On Sunday, TiVo had one of their local ‘events’ on Boston. Well, actually, it was at the Best Buy in Watertown, MA, which is kind of near Boston. I decided to drive in from Worcester and check it out. Normally not a bad drive – but apparently there was some event going on along the Charles, and some of the local roads were closed, which backed up traffic on Centre Street something fierce. (That little bit from I90 to Arsenal? 20 minutes. Oh, and Google is high, you can turn onto Arsenal directly.) I ended up getting there just around 2PM, when the event officially wrapped up. So, what was the ‘event’?
I’m sorry to say – nothing much. They had a little area in Best buy with a Plasma TV hooked up to a Series3 showing different HD content recorded off cable, and another small LCD with another Series3 showing the promo videos over and over. WBCN, a local rock station was there with their music SUV out front. There were a bunch of people in purple ‘My TiVo Gets Me!’ T-shirts, apparently from a promo company. They were handing out TiVo antenna you wear on your head – as Brian Lam of Gizmodo is modeling here. I have a set, but I have a freakin’ huge head (no, really, not just my ego), so they’re not that comfortable on me. They’re cute, in a very geeky kind of way, and there were a lot of people wearing them in and around the store – and not just employees. Of course, while I was talking to the TiVo rep there one guy asked “What are these for?”, thinking they *did* something. So I’m not sure how well the marketing message gets across to those not already familiar with the TiVo logo/mascot. They were also giving away TiVo mylar balloons – orange with the TiVo logo – kids loved them. Of course, kids love any balloon. And there was some literature out on the Series3. It looks similar to what I’ve seen before, but I’ll scan it when I find some time.
I had my camera, but, frankly, it didn’t seem like anything worth photographing. As soon as all the promo people, and WBCN, left at 2PM, it was noticeably quiet. From what I gather, they hadn’t actually sold any units during the event – but that’s hearsay, not gospel. The TiVo rep was there until 6PM, so I hung around and talked with him for about an hour, relatively undisturbed. (He was excited to learn of the kick start 62 eSATA trick – he has a Series3 he’s eager to expand.) The TiVo area was in the back of the store in the Home Theater department (logical), but the TiVos and TVs were setup facing AWAY from the core of the store. The balloons that were tied to various things might attract some attention, but without the promo people there it was pretty nondescript, so I’m not surprise it was quiet. I gather the store was out of TiVo WiFi adapters, even before the event. I saw five 80-hour S2s and one 80-hour S2DT on the shelves when I got there. I caught the tail end of the ‘main event’, but the crowd didn’t seem that big then either. People came by to get their free antennae and balloon, but seemed to wander off pretty quickly.
After the chat, around 3PM, I went and got some lunch and called some friends to firm up dinner plans, then went back to see how things were going around 4:30PM. While I was gone they’d sold the S2DT and one S2, but it was still pretty quiet.
I don’t know, to me the event seemed like a non-event. Maybe I missed something earlier in the two hour window, but I got the impression that I hadn’t. I only found out about it by accident, because I’m an obsessive TiVo geek and I thoroughly explored the website the other day. I don’t know if they did any local advertising of the event, I didn’t see any and the TiVo rep was non-local so he didn’t know either. I expected them to do more – like a discount if you bought a TiVo during the event. Save $50, even $100, if you buy now! Or toss in a free TiVo WiFi adapter. Or 3 months free service. Give out coupons to save $50 or get a free adapter if you order in the next 30-days – might sway some of the indecisive people who want to go do more research first. *Something* to swing people into making up their minds to try it – more than balloons and antennae. (Yes, there were entries for a giveaway, not a big deal to me.) And it would’ve been more impressive to have a stack of TiVos there, ready to go. I don’t know, overall it felt kind of weak. I was expecting something more from an ‘event’ I guess.
I may have sold someone on the HR10-250 for DirecTV. He asked if there was a satellite Series3, and when he found out there wasn’t he was walking away when I suggested he check out that box if he really wanted TiVo for his DirecTV.