The LAT delivers a good overview of TiVo — how’s survived and the challenges it faces now.
“TiVo is a little guy. We’re loved, but we have no power,” said board member Komisar. “We try to deliver the control of entertainment back to the consumer. But to do that, we have to cut across the domains of very powerful, very complex businesses — all of whom have really sharp elbows and the ability to say no to us.”
The article makes the point that owners of other DVR devices are very happy with the units, but not as happy as TiVo customers.
In a recent Forrester survey, 588 DVR users were asked to rate how much effect their devices had on their TV-watching experience, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the biggest effect. TiVo owners registered 4.6.
“There are not that many products that make users that happy,” Bernoff said. But users of cable DVRs scored 4.4 — not far behind.
“It’s the difference between deliriously happy and really, really, really happy,” he said. “The difference between a DVR supplied by a cable company and TiVo is not that great.”
What is missing from this analysis is the fact that users of other DVRs have probably never experienced TiVo, so they have no basis for comparison. I’ve seen the other competitors and the difference is much bigger than a .2 percent margin. It’s a gulf as big as Mac and a DOS-based PC. Any consumer who were to come to a DVR choice without prior exposure, and given an equal chance to test drive each, would choose TiVo every time. It’s UI is better designed, easier to use and offers more features. Of course, the mitigating factor favoring competitors is price. We’ve already seen how Mac was undone on that front.