I’ve certainly commented on this before… TiVO is a great product and while I am a fan and was an early customer, our home has switched over to the Time Warner DVR for a few basic reasons.
First, it integrates perfectly with our fantastic interactive program guide. Time Warner services and installs the box and and will swap it out when the HD-capable version is ready for our market within a few months. There is no cost for the box itself… only a monthly fee which is comparable to TiVO.
So far, cable operators have been a tough sell. And though they are growing increasingly fond of the TiVo concept, viewing it as a way to differentiate themselves from competition, they now have their own efforts in the works. Says Rowen: “Companies were fighting DVR and now they’re embracing it.”
TimeWarner (TWX ) is selling recording capability through its digital-cable set-top box, which is made by Scientific Atlanta (SFA). Charter Communications (CHTR ) offers a product through a startup division called Digeo. Comcast (CMCSA) just paid company Gemstar-TV Guide International (GMST ) $250 million for access to its interactive programming guide. “It seems reasonable they will explore that partnership to the fullest,” Arenson says. The cable companies’ offerings, he adds, “don’t preclude a deal with TiVo, but it makes it a harder battle to fight.”