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Television Media The Almighty Buck Technology

Tivo To Also Offer Ads Your Way 158

FangVT writes "InfoWorld is reporting that in mid-2006 Tivo will begin allowing subscribers use keyword searches to look for information on specific products or services. The article does not contain much information but ultimately says 'Throwing in lots of hedge words to soften the idea of advertising once again mingling with TV content, TiVo described the service as non-intrusive, relevant, interactive advertising on an opt-in basis.' Tivo's own press release says, 'For the first time, advertisers will have the ability to deliver television advertising, on demand and targeted to consumers, without the limitations of traditional television media placement.'"
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Tivo To Also Offer Ads Your Way

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  • odd (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ajdowntown ( 91738 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:24AM (#14165398) Homepage
    i is funny, the company that first taught us there is life without advertising is the one trying to bring it back full tilt...
    • Re:odd (Score:3, Insightful)

      by /ASCII ( 86998 )
      I love it. It puts the power over the consumers eyeballs even more firmly in the hands of the consumer.

      That said, I doubt very many consumers will use this very often.
      • That said, I doubt very many consumers will use this very often.
        And why would consumers watch ads on TiVo, unless the consumers get paid?

        Perhaps TiVo should let customers work off their subscription fee by watching some ads and taking a survey each month (all through their remote control). That would be a pretty cheap feedback channel for advertisers.

    • Re:odd (Score:2, Informative)

      by Bastian227 ( 107667 )
      Oddly enough for me, I have seen more commercials now that I have TiVo. Before TiVo, I watched about 2-3 hours (Buffy, Angel, misc) of TV a week because 1) I had to know about a show and its time slot and 2) I had to be willing to adjust my schedule to see it.

      With TiVo, I can pick shows and pick when I want to watch them. The result is that I watch more TV, perhaps about 10 hours a week. (It's somewhat lower because both Buffy and Angel are off the air now.)

      So, while watching about 5 times more TV, I see
  • I want ads! Oh wait
  • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:26AM (#14165414) Homepage Journal
    Tivo Popup

                        [Program] is about to start!

        [Watch it now with adverts] [Do Not Watch it now]
  • Great more features! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bruzer ( 191590 )
    Great my Tivo gets another "feature".

    I like my Tivo the way it is now. Does anyone know if there is a way to not get any more software updates from the Tivo service?

    'Silence is Golden, but Duct tape is Silver' - Stolen sig.
  • by indros13 ( 531405 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:28AM (#14165429) Homepage Journal
    TiVo should be wary of this decision, for three reasons:

    1) The ad service will be opt-in, but how much do they plan on nagging customers to do so? And who wants to be nagged about having ads, anyway, especially if you bought the thing to avoid them?

    2) Targeted ads are certainly more effective, as Google has shown, but it's still advertising in a space buyers have come to expect no ads or ad-skipping.

    3) TiVo built the entire model of PVR around the ability to skip ads and record shows more simply than on a VCR. They could do serious damage to their brand image if they embrace advertising after professing to help people avoid it.

    While I'm glad they plan to make it opt-in and targeted, I'm still skeptical that they'll find profit at the end of the advertising rainbow by alienating their customers.

    • by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:51AM (#14165600) Homepage
      Another very important reason I love my TiVo is: TO SAVE TIME.

      Watching ads, of any kind, does not further that goal.

      Not only can I can watch Queer Eye at my convenience, but equally importantly, in only 37 minutes.

      Towards this end, may I suggest a new TiVo feature: The ability to play back a program at a higher speed, with the audio pitch remaining unchanged. Hey, Kaffeine (in KDE) does it for me all the time, which I find very useful when watching non-pr0n, such as a physics lecture where the speaker talks v e r y - s l o w l y.
      • QuickTime 7 does this too. Go to Window, Show A/V Controls, there's a slider in the bottom right corner to adjust the playback speed. Not the best UI (that slider is awfully small!), but it works extremely well.
      • Towards this end, may I suggest a new TiVo feature: The ability to play back a program at a higher speed, with the audio pitch remaining unchanged. Hey, Kaffeine (in KDE) does it for me all the time, which I find very useful when watching non-pr0n, such as a physics lecture where the speaker talks v e r y - s l o w l y.

        MythTV can do this. It also does a pretty good job of finding and skipping commercials. You can adjust the speed from 0.5x to 2.0x in increments of 0.05x. I do this when I'm watching document

    • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:53AM (#14165618) Journal

      3) TiVo built the entire model of PVR around the ability to skip ads and record shows more simply than on a VCR. They could do serious damage to their brand image if they embrace advertising after professing to help people avoid it.

      They could even more serious damage if they incurred the anger of *AAs by openly attacking the ad based model of TV as you are doing now. I don't think they built the PVR around the ability to skip ads. It was built around the ability to time shift and learn your preferences and automatically record them. Hell, TiVo's big patent (as I understand it) is on the whole thumbs up/down thing. The skipping ads part is a wink and a nudge rather then an advertised ability though. Especially the 30 second skip easter egg.

      Mind you, I'm not saying that I didn't buy a TiVo to skip ads. Just that I can appreciate the tight rope they have to walk. If an opt-in service can make them more money AND give the *AAs the impression that they aren't anti-advertisement, then what's the problem?

      • They could even more serious damage if they incurred the anger of *AAs by openly attacking the ad based model of TV as you are doing now.

        The *AAs are not TiVo's meal ticket, so far as I know. The customer is.

        Remember what happened with mp3 players [wikipedia.org]?

        The second DAP was the Rio PMP300 from Diamond Multimedia, introduced in September 1998. The Rio was a big success during the Christmas 1998 season as sales significantly exceeded expectations, spurring interest and investment in digital music. The Recordin

        • The customer is their meal ticket. Without customers they can't sell advertisments. But I still don't think that means they should do something that will encourge the *AA's of the World to pick a legal fight with them. Even if TiVo won such a fought (they probably would) how much money would it cost them?

          TiVo has always had a wink and a nudge policy towards things like the 30 second skip. They've also usually been supportive of hackers in the community growing their product. I'm not really fond of the

    • by the_rev_matt ( 239420 ) <slashbot@revma t t .com> on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:56AM (#14165636) Homepage
      Everyone I know that has a TiVO bought it for one reason: time shifting. The ability skip ads is a nice to have, but not a have to have. The ability to watch a show when I have time to instead of having to choose between watching it when it is on or not watching it at all is why I bought a tivo.

      I don't get people who seem to find advertising on television and in magazines to be morally reprehensible and an affront to their constitutional rights.
      • I don't get people who seem to find advertising on television and in magazines to be morally reprehensible and an affront to their constitutional rights.

        It is the same people who fnd it morally reprehensible and an affront to their constitutional rights to have to pay for someone else's work product, such as music or software.
    • Bottom line - Tivo needs revenue - If they don't mold their business model to be able to tweak some cash out of advertisers none of us will have a Tivo. They are still struggling to even nail down a business model that shows a profit. Personally, I view all content they throw on the machine no matter how painful because I know they know I watched it which allows them to show the advertisers - Hey, see how many people watched this other companies ad! Some of it is good - it has shown me stuff I wouldn't have
  • Wait, this is news? (Score:5, Informative)

    by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:29AM (#14165434)
    TiVo has always had the Showcases menu which was mostly supplied with paid-for content from broadcasters and sponsors, and could even contain video clips that were sent over a Discovery Channel late-night infomercial. The only thing here is that a search is being added, as if there's going to be more content than makes sense for a menu now.
    • TiVo has always had the Showcases menu

      Actually, it has vanished from some of my TiVos' menus at times. It also becomes inaccessible without service (I have an unsubscribed 20-hour unit in my guest room).

      Lately it has been trying to record its "Teleworld Paid Programming" content from ISATE (i (Independent TV) Satellite Feed East), but when I've seen it do it, other PAX programming is there instead.
  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:29AM (#14165436) Journal
    Maybe I'm missing something but isn't the whole purpose of Tivo to allow people to skip ads on tv? What would make someone who subscribes to such a service want to search for ads? Wouldn't it just be easier and cheaper to not subscribe to Tivo and use a vcr to record shows?

    As I said in a reply to a posting yesterday I don't watch commercials or listen to adverstisements. Anywhere at any time. When a show goes to commercial I'll either go to another channel or if nothing else is on hit the mute button, walk away and go do something else for 2+ minutes. I fast forward through commercials on recorded shows. I turn the volume down when there are commercials on the radio. I don't even see billboards on the road anymore my mind has blocked them out.

    If I'm going out of my way to avoid advertisements and commercials what would make these folks think I would want to search for commercials?
    • Sometimes people want to see ads to assess what is available in a given marketplace. Targeted and seachable advertising could be very useful. Imagine you want to buy a new drill but are unsure of the current state of the drill market. So you un a search of drill related ads, have a browse and then head out to the store (or online). seems to be a viable service to me. Occasionally I find ads to be useful, although I concede being unendingly bombarded with them is quite distastful.
      • The internet is a much more efficient way to search for product information than a tivo could ever be. I can't imagine that there are that many people that have the resources to pay for tivo service and not have the internet. Maybe they are helping fuel couchpotatoism by making it more convenient, but unless they attach a mouse to the tive, I can't see that process being anythng but arduous.

        Hmm.... drills....
        [menu]
        down down -> adverts -> [select]
        down down -> tools -> [select]
        down left down

    • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:35AM (#14165490)
      What would make someone who subscribes to such a service want to search for ads?

      Search

      Category: Advertisements
      Keyword: "Super Bowl"
    • I think maybe you did miss something. The purpose of Tivo is to put viewers back in control of their televisions. If the viewer doesn't want to see adds, Tivo supports that. If the viewer does want to see adds, Tivo supports that too.

      This new functionality, being opt-in, is completely consistent with that philosophy.

      • by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:53AM (#14165619)
        I'll direct you to this helpful timeline for capitalism:

        Step 1 - Free, no ads
        Step 2 - Free, with ads
        Step 3 - Pay, no ads
        Step 4 - Pay, with ads

        Tivo is between steps 3 and 4 right now. As with every other service, it will soon be at step 4.
        • Interesting but not universally valid. In fact, it isn't valid for our specific case. Neither Tivo nor television itself were ever in the "Free, no adds" category. If you want a specific example, Ipana toothpaste was one of the first television advertisers.
    • "If I'm going out of my way to avoid advertisements and commercials what would make these folks think I would want to search for commercials?"

      Greed? Losing contact with their customer base? With reality?

      The current idea of marketing is going to get more or less wiped out by context marketing ranging from google to price-checking sites, simply because marketing to consumers who are actually shopping for a that specific product is vastly more efficient.

      While TiVo may have understood that, they unfortunately d
    • Maybe I'm missing something but isn't the whole purpose of Tivo to allow people to skip ads on tv?

      Uh, no. The main purpose was tape-free digital recording, recodring based on the show listing in an onscreen guide (no more "ok, start the recording at 8:30 on Monday...") and then being presented with a list of titles of things recorded. No tape rewinding. No "which of the 19 unmarked tapes has last week's Lost". No muss no fuss. The most annoying parts of VCR usage have been automated and digitized away.

      T

  • by dslauson ( 914147 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:33AM (#14165464) Journal
    Opt-in targeted advertising is better than being held as a captive audience, but I'm not sure I'm crazy about them using my bandwidth and precious hard drive space to store their ads that I may never watch. I think it's getting close to time for me to try out MythTv. Hmm.
  • by TallMatthew ( 919136 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:33AM (#14165465)
    ... if I have a season pass to Judging Amy, douche ads are going to pop up all over the place?

    Um, opt out.

  • by PlayfullyClever ( 934896 ) <playfull@playfullyclever.com> on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:34AM (#14165472) Homepage Journal
    I've had my TiVo for over 4 years now. I love it to death. I think that TiVo did a hell of a lot of things right. Some quick examples:

    1. Unlike, say, Microsoft, they never discouraged their users from hacking their boxes. As a result, a huge community of TiVo hackers emerged (see http://www.tivocommunity.com/ [tivocommunity.com]). I upgraded my TiVo's 30 gig hard drive to two 120's, and installed a cachecard/network card combo from 9th Tee, which means I can do fun tricks like scheduling shows and season passes from the road, or watching shows in my bedroom on my XBOX.

    2. Really great support. I've only had to call TiVo a couple of times, both for channel lineup issues, but they were always extremely friendly and helpful over the phone. For example, after I moved into my new house, I realized that Adelphia had just upgraded the cable in my area, and TiVo didn't have the lineup yet. So I called support, and the next day, TiVo called me back to tell me that my lineup was added. Simply awesome.

    3. Choosing Linux. When I telnet into my TiVo, I get a bash shell. I've installed an ftp server, web server (TiVoWeb), and even installed cron. How cool is that? Plus, this excellent decision has led to new software being developed exclusively for the TiVo (such as a caller id display that uses the TiVo's built-in modem, so you can see who's calling without getting up off the couch). Simply brilliant.

    4. The interface. They obviously put a ton of work into it, and it really shows. It just kicks so much ass.

    Now obviously, they dropped the ball in a couple of areas. The Comcast merger was just a more recent one. I think these are the two biggies:

    1. I think that their biggest problem has always been slow adoption; as long as I've had the thing, I've been seeing ads pop up on TiVo Central giving me hot deals on new TiVo units, which I'm supposed to share with my friends and family. Great, I can save Dad $50 on his new unit. But if they really expect me to convince Dad that he can't live without a season pass on those Seinfeld reruns he loves so much, then they should be giving me the 50 smackers. I'd probably have 10 people signed up under me right now if I got some sort of compensation for it. (By the way, click here [freeminimacs.com] to get a free Mini Mac!):-)

    2. Too expensive. The hardware and service together really do cost too much, unless you got in early like I did (back when lifetime service was $200). They should do what my damn cell phone company does: Knock the hardware down to like $99, and make me pay a very affordable $9.95 a month. If I try to cancel before 2 years are up, hit me with some obscene early termination fee. Yes, I hate it when cell phone companies do this, but that's how they stay in business. Besides, it's not like I'd be foolish enough to cancel my TiVo service anyway. TiVo is heroin. So far, I've paid $499 for TiVo and lifetime service, so TiVo won't make any more money off of me. If they were using my above plan, I would have paid in $589 so far, with more coming in every month.

    I would really hate to see TiVo go. I hope they don't. But I suspect that even if the service dies, thanks to the openness of their hardware platform, someone (maybe me) will figure out how to write a script to pull show data off of Yahoo! TV or something. And with Microsoft and MythTV and several others entering the PVR market, there's no question that TiVo's invention is here to stay.

    It is really great that TiVo is going to offer ads our way, thats the way it should work, and ultimately, lead to better advertising.
    • They should do what my damn cell phone company does: Knock the hardware down to like $99, and make me pay a very affordable $9.95 a month. If I try to cancel before 2 years are up, hit me with some obscene early termination fee.

      They have started doing exactly that. And it will ruin them! I gave my brother an old TiVo I had lying around and when he tried to register it he was informed that he had to agree to 1 year of service with a $150 "early termination" penalty.

      So he built a Myth box instead.
      • I'm all for the DIY spirit of Myth/Freevo etc, but I can't quite wrap my brain around people claiming Tivo is too expensive, and then building a Myth box instead.

        You can get the Tivo box for $50 after rebate, and $299 for lifetime service. Circuit City recently even had the Tivo free after rebate if you ordered it online (with free shipping too).

        So basically, it's $350 worst case. How cheaply can you build a Myth box?
        • You really cannnot compare the two. TiVo is a special-purpose, locked down consumer device. A livingroom PC can do that, plus serve music to your stereo, play games, web surf (with wireless mouse/keyboard), fileserve, and whatever else gets dreamed up next month (mine is also a webserver, email server, and network gateway with QoS so VOIP works fine no matter what).

          So maybe I am agreeing with you that TiVo is better if you don't have a castoff computer handy and don't want your PVR to do anything else

          • You really cannnot compare the two. TiVo is a special-purpose, locked down consumer device. A livingroom PC can do that, plus serve music to your stereo, play games, web surf (with wireless mouse/keyboard), fileserve, and whatever else gets dreamed up next month (mine is also a webserver, email server, and network gateway with QoS so VOIP works fine no matter what)

            Granted MythTV etc may offer more features from the get go, but the Tivo is *hardly* "locked down". Tons of hacks exist for it (and yes, it runs
            • I see. I was thrown off by the OReilly book Tivo Hacks which states:
              Note: Not all TiVos are the same. The original TiVo, the Series 1, is the most hackable TiVo out there; it's a box thrown together with commodity parts and the TiVo code is running on open hardware. The Series 2 TiVo, the most commonly sold TiVo today, is not open. You won't see hacks in this book that involve modifying Series 2 software.
              Perhaps it is more open than OReilly claims?
              • I see. I was thrown off by the OReilly book Tivo Hacks which states

                No, you're just reading it wrong.

                "You won't see hacks in this book that involve modifying Series 2 software"

                Translation:

                You won't see hacks in *this* book that involve modifying Series 2 software, but you will when you buy our next book, "Tivo Hacks, 2nd edition"
        • You are comparing apples to aardvarks. Tivo functionality can be changed at will by the folks at Tivo. The feature you love today may be replaced by the feature you hate tomorrow.

          A Myth box is yours, and no one from the outside will mess with it.

          So, yes, in $ terms the Tivo is cheaper if you have to go out and buy all the Myth parts from scratch (but most of us have parts lying around we could use) but you are getting something over which you have complete control, whereas the Tivo is controlled by Tivo.

          Ob.

          • You are comparing apples to aardvarks. Tivo functionality can be changed at will by the folks at Tivo. The feature you love today may be replaced by the feature you hate tomorrow.

            A Myth box is yours, and no one from the outside will mess with it.

            So, yes, in $ terms the Tivo is cheaper if you have to go out and buy all the Myth parts from scratch (but most of us have parts lying around we could use) but you are getting something over which you have complete control, whereas the Tivo is controlled by Tivo.

            If

            • I looked seriously at replacing my TiVo (series 1) with a MythTV box. It was going to cost about $900-$1000. You could do it cheaper, maybe for $700, but I wanted a nice looking AV form factor case with a VFD on the front panel. Any less than that and you are looking at a loud computer in an ugly tower case with limited storage.

    • thanks to the openness of their hardware platform, someone (maybe me) will figure out how to write a script to pull show data off of Yahoo! TV or something.

      It's been done several times. The Canadians have the most sophisticated system with at least three programs that will pull data with XMLTV from zap2it.com. They all work fine in the U.S. (with the exception of Simplicity that needs to defeat the Canada-IP check). The Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and a few others have active Tivo grou

    • But if they really expect me to convince Dad that he can't live without a season pass on those Seinfeld reruns he loves so much, then they should be giving me the 50 smackers. I'd probably have 10 people signed up under me right now if I got some sort of compensation for it. (By the way, click here [freeminimacs.com] to get a free Mini Mac!):-)

      They've had that for quite some time now: http://www.tivo.com/rewards [tivo.com]

      Gist of it is that they give you 5000 points for every referral, and you trade those in for swag.
    • 1. Unlike, say, Microsoft, they never discouraged their users from hacking their boxes. As a result, a huge community of TiVo hackers emerged (see http://www.tivocommunity.com/ [tivocommunity.com]). I upgraded my TiVo's 30 gig hard drive to two 120's, and installed a cachecard/network card combo from 9th Tee, which means I can do fun tricks like scheduling shows and season passes from the road, or watching shows in my bedroom on my XBOX.

      How about hacking it to put 30 second instant skip back in? Think TiVo favors that? And

      • I've never lost the ability to enable 30-second skip (Select Play Select 3 0 Select), though I have yet to set up my new Humax DVD Recorder with TiVo Service. What model of TiVo were you using?
      • "Your section on the Bad should have included all the things TiVo has taken away (e.g. 30 second skip), or never provided when they could (e.g. Replay TV style automatic commercial skip) to the benefit of their customer base. I don't see TiVo presenting as rosy a picture as you do."

        I'd say that TiVo keeping itself a float is a benefit they've given their customer base, unlike ReplayTV. ReplayTV has bankrupted two parent companies already by having incurred the wrath of the broadcasters association and the
    • I upgraded my TiVo's 30 gig hard drive to two 120's, and installed a cachecard/network card combo from 9th Tee, which means I can do fun tricks like scheduling shows and season passes from the road, or watching shows in my bedroom on my XBOX.

      Sheesh, I've been doing that on my ReplayTV 50x0 unit for 4 years now, and the only thing I had to touch was the new hard drive I put in. I honestly don't understand why ReplayTV units haven't dominated the planet by now. Poor marketing, maybe?

      Is there a way to hack T
      • I honestly don't understand why ReplayTV units haven't dominated the planet by now. Poor marketing, maybe?

        Maybe because they were sued into someone else's hands.
      • "Sheesh, I've been doing that on my ReplayTV 50x0 unit for 4 years now, and the only thing I had to touch was the new hard drive I put in. I honestly don't understand why ReplayTV units haven't dominated the planet by now. Poor marketing, maybe?"

        Not as good of a "Season Pass". The GUI is not as good as TiVo's. Being sued into oblivion twice already (bankrupting the original ReplayTV company, and then SonicBlue). No word-of-mouth except for "I own a ReplayTV" postings on any website with news about TiVo.
    • They should do what my damn cell phone company does: Knock the hardware down to like $99, and make me pay a very affordable $9.95 a month.

      I just bought a TiVo yesterday (my third). It was $50 (not $99) for the hardware (40hr). I pay $6.95 (not $9.95) a month for service.

      Now it's not quite as good of a deal if you don't already have a TiVo since the one-TiVo rate is $12.95/mo. In my case, I paid for the service up-front since I hate mail-in rebates so this TiVo is usable for at least 23 months... whic

  • Two Way Street... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dada21 ( 163177 ) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:34AM (#14165473) Homepage Journal
    The video broadcast companies are probably going to need to do a more interactive form of advertising, and I believe that Tivo/Viiv/MCE and other PVR companies will be the ones to promote it. I think I have a decent solution to the conundrum of advertising.

    First, advertisers will need to pick a more specific market ("target").

    Second, shows will have to become more a la carte. This probably means significant DRM, but there is no "right" to television, so I don't see a way around this. If you want to watch the show "real time" you can pay for it now, or you can wait for it to be released on DVD (or public domain download).

    How can you pay for the show? One of three ways:

    A. You can use advertising points to watch it. Advertising points are "earned" by watching targeted ads that are pre-downloaded to your Tivo/MCE. These are communicated back to the producer. Maybe a small questionnaire at the end will earn you more points.

    B. You can pay for the show up front -- a la carte.

    C. You can pay for a subscription to the show for the season.

    I don't see any other way for advertising to work, other than product placement. If advertisers and content producers think Tivo is bad now, just wait another year when vidcasts replace the news, and amateur shows pick up another level of refinement. I've already heard from local actor's studios regarding making "free" TV shows to release to the web to advertise their abilities. All we need is one or two huge popular shows online for every city and town to have a free actor's studio making interesting television.

    Advertising will be more direct -- and bidirectional.
  • From InfoWorld: The opt-in technology will let TiVo subscribers use keyword searches to look for information on specific products or services.

    This is a useful way of doing it. No more being bombarded by hundreds ads for things you don't want or need. Now you can search for the things you're looking for and avoid having to sit through the same repititious crap. This might even get advertisers to put as little more content in their commercials, rather than always going for the cheap laugh or worse, for the

    • This is a useful way of doing it. No more being bombarded by hundreds ads for things you don't want or need. Now you can search for the things you're looking for and avoid having to sit through the same repititious crap.
      So this is for only for people who don't know how to use Google? I can find things I'm looking for a lot faster using Google (via a keyboard) than Tivo's remote control.
  • Here's a thought: why doesn't TiVo offer a shopping service? For example, a point-and-click amazon-esque online store. TiVo takes a lucrative cut of the take and we can consume without having to leave the couch.
    • If the box could parse the closed-captioning feed off of the programs, they could use Google Ads and/or Froogle to match product offerings with what is actually being said within the program.
  • by Monoman ( 8745 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:40AM (#14165523) Homepage
    DISCLAIMER: I own a Tivo .. ok I own a few Tivos.

    Here come the Tivo flames.

    Try to keep in mind that Tivo is in a very tough spot. They are trying to balance the wishes of their customers while keeping the greedy-money-grabbing content owners happy.

    Bash them all you want but it can't be easy. Sadly I think Tivo is going to lose out to the cable and sattelite providers building their own DVRs into their set-top boxes. They will probably be inferior products but you won't have a choice.

    For all you Myth fans I paraphrase and old Debian t-shirt.

    "MythTV. What your mother would use if it were 20 times easier."

    Myth is getting better but it is no Tivo or Replay.
  • advertising, on demand

    Expect this to last about 3 minutes, when they realise that none of their users will be "demanding" advertising.

    • "Expect this to last about 3 minutes, when they realise that none of their users will be "demanding" advertising."

      Yes, that's exactly what happened with Google Adsense.
    • Yup. Just like they ditched showcases, and the one ad on the main menu.

      Seems to me this will just be a menu for ads instead of a link to a single ad... And people do watch them. I even find myself clicking on them now and then when they're something like a movie preview.
  • by Blacklotuz ( 575879 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:50AM (#14165592)
    I've been a loyal TiVo fan for years. I've got a Series 1 Phillips TiVo unit which I modded with ethernet, a bigger hard drive, TiVoWeb, etc. At first I was willing to pay for the box AND pay the $12.99/month to get updated listings, but recently I've felt like my TiVo is being taken away from me. The showcases and ads in the unit have long anoyed me, I wished I could tell my own TiVo to stop recording ads, but I let it be since it wasnt causing me any harm. Now they add the ability for broadcasters to tell me what I can and can't record and are greatly expanding their advertising, I'm going to cancel my subscription!

    The problem is the business model is all wrong. I expect that when I purchase a device AND a subscription to a service that I'm compensating the company for the service which I receive. $12.99/month for TV listings is already a bit steep and I could subscribe to TV Guide cheeper than that, why should I have to pay to be advertised to as well? If they gave away the units and charged a bit for an ad supported service or if they charged for the units but supported the free TV listings with ads I could accept that but I'm feeling more and more like I bought a device that requires me to pay $12.99/month to watch 'custom tailored' ads, but I think I'll be sticking with the ads I get for free.
    • If it was just listings then I'd be with you on this. But it is an indexed list of (pretty much) every show that is TV in your local area. Not only can you have it record all your favorite "Friends" episodes, but it can also find every Jennifer Anniston movie that is on and record it for you. Or maybe you prefer shows about monkeys, there you go. And on and on.

      And no one has ever been forced to watch any ad that was downloaded to a Tivo. The "Showcases" are stored in an area of the disk that we users can't
    • $12.99/month for TV listings is already a bit steep and I could subscribe to TV Guide cheeper than that, why should I have to pay to be advertised to as well?

      Have you noticed what half the pages in TV Guide are? Ads. I don't think that you are thinking clearly on this matter.

  • I have no problem with the CONCEPT of ads. However, their execution has usually stunk. A typical TV show has crooked car dealers yelling at you, Viagra ads that look like my inbox, ads that are supposed to be funny but make me barf, and ads so vague that I'm not even sure what the product is. Those ads "pop up" whenever the show has hit an interesting part, and they last 5+ minutes at a time. Then they wonder why everyone wants to skip past them! Hopefully this will be an improvement, but given the tot
    • I agree wholeheartedly. I think the future of television advertising should be the pop-under ad. Those I could live with.
    • I agree that the implementation of the ad concept has sucked. I've always thought it would be interesting to start a cable TV channel that played nothing but ads - but GOOD ads, the ones where people don't change the channel when they come on. We can all think of interesting and cool ads that we have seen and liked. There are plenty of ads that people download because they thought they were neat. Get a few editors to pick the winner ads and your advertisers would give you all the content you would ever
      • I know I wish my Usenet feed carried alt.binaries.multimedia.commercials [binaries.m...ommercials]. If there's any content on TV that one should have an unlimited right to redistribute for free in perfect digital lossless reproduction, it's commercials.

        Too bad adcritic.com decided to price themselves for the advertiser market. I guess they couldn't afford the bandwidth for their content with a general audience popularity. Though you'd think if they'd adopt bittorrent they could open their library to the public again. (I want the
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Friday December 02, 2005 @09:52AM (#14165609)
    Get one of these: http://www.sjtelecommunications.com/pan-wj-hd316a- 5500.html [sjtelecommunications.com] or more affordable: http://www.ecost.com/ecost/shop/detail.asp?dpno=53 7524&store=ecost&source=ewbfroogle&adcampaign=emai l,ewbfroogle [ecost.com]
    and no more ads period?

    What is the incentive to use Tivo when they are starting to incorporate ads? Why not just buy a DVR and skip the commercials?
  • Now we can watch for the seemingly endless parade of TiVo apologist talking about how TiVo's still the greatest thing since sliced bread even though they use DRM, force downgrades to remove features, and incorporate ads.
  • by jparker ( 105202 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @10:11AM (#14165745) Homepage
    I own a Tivo, and like many of you say, I really enjoy skipping the adds. Being able to watch a 30-min show in 23 minutes is a great timesaver, but it does have some downsides. I miss several jokes around the office, because they start with "Oh man, have you seen the new FooCorp add?" I have a very poor idea of what movies are coming out, because I don't see any of the trailers on TV. So, I can see several uses for this service. I'd love to be able to tell my Tivo: "Show me all the movie trailers for movies coming out Friday." Or something similar. I've thought for a while that PVRs should allow ad recording and ad sharing. You know that there are lots of people who would send that really funny ad to all their friends, and it would get the advertiser's off your back a bit. They usually have a set of ads they're featuring on the main page as well. You have to deliberatley select to watch them, but often I do. For LOTR they had behind the scenes interviews and several extended trailers. Ditto for most any other geek-friendly movie. They also showcased the BMW films when those were running. This new system just sounds like a beefed-up version of that, which is no bad thing.

    Sure, most commercials are annoying and deserve to be skipped, but some are actually entertaining, interesting, and (rarely) even informative. Can't say I see a problem with providing me another way to get information, as long as it's opt-in.
    • I'd love to be able to tell my Tivo: "Show me all the movie trailers for movies coming out Friday." Or something similar.
      Get a Season Pass to (I think it's called) "Coming Attractions" on "E". You'll need to fast forward through some inane chatter but the show is mostly trailers for current or soon-to-be-current movies.
  • by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Friday December 02, 2005 @10:19AM (#14165804) Homepage
    When FF'ing through the annoying ads, I sometimes see an ad that I realize I'm interested in. I can stop FF and see the ad.

    Now, if I could push thumbs up (or thumbs down!) on an ad, this could be used to notify the advertiser of my thumbs up/down.

    Even better, if I press thumbs up/down on an ad, TiVo should display a menu of options, such as...
    (For thumbs up)...
    • I would like my TiVo to download more information about your product and send me a message when the info is available
    • I liked your ad
    • I like your product
    • I would like TiVo to send you all of my personal information and give you unlimited permission to charge my account and send me your products
    (For thumbs down)...
    • I think your ad bites
    • I think your product bites
    • I think your company bites
    • Many of the above

    In the end, this is good for me. Advertisers may be encouraged to run good ads, or at least entertaining ones. Advertisers get feedback about their ads, product, and/or company -- or at least my perception of these.

    TiVo and advertisers have an opportunity here. It is easy for me the viewer, I can just Thumbs Up/Down on a commercial. Select from a menu.

    It is the ultimate opt-in. If I choose not to participate, I do nothing, and nothing changes about how I benefit from using my TiVo.
  • Honestly, I wouldn't mind more targetted advertising in the TV world. I'd be willing to submit basic, non-identifiable data & interests in exchange for something worthwhile (like a discount). It'd be worth it to me to avoid all the stupid diaper and formula commercials usually aimed at women, and get ads for nifty tech toys instead.
  • For the first time, advertisers will have the ability to deliver television advertising, on demand and targeted to consumers, without the limitations of traditional television media placement.

    Let's try a little editing from an Internet perspective:

    For the first time, advertisers will have the ability to deliver Internet advertising, on demand and targeted to consumers, without the limitations of traditional web-browsing patterns.

    Sounds to me like the very same descriptions used for the Adware/Spyware

  • Dear Tivo,

    I am not brand loyal to your company. I enjoy my Tivo units because of the ease of use and the utility of that service. I'm not enamoured with your interface, the GUI of your guide nor the speed of such interfaces. I am not thrilled with Tivo's inability to dynamically recognize sporting events that go in to OT or the fact that LOST might be running two minutes ahead of schedual. A competitor could easily sway this consumer. One that speeds up and improves the interface and doesn't require

  • There are a few (very few) commercials that i like.

    Usually whenever i see the Geico logo i pause my tivo, rewind and watch the commercial since they are usually quite entertaining.

    If tivo were to let users rate ads (volutarily of course) then they could pull out the best ones and demonstrate to advertisers that good ads really do work and crappy ones just piss off your potential customers.
  • Why would I want to waste my time searching for advertisments that I have to watch, when I can just type a term into Google and view the ads that come up tied to that search term? Or even better, I could just search for something in Google base. Either way I can pull up multiple web sites for products, compare them, and then track down the best price. That's a hell of a lot easier and more efficient than sitting around watching commercials on TV and fast-forwarding through them until I find a good one.

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