The Weekend Herald has pointed out the blindingly obvious: TiVo uptake in New Zealand is horrendous. I pointed out last year that TiVo worldwide was experiencing a serious nose dive, just as New Zealanders were expected to buy in droves.
I seriously wonder at the decision making behind releasing something like TiVo, let alone TVNZ investing millions into it. It’s a fringe device at best, hobbled by ISP exclusivity, and with no point of difference other than the brand name. A back of the envelope calculation should be enough to pin that as a losing proposition from the outset. Sky subscriptions are nearing saturation point (hell, they had 750k subscriptions in 2008), so where is the market for a premium DVR?
In the USA, TiVo is a reasonably nice DVR that sits on top of your existing cable service. Imagine if you could use any DVR on Sky in New Zealand, and you start to get the full picture. There would be a healthy ecosystem of competing DVRs, and TiVo would probably do fairly well. But this isn’t the case. In New Zealand you get MySky or nothing. There is no other DVR alternative for Sky (ignoring decoding hacks and analogue connections with IR blasters).
TiVo by comparison, is a Freeview DVR with an on-demand download service locked to one ISP. By all accounts, the on-demand portion is bordering on pathetic. Little choice beyond in-store DVDs, and waits of at least 30 minutes before you’re able to view anything.
The lack of uptake is entirely unsurprising.