Why the Vista Tsunami Will Wash Over TiVo



A few thoughts on the subject of TiVo vs Vista in the HD DVR market:


TiVo doesn’t have:


  1. A reasonable price for its HD DVR.
  2. Freedom from monthly service fees and commitments.
  3. Media Extenders providing the Networked Digital Media experience at lost cost to numerous locations.
  4. MultiRoom or DVR to PC capabilities in the S3.
  5. Large quantities of very desirable content from multiple DOD sources.
  6. Large numbers of hardware manufacturers and infinite configurations to choose from.
  7. Millions of third party developers coming up with neat ideas every day.
  8. Countless applications beyond a handful of uninteresting HME apps.
  9. Ability to transcode on the fly to countless devices.
  10. Satellite – DTV (S3)
  11. Power for advanced graphics and UI features.
  12. Several CC slots – perhaps 4 in one Vista machine this year.





TiVo requires a computer to accomplish many tasks such as video transfers to other devices. As long as you have to have a PC in there anyway, what do you need the TiVo for? Using one or two Vista machines with 4+ tuners and several Media Extenders will blow away the cost of several Series3 boxes plus TiVo service.



What TiVo does have is a device that rarely crashes and therefore reliably records your programs. But even this is called into question as software updates introduce bugs and the Series3’s flakiness with CableCards causes problems. But my XP machine runs for two weeks with all kinds of crazy apps; Vista will run at least as well. OK, maybe you have to reboot the machine every month if you dedicate it to DVR functions.



TiVo also has a very good UI, but it is slow and extremely inflexible, and it has become riddled with little bugs and annoyances. Vista’s interface will be terrific and extend its functionality rapidly using the advantages of powerful hardware and organic third party development.


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