For many of our readers, it's probably impossible to think back to a time when you didn't have a DVR in your living room. It's equally difficult to imagine the concept of having to pay a third party company for the ability to record your programs. That however has always been the business model of TiVo.
That might explain why TiVo is now under new ownership. The new owners, Rovi, have decided to reconsider TiVo's business model. In fact they seem to be throwing out the entire playbook.
Going forward, the company no longer wants to produce dedicated hardware. Instead the goal is to take the TiVo platform and license it to existing set-top box manufacturers. TiVo has had success with this in the past, having paired up with satellite and cable providers.
This does however mark a major departure for the company. It could potentially mean that if your cable or satellite provider does not offer a TiVo box you may not be able to use the service. That means that if you've been a loyal TiVo subscriber you may lose your capabilities at some point in the future.
While the idea of moving from dedicated hardware to partnerships with set-top box manufacturers makes sense, the company will need to be careful not to drive away existing customers. Either way the idea of having a Best of CES technology built right into your cable box is definitely a positive. It might even help to encourage regulation to allow any set-top box on any provider.