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>>> OK, Tivo... Please explain the holdup with an HDTV Tivo <<<

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Rich Peterson is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 07:40 PM
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Rich Peterson
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OK, Tivo... Please explain the holdup with an HDTV Tivo

Tivo, can you explain why we still can't buy an HDTV-capable Tivo to directly record and playback the HDTV bitstream? It would seem the technology wouldn't be much different from your current DirecTV Tivos. Is it your perceived lack of demand? Copy protection? Technical problems? Too high a price to get a reasonable amount of recording time? What????

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CliffHanger is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 07:54 PM
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CliffHanger
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I would probably say perceived lack of demand. The demand for regular Tivos is not really that great. None of the people I know have HDTV or are planning to get it any time soon.

Granted it would be nice for the people who do have it, but for what it would cost to develop, Tivo would lose money big-time.

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disco is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 08:19 PM
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disco
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That, and the hardware involved in creating such a device (i.e., a couple of HUGE 160 GB drives for only 10 hours of record time!) would make the device an EXTREME luxury (people complain about the $299-$399 price tag already).

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OLdDog is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 08:19 PM
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OLdDog
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1 - Virtually NO demand, compared to the demand for other products. HDTV is still a miniscule niche market.

2 - Industry resistance. While the actual legal issues may be VERY disputable any system that records the bit stream is seen as a threat by a very large segment of the industry. TiVo does not have the resources to fight the kind of legal battles that the ability to record and store and therefore potentially copy in HD format would produce.

3 - Disk size and IDE interface issues. TiVo is valuable to people because it can record and store and fairly large number of programs and the HD bit stream takes a LOT more space than the currently used formats.

There are ways to overcome many or even all of the problems BUT it is not worth it for TiVo at this point.

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Rich Peterson is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 08:46 PM
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Rich Peterson
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Are those of you saying there is no demand for HDTV aware that the number of HDTV receivers out there is comparable to the number of Tivos? Tivo may be somewhat higher (maybe 25% or even up to 50% higher ) but certainly not an order of magnitude higher or anything. HDTV is no more of a niche than PVRs at this point.

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CoosCoos is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 08:50 PM
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CoosCoos
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quote:
Originally posted by Rich Peterson
Are those of you saying there is no demand for HDTV aware that the number of HDTV receivers out there is comparable to the number of Tivos? Tivo may be somewhat higher (maybe 25% or even up to 50% higher ) but certainly not an order of magnitude higher or anything. HDTV is no more of a niche than PVRs at this point.
You're missing the point. PVRs are a niche in a market of 100 Million. HDTV PVRs would be a niche in a market of 200,000. That's a very, very, very small niche.

The order of magnitude isn't the difference between the number of TiVos and the number of HDTVs, it's the difference between the number of households that can use them. 100+ Million households with TV can use PVRs, whereas 200,000 households with HDTV can use an HDTV PVR.

It wouldn't make sense for TiVo to go after that miniscule of a market.

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ozric100 is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 08:51 PM
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ozric100
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I don't speak up on this type on stuff very often.... but

1. HDTV - will never happen at least not 1080p - you will get 480p and like it.

2. DVI - and BS - the Tivo is lossy so I don't know what the deal is here. There is no way you could store a full HD bitstream and still sell to a mass market. $$

3. There is a HUGE untapped market in the NON - DTV space.

4. Did I mentiont that HDTV is a DUD and they Keep shooting off the other foot with DVI and HDCP and IEEE.. err FireWire

I would at least like to see a Tivo that could do 480p or 720p and optical audio with DD or DTS. I would think that is doable or fudgable.

Last edited by ozric100 on 07-12-2002 at 09:02 PM

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jsmeeker is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 08:56 PM
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demand for one. As CoosCoos points out, you market is the people who want a PVR (small) *and* who want/have HDTV (small).

Not many people are going to to drop a *large* amount of cash on a device that records a limited anount of HD programming. I could not imagine the device coming out until HDTV is fully implemented by brodcasters and no one is broadcasting analog NTSC anymore.

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Rich Peterson is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 09:22 PM
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Rich Peterson
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Well, you folks sure have a different way of looking at this than I do. Let me explain my thoughts.

An HDTV Tivo would function as an HDTV receiver, allowing HDTV broadcasts from either sat, cable, or OTA to be received, stored, and later replayed back to any TV. Those who have HDTV sets would get a fantastic HDTV picture and those with standard NTSC sets would get a really really good NTSC picture (much better than any other broadcasts today). The HDTV receivers people have today wouldn't be used at all so I don't see how you can look at the number of HDTV receivers in use today (probably around 350K, not 200K) and assume that is the only market for an HDTV Tivo. Anyone who wants a better picture and especially those with HDTV sets will get improvements if they record HDTV broadcasts.

There are now over 2 million people with HDTV sets and that is expected to double by next year. Demand for better pictures and sound is certainly there (as witnessed by huge DVD sales) so if the price wasn't too out of line, wouldn't an HDTV Tivo sell somewhat?

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IJustLikeTivo is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 09:46 PM
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IJustLikeTivo
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quote:
Originally posted by Rich Peterson
Well, you folks sure have a different way of looking at this than I do. Let me explain my thoughts.

An HDTV Tivo would function as an HDTV receiver, allowing HDTV broadcasts from either sat, cable, or OTA to be received, stored, and later replayed back to any TV. Those who have HDTV sets would get a fantastic HDTV picture and those with standard NTSC sets would get a really really good NTSC picture (much better than any other broadcasts today). The HDTV receivers people have today wouldn't be used at all so I don't see how you can look at the number of HDTV receivers in use today (probably around 350K, not 200K) and assume that is the only market for an HDTV Tivo. Anyone who wants a better picture and especially those with HDTV sets will get improvements if they record HDTV broadcasts.

There are now over 2 million people with HDTV sets and that is expected to double by next year. Demand for better pictures and sound is certainly there (as witnessed by huge DVD sales) so if the price wasn't too out of line, wouldn't an HDTV Tivo sell somewhat?



I think 2 million is the number of sets with the resolution for HDTV, not with an HDTV tuner which is much smaller. The vast majority of HDTV ready sets are used to view line-doubled NTSC images, not HDTV images. As as aside, there are very few HDTV receivers on the market. Almost all HDTV viewers are using external HDTV tuners.

Having said this, it is certainly possible to do this and given time, it will happen, just not very soon.

IJLT

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jsmeeker is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 09:58 PM
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jsmeeker
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quote:
Originally posted by Rich Peterson

There are now over 2 million people with HDTV sets and that is expected to double by next year. Demand for better pictures and sound is certainly there (as witnessed by huge DVD sales) so if the price wasn't too out of line, wouldn't an HDTV Tivo sell somewhat?



2 million households out of how many in the USA??? Its such a small number.

*if* the price is not "too out of line" *and* *if* there was HDTV programmingto record, than maybe. But TiVos today aren't cheap and HDTV programming is lacking.

you seee it your wy becasue you have HDTV. I don't. Its expensive to get an HDTV set. How will I get programming? Cable? Not on my system? Satelite? Live in an apartment.. That leaves OTA. There is some stuff, but not much. Certainly not woth all the expense just to TiVo an HDTV broadcast of Jay Leno.

You may think my situation is in the minority. But it isn't.

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Satchel is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 10:17 PM
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Satchel
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I tend to think of the production aspect of this...follow me for a second...

There are only so many production lines in factories making TiVos...
They are churning out Series 2 boxes now and DTiVos...or whatever
To make HDTiVo would require significant investment in ramping up and tooling a factory line for this product.
That factory line would not be able to make any other types of TiVo without costly changeovers.
The development people at TiVo have to use their production capacity to make the most money.
This is why they don't keep making 14-hour TiVos and charge $100 for them...same logic as to why PC makers keep most computers in the same price range year after year. They have to charge a certain amount and sell a certain amount to make profit (or not).
PC makers could still make PIII computers for 200 bucks but there isn't any profit in it. There is a limited production capacity and they choose to produce what they can sell to the most people to make the most money.

Sorry if that got off track.

satchel

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dgh is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 10:20 PM
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dgh
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quote:
Originally posted by Rich Peterson
There are now over 2 million people with HDTV sets and that is expected to double by next year. Demand for better pictures and sound is certainly there (as witnessed by huge DVD sales) so if the price wasn't too out of line, wouldn't an HDTV Tivo sell somewhat?


Its not clear that DVD sales are all about quality. LD remained a niche market for decades even though its quality was very high. Much of the demand for DVD is due to convenience and low prices.

But your last statement is the biggest problem "wouldn't an HDTV Tivo sell somewhat?" Define somewhat. Do you mean even less than the current TiVos? As far as I know, no PVR has been profitable yet. You'll have a better chance of convincing someone to do this if you can convince them that sales will be "fantastic". I do believe by the way that the average HDTV owner may be much more willing to pay for a PVR than the average conventional set owner, but still, is it "enough more" to make it profitable? I don't know.

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Squeak is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 10:22 PM
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Squeak
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quote:
Originally posted by Rich Peterson
(as witnessed by huge DVD sales)


I think quality is a nice extra-benefit for most with DVD's (non-video/audiophiles). The big reason for most with DVD's is the convienence of the medium. Very similar to cassettes and CD's.

While there is a segment that loves the HDTV quality (or more specificaly - 1080), it is not a huge motivator for most families. And TiVo needs to concentrate on the majority of American Households to stay in business.

Plus, I agree with ozric100: 1080 will never happen on widespread basis. While Fox might be gready now, most broadcasters will realize the fudiciary responsibilty of being able to do 6 channles of 480p in their bandwidth.

DTV is here to stay -- HDTV is not

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pv is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 10:28 PM
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pv
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It's a classic "niche of a niche" problem.

The market is the HDTV-owning public, which is right now, and probably will be for several years yet, very small. Given the adoption rates for tivo among satellite users (another apparent demographic match), I can't see how this would be a good market to go after, today. Especially given that 1080p is still a 500 pound gorilla diskwise.

In say another three years, when terabyte drives become a reality, this will become a must for tivo. But it would be a dangerous distraction right now. PV

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grecorj is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 10:37 PM
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grecorj
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tivo has said they would make one -- if a CE stepped up and licensed their software, that is.

so if Sony or someone like that said, hey, we want a hdtv tivo, they could make one. they already have a tivo license agreement, in fact. and they make hdtv ready tvs.

so the question of this thread should be, "ok, {insert CE name here}....Please explain the holdup...

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mrmike is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 10:42 PM
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mrmike
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Well, considering I have to pay more than I paid for either of my TiVos to get a HDTV tuner I'm not holding my breath for an affordable HD PVR. I think that niche is being filled fairly well by HDTV cards in HTPCs for many enthusiasts.

-MM

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Rich Peterson is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 10:42 PM
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Rich Peterson
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quote:
You'll have a better chance of convincing someone to do this if you can convince them that sales will be "fantastic".

Well, even the most optimistic people would have to admit sales would be far short of "fantastic". Probably quite small and maybe that's why it hasn't happened yet.

Oh, and for those of you that don't think HDTV will fly, you may be right but I think you are wrong. Equipment is still too expensive, but prices are dropping and with the FCC's new (voluntary) initiatives to spur the transition (see the AVSCIENCE HDTV forums for more information on that) you are going to be seeing even more HDTV content in the near future.

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Squeak is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 10:47 PM
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Squeak
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quote:
Originally posted by Rich Peterson

you are going to be seeing even more HDTV content in the near future.



Define HDTV content. 480p? 1080p?

Yes, all stations will transition over to 480p -- they have to at some point, but there is no mandate for 1080p. And I still think they 1080 will be a niche when all is said and done.

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TonyD79 is offline Old Post 07-12-2002 10:49 PM
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Hmm, DVD and "quality."

Not for the masses. As stated above, DVDs are convenient for the masses and many do like the extra features on the DVDs (making of's and deleted scenes and the like). This is the feature of DVDs that are selling them to my non-techno friends and relatives (those who don't actually buy into DTV or TiVo).

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>>> OK, Tivo... Please explain the holdup with an HDTV Tivo <<<

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