I really don't understand the 5% fuss about TiVo's (NASDAQ:TIVO) latest subscriber milestone. Yes, 3 million users sounds great, but what good are they when you're spending loads to obtain them, and competition is ramping up everywhere?

In case you've been in the dark on the investing angle here, we're not talking about something like Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPod. Yes, TiVo is just as well entrenched in the public's consciousness, and yes, devotees swear that the product is so superior to its rivals that it can't help but win in the end. Here's the key difference: the iPod is very profitable. TiVo, not so much.

To judge by our own community's unscientific poll, there are a lot of folks out there hoping that TiVo will get above $10 per share again. I think that might take a 1-for-3 reverse split.

Long-term, I believe TiVo will continue to do what it's always done. Lose a lot of money, and not just accounting numbers, but real, live cash. Unfortunately, shareholders have been losing their shirts too. This thing's been a nightmare.

Given the fact that execs are jumping ship with flimsy excuses, I still think there's much more risk here than reward. With competition coming from virtually everywhere, including the cable companies, partner-gone-wild DirecTV (NYSE:DTV), future Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) media-center PCs, and Sony (NYSE:SNE) Blu-Ray gear, TiVo's got too many fights and not enough fists.

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Seth Jayson feels sorry for TiVo, but not sorry enough to buy the stock. At the time of publication, he had no positions in any firm mentioned. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here. TiVo is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick.