Comcast To Test DVRs That Use Cable Lines

from the too-bad-for-TiVo dept

Despite TiVo’s persistence, it appears they’re still having problems convincing cable providers to license their technology. Comcast, the nation’s largest cable provider has now announced they’re coming out with their own PVR system, based on technology from another company. The Comcast system will also let users share shows throughout a house, so users will be able to transfer shows from their living room TV to a bedroom TV if they want. People still say TiVo has a better user-interface than many of these other solutions – but if their business model is really going to involve relying on these sorts of deals with cable and satellite providers, it appears their very limited market is shrinking.

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Comments on “Comcast To Test DVRs That Use Cable Lines”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

Tivo is good, but...

I have Dish Network and I pay $5 extra for their 80 hour PVR system.

It doesn’t have any advanced Tivo like functions, no Season Tickets, or guesses at what I want to watch.

It interfaces with the TV guide information provided by the Dish and lets me pick shows to record. I can tell it to record the same time slot/channel combination for ever which is almost the same as Season Ticket, but if shows get pre-empted or delayed, it doesn’t catch that. It makes no attempt to record shows I might want to watch, but that means I don’t have to wade through a list of shows to find the ones I do want to watch.

My plain vanilla PVR meets >90% of what I want from a PVR, so why should I pay Tivo? Plus, since the receiver belongs to Dish Network, it’s up to them to fix it if it ever goes bad. I suffered a faulty firmware upgrade last year and it left it almost unusable (the firmware upgrades are automatic at night over the dish) and they came out and replaced it for free *and* left me with a brand new one with 2x the recording capacity, so again I ask, why pay for Tivo?

Cavu says:

Re: Tivo is good, but...

I own both the Tivo and the Dish PVR. From a usability and features standpoint the Tivo is much better.

For total TV time shifting catching pre-empted or rescheduled shows is important, something that gives the Tivo an edge over the Dish PVR. And the Tivo is much better at scheduling recording out in the future. Those features are only available because of the Tivo subscription service. When I was using the Tivo exclusively it got to the point where I had all the shows I wanted to watch already recorded, and really didn’t know or care when they broadcast originally. Tivo suggestions are an option that can be turned off to reduce “clutter”.

Face it; at this point in time the PVR is just an appliance. So it really comes down to what specific feature you want that makes the difference. The above features may not appeal to everyone. And even for me, as nice as those features are, it’s not worth the extra money Tivo charges, so I don’t use the Tivo anymore. To me it might be worth a $1/month or so to have the better subscription info. But, I doubt Tivo will get rich at that rate.

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