TiVo is building a legal version of Aereo

By Shawn Knight
May 14, 2015
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  1. tivo aereo dvr ota rpx oot tom rogers

    DVR maker TiVo is actively developing a legal version of Aereo, the now-defunct startup whose company broadcasted live, over-the-air (OTA) television to paying subscribers over the Internet.

    It’s TiVo’s belief that the its cable partners are missing out on the growing faction of cord-cutters turning to OTA and over-the-top (OTT) services in order to save money each month. This same group of people, however, may be willing to create their own bundles. But how could they go about doing it?

    During a recent interview at the INTX show in Chicago, TiVo president and CEO Tom Rogers told Multichannel that they believe the answer is pretty clear – a service that’s kind of like Aereo’s model, only done better and legally.

    tivo aereo dvr ota rpx oot tom rogers

    Unfortunately, Rogers didn’t elaborate on exactly how his company plans to go about implementing such a service. A TiVo spokesperson confirmed they are indeed developing a product and plan to hold a significant event in San Jose in late July to discuss it.

    In hindsight, we probably should have seen this one coming.

    TiVo purchased the trademark, customer list and a few other assets from Aereo during its bankruptcy auction back in February. Curiously enough, it was patent clearinghouse RPX – not TiVo – that snapped up Aereo’s patent portfolio. It’s possible that TiVo may be working with RPX on the service but that’s pure speculation on my part.

    What will be key to TiVo’s service, if it does indeed mirror Aereo, is working with broadcasters to come to terms on retransmission fees.

    Permalink to story.

  2. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Maniac Posts: 938   +243

    So is there an OTA tuner in the box? If so, then all an end user would need to do is connect an antenna to get the OTA signal. As long as the schedule is there, then there would be virtually nothing for TiVo to do other than ensure that there is an OTA tuner in the box.

    As I understood it, when TiVo first started, what you paid for was the schedule that TiVo provided which greatly simplified scheduling DVR recordings. As a matter of fact, with DTV in the US, each local OTA station should be broadcasting their schedule OTA as well. So I could imagine that TiVo would come up with something like allowing their unit to store the schedule for an additional fee.

    If they follow this model, then I highly doubt that they would need any licensing agreement with any station. If, on the other hand, they decided that they were going to record local OTA in all the markets they serve and then redistribute the recorded content, then not only would there be the logistical nightmare of how to record OTA for each market they serve, but there would also be a licensing fee because they would be redistributing the content.

    In any event, those who have HTPCs only need a viable media center software and an OTA tuner to get for free what TiVo is trying to do.
  3. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Maniac Posts: 365   +174

    Anyone that owns a Premiere or newer version of TiVo knows EXACTLY what his big announcement is all about. All the software roll-outs and functionality enhancements of the last 2 years already define where this is headed.

    Doesn't take an engineering or marketing degree, much less an MBA to figure it out.
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  4. Jeff Re

    Jeff Re TS Member Posts: 18

    Tivo already makes a DVR with an OTA tuner.
  5. RebelFlag

    RebelFlag TS Addict Posts: 134   +66

    Ok, so for those of us who don't own a Premiere or newer version of TiVo, how about telling us what the big announcement is about......
  6. turismozilla

    turismozilla TS Enthusiast Posts: 55   +10

    We're going to shut you down so we can steal your idea.
  7. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Maniac Posts: 365   +174

    In a nutshell, TiVo is going for the cable-cutters in a big way. With the newest box, you don't need to be connected to a cable provider for TV as the TiVo service (inside the set-top) already let's you do category records across the Net and enabled services. For instance, if you put in an actors name, TiVo will show you what you can watch right away or what can be streamed ... across the Tube, Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, etc etc - along with the OTA content as well. It can record from all these various sources automatically too. Think of it like a HUGE *** channel guide ... sort of. In any event, at some point TiVo needed to roll out this all-encompassing capability once it got the kinks worked out and to figure out how to actually promote it in the proper way, to the exponentially growing cable-cutter demographic.

    Yes they've already had an OTA box, but it's an entry level one and what comes next goes way beyond OTA.
    Last edited: May 20, 2015

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