DIRECTV shakes up TiVo

TiVo, the pioneer that created the market for digital video recorders, is now in a struggle for its long-term survival.

After recent news that DIRECTV — who supplies TiVo with two million of its three million subscribers — will begin offering its own digital recording technology beginning later this year, some don’t see a bright future for the innovative company.

Even TiVo’s co-founder and CEO sees a need for new leadership. Mike Ramsay has begun a search for his replacement as CEO, while at the same time denying rumors he plans to sell the company. Ramsay said he will keep his role as chairman of TiVo’s board and plans to stay on as CEO until a replacement is named.

For now, TiVo plans to introduce a stand-alone high-definition digital video recorder and deliver programming over the Internet in an effort to differentiate itself from the recording services offered by cable and satellite providers.

It also will embrace the CableCARD initiative, which allows television displays to connect with digital cable systems without the use of a set-top box. CableCARD provides the company with an opportunity to offer something that is very different than what cable companies do, Ramsay said.

In early 2006, TiVo plans to deliver a cable-ready, high-definition DVR with the CableCARD technology built in.

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