You don't need to fish out a whole lot of Scrabble tiles to spell out TiVo's (NASDAQ:TIVO) latest quarterly performance. Limiting yourself to four-letter words, like TiVo itself, you can describe the company's mixed-bag showing using words like good, ugly, and hope.

Good? As previously announced, TiVo continues to move away from costly hardware rebates, earmarking more of its marketing funds to the company's advertising campaign. Service revenues inched 8% higher during the period to hit $53.4 million. The company also broke even on an EBITDA basis, adjusted for $11.2 million in inventory-related charges, which was at the high end of its projected range.  

Ugly? The end result was still a loss for the quarter. It also added fewer subscribers than it did during the same quarter a year earlier, and churn rate inched slightly higher, in part because of the competitive HD landscape. The company continues to lose more DirecTV (NYSE:DTV) subscribers than it gains on its own, though it naturally makes a lot more money on its TiVo-owned subscribers -- a sum that has inched 136,000 higher over the past year to account for 1.7 million of the 4.2 million current subscribers. The company expects a sequential dip in adjusted EBITDA in the current quarter.

Hope? This is the four-letter word that TiVo investors have been hanging on lately. There are certainly plenty of potential catalysts. The company's relationship with Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) continues to expand. The new $299 TiVo HDTV system -- a welcome relief from the original $799 model that TiVo introduced last year -- is a hit. The company describes the reaction at consumer electronics chains as "enthusiastic" as the system's role as the heart of an HD media center finds chains like Circuit City (NYSE:CC) and Costco (NASDAQ:COST) stocking TiVo boxes again.

Apart from moving boxes domestically, TiVo continues to make strides in developing an ad-friendly platform. Its international expansion strategy includes inroads in markets like Australia and Mexico.

Between its digital delivery deal through (NASDAQ:AMZN) and a legal victory waiting to be upheld against EchoStar (NASDAQ:DISH), with the Dish Network parent's appeal set to begin in October, the news may get better before the company's financials follow suit.

That opens up a new list of four-letter words like wait, hold, and hype. As long as they're free of expletives, TiVo will make out just fine, even with the current quarter's lackluster guidance.

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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.