Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tivo Keeps Trying to Stay Noticed

Tivo is trying awfully hard to make their service indispensable to the consumer. Beyond an easy to use interface, internet connectivity, HD abilities, and now more social networking, comes a new application. "Television recording business TiVo Inc. set up a way for its users to show information like news, weather, photos or updates from social networks like Twitter or Facebook on TV." Called FrameChannel, the service lets viewers "put sports scores or traffic reports based on their Zip codes on the screen using various apps. Pictures from sites like Flickr or from social network pages like Facebook can also be run as slideshows." Nice features.

Unfortunately, the elephant in the room continues to be the connection to the cable company's system. The difficulty in obtaining CableCards and the installation process will cause most cable customers to simply retain their existing HD/DVR box and use other devices like their Playstation 3 to connect to the web. First things first for Tivo, strike real deals with the big cable companies so that Tivo is an automatic option for consumers. Figure out how to simplify the process of enabling an external box to connect to the cable platform. All these bells and whistles are nice, but Tivo has a bigger challenge to fix.