People are complaining about Tivo2Go

They’re calling it the death bell for Tivo as a company.

And it very well be, but not for the reasons people are coming up with.

The biggest ‘ding’ against Tivo2Go has nothing really to do with the Tivo2Go service, but rather the lack of 802.11g drivers supplied with the Tivo unit. People are upset because it takes a long time to transmit a program over their 802.11b connection.

Now, there are a couple of reasons why I don’t see this as a real ‘ding’ on the Tivo2Go service:

  • Wireless is slow compared to wired. Throw in the fact that people are transmitting large video files, no doubt tivo’ed at the highest quality, and you can see why video over wireless is not that good of an idea to begin with.
  • Tivo included a lot of drivers for 10/100 Ethernet adapters in the Tivo unit, allowing easy to use configuration with wired home networks. Since Tivo is pitching their service not only to gadget heads, but also the regular consumer user, it makes sense to target the biggest demographic. Since home networks are still pretty “cutting edge” in many households, next generation wireless networks are typically only in a small number of homes.
  • 10/100 Ethernet is becoming so widespread, many people are outfitting their houses with jacks, just like phone & power. Combine that with the fact that wireless coverage and throughput degrade significantly when obstructions are encountered, and 10/100 Ethernet is still a better bet for Tivo to go with.
  • As for the “It doesn’t work with my DirecTV Tivo” complaints. Well, that’s just too bad. That’s what happens when you buy something from a VAR. They control the platform, not the company whose technology they are using. So, suck it up and buy a regular series 2 Tivo. It’s funny, with this list of value adds:

    • Photo & Music Streaming
    • Remote Scheduling
    • Ability to use home network for updates
    • Tivo2Go, and soon, burning of said Tivo2Go programs to DVDs
    • Increased capacity

compared to DirecTV’s Tivo value adds:

    • Digital quality directly from the source

Why would any stick with their DirecTV Tivo?

So, in conclusion, while Tivo maybe on the ropes, it’s got less to do with speed strapped transfers and more to do with having the bad luck in popularizing a commodity technology, similar Netscape.