate and tweak the "standards" to create massive lock-in. Yes everyone, I did not start out the post on a good note, and apologize to everyone about it, but I am sick and tired of people making things up and passing it off as fact. Almost everything the main post I origionall responded to is a lie. the FCC did not mandate HDTV, the cable companies do not hate the cablecard, these are all the current industry FUD and lies that are going around ever
        • Re:cablecard (Score:4, Informative)

          by The Vulture (248871) on Monday April 04, 2005 @04:33PM (#12137371) Homepage
          Not the best way to start off a post, but you are correct. It's Motorola and SA (Scientific Atlanta) playing the game.

          However, at the same time, cable operators are afraid of CableCard. The advantage of freeing them up to use any frontend that they want also scares them. At least by forging a relationship with Motorola or SA, they can get their boxes branded and control the content. With CableCard, anybody can make a set-top box, with no branding, no advertising lock-in, and no guaranteed content protection.

          What I would really love to see is a PCI card that accepts a CableCard, which can be used to decrypt the digital cable content. Not so that I can spread the shows around the Internet, but so that I can use the features of my MythTV machine. (Yes, the content has to be decrypted for MythTV to really make any use of it, otherwise the PCI card has to have video out. MythTV would still lose the OSD feature, and it would be harder to configure.)

          Microsoft might be the closest ally on that, since they'll need a way to capture digital cable content for their Media Center platform (if they wish to continue that).

          -- Joe
        • so take your cabletv company hating LIES and go elsewhere.

          Who knew the cable companies had rabid fans? That's wild.

    • Re:cablecard (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Sc00ter (99550) on Monday April 04, 2005 @02:57PM (#12136276) Homepage
      In order for that to work then the signal would have to be the same, and it's not.

      I had a SA TiVo on cable for a while. I had the old style box with an IR Blaster and it worked fine, never missed a show or had any issues with it.

      Most digital cable boxes can be controled with the serial cable from the TiVo to increase speed and reliablility.

      The DirecTiVo units record the stream from the sats, so they are incompatible for that reason. But they give you PERFECT quality, something the SA TiVo's can't do.

      The signals will probably always be different between cable and sat, so I don't know what they could do. I see a future where cable companies use different encoding for their streams, making the cablecard worthless anyway :(

  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Monday April 04, 2005 @02:50PM (#12136187) Homepage Journal
    I heard on the BBC WS this morning that LG and Matsushita had settled some stink about IP and plasma screens, which restricted markets in Korea and Japan, until settled, but didn't think it was 'News for Nerds' and was 'stuff that didn't matter'

    With TiVo selling out to Comcast and pushing pop-up ads, I can't feel much positive about them anymore.

  • by AtariAmarok (451306) on Monday April 04, 2005 @02:51PM (#12136202)
    With Murdoch taking over all of Tivo, we'll need a sort of different kind of Foxblocker [foxblocker.com] for this. I suggest gluing a couple of cable TV jacks to either end of a wooden spool, and inserting this in your incoming co-ax cable.
  • by barfy (256323) on Monday April 04, 2005 @02:52PM (#12136217)
    I am an owner of the HDTV box, and yes it was expensive, and it has already been broken and replaced once ...

    But it is the *ONLY* box that does what it does. 2 OTA tuners, 2 Satellite Tuners, both OTA and Satellite HD...

    But Mpeg4 is coming, and this box has NO way to deal with it. And even as an owner of the box, I welcome MPEG4, as this will give me what I really want... Not "digital quality", but "quality digital". Replacing all of the boxes out there is cheaper than building and launching a satellite. HD will be where they go first, but eventually ALL DirectTV will be mpeg4.

    I am sad that there was a breakdown between Tivo and DirectTV, because the combo *is* the best way to watch tv today.

    There is some promise apparantly for us HDTiVo folks to replace our boxes with something "as good or better". We shall see when it happens. For now, I LOVE my HDTiVo.

    • by Sc00ter (99550) on Monday April 04, 2005 @03:10PM (#12136392) Homepage
      But the new sat is for spot beams (locals). So if you have the new DirecTV DVR (the multiroom one that is not released yet), you'll be able to get all the same programming you can get now.

      Can you record your OTA HD channels with the HDTiVo?

    • But it is the *ONLY* box that does what it does. 2 OTA tuners, 2 Satellite Tuners, both OTA and Satellite HD...

      My Comcast HD DVR has 2 tuners, and doesn't need an OTA setup since Comcast carries my local HD channels in their lineup. I only have to pay $5 a month, and when the box becomes obsolete I can swap it out for a new one.
      • Plus, I believe they are moving to the tivo interface down the road on the comcast hardware, due to Comcast's recent agreement with tivo. It won't exactly *be* a tivo, but the onscreen system will look and act like it, which is all that matters.

        They may even be doing it with software upgrades on existing hardware, but if they aren't, you can swap out the box for a new one whenever you want.

        If only I didn't hate comcast so much.
        • If only I didn't hate comcast so much.

          Give in to the darkside. I did and now have the power of 6down/768up. Throw on Vonage and you can get rid of your phone company. Now you only have to deal with one utility service instead of two. ;)


    • To me, this is another example where "early adopters" get burnt, but the masses will not even notice. I've owned my Tivo since something like 2001 and used it exclusively with analog cable. I suspect there are a lot of us out there. Probably more than there are HD subscribers with HD Tivos. I'm just not persuaded that I need HDTV and I'm happy to hold off on getting one until it's the cheap standard that costs the same as normal TV's cost now.

      By that time, all this kind of stuff will be sorted.

      seth
    • But it is the *ONLY* box that does what it does

      You mean the only TiVo box to that? The motorola HDTV+DVR box I have from Comcast has dual HD tuners. The interface is not as pretty as TiVo but for $10 a month and no upfront cost it has exceeded my expectations. I am not a big TV watcher so the 80 gigs is enough for me. The upfront cost for that 1 HDTV TiVo box would be insane for someone like me.
  • Pleasing customers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by notthe9 (800486) on Monday April 04, 2005 @02:54PM (#12136241)
    I doubt that they would make the devices like the article poster's non-functional too soon, seeing as people who buy stuff like that are often the kind of customer who would get the most pissed off.

    Business before hate.
  • Yes it is true (Score:5, Informative)

    by doormat (63648) on Monday April 04, 2005 @03:01PM (#12136311) Homepage Journal
    DirecTV will be moving to a 8PSK signal modulation system and to MPEG-4 for HD for the SpaceWay satellite system, both of which are incompatible with the HD DirecTivo. You'll still get the old HD channels broadcast over the older satellites (Ku band, QPSK and MPEG-2), but none of the new fancy stuff (Ka band, 8PSK and MPEG-4).
    • by Chris Pimlott (16212) on Monday April 04, 2005 @03:26PM (#12136548)
      I'm glad to see I'm not the only excited about this upcoming switch! I mean, sure,
      Ku band, QPSK and MPEG-2 are alright. But
      Ka band, 8PSK and MPEG-4 are clearly going to blow them all away! (At least until Ko Band, ¥PSK and MPEG-7 come out...)
      • Point of trivia: MPEG-7 is already here. It's a metadata standard. It was all the rage five years ago, but it appears to have been basically ignored ever since. It seems like that's what often happens when standards-fetishists take over something. They hammer out a standard which is voluminous and complete and useless, and are shocked when nobody adopts it.

        This is totally off message, but I have a very low opinion of standards bodies. I fall into the descriptive-not-normative camp. Codify what's already su
        • Good standards bodies codify what's already in (or about to be in) the marketplace. Bad standards bodies churn out vapor standards that no one ever adopts. I think we just need higher standards in standards bodies ... perhaps if we has a standards body standard we could OUCH STOP HITTING ME
      • Ka band - It's a higher-frequency band that's currently far more open than the lower-frequency Ku band. It allows for higher-bandwidth satellite transmissions.

        8PSK - A new modulation system that allows 3 bits to be represented instead of 2 with each sample. PSK uses the phase of the signal to encode data. QPSK uses 4 different "levels", 8PSK allows 8. This also translates into higher-bandwidth.

        MPEG-4 - A new encoding system that provides better picture quality with less bandwidth.

        So, what does this mean?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 04, 2005 @03:11PM (#12136417)
    ...and thought "What the hell does Sylvester Stallone have to do with TiVo?"...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 04, 2005 @03:14PM (#12136439)

    Bullwinkle: Hey, Rocky! Watch me pull a TiVo out of this hat.

    Rocky: That trick never works.

    /Bullwinkle reaches in hat and pulls out MGM Lion's head.

    MGM Lion: ROOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRR!!!

    Bullwinkle: Oops. Guess I need a new hat.

  • No surprise (Score:4, Funny)

    by sunderland56 (621843) on Monday April 04, 2005 @03:17PM (#12136462)
    I'd have loved to be there during the meetings... one megalomaniac headstrong Brit and one megalomaniac headstrong Scot, in a room together, both thinking they're God. Wonderful. Odds on those two agreeing is so close to zero nobody's going to give you odds.

    I get DirecTV HD, but there's no way I'm spending one dime on anything so close to bankruptcy [yahoo.com] as Tivo.

    • Re:No surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Generic Guy (678542) on Monday April 04, 2005 @04:49PM (#12137591)
      I get DirecTV HD, but there's no way I'm spending one dime on anything so close to bankruptcy as Tivo.

      Okay, I can't just let this dog lie undisturbed. TiVo is not close to bankruptcy, despite their misgivings on Wall Street. In fact, as of their last conference call, they are expecting to turn profitable by the end of this year. They intend to balance revenue from three streams: hardware, subscriptions, and ad sponsers. That's good news for TiVo faithful.

      The bad news is that they plan to reach profitability by sacrificing the ideals which brought them the love in the first place. Their hardware gets less reliable each iteration and harder to hack (for your own software patches). They sell ad space on the interface top menu. And now they are beginning to push pop-up ads on their paying subscribers (while you fast-forward). The recent deal with Comcast will put some variation of TiVo software on Comcast DVRs, most likely with the pop-up ads.

      It remains to be seen how losing 2/3 of their base from DirecTV (in 2007) will affect TiVo, but they should be profitable by then. Don't hate TiVo for 'dying' like BSD and Apple. Instead, hate TiVo for sacrificing their own ideals.

  • by deanj (519759) on Monday April 04, 2005 @03:19PM (#12136483)
    If you have one of those DirectTV TiVos, DirectTV is the outfit that sold it to you in the first place. If they change their signal, complain to DirectTV, not the TiVo.
  • by sbirnie (717828)
    I had DirecTv once, and although I like the picture quality of DirecTv better than cable, the cost of buying several new receivers and a new HD dish is just outrageous compared to renting a cable company box for $5 bucks a month, with the ability to upgrade whenever a new box comes out. They need to use the same model if they want me to switchback to them - which I'd be more than happy to do.
  • by Digital Pizza (855175) on Monday April 04, 2005 @03:38PM (#12136676)
    Does the FCC's new CableCard requirement help with DirectTV access at all? And yeah, I do know it's CableCard, but still...
    • by swb (14022) on Monday April 04, 2005 @04:21PM (#12137176)
      Last I heard, no CableCard Tivos until 2006, which is idiotic. Rumor has it that a rev to the CableCard spec to make it somewhat saner (and more desirable to end-users) is why, but I still think it smells like either (another) bungle by Tivo or cable stalling, or both.

      I can't see why CableCard would help with satellite systems, since you can make the argument that the satellite signal format is a function of competitive advantage (channels, dish sizes, etc).

      The real reason is that both Dish and DTV want their systems as incompatible as possible, as it is a barrier to migration to the competitive product.

      I do like the idea, though, of an uber-smart 'cablecard' enabled Tivo that can tune digital cable, DTV and Dish simultaenously (presumably with two, self-aiming dishes).

  • by ac3boy (638979) on Monday April 04, 2005 @03:46PM (#12136769)

    Here is the rumored trade-in plan to get the new HMCs. It is very generous but I hope they stick to it.

    HMC Cost update.

    Latest info:

    Two base (HD HMC) units with different capacity.

    1) 240 GB - $499 + $99 for SD units and $199 for HD remote units
    2) 480 GB - $599 + $99 for SD units and $199 for HD remote units

    Trade in Values:

    HD-TiVo -> High capacity unit + 2 HD remote units
    SD TiVo -> Low capacity Unit + 1 SD remote unit
    SD Receiver -> Low Capacity unit and 1 SD for every three (3) SD receivers.
    It's basically a price match. For example, if you have two SD TiVo's and an standard HD unit, you can obtain the High Capacity + 1 HD remote unit in exchange.

    Values on units for trade in:

    Standard SD Receiver - No value for HMC - 1 for 1 on SD remote units
    Standard HD Receiver - Low cap HMC or 1 HD Remote unit
    1 TiVo - Low Capacity HMC + SD Unit
    2 TiVo - High Capacity HMC + SD Unit, or High Capacity + SD Unit

    Dollar Value:

    SD Receiver $99
    HD Receiver $399
    TiVo $199
    HD TiVo - $899

  • I am a very happy DirecTV customer, and had planned on getting one of their $99 DVRs in the next couple of weeks and switching my service over to use it. Should I put that off in light of this?
  • It looks like TiVo got squeezed out by Comcast and DirecTV: TiVo walked away from the Comcast deal last year, and I'm betting part of it was due to DirecTV: DTV wouldn't want such close ties with Comcast.

    When the DirecTV deals fell apart, TiVo had to go back to Comcast hat in hand, and beg to get the same deal that they could have probably improved upon.
  • by CDarklock (869868) on Monday April 04, 2005 @04:31PM (#12137319) Homepage Journal
    You cannot *make* us watch your commercials, and the harder you try, the more we will hate you.

    Let's take the recent commercial for Lime Coke. They have this neat little play on Harry Nilsson's classic song "Coconut", which is amusing already, and they made a cute little vignette out of it. But once I've seen it four or five times, I'm done. I never need to see it again. If I was going to try Lime Coke, and I was, I would already have tried it -- which I did -- and decided whether I wanted to continue buying it, which I do. The sale is over. Any *further* commercials they show me for Lime Coke are a complete waste of time. And that's a commercial that SUCCEEDS.

    So when you start worrying about whether I'm going to skip your commercials and you won't get your money's worth, you need a reality check. I don't watch your commercials ANYWAY. When your commercials come on, I will either watch them -- the first couple of times -- or else I will converse with my wife, go to the bathroom, check my email, or grab a snack from the kitchen.

    I am not going to sit and watch your commercials no matter WHAT you do. The most you can do is force me to wait for what I actually *want* to be doing, during which time I will be annoyed and impatient and looking at your product's name. How do you think I'm going to feel when I see your product in a store? Why, I'll feel annoyed and impatient, of course. And that *doesn't* translate to increased sales.
  • Oddly enough, I probably record at least as much HDTV over the air as off of DirecTV's satellite. I get all of the major networks with just a rooftop antenna in beautiful HDTV. Quite a change from when over-the-air TV was riddled with ghosts and noise. So I'm not particularly worried that my 10-250 won't be able to record DirecTV's HD locals when they finally get around to adding them.

    As for DirecTV introducing their own HD DVR, I'll believe it when I see it. I've been disappointed before by DVRs that are
  • by SomeOtherGuy (179082) on Monday April 04, 2005 @05:11PM (#12137846) Journal
    How many early adopters must die because of such crazyness.

    I lost an uncle in the Beta Wars.

    My dad lost his site and the use of his left arm in the Laser Disc campaigns.

    And yet, the brave are marching out again to an expensive and certain death in the HDTV campaigns.

    And meanwhile the rich get richer.
  • It is true (Score:2, Informative)

    I'm a DTV installer so I'm aware of all the changes to come. Yes you will have to get a new HDTivo, HD receivers, and possibly even new standard receivers. I am not aware though if they plan on charging people for the equipment or replacing it all for free. I'de imagine that they would replace it for free though. figuring most people would say screw that and goto a competitor for their tv needs. I for one can't wait for their new satellites to be up and running! It's going to increase work for me, and i

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. -- Billy Rose

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