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January 10, 2007

Should Google Buy Tivo?

From the Georgia Sports Blog's entertainment and home theater beat comes these stories.

John Fortt of Business 2.0 magazine last month suggested that Google should buy Tivo. He makes a compelling case; however, I would be against such a merger for two reasons:
    1. Expanding Google's power into my television. With a $149 billion market cap, they're big enough with access to enough personal information on every living soul.

    2. Google privacy policies are a step above trust us wink-wink.
The flip side of the coin is Google's ability to innovate is staggering. Cable providers innovate at a level slightly above their customer service. The consumer generally wins as innovation is driven into the marketplace. Regardless, the future of Tivo is an interesting story to watch for all home theater buffs.

Big. Ass. TV.

However, nothing on the home television front is quite as eye catching as a 108 inch flat screen LCD TV. With a 9 foot tall television, you would have to tape your ankles and wear elbow pads before watching football. The linked article also includes a blurb of interest to those of us with elaborate tailgates:
Satellite TV provider DirecTV introduced a suitcase-sized system called SatGo that will allow users to access the company's signals at the beach, while camping or at a tailgating party.
So there's that.



Dawg 05 said...

Screw the LCD, go spend $900 for an Optoma HD front projector, $100 on a pull down screen, and enjoy 120 inches of HD football goodness for a fraction of the price.

Jason said...

I introduced a group of rather large UCLA fans this year to the true tailgate - bringing a satellite dish and your TV to tailgate, so that you can watch the early games.

They all looked at me like this was some sort of amazing new invention. It was fun, though.

Plus, I must admit, the Rose Bowl is bar-none one of the best spots to tailgate, even though it is a bit lacking in atmosphere. Seriously, just imagine tailgating ON A GOLF COURSE. A GOLF COURSE, PEOPLE.

Why tailgating is not more popular at UCLA I will never know.

Dante said...

Google buying Tivo? Google only seems to be buying companies with future potential. Tivo's future potential is rather dim. Tivo has too much competition from providers of the service they enhance to have any hope of continuing on as a DVR service in the long (or maybe even mid) term, especially with upcoming services like iTV and XBox 360's movie service that don't require a cable/satellite provider to begin with.

If they buy Tivo in hopes of turning it into an iTV competitor or advertiser tool, they're going to lose a lot of their install base. This looks more like a Novell purchase. They love buying potential has-beens and losing horses (WordPerfect, System V UNIX, and SUSE to name a few).

SatGo does look interesting though.

Anonymous said...

Just a fwiw comment about Google: They don't just buy companies with future potential. They buy to give themselves a toehold in an area where they currently don't have any. The most recent example is Youtube, for which on the face of it, they overpaid. But if - actually more like when - they change it and use it within their vision, it will probably make sense. TiVO still licenses the technology that is used by say DirecTV and the DVR equipment they offer their customers. I suspect Google would want the licensing, and do some adapting. Ultimately, though, PWD is right - Google has enough control already.

Dante said...

Tivo licenses to DirecTV because of a court order. As soon as DirecTV can weasel out of that, they will. I'd give it two to three years tops. If anything, I would think the licensing would be the least to gain by acquiring DirecTV. The technology itself can be bought cheaper elsewhere and Google is no slouch when it comes to Tivo's strong point: user interface design. Google could do one thing though that will have to happen if Tivo has any chance of succeeding in the long run. Google can afford to do away with monthly service fees. That combined with Tivo's install base could actually be worth something but I don't think acquisition is the answer for Google in this arena.

ruteger said...

Yeah, what they said.

82 said...

actually, TiVo is teaming up with Comcast now.

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