TiVo Plans To Bring Aereo Back From The Dead

from the corpse-reanimation-never-works-well dept

Back in March, TiVo purchased Aereo's trademarks and customer rosters for around $1 million at auction, after Aereo's disruption efforts and clever legal arguments imploded spectacularly last November. Details are incredibly vague, but TiVo appears interested in resurrecting the Aereo service in some capacity, offering an improved -- and legal -- version of the controversial internet video service. Early details are spectacularly vague, but TiVo appears interested in marketing something to cable partners that will help them target cord cutters:
"It’s one helluva cheap way for cable operators to have an OTA/OTT device that says, ‘Satellite cord-cutter, I have a broadband package for you with a video component,'" (TiVo CEO Tom) Rogers said. "I think it allows them [the cable operator] to own the low-end and win over satellite subscribers."
The problem is that many cable operators don't want to make any truly disruptive over-the-top plays, since any value-oriented, disruptive internet video offering is going to cannibalize existing pay TV subscribers. That's why the cable and broadcast industry's Hulu has remained a dull, glorified ad for traditional cable TV. There has been some traction made on this front (Cablevision offering free antennas with broadband, for example), but by and large, cable execs remain terrified of upsetting the Apple cart. Rogers admits there's still a question as to how to make cable partnerships work:
"TiVo reasons that OTA, combined with broadband-fueled over-the-top services, presents an opportunity to help its cable partners target a small but growing number of cord cutters who are seeking less-expensive video and TV alternatives but who are also willing to create their own bundles. "The question is, how do you do that?” Tom Rogers, TiVo’s CEO and president, said during an interview last week at the INTX show in Chicago. “To us, the answer is pretty clear — it’s kind of the Aereo model, done legally and better."
The problem is, by the time TiVo's internet video offering arrives, it will be joining a crowded market saturated with services from the likes of Verizon, Dish (Sling TV), Sony and Apple. It's unclear how TiVo intends to truly differentiate itself from the pack, and the TiVo and Aereo brand may not be enough. Aereo's draw predominantly was its low $8 a month price tag, which was made possible because the company wasn't paying retransmission fees. Aereo's entire technical model of leasing customers micro-antennas and cloud DVR space was based on its legal efforts to tap dance around having to pay such fees. A legal version of Aereo couldn't offer the kind of disruption Aereo was capable of, because the courts have declared Aereo's particular brand of innovation to be illegal.

In other words, TiVo's version of Aereo will belatedly join a crowded field of over-the-top services, and while the brand name will provide some traction, the end product is likely to only share a passing resemblance to the Aereo people knew.
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Filed Under: internet video, over the top, tv
Companies: aereo, tivo


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  1. icon
    JBDragon (profile), 20 May 2015 @ 9:28am

    Re: Good luck with that, TiVo

    I cut the cord 3 years ago, but to have Internet you still need a cord. So it's kind of confusing. I did just sign up with Comcast Cable, but for Internet Only.

    I had AT&T U-Verse 18Mbps Download speed service, though I really only got around 12Mbps, but at $35 a month, I was fine with that. The problem is, my 12 months was up once again and the priced jumped up to $62. That much for that kind of speed? I could get 50Mbps from Comcast for $66 at their NORMAL price!! Comcast was showing that for $44 for 12 months signing up, and I could only get AT&T to go down to $47.50 and I'd be stuck with them for 12 month. I mean really? Why pay more for around 1/4 the speed? I told them, I warned them I'd quite. I said when does my paid up to month end, they told me, I said, fine I'd cancel then after I got my Cable modem setup and working.

    About a week later I was under my House running a new Coax cable from outside to that connection to inside my Closet in the middle of my house where I keep a lot of that stuff. Plugged in my new Cable Modem from Costco. A White Motorola Cable modem. Look, the LINE was LINE and it connected. I called Comcast Up, told them what I wanted, they said for $5 more I could get their 105Mbps service. I said sure, what the hell. So for $50 a month for the next 12 month, seems good to me. Running a few speed tests. As first I was only getting around 20Mbps. Found out it was my Router setting slowing things down. After I fixed it and retested, I was getting 126Mbps Download and around 11Mbps Upload. My Upload speed is almost as fast as my download speed was with U-Verse. My upload speed with them was barely over 1Mbp.

    The Next day I called AT&T to Cancel. They tried their best to get me to stay. Offered me 25Mbps service. I told them I wasn't getting the 18 I was paying for. They're saying Up to 18. If I get the 25, they guarantee it would be at least 18 and above. Then they got into the whole sharing your cable line with everyone in the neighborhood crap with cable. I repeated I had warned them a week ago. I had now pulled their modem and I'm already signed up with Comcast.
    Yesterday I just got my final AT&T bill in the mail showing $0.

    I don't pay for TV service. I used to have a $170 Comcast bill at my old place and my Internet was a fraction of the speed I have now. I'm not going back to that. With Netflix and Amazon Prime which I already had when I used to pay for cable TV back then, I don't consider it a extra charge now as I didn't sign up after I cut the cord. I already had it. I have so much to watch as it is. I sure don't give a crap about sports. I get a most of my TV using my nice large Antenna I put up shortly after I got my house. I laugh every time I walk into Best Buy and the DirectTV guy comes up to me and starts his sales pitch, and I say NO,I don't want to pay for TV, I have a Antenna!!!

    You have to get Internet from someone, and Cable is about it. Unless you're one of the lucky few I guess with Google Fiber. Though I'm getting 126Mbps right now for $50 a month. That to me is great and really overkill. 50Mbps would be overkill for me. I try speedtest on my iPhone over Wifi, and I only get around 44Mbps. Yep, Wifi Limitations!!! Full speed, you need to be WIRED, Gigabit Network!!!

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