As long time readers know, my TIVO cycle went from deep and abiding love, to concern as the horizon darkened, to anger at DirecTV for abandoning TIVO, to a cynical Deathwatch and, finally, to irritation at what I saw as irrational death throes. Well, there have been recent signs that, like Dracula, TIVO may soon emerge from the grave and retake its place with the living gadgetry.
First, there came news that DirecTV had seen the error and avarice of its ways and was partnering up with TIVO to develop a high definition DirecTV TIVO. Initially, I put the odds on this happening just above the odds of me ever using Facebook. Which at the time were astronomically low.
Well, guess what. . .
But the new DirecTV TIVO story had some staying power. At the moment, it looks like DirecTV customers might get a new TIVO option next year. Maybe. You can sign up here for relevant announcements.
It gets better.
Today, I read that TIVO has enabled a feature that lets users subscribe to and download video podcasts. There are potential devils in the details (most significantly, the ability or lack thereof to create a “season pass” equivalent for custom video feeds), but there’s no denying that if executed correctly this will be a neat feature.
Does this mean I will trash my semi-functional but nowhere near a TIVO DirecTV HD recorders? I don’t know. It depends on the cost. Much more delay and I will be out of the contract period I agreed to when DirecTV gave me the new boxes (after I threatened to go crawling back to cable). If I can get a fancy, new TIVO. If it doesn’t cost me too much. And if I believe that history will not repeat itself. Then I might.
Either way, competition is good for consumers. And it would be psychologically rewarding to see a technology as good as TIVO survive. Even if it is, to some extent, in spite of itself.