Is "My PC really gets me" the new marketing slogan at TiVo
TiVo is teaming up with multimedia disc-burning software specialist Nero to put out Nero LiquidTV / TiVo PC next month, allowing computer users to have the same TiVo functionality on their systems as couch potatoes do with conventional digital video recorders for television.
Available for $199 with hardware goodies like a TiVo remote, tuner card, and wireless connectivity -- or $99 for the stand-alone software version -- a hit product would mean juicy, high-margin revenue streams in the future. The solution includes a year of TiVo service, but loyalists will have to be renewed annually at $99 a pop.
Why would consumers pay up when cheaper workarounds are plentiful? Well, this is a TiVo-branded solution, complete with TiVo's programming guides and patented usage features. Websites like Google's
Yes, it seems as if TiVo is going the wrong way here. Web streaming specialists like Amazon.com
Is this a rare step back for TiVo? It has teamed up with popular websites to bring over PC features -- like streaming music through RealNetworks'
I don't think so. TiVo is still doing a growing number of cool things in the living room. It is leading the way in computing convergence. However, TiVo apparently realizes that the information superhighway goes both ways here. It wants to matter at both points in the migration journey.
I'm not going to hold my breath on this. I think it will appeal to just a thin sliver of the computing audience. Tethering computer users to one more service contract also couldn't come at a worse time, given the soft economy. However, there's nothing wrong with TiVo attempting to grow in several directions at the same time. It may or may not "get me," but it does get the value of incremental revenue streams.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does love his TiVo and he does own shares in TiVo and Netflix. 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.