TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) looks good in black. The digital video recorder (DVR) innovator surprised analysts by posting a profit in its fiscal first-quarter report. Sure, it was just $0.01 per share, but watching TiVo post both positive earnings and adjusted EBITDA is refreshingly unexpected. Wall Street was looking for TiVo to report a loss of $0.02 per share after ringing up a deficit of $0.13 per share a year ago.

Service and technology revenues rose 6% to hit $58.1 million, and the company attracted 57,000 gross subscriber additions for the period. That's less than the 91,000 that were landed a year ago, but I couldn't be happier. TiVo is doing it right this time -- reducing hardware subsidies and raising DVR prices. There's no shame in applauding slower growth if it means TiVo is finally starting to think like a profitable company.

The new "My TiVo Gets Me" ad campaign rolled out earlier this month, differentiating TiVo from the cluttered sales floor of marked-down generic competitors. The ramped-up marketing budget will translate into a small loss for the current quarter, but I'm OK with that. These are the seeds that will set TiVo apart, especially as we head into the holiday season.

TiVo has never had a problem striking deals. Whether it's the Unbox deal with Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) that transforms Web-enabled TiVo systems into video-downloading storage devices or the upcoming mass distribution strategy that Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) will begin testing in Boston later this year, TiVo has mastered the handshake.

A few years ago, bears figured that TiVo was toast after longtime partner DirecTV (NYSE:DTV) began introducing its own DVR platform. However, now that TiVo has 1.7 million well-paying TiVo-owned subscriptions, standing out in a crowd is getting easier.

If rivals start showing TiVo-esque personality -- like EchoStar (NASDAQ:DISH) -- TiVo is there to enforce its patents in court.

TiVo is doing it right, so you'll have to excuse me when I get a bit animated as I see one of the antenna-donning characters in the "My TiVo Gets Me" spots announce the new mantra.

"My TiVo Gets Me," he'll say.

"Finally," I add.

TiVo and Amazon.com are Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter recommendations. If you know how to work a TiVo remote, then you know how easy it is to nab a 30-day trial subscription to the newsletter service.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does love his TiVo and he does own shares in TiVo. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.