Wednesday, April 12, 2006

TIVO, DirectTV, and a SIGH of relief

I know, I know... owning a tivo is not necessarily consistent with my "not keeping up with the jonezez" philosophy. But this is one of those relatively big purchases that I feel has been worth every cent. I bought the Tivo after moving to Cleveland about 4 years ago and realizing that my work hours were going to be long and the winter was going to be longer. And believe me... owning a Tivo in Cleveland circa 2002 was definitely not keeping up with the jonezez, in fact, I felt like Mr. Jones himself (clevelanders are not necessarily early adopters). At that time, the total purchase was $600 (400 for the machine + 200 for lifetime service).

I had two questions when weighing the risks for purchasing lifetime service: a)will my Tivo machine last long-enough to justify the lifetime purchase? and b) would Tivo as a company endure as a successful business?

When I heard that DirectTV would no longer market Tivo last summer, I thought the days of my Tivo were numbered and I would have to make the transition to monthly fees for a DVR via my cable company. But with today's announcement that Tivo and DirecTV extended their agreement for 3 more years, I felt a nice sigh of relief (Tivo's stock increased 8% on this news and no, I don't recommend it or own it).

Of course, I am still of the opinion that unless Tivo alters it's business model, it's days are numbered despite the word "Tivo" being in the everyday vernacular just as "googling" someone has become. Cable companies have near regional monopolies that will hinder Tivo from continuing to get new customers. Well.... at least 3 more years (I hope), commercial-free.
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