I want my iTiVo

I want my iTiVo

Summary: My article yesterday talked about the potential for an Apple partnership with Netflix on their upcoming iTV device. Apple's mysterious iTV would be the delivery vehicle for the upcoming Netflix digital download service, or so the theory goes. The other potential Apple partner is TiVo.

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TOPICS: Apple
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ipod_tivo.jpgMy article yesterday talked about the potential for an Apple partnership with Netflix on their upcoming iTV device. Apple's mysterious iTV would be the delivery vehicle for the upcoming Netflix digital download service, or so the theory goes. The other potential Apple partner is TiVo.

Apple's pre-announcement of the iTV has been generating a lot of speculation about what the device actually does and who Apple may partner with for the all-important content. Since Jobs is the largest shareholder of Disney and on the board, Disney content is pretty much a given. As is content from ABC ESPN, Lifetime, A&E, History, Biography and E! which Disney owns.

Earlier in the month Apple was rumored to be in talks with TiVo about a potential partnership, but details remain vague. If iTV has a hard drive, as indicated by Disney CEO Bob Iger, then it makes sense that Apple would build-in DVR-like functionality.

Apple's rumored talks with TiVo elicit the same questions that I brought up yesterday about Netflix: 1) Should Apple build their own DVR (ala the cable companies) vs. buy TiVo? If they decide to buy, then should they 2) buy vs. partner/license.

It's no secret that TiVo's financial picture isn't as strong as it once was, nor that Apple has US$10.11 Billion in cash in the bank, so the rumors are justified.

If they don't want to acquire TiVo, Apple may decide to license their excellent DVR technology to include in iTV. But If Apple doesn't want to acquire TiVo then Google may. On CNBC a Business 2.0 editor pointed out that Google and TiVo are really in the same business (search) and Google could apply its ad model to monetize TiVo.

On 14 April 2005 TiVo CFO David Courtney stated that TiVoToGo would not work with the Mac "because of the cost." Then in November 2005 TiVo changed course and announced that TiVoToGo would work with the Mac in Q1 2006. To date the company still hasn't been able to deliver on its promise.

Apple customers obviously want TiVo content as evidenced by some persistent developers that this month hacked TiVoToGo so that it works with the Mac allowing content to be transferred to the iPod.

Microsoft Media Center machines do media streaming now. But I want iTV to have a built-in hard drive, Web browser, Blue-Ray DVD player, Netflix Online, TiVo and an iPod dock - Is that too much to ask?

If all iTV does is stream video content to your TV it will be a disappointment. Based on the fact that the otherwise super-stealthy Steve Jobs pre-announced the iTV, I'm betting that Apple has some tricks up their sleeves.

[poll id=14] 

Topic: Apple

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16 comments
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  • iTV will be revolutionary

    [i]Based on the fact that the otherwise super-stealthy Steve Jobs pre-announced the iTV, I'm betting that Apple has some tricks up their sleeves.[/i]

    Based on nothing more than the fact Jobs pre-announced iTV, I'm making the following predictions:
    1. iTV will change the way we interact with our art. I can't exactly describe [b]how[/b] it will change anything but I know that it will!
    2. iTV will be either white or transparent and this will drive the Mac faithful into a frenzy of excitement.
    3. iTV will be better than anything the competition has because it will do less, cost more, and break down more often. Oh, but when it works, it will be easier to use!
    4. iTV will come with a marketing campaign that will mention that Windows has 114,000 viruses.

    I can't wait to become an iTV sheep and do exactly what everyone else does!
    NonZealot
    • Sarcasm

      I am detecting just a little sarcasm in that post.
      bobiroc
    • Time for you to face reality

      You used to claim that you were just here to rip on the Mac "zealots" and "cultists". Now you're making up imaginary arguments against a product that doesn't even exist. Seriously, seek medical help. Or better yet, find a hobby. You are absurdly obsessed with Apple, Steve Jobs, and Apple's products.

      Maybe you should just break down and buy yourself one instead of living in denial. It's clearly tearing you up inside. I'm not sure if the correct psycologicial term for your condition is "displacement" or "scapegoating", but either might apply.
      tic swayback
  • What about Elgato's EyeTV?

    I use Elgato's EyeTV DVR on my Mac mini, previously I had it running on an iBook and
    before that on a PowerMac G4. I stream my recordings to my theater's projector
    using the Elgato EyeHome. Elgato's products are elegant and easy to use, their only
    weak spot is that they don't dynamically update changes in the TV schedules, that
    has to be done manually.

    If Apple could include a DVR with the iTV that would be awesome, especially if it had
    an HD tuner and BluRay drive, that alone would get me to finally spend the money on
    an HDTV. Whether they do it with Tivo or not, I really don't care.
    CoolCat312
    • Elgato acquisition

      Perhaps Apple will acquire Elgato if they can't/don't do a deal with TiVo.

      In the big picture TiVo has more customers than Elgato has and I'm sure that Apple is paying attention to that.

      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
      • Just think if Apple finally had ...

        ... the ability to play and record TV they would be just like Windows Media Center Edition. Wait, I thought it was Microsoft that always copied Apple. How can this be?
        ShadeTree
        • I found it funny too

          [i]I thought it was Microsoft that always copied Apple.[/i]

          Ditto the iTablet and the iPhone. To hear the Mac zealots throb with excitement, you would think that neither of these had ever existed before!
          NonZealot
          • Huh?

            ---Ditto the iTablet and the iPhone---

            When did Microsoft ever manufacture a tablet or a phone, or a media center PC for that matter? I thought they were a software company.
            tic swayback
          • the point being made

            is that the technology and functionality of those devices has existed for years (as does the functionality of the iTV, from what has been released so far), and just because Apple is directly hiring a third-party for the manufacture instead of working with partners is a ridiculous distinction to set them apart.
            Once again, Apple copies the innovators.
            mdemuth
          • Something they learned from the masters

            ---Once again, Apple copies the innovators---

            Hey, it worked like a charm for MS to build their empire, why would you forbid Apple from doing the same here? If Apple can do it better, are you afraid that your precious MS would not be able to compete? The iPod was not the first mp3 player on the market. How'd that work out for the competition?
            tic swayback
          • While they don't make the hardware, ...

            ... (neither does Apple by the way), they do write the functionality into their OS and extenders. The point being it is just another attempt by Apple to caitalize on other's ideas. It would not even be worth commenting on if it weren't for the Apple zealots claims they invented everything.
            ShadeTree
          • So you're just another zealot?

            ---It would not even be worth commenting on if it weren't for the Apple zealots claims they invented everything---

            And it appears you're on exactly the same level. Technology isn't about getting things done, it's about bragging rights, it's about feeling good about yourself because of the products you've purchased.

            Admitting it is the first step to a cure, by the way.
            tic swayback
          • That made about as much sense as your feeble ....

            ... attempt at changing the subject with the whole "I didn't know Microsoft made Tablet or Media Center" dodge. If you truly want to label me it would be more accurate to call me a Microsoft pundit since I have a financial stake in the process.
            ShadeTree
          • Can't you be both a shill and a zealot?

            Ah, so your real motivations come out, you're posting pro-MS comments here because you have a financial stake in doing so. Fair enough, I think we can all judge your objectivity from that.

            But my point was valid. You and your fellow MS cultists started this whole ridiculous conversation with yet another strawman argument, making up an imaginary Mac user and making up claims for him. When nailed on it, you claim that you're only out there countering the evil and crazy (but also apparently imaginary) Mac zealots. So how are you any better than they are? You employ the same tactics they allegedly do, you display the same absurd level of brand loyalty, you have the same lack of objectivity, and you seem to get the same level of self-esteem from the objects you own. So how are you any different from those you claim to battle against? Every silly post like yours is just another example of the pot calling the kettle black.
            tic swayback
  • I am not exchanging Media Center for ANYTHING

    Without Media Center PC, I cannot take advantage of products like ambient light from http://www.a-r-e.nl etc...
    ronentzadok9
  • ITV as a super super remote

    One of the things iTV could do is eliminate all of your remotes. Imagine being able to set the clock on your DVD, Tuner, TV, in an easy logical way. Or to be able to set the DVD to record your favorite television show at the correct time. Or to adjust the surround sound on your sound system. This in addition to downloading movies and potentially TiVo.

    Apple has the ability to do this because they know how to make software that's easy to use. They could make these things all happen in the same logical way regardless of who made the variious pieces of equipment.

    I'd like to see the abiltiy to just rent movies. I don't really care to buy them because I don't watch movies over and over again and that would be a waste for me. Movies are different that music.
    Prime Detailer