I love my TiVo.
Like pretty much anyone who currently has a DVR, I was interested, but skeptical before I had one. Skeptical not so much about the value-add from a DVR, but because of the rabid fan-ism exhibited by those who owned them.
Now, I’m happily one of those rabid fans. I’ve had TiVo for many years, long enough to have a Series 2 box with lifetime service that I will never surrender. When I bought my second Series 2 box, I was surprised (and saddened) that lifetime service wasn’t an option anymore.
I like TV, and according to research, unhappy people like TV. Oddly, and this is one people who don’t have a DVR don’t get, I watch less TV now than I did before TiVo. So, maybe a DVR is for happy people who want to schedule TV around their happy lives and spend more time on other things.
Anyway, I look at TiVo as the only way to watch TV. To me, not having a DVR is like getting TV out of the air on an antenna. Why would you do that?
I also happen to be a TiVo diehard. I’ve always liked their interface, and they continue to add incremental features that make the DVR more useful, e.g. they just rolled out a feature to allow online ordering from Domino’s through a broadband-connected Series 2/3/HD TiVo.
In and of itself, this feature doesn’t add an enormous amount of value to me, but it is yet another way that my TiVo provides value to me. The more online content I can order from my TiVo, the better.
To me, TiVo represents the way a set-top box should evolve and how it should function. Start with a must-have feature for the TV, make it so awesome that I can’t ever live without it and then layer on value-added features. I may not use them all, but it’s definitely a plus to give me additional features when I’ve already paid for the service.
Dating back to the days of the TV as the window to the Intertubes, set-tops have been hit and miss.
Even now, as Apple, Blockbuster and startups develop movie rental set-top boxes, I wonder why they don’t bundle other services, like DVR or gaming. Or better yet, why strike out on your own when you could partner with a DVR manufacturer, cable provider or gaming console?
Think about your TV area. How many boxes do you really want cluttering up the living room or where ever you have a TV? Used to be that video inputs were the constraining factor, but now that TVs include a minimum of three inputs, it seems like clutter is the overwhelming argument for consolidation.
Or at least that’s what my wife would tell you.
What do you think? Do you want a single set-top box to rule them all? Is clutter an issue? Or do you prefer single-purposed boxes that do one thing really well?
Sound off in comments.