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Rovi Acquires DVR Company TiVo For $1.1 Billion (usatoday.com) 50

Major Blud writes: TiVo, maker of one of the first consumer DVR's, has been purchased by IP powerhouse Rovi (formerly known as Macrovision) for $1.1 Billion. The combined company will go by the TiVo name. According to USA Today, "Shares of Rovi (ROVI) were up 3.7% to $17.99 in premarket trading. TiVo (TIVO) shares closed Thursday up 2% to $9.42." The combined company will reportedly hold more than 6,000 patents related to TV and video technology. Both Robi and TiVo represent a $3 billion entertainment technology company, with saving synergies of $100 million expected over the first year, the companies said.
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Rovi Acquires DVR Company TiVo For $1.1 Billion

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  • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @06:25PM (#52015753)

    man, have not heard that name in ages.

    wonder if I still have any s-video cables around. not in use, mind you. are you kidding me?

  • Macrovision was best known for a plot to block VHS recordings by placing a white block at a certain location...

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      I thought it was a perversion of Automatic Gain Control to create constructive interference to make copies of protected content (and sometimes unprotected content) unwatchable.
      • Re:Macrovision (Score:4, Informative)

        by clonehappy ( 655530 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @07:07PM (#52015937)

        Yes, Macrovision was most widely implemented by corrupting the vertical blanking signal which in turn caused the AGC in a consumer video recorder to go haywire and screw the video all to hell. The best part is that this little scheme did nothing to stop all but the most amateur pirates, as you could buy a cheap "Macrovision buster" to insert in-line with the video connection to remove the corruption, or use a professional deck with a TBC that was simply immune to it.

        So as usual, commercial-scale pirates went about their business unscathed while fair use and the average consumer had the screws turned on them.

    • by Megane ( 129182 )

      I recently tried to use an old all-in-one VHS+DVD recorder to archive some old home camcorder tapes. It constantly aborted by seeing the noise from recording gaps as copy protection. So now I'm going to have to use a capture-based solution after all. At least the equipment is a lot smaller than it was 10 years ago.

      Fuck you behind whatever name you hide behind, Macrovision.

  • There goes the last bill that I didn't feel grubby about paying. Now I'm supposed to GIVE MONEY to Macrovision? Time to look for alternatives...

    • None left... ReplayTV and Ultimate TV by Microsoft all fell to TiVo's patent claims.

    • Also... "saving synergies"? I'm presuming that's marketdroid speak for "we don't have to pay royalties to each other on these patents now".

    • by Megane ( 129182 )
      You could always set up a MythTV, but that requires a lot of work to keep going, and it won't work with cable. Which isn't so bad if you ditch cable; it's nice to have literal direct rips of ATSC broadcast streams, completely unprotected.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @06:43PM (#52015835)

    I've always loved my Tivos, but - as we become less dependent on the cable channel feed coming into the house, the Tivo (which we still have) seems to be unused for the most part. It was a great service, but technology has largely passed it by.

    I think the only thing it gets used for anymore is cop shows from CBS. My wife really likes all those NCIS/CSI/NKVD/PDQ shows on that network, and of course CBS doesn't participate in Hulu because they're trying to get you to pay some sum of money for streaming access to their third-rate network offerings. We'd save some money by dropping the Tivo monthly fee and paying for CBS' service, but I am unwilling to do so (and I don't believe my wife is even aware of "all access"). In any case, any other shows we watch generally are being streamed from Hulu.

    • TiVo used to be a "se halba everything" solution with podcasts coming in from CNET/TWIT/Revision3 but that's been replaced by cable on-demand offerings... seens llike you need to add a Roku or similar to absorb everything.

    • My first TiVo lasted 11 years, so the lifetime membership fee was well worth it. That's what I did with the next TiVo as well. I cut the Comcast cable last year and went with straight broadcast. Between broadcast, Netflix streaming and Amazon Prime, we have more than enough things to watch we enjoy.
      • I'd love to switch back to broadcast, but we didn't even get the old signals very well at our house. I can't imagine the HD broadcasts reach us at all.

        • I'd love to switch back to broadcast, but we didn't even get the old signals very well at our house. I can't imagine the HD broadcasts reach us at all.

          I live in the San Francisco area and am a home owner. I put up a good roof mounted antenna and get a good signal. If you don't get a good signal where you are and have tried a good roof mounted antenna , then you're stuck. Bummer man.

        • The "new" HD is generally easier to receive than the old SD was, because it is higher frequency* therefore smaller antenna.
          And if you get it at all it will be perfect, because digital.

          You can make a good guess by going to tvfool.com and entering your zip code.
          Or don't guess - borrow an antenna from one of your friends (or buy a cheap one - they're only about $30 bucks) and see what channels you get.

          * theoretically HD broadcasts on exactly the same frequencies as SD did, but as a practical matter, almost all

    • I think the technology is still very useful. The Tivo for me was vastly more user friendly than any other alternative; better the DVD players; better than streaming; etc. I think a combination of streaming+DVR is a good idea; stream during off-peak hours is more efficient than everyone trying to stream at 7-8pm, then stick it on the DVR to watch later. If the stream is slow or spotty it still manages to download and be ready to watch at the resolution you want. Also you can rewind a bit or rewatch later

    • The CBS service is pretty crappy though. Watch 5 episodes of your favorite show for free on your computer, or if you pay the subscription you get to see 7(!) episodes for free on your computer! Meanwhile with netflix you can get all episodes of all past seasons at once.

  • I had a Series 2, and now I have a Series 3 HD, and I use it exclusively for OTA broadcast. I'm hoping they don't fuck up the way TiVo works. Without TiVo, I don't think I'd bother watching TV at all anymore, and in fact I wouldn't even be available to watch anything (conflicting schedules). Not intersted in paying for streaming, either.
  • I was considering a Tivo, until I found out you had to pay a monthly fee to use a Tivo. How ridiculous is that? I'm not even sure what the monthly fee pays for. If Rovi can make something that has no monthly fee, I might be interested.
    • Generally it phones back to the Tivo service to get the updates to TV schedules. That's an important feature because Tivo can track your show even when it moves to a different time slot. Remember when people used to subscribe to TV-Guide and other television guides, it's the same concept. Of course, some of that fee goes back into profits as well. With my satellite+Tivo solution the fee was just another monthly fee tack on for the satellite, similar to how cable companies charge you a fee for their set

    • by harrkev ( 623093 )

      Tivo just announced a new box yesterday. Four tuners, 1 TB HD, and no monthly fees. $400. A bit high, but probably worth it for a simple appliance that anybody can use.

      The fee is supposed to cover the TV listings. This makes sense in an analog world, but the schedules are actually broadcast along with the video these days.

      Honestly, what other alternatives do you have? Windows has abandon Media Center with Windows 10. Myth TV (the last time I tried a few years ago) was very fiddly to set up. I am not

      • by Megane ( 129182 )

        the schedules are actually broadcast along with the video these days

        I don't know where you are that this applies, but digital TV puts digital guide data in the bitstream. And while the guide data in ATSC can support a week or two of data, in reality most US stations only put 12 hours because so many TVs have crap firmware that gets confused or can even crash with too much guide data. This is fine for seeing what's on tonight, but it's very difficult to tell a DVR to record that new show that starts next week when its name doesn't appear in the guide data until that morning.

      • Honestly, what other alternatives do you have?

        If all you want is Over The Air, there's the Channel Master. Been hearing good things about it.

    • by jasno ( 124830 )

      actually they just released a new roamio dvr for $400 flat and no monthly fees targeted at cord cutters.

      tivo actually may do well over the next year or so unless PS Vue, slingtv and others pick up steam.

    • They've always had a lifetime fee version (which on the new $400 model is baked in).

  • I wonder if this will put open source DVRs at patent risk.

  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @10:08PM (#52016669)

    Half of what I watched on Tivo was RSS feeds that would automatically download Internet broadcasts and put them in my play list.

    One day after years of use Tivo decided to drop the feature. New shows stopped downloading and menu options just disappeared. There was not even a way remaining to manually enter a video RSS URL.

    It isn't like this requires Tivo to host or distribute content. They just decided hey you know what ... FUCK YOU ... and to pour salt on the wound stub where old menu used to be basically said go buy a new TiVo buddy.

    Tivo ruined the industry with their patent trolling and now it doesn't even matter because cable itself is dying.

  • Damn. The last time Rovi (macrovision, don't pretend we don't know who your bastards are) got involved with my DVR, my superb Sony HDD 250 was bricked. I've recently gone to a Homeworx box with a DVR. $40 and no fee. I like my lifetime TiVo, so at least I won't have to give these lowlifes any money now. Good. Let them buy a declining business model. Serves them right.

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