TiVo vs the Free Market

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People ask about TiVo’s pricing and commitment terms alot these days, often mentioning the cable, cellphone and other businesses in the discussion. I thought I’d do a quick look around at some of these.

Netflix – free market with competition. Decent prices/terms. No commit.
Cell phones – Oligopoly with suppliers offering similar terms. Stiff pricing, commits.
Cable – Monopoly/Oligopoly stiff prices but still no commit, luckily.
ISPs – Oligopoly with some startup/growth style competition. Stiff prices and good discount offerings. Some commits.
TiVo DVR – free market with inexpensive/no commit offerings from financially well backed players. Other options rapidly coming of age. One player with big losses and slow product development playing the cell phone game.

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