Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



The Trouble With TiVo

Not even a month ago, spy site ThinkSecret reported that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) was planning a new Mac Mini computer with functions similar to those found in TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO  ) digital video recorders. I wrote then that the company needn't panic but that it was also probably time to seek a well-capitalized suitor . one like, you know, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) . Today, I'm more convinced than ever that I'm right.

Allow me to explain. According to a Reuters story published on Sunday, marginalized TiVo rival ReplayTV, now owned by Tokyo-based D&M Holdings, plans to allow personal computers to tune into and record live television. The official press release came Monday. Within, it says that ReplayTV will create software to be bundled with PC-TV tuners made by Hauppauge Computer Works.

Can this possibly hurt TiVo? ReplayTV seems to think so. The lead of the release maintains that the PC is globally the "fastest growing video entertainment platform." In other words: You'll soon pull up roots from the couch, forsake your TiVo, and stare at the tube on your desk.

Or maybe not. No doubt, the announcement is interesting. And TiVo could see some problems when the integrated products become available sometime during 2006. But I think it's more important to understand what the announcement represents. Between the latest Apple rumor, DirecTV's (NYSE: DTV  ) decision to dump TiVo for generic boxes, and now ReplayTV's broadside, it's become obvious that TiVo has little left to differentiate its offering -- without, that is, a suitor.

That brings me back to Google. A potential problem for TiVo is its lack of broadband connectivity. But this is also a problem for every other DVR maker. TiVo has a budding relationship with Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA  ) that could end that situation and deliver a sorely needed edge in the process. Or it could team with Google to establish a cash-rich stream of advertising revenue, provided it can smartly place ads. Naturally, I think the latter makes more sense, since the intelligence gathered (after all, TiVo has a lot of information on your TV viewership habits) offers potential for a smart targeted-ad platform. But either way, it's becoming increasingly clear that the company needs something. And soon.

Pause? Rewind? No problem. Your related Foolishness is right here:

TiVo is one of only a handful of market-lagging stocks in theMotley Fool Stock Advisorportfolio. Tom Gardner and brother David are both walloping the market's average return by more than 20% as of this writing. Get in on the action by taking a risk-free 30-day trial. Or sign up today, and Tom and David will give youStocks 2006, our analysts' best picks for the year ahead, free. Either way, all you have to lose is the prospect of better returns.

XM Satellite Radio is aMotley Fool Rule Breakerspick. Take a risk-free 30-day trial today.

Fools, now is the time to open your hearts and wallets to worthy causes! Please support our five Foolish charities at

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is seriously thinking about buying a TiVo at today's fire-sale prices. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. You can find out what's in his portfolio by checking Tim's Fool profile. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 498726, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/22/2016 9:32:36 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 12 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:00 PM
AAPL $116.60 Down -0.46 -0.39%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
CMCSA $64.06 Down -0.29 -0.45%
Comcast CAPS Rating: ***
DTV.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
DirecTV CAPS Rating: ***
GOOGL $824.06 Up +2.43 +0.30%
Alphabet (A shares… CAPS Rating: *****
SIRI $4.15 Up +0.02 +0.48%
Sirius XM Radio CAPS Rating: **
TIVO $19.90 Down -0.10 -0.50%
TiVo CAPS Rating: **
XMSR.DL $0.00 Down +0.00%
XM Satellite Radio CAPS Rating: No stars