So now that the financials are out of the way, let’s discuss TiVo’s upcoming product lineup.
Series 3 Lite
According to CEO Tom Rogers:
Second, we did not have a lower-priced mass appeal HD offering. As we indicated last quarter, given the price of our Series 3 unit, we have not been able to meaningfully participate in the HD wave in retail. Without having a mass appeal priced HD unit to participate in the real key trends that you want to see in consumer electronics today, it’s difficult and until we have that product later this year.
I’m not sure who advised them to create an $800 DVR (Series3), but I’m glad they’ve seen the error of their ways and will attempt to reach out to the mass market. Unfortunately, they’re doing a good deal of damage to their stand-alone business while folks continue to add cable and satellite HD DVRs. As no one buys anything during the summer travel months, I assume we’ll see a Series3 Lite hit in September or October in time for holiday shopping. As to how TiVo might cut costs, they’ll use cheaper components and leave out some of the S3 polish such as that OLED display.
Comcast Motorola TiVo
According to Tom Rogers:
Comcast’s plan, and I’m now quoting Comcast directly, the Comcast TiVo trials will continue into early summer with a commercial launch plan for August. The commercial launch will be in parts of our New England division, including Metro Boston, Southeast Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
After more than two years, we have a launch date and location for the Comcast Motorola TiVo! Too bad it’s not in my neighborhood… Though maybe that S3 Lite will be economical enough that I won’t bother with Comcast’s offering. It’s yet to be seen what effect these continued development delays will have… This summer, new HD DVR deployments will be separable security (CableCARD) boxes rather than the current Moto 6412 units. Have TiVo & Comcast begun work yet on another software customization? Will new Comcast customers be out of luck for a year?
TiVo in Australia
According to Tom Rogers:
Australia’s leading broadcast company, where Seven will market and distribute TiVo products and services in Australia and New Zealand. The Seven relationship is meaningful because it is a partnership with the most significant media company and leading broadcaster in the Australian market. What is even more exciting about this is that the hardware will be based on the digital terrestrial DVD-T platform that has emerged as a major worldwide standard.
I was pretty excited to come home yesterday and see the news that TiVo worked a deal Down Under. However, given the EPG wars in Australia and the sloooooow Comcast dev effort, I’m not holding my breath this will launch in the first half of 2008 as suggested. Also, Davis Freeberg points out that TiVo will be regionalizing (aka “neutering”) fast forward to move slower.