I read two articles recently that spurred me to write you this letter. The first article described how at the end of July 2009 you had 3.05 million subscribers, but at the end of July 2010 you were down to 2.38 million. Five years ago this would have surprised me, but not any more.
The second article was from your site, describing the spiffy new QWERTY TiVo remote with a sliding face and a full keyboard. I was overjoyed by the news, as I’ve been waiting for a remote like this since I bought and activated my first TiVo back in 2002. I read the article in great anticipation, wondering how pricey the remote would be. Hm, $90. Not unreachable, but seemingly a little steep, which would make it in keeping with everything else you sell.
But then I got to the last paragraph, where the last sentence read:
“The new remote will work with TiVo Premiere, Premiere XL, TiVo Series3, TiVo HD, and TiVo HD XL boxes.”
No Series 1? No Series 2 or Dual-Tuner? Leaving us faithful early adopters behind again, are we?
Typical. This is typical of everything I have come to expect from you over the years. I still love TiVo-the-technical-solution, but with TiVo-the-company I have gone from love to like to not caring to being annoyed and, finally, to loathing, where I am today.
I now own and use 5 (count ‘em) TiVos, but they are all Series 2. My disillusionment began in earnest when you released the Series3 boxes, and included things like YouTube browsing that were not made available to Series2 owners. Now, you had a story for why this was so, which was something about Flash, I think, but I didn’t (and still don’t) buy it. If you had wanted to make it work, you could have. But, you chose to have those features and functions be differentiators to try and get Series2 owners to upgrade.
And it’s continued to be that way over the years, up through the latest insult of not letting us have the new remote (pictured at left). You continue to add new and improved features and functions, very few of which are made available to your existing base of owners, unless they have the latest and greatest. Now, I understand this from a business perspective, as I work in technology, so I know that it’s hard to keep the installed base happy. It’s very easy to add new features and functions to totally new and redesigned devices, and your bean-counters are happy to see the R&D and other expenses that go into anything that will grab new customers and dollars.
I can visualize the meetings where you discussed the strategy of