A Conversation with TiVo CEO Tom Rogers

First things first: your DirecTV TiVo is coming. TiVo's chief also talks about future cable deals, whether TiVo will just become an interface licenser, and why there's no built-in Wi-Fi on the Premiere.

I sat down with TiVo CEO Tom Rogers this week, and don't worry: I asked him about the DirecTV TiVo right off the bat. Of all the things you wanted to hear from him, whether it be whole-home streaming, built-in Wi-Fi, Comcast deals, or the origin of the "ba-doop-a-doop" sound, the single most oft-asked question was about DirecTV. You'll be happy to know he did promise a box by the second half of the year, but less happy to know that he wouldn't really get into many specifics about what it will look like. My impression was that, most likely, it won't be one of those fancy new Premiere boxes. Sorry.

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In other news from TiVo headquarters, Rogers and I had a pretty good conversation about why TiVo hasn't cut a deal to replace some of the truly terrible DVRs on offer from, say, Comcast. He seems optimistic that cable and satellite operators are starting to see the value in a box like TiVo, or an interface like TiVo, but hedges that things "move slowly." And as to the question of whether the TiVo Premiere could be a little better baked, Rogers insists it's a future platform that will only get better, and may, in the future, even include an app store. Meanwhile, as you'll see, he's selling it as more than a DVR now--it is, he says, a movie box, a music box, an Internet video box, and "a DVR for free." (Get ready to hear that a couple of times.)

Enjoy the interview and, as always, please keep the Conversation going in the comments. Do you think TiVo has a plan that can work in the long term, or are they falling behind the competition? Tell me (and TiVo) your thoughts!

 

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