Tag Archive | "DVR"

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TiVo is Alone at the Top

Posted on 06 March 2008 by Staff


For a company that continually loses money and is hated by advertisers, why are they the best game in town? For one, they were first to create the “time shifting” concept for digital recorders. Yes, there were others to do this (Replay TV) but TiVo, made it easy to use and locked up their software with a bunch of patents.

That’s not, of course, an earth-shattering idea; VCRs have been doing this for decades. Tivo’s edge is simple but critical: it’s easy to use. As a result, the company is now on the very short list of corporate brand names – like Google, Xerox, FedEx, and Photoshop – that are widely used as verbs.

If you don’t believe patents are worth much, ask Dish Networks. They tried to circumvent TiVo’s patents and lost and will now have to pay to TiVo to keep there DVRs working. DirecTV has paid TiVo for years, first to license the software and then of late to “maintain” those boxes while they put out their own branded DVR.

Rather than risk infringing on Tivo’s strong patents, cable companies will have little choice but to forge agreements with Tivo in order to provide their customers with DVR capabilities.

Says Westerfield: “Pay-TV operators who have not yet properly licensed the right to provide DRV services in the vein set forth by Tivo’s patents might well be at risk of patent infringement claims. Therefore, in due time, we think that nearly all pay-TV operators will review their risks and opt to legitimize their DVR offerings.”

Comcast and Cox have already said they will provide customers with set top boxes using TiVo’s technology, and others seem likely to follow.

TiVo has made up with advertisers and won the battles in court. Maybe now, they will finally get to reap the reward others have made at their expense.

[via Fortune]

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TiVo Wins Court Ruling, Leaving Dish Networks DVRs in Doubt

Posted on 02 February 2008 by Staff


TiVo won another round in its legal battle with Dish Network. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a ruling from a lower court that Dish Networks violated TiVO’s patent on a ‘multimedia time warping system’. Besides the fact that Dish is on the hook for $89.6 million in damages, they might have to stop selling DVRs and disable all functionality from their current recorders. That would mean some real pissed off customers.

With the validity of the patents, the damage award, and the jury verdict all upheld upon appeal, Dish appears to be out of options. The satellite TV provider is now faced with the unpleasant decision of whether to stop selling DVRs and shut off its DVR service, hope against hope that the Supreme Court decides to hear the case, or write an eight- or nine-figure check to TiVo to cover damages and license the patents. At this point, the latter option is Dish Network’s best bet.

This is obviously terrible news for Dish and great news for DirecTV, who have standing agreements with TiVo and still uses some of it’s software on their DVRs.

[via arstechnica]

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Schedule DirecTV Recordings on Your Mobile Phone

Posted on 19 January 2008 by Staff

DVR Scheduler
DirecTV recently announced a new beta program called DVR Scheduler that lets you set up recordings from your mobile phone or on the web. The service lets you browse the 14-day program guide and schedule a program to record, as well as set its priority over other scheduled recordings. Customers with the DIRECTV PLUS DVR (models R15-100, R15-300, R15-500) and DIRECTV PLUS HD DVR (models HR20-700, HR20-100) will be able to use this service right now. DirecTV plans to expand the service to other DVR models including the DirecTiVo units. Your mobile phone must have internet functionality, like the Apple iPhone, RIM Blackberry and others from Motorola, LG and Nokia.

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