Tivo is about to announce….something today. Some of my sources have hinted at the addition of more social networking hooks (translation: Twitter and Facebook integration, a.k.a. what I'm watching now via my iPhone). Others have speculated about rumors of new hardware.
But even if both rumors are true, it may be a case of too little, too late. Terabyte drives and Facebook feeds probably won't be enough to save the company. Subscriptions and set-top box sales have been flagging. Part of the slide has been due to cheaper cable company DVRs, but that's not the biggest problem for Tivo looming on the horizon.
Most new televisions coming out this year will have Internet access and on-screen services such as Netflix, Vudu (now Walmart), Amazon, Blockbuster, Twitter, etc., built in. No more separate box. No more onerous cable company video-on-demand fees. Indeed, one of Vizio's new models includes limitless DVR functionality (granted, one has to do a little tinkering to make it work).
So what could rejuvenate Tivo? A deal with a major consumer electronics company to be included on TVs and Blu-ray players would certainly help (why let Netflix hog all the glory?). Or, the inclusion of Hulu and others on the boxes (a smart move since Boxee and Sony's PlayStation 3 have been effectively cut out of that loop…and given Tivo's investors this is a distinct possibility). Tivo could also hitch its wagon to AppleTV but that ship seems to have already sunk.
For our assessment following Tivo's announcement, check in here. Same Bat time, same Bat channel.
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