Tivo and Comcast deal

It’s been over a week since the announced deal between Tivo and Comcast was announced. The partnership is definitely a lifeline for Tivo and hopefully the company can reinvigorate their product with innovations. Pessimists might say that is not looking very probable as it seems that the company would rather court the favor of media companies instead of building in services people really want and can use. The whole tivotogo DRM is a perfect example, great idea – fairly poor execution. Why do I want a file I can only view on my Windows Desktop? But the news has been great for Tivo stock, which has rebounded from 52 week lows of 3.45 to 5.60/share.

The Comcast deal may do one thing that they company hasn’t been great at doing – get their software and products out in front of a wider variety of users. The user interface of Tivo is its greatest strength so if people get hooked to it, they could be more likely to pickup a stand alone tivo if they move to satellite or another cable provider. The company has also announced that this year it will focus on profitability and may look to expand into the Japanese market by 2006.

Now that the company doesn’t have to worry about survivability as much, I’m hoping that they can focus on hardware and software again. Despite the version 7.1 update to their software, wireless 802.11g USB adapters are limited to 11b speeds. Finally, I still can’t watch encrypted tivo files on my Powerbook but they do at least pay lip service to mac support.

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