TiVo Tries To Explain Why They're Taking Away Features

from the dance-around-the-questions-a-bit... dept

Last month we wrote about how TiVo (and ReplayTV) both somehow miraculously decided on the very same day that their customers would be happier with fewer features, as they would download an update that took away popular features. The reason for this? New copy protection controls that the entertainment industry thinks they need, but which are only going to push people away from (a) watching the shows or channels that use this and (b) buying TiVo or Replay as other options become available that don’t tell viewers they can do less. John has submitted an interview from Wired Magazine where Wired quizzes TiVo’s general counsel on why they would do this, and wonders if this is just a way for the content providers to wedge their way in between TiVo and viewers with their own “control.” TiVo’s lawyer dances around the questions and basically says it was a tradeoff they had to make to get permission to build TiVoToGo. In other words, they did a little horse trading: take away a few features here, and let us add a few features here. This is a bad precedent. You shouldn’t need to do this to innovate, and it’s a shame that TiVo couldn’t stand up to the entertainment industry and tell them “our customers don’t want this, and neither do we.” All it means is that, for many of us, it’s now much clearer that we don’t want TiVo.

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Comments on “TiVo Tries To Explain Why They're Taking Away Features”

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Griffon says:

seel out from begining

Tivo has been a sellout from the beginning, but look what happened to Sonic blue who tried to stand up and give customers what they wanted. They where annihilated. So I guess I can understand why Tivo lives total and perpetual fear of the entertainment industry and refuses to put their direct customers first in anyway shape or form. It makes me very sad that that we have reached this state of affairs and when there is some good software that will let me do HD with Direct Tv that is not Tivo i will be switching away from them very fast. You can’t court two girls at once for long without getting kicked in the nads, probable twice.
The fact that cable and the sats are just waiting for the right time to totaly suplant Tivo with their owned OEM crap should serve as a huge red flag that Tivo should be doing everythign in their power to make the direct customer their friend and they fail to deliver at every possible turn and instead cowtow to the industry side of the line.

TJ says:

Not great but

As a TiVo customer I’m not thrilled by this news. However, I want the TiVo2Go features, and I’d rather see a few minimal compromises than have it tied up in litigation for years. Of course I wouldn’t pay the ridiculous price for a PPV movie to start with, so that’s not a concern, and since I’m not a sports FANatic I could give a flying F what they do with game blackouts.

TiVo still does DVR features better than any competitor, though I wish they’d respond to some of the most requested features from the TiVo community forums.

If they start limiting features related to non-PPV/sports events then I’ll be more concerned. But in the back of my mind I do hear the whispers of “when they came for ___ I said nothing, when they came for ___ I did nothing, and when they finally came for me there was no one left to protest”.

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