I recently posted about three reasons TiVo is dying and doesn't know it yet. I feel strongly that the influx of online video could do significant damage to TiVo's business model, but my friend Chris is a big TiVo advocate and recently made me aware of some factors that play to TiVo's advantage:
- High Definition – The quality of content on the web is still a step or two behind what's available on your TiVo hard drive, thanks to the introduction of their new Series 3 recorder. Sure, watching 4 minute clips of The Killers performing on Jimmy Kimmel is one thing, but would anyone seriously want to sit through a 42 minute episode of Lost while enduring the quality of an online video clip?
- It's Legal – It's going to be especially interesting to see how online video is treated by the music/television/film companies that haven't already given their blessing for usage of copyrighted material in user generated content. TiVo's business is much cleaner, and that allows them to focus. These legal distractions may spell trouble for would be competitors.
- The Interface – No one disputes that TiVo's user interface is the best in the business, but everyone knows that broadband content delivery is the future. Right now you can share photos, listen to podcasts or Internet radio and even check Yahoo traffic and weather, all from your TiVo box with a broadband connection, either wired or wireless. If TiVo can prove to be a forward thinking provider of broadband content, I believe their intuitive user interface gives them a slight advantage moving forward.