November 02, 2006

Now I'm Sure TiVo Must Never Die

Our TiVo is a very necessary tool in our entertainment matrix - as well documented here. (Just click on "TiVo" in the ZoomCloud) With a minimum of effort, it brilliantly tracks our season passes for favorite shows, helps us blitz past the litany of foolish commercials, and over time, gets a pretty good idea of those things my wife and I enjoy. While we haven't been the best TiVo customers, holding on to our Series 1 box without an upgrade, we cringe every time we hear news saying the company might be in trouble, or that cable companies are electing to sell underfeatured, run-down, me-too DVRs in an attempt to elbow TiVo out of the market. Tonight, after having read John Battelle's screed against his Comcast DVR, I'm sure that for the good of humanity, TiVo must continue to innovate, and customers must push it to profitability and growth.

There are very few gadgets that come along to change the way we live - the Macintosh, the iPod, the cell phone or Blackberry, and the TiVo being among them. And as Microsoft did with Apple's market share in the 1990s, cable companies are all-too happy to take market share at the expense of their own customer satisfaction. For them, stopping the bleeding means to pass on the discontent to their wide customer base, who may someday accept the mediocrity they've been dealt.

As John writes in regards to the Comcast DVR, "Good Lord, it doth suck... Without a doubt, this is an interface built either by Machiavelli's cohorts, or by graceless bureaucrats, or both. No, wait, it's worse."

In marked contrast, the TiVo community at large can't say enough good things about their TiVo. From the touch of the TiVo remote, to the easy to understand menus, intuitive settings and pleasant interface, it is clear the company loves what they do and wants you to love their product. It is unfortunate that in an incredibly competitive world, companies like that don't always rise to the top, instead being attacked at the ankles and around the ears by Comcast and their ilk.

In our home, we will hold on to our TiVo until you pry it from our cold, dead fingers. And that better not happen very soon. Fight the power, John Battelle, we join you with an upraised fist!

Listening to ''It's Alright'', by Pet Shop Boys (Play Count: 2)