TiVo seeks new ideas from developers — Project Tahiti

TiVo seeks new ideas from developers | CNET News.com From the better late than never department it seems that after coming to the party late with their home media option, TiVo now is engaging third party developers to try and figure out a way to provide additional add on type services to somehow differentiate itself from the satellite and cable providers.

My own feeling is that it’s a noble effort but quite frankly too little, too late. Initially the company plans to release three add ons: a weather information plug in, an RSS reader and a game. Aren’t these things that Microsoft has already had available for over a year in their Media Center Edition software?

Update: Slashdot picks up the story here. As usual the comments flying on Slashdot range from funny to insightful. Here are some of my favorites:

” Let me guess… Pong?”

” These still aren’t that unique of features. What’s stopping the cable/sat companies from just doing this same?”

” Series 2 tivos already support the playing of mp3s via the home media options…but… What would be really great was if this development kit would allow for a Jukebox type interface…one that allowed the user to browse by Album art to select a song. Also, a plugin architecture that would allow some snazzy visualizations would be killer to.”

“Just got it 3 weeks ago and for the money, TiVo has no chance in the long run. $10 a month for Cox’s PVR. I was paying $13 a month just for TiVo’s download of the programming. Plus recording 2 shows at once is huge. If TiVo had never made the Series 2 next to impossible to get the recorded stuff off of it, I would have stayed with it. But they gave in to Hollywood and the TV industry so screw them.”

” TiVo should get bundled with TV’s. You can get any closer to the target market than that.”

“I called last week and cancelled my service. (Boy they make that hard to do…) Why? They’re two years behind the ball where technology is concerned. Their vastly superior interface is totally wasted because it can’t actually record half the stuff I watch. Its a hack at best to get it to work with a digital cable box, and no HD support at all. They told me all about the new HD box they would have out in 18 months when I cancelled, and I just had to wonder why it wasn’t out now? My TV has CableCard. Clearly Sony was able to see it was a needed step to take.”

“If I was TiVo I’d branch out into content creation, and sell my stuff over the web for a dollar an episode or whatever, with an eye towards merging the two branches of the buisness into a next generation version of cable. I’d work file sharing and bit torrent into my content distribution and allow people to watch anything they bought on my tivo player or on their computers. Maybe even just release tivo software so people could use their windows box as a tivo machine instead of having to buy the big custom thingy I built. If I was TiVO….”

“They’re caught between a rock and a hard place – consumers who will leave them if they protect the content, and studios who will sue them into oblivion if they don’t. I think they’ve chosen the wrong path for long term success. *shrug* (BTW, the embeded DVD recorder versions do look promising, but -once again – they’re not available for DTV)”

“I have Comcast and have tried their version of the DVR, and there is absolutely no comparison between that and TiVo. There’s no doubt that the cable/satellite companies have ‘mastered’ recording of shows, but half of TiVo is the UI, and it’s simplicity. The Comcast DVR that I had was horrendous. It was slow, difficult to use, froze, crashed, etc, etc, etc. I had it for a week and sent it back. I then bought another refurbished TiVo, threw 2, 80 GB hard drives in there and I’m back in business and I’m never going back.”

Techdirt picks it up here.

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