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Advice to Tivo

Tivo continues to struggle, even as they roll out a new, lower cost, high definition unit.  For the legions of us stuck with boxes from our service providers (like the regrettably stupid Bell ExpressVu PVR), it's really too bad.  My advice to Tivo management?

  • Go platform.  Tivo is a software play, not hardware.  If you can get $10 per box, that's a pretty healthy OEM margin to start. 
  • Enlarge your markets.  Just a few hours north you will find 30 million Canadians.  We speak the same language as you, watch the same shows as you, and we buy the same products.  Your advertising models will work well here.  Cut a deal with Bell ExpressVu or Rogers Cable to get into their boxes. 
  • Most importantly, steal a page from Microsoft's book.  Microsoft Office came to dominate the market for office applications because it offered more value at a lower price than any of their competitors. More importantly, it was tied to a cheap platform on every PC called Windows.  You have a burgeoning business in advertising, but need to get the platform into people's homes.  It's the same model.  Sacrifice profits now to do that.

Good luck.  And if you ever get Tivo on Expressvu, let me know.  I am dying to ditch the entirely unsatisfying boat anchor ExpressVu has sold me. 

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Larry Borsato July 24, 2007, 11:25 am

    I currently live in Waterloo, Canada, and my TiVo box works just fine here and has for a few years now. I'm on Rogers but I believe I had the choice of ExpressVu as well. You just can't buy the boxes in Canada, but you can certainly subscribe to the service.

  • Alec July 24, 2007, 11:28 am

    Hey Larry — doesn't with ExpressVu. The only satellite provider they support is DirecTV and that's about to go bye bye. I do understand that it works for Rogers customers, however. AND there is at least one online retailer who will sell you the box and is located in Canada.

  • Jim Co. July 25, 2007, 12:43 am

    When I researched TiVo in early 2006, there was one U.S.-based online retailer who would sell into Canada. But having the content access was my concern.

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