Forbes columnist Sam Whitmore looking for people to interview about TiVo

Sam Whitmore, columnist for, is writing on a column about TiVo, the company, and wants your help.

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  • jsciv

    I’m relying upon you — the TiVo expert — to give me guidance as I shape the tone and substance of this column.

    Uh huh. With questions like Does anyone feel frustrated that TiVo has lost money for eight straight quarters and Does anyone have a comment on the fact that TiVo can’t seem to make money selling hardware? I think he’s already shaped the tone and substance of his column. He doesn’t even have his facts correct, since he asks How soon do you think TiVo will sell a hardware unit that records HDTV programs? Uh, now, Mr. Whitmore. Not cheap, and more demand than supply, but it’s out there.

    Sounds to me like Forbes isn’t going to have a very favorable article on TiVo, and it’s possible that “experts” he interviews will be cast as nothing but TiVo worshippers. Contact him at your own risk, I say.

  • unteins

    I find the question about lifetime both amusing and insulting.

    Yes Tivo has to service me, the Lifetime customer….which consists of doing nothing additional the servicing the people who pay monthly….so uh…nope, don’t feel bad at all.

    Add to that the fact the eventually they will get me to buy a new unit (either unit #3, or Series 3 or somesuch) I don’t really care if they make money off of me or not. Tivo and I make the same gamble with lifetime…they gamble the unit will die before I would have spent more on monthly subs and I gamble it won’t…

  • ariel817

    My response (excerpt):

    * How many of you have signed up for a “lifetime” subscription to TiVo’s software? In the 10-Q, TiVo reveals that after four years, the company is obligated to serve “lifetime” customers but no longer can receive any revenue from them. As a subscriber, do you feel any remorse about this?

    We have two lifetime subscriptions.

    What the 10-Q says is that they took the revenue when we paid for that lifetime sub and amortized it over 4 years. Your question makes it sound misleading. It’s just an accounting revenue/expense matching thing, because they estimate the life of a unit to be about 4 years. Considering the pace of technological advances, that’s probably not a bad assumption.

    I do not feel remorse, and here’s why: One, I would have probably never bought a TiVo w/o the lifetime option. I would not have wanted an open-ended subscription fee. Two, it’s the lifetime of the unit, not the person. If I buy a new unit, I buy a new subscription. They did allow a one time transfer from Series I to Series II units, which we took advantage of. I don’t feel bad about that either, because not only did it encourage us to buy a series II we really wouldn’t have any other way, but we passed down our Series I to a friend, who now has a monthly subscription on it, so they did get the extra revenue anyway.

  • megazone

    I replied with a fair bit of data. I really don’t care if he uses my name and paints me as a zealot or something – but I’m hopeful that rational responses correcting his point of view could sway him. Especially if he gets a lot of them.

    I say flood him with calm, rational messages. :-)