Where Did TiVoToGo Go?
from the just-wondering dept
Two years ago, the saga of TiVo's effort to build in a feature people obviously wanted (the ability to move content off of their TiVo devices to computers or mobile devices), was a perfect example of why it's a bad idea to give the content industry veto power over consumer electronics companies. If you recall, TiVo had to ask permissions to innovate and add the feature, after groups like the MPAA asked the FCC to forbid TiVo from adding such an offering. Eventually, it was allowed, but only after they made tradeoffs (taking away certain features) to get the entertainment industry's approval. Of course, this made the "ToGo" offering quite limited, and meant that people who really wanted to make TiVo content mobile had to hack the devices. According to the EFF, in the latest TiVo box (for HD), the TiVoToGo feature is completely missing. If you want to upgrade, you lose the feature. While the EFF believes it's due to pressure from the entertainment industry, it could just as easily be explained by the fact that the feature in its watered-down state was pretty close to useless. Either way, the efforts of the entertainment industry have helped make consumer electronics less useful -- which does plenty to harm the value of the entertainment industry's own content. Plenty of people would be much more likely to watch certain shows if they weren't tethered to their TV -- but the industry's focus on "controlling the content" means that fewer people will watch it.