Stuart West, Acting CFO for TiVo, was a presenter at the conference today and his presentation is available as a webcast.
He didn’t say a lot of new stuff really. TiVo is primarily a software and service company. KidZone is a big deal for TiVo and they’ll really be working that. He hit on Guru Guide, TiVoCast, Product Watch, TiVoToGo, etc – the differentiators TiVo has to set themselves apart from generic DVRs. It was mostly, unsurprising for the conference, about their advertising and revenue. But there was nothing really new in his presentation. Out of the total 4.4 million subscribers (obviously counting DirecTV in there), 400,000-500,000 have broadband. That’s a bit higher than the ’400,000′ figure given in the past. But they (and I) expect that as they introduce more broadband services, especially with the S2DT having built-in Ethernet,
Interesting “Broadband boxes at the moment are our standalone boxes. So not through DirecTV, not planned at the moment through Comcast.” That could be a hint that the Comcast boxes won’t be doing networking, or maybe just won’t have some of the broadband features. Since Comcast mentioned some of TiVo’s network features in the past, I would expect them to do networking to some degree.
“One extreme is the very high end of the market. I had up there on the slide a Series3 HD product which we’re rolling out later this year. That is a dual tuner, actually it has more that two tuners, high definition, broadband connected, it works with all of the Internet video formats, it is a very compelling high end product. But, like a lot of high definition products, it will not be inexpensive. And for us it is an opportunity to really give consumers the best of the best. But that, for example, is not a product we will subsidize at anywhere near the level we have some of our other products. So while it is a very expensive hardware cost, that is something we will be able to manage down in terms of the actual subsidy investment we make.”
So, it sounds like the Series3 will not be cheap. That’s not a shock. The most interesting bit in there for me is “it works with all of the Internet video formats”. Now we know, from CES, that the decoder certainly supports MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, and VC-1/WMV9. Now, when someone says ‘all of the Internet video formats’ I think DivX and QuickTime, at least. It could be possible that those could be supported as well. That could be very interesting if true.
Reiterated that the Series3 will be out later this year. Still nothing more precise on a release date than the previously announced ‘second half’. Also reiterated that TiVo will be sold through Radio Shack later this year, as well as the Comcast software roll-out, also later this year. They say they are ‘very much on track’ for the goal of rolling out later this year. And it sounds like there is testing going on currently.