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Can Tivo Turn the Corner

Boot Camp feature for Monday, January 24, 2005

Can TiVo turn the corner? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The company that helped pioneer digital video recorders…or DVRs…. letting you pause live TV and record programs…has been losing money for the last five years. And with the DirecTV satellite service deciding to offer its own DVR this year, as more and more cable companies do…Tivo's struggles continue. Co-founder Michael Ramsay, who is planning to give up his position as CEO, remaining chairman of the company…says the DirecTV announcement was not a surprise…

"I'm okay with competition. I believe strongly that we have the superior service. DirecTV's approaching two million subscribers with TiVo already. So I think we're in a very strong competitive position."

That competition also comes from DVR boxes now being provided by some of the biggest cable TV companies…and from Media Center computers. TiVo distinguishes itself by using software to find and record programs based on what owners have been watching. And Ramsay says the company hopes its technology will be a big part of IPTV. That's the use of a super high speed Internet connection to provide high definition programming. Ramsay predicts it will, within a decade, make broadcast television obsolete…

"I think just as the Internet has revolutionized information access, I believe it will revolutionize access to content and entertainment."

We'll have more on the future of IPTV in reports to come. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.