TiVo has unveiled their latest service update called TiVoToGo. The idea is to allow you to easily transfer shows from your TiVo to your laptop.
TiVo had to move in this direction because there are other players (including a little company up in Redmond) that are looking to smash the barrier between your favorite boxes. But the move still worries me. Every additional piece of functionality added to a TiVo box is an additional element added to an already muddled marketing message.
Early adopters want all the bells and whistles and wonder what took so long. But the rest of the television-watching planet wants a new-fangled VCR that never needs new videotapes and that automatically records your favorite shows.
Now one might ask: Why can’t TiVo add the functionality to keep existing customers happy while maintaining an outbound marketing message that is tight and simple and draws the bigger market into the mix?
I don’t know the answer to that question. But it hasn’t happened so far and time is running out.
On a related note, here comes the SBC set top box. Think TiVo meets satellite meets dsl meets your cingular phone.