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Monday, April 03, 2006

TiVo Vs. The Clones

I mentioned TiVo off-handedly today, and shortly thereafter I am emailed an article from the Detroit News about how Comcast is pondering competiting with DVRs, so it must be worth writing about again.

Comcast believes it can make money by allowing subscribers to save programs on its network instead of on DVRs in their homes. Network DVRs make sense because the cable co's save on installing hardware that can break and require service, and also it gives Comcast another chance to market pay-for content.

This imperils TiVo's already shaky existence. To answer the anonymous poster, TiVo's service is marginally easier to use and more flexible than the DVRs from the cable companies that are cheaper.

Sooo, I suggested that a free service would be a way to undercut the clones and broaden the audience. Then, once customers are hooked and tire of ads, they can upgrade to an ad-free service. If you already have a DVR, you may not want to swap it for an ad-supported freebie, but if like most Americans you don't have one, then trying it out for free makes sense.

By John Gartner at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

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