Sad rant about convergence / consolidation (was re: wearables)

Rasheed Baqai rasheed@usa.net
Fri, 4 Jan 2002 11:10:00 -0800 (PST)


On Fri, 4 Jan 2002, Jeff Bone wrote:

> Take the living room AV stack, for example.  Consider Sony, Phillips, etc.  I
> can buy a Tivo.  I can buy a WebTV.  I can buy a Dish receiver.  I can buy a
> Dish+Tivo.  I can buy a Dish+WebTV.  Why can't I buy a Dish+Tivo+WebTV?

> Then there's the freaking cable box.  They want to be the primary box, too.

> Media Box - dual multiformat disk reader/writer + huge storage
> AV Server -w- TV / Web-based UI, broadband and 802.11b interfaces
> * opt as needed:  auxiliary storage boxes for adding storage capacity
> * opt as needed:  AV hub
> Wireless keyboard(s)
> Touchscreen extensible remote

I spend a lot of time on keeping track of the ITV/PVR/DVR segment.  I only
wish I could make money with the knowledge I have about it.

There is a Dish+TiVo-like functionality+WebTV.  That is MS's Ultimate TV
for DirecTV.  However, I am a TiVo fan, so I don't care for that
box. Ultimate TV does work with a wireless keyboard (as does ReplayTV).

The TiVo with DirecTV (contains 2 tuners in one receiver) is a very
popular box because it can record two shows at once at digital
quality.  The fee schedule for having multiple of these boxes is also
favorable because one only pays the normal mirror fee (no additional TiVo
fee after 1st DirecTiVo box).

Everyone is waiting for the integrated cable box with TiVo-like
functionality.  A lot of companies are working in this space including
TiVo, OpenTV, Liberate, KeenPM, Reardon Steel, ReplayTV, etc.  No one has
the box yet.  However, many of the existing boxes that work with cable
(TiVo and ReplayTV) work okay with cable boxes (via IR blaster).  I don't
have a cable box, so I just plug the cable RF coax into my TiVo directly.

Now the new TiVos, Series II (already in limited release via
mailorder) contain two USB ports and run on Linux.  So, you could probably
do all of the media things you talked about with some programming.  The
ReplayTV boxes can talk to each other and transfer shows (although this is
controversial and it is slow because the files are very large).

A lot of announcements will come at CES as usual.

It's getting there, just don't be an early adopter, as you said.

Rasheed