Why doesn’t Apple just buy TiVo already?

“Apple is reportedly in talks with cable manufacturers to manufacture set-top boxes to sort of reinvent TV, but there’s an easier and more obvious route to take—buy TiVo,” Larry Dignan writes for CNET.

The Wall Street Journal has chimed in on Apple’s set-top box plans for two consecutive days. The first story highlighted how Apple is in talks with cable operators to be set-top box partners. Today, the set-top box market is dominated by Motorola Mobility, now owned by Google, and Cisco via its Scientific Atlanta acquisition years ago,” Dignan writes. “If these reports are true—and frankly they could just be a diversion to take focus off of an iTV—Apple has decided that if it can’t beat the content-cable establishment it’ll join them with a few new icons and the familiar iOS interface.”

Dignan writes, “What’s a shorter route to TV set-top box utopia? Just buy TiVo.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iCloud storage, Larry. You won’t need TiVo-like record capability. You won’t record anything, or much of anything, locally on the set-top box itself. it’ll all just be there waiting for you, “at your command.”

In fact, you heard it here first, a little birdie tells us to expect Apple to use “at your command” and/or “at your demand” in their marketing.

Apple won’t be buying TiVo, they’ll be killing them – along with every other DVR-maker out there.


  1. TiVo offers NOTHING Apple can’t already do itself, and probably better. Glad that dolt isn’t running Apple, he’d burn through that 100 bill in seconds flat.

        1. The parent did not say all of Apples products began at Apple.

          Acquiring NeXT changed Apple and arguably the modern Apple is a product of the NeXT company. The core OS for Macs iPod touches, iPhone and iPad are all based on Next OS.

          As far as iTunes being SoundJam, that’s very false I owned the original Sound Jam and iTunes was no way the same program. What happened is Apple made iTunes themselves after hiring many of the top programmers from sound jam.

          Licensing the OS for iPod and saying the iPod was not an Apple product is like saying that photoshop is not an Adobe product because it was programmed in C and Adobe did not create the C programming language.

          Apple created the software that ran the iPod on top of that licensed OS.

  2. Love my two Tivos and would never consider another DVR unless Apple were to get into the game.

    These rumors are the main reason I’ve held off on switching to Comcast Xfinity from AT&T DSL. I have 1 lifetime subscription with my Tivo Series 2 and another yearly subscription with my Tivo Premiere.

    Just hope that iCloud storage is the default and users can also mirror content locally with Apple branded storage add-ons if they like.

    But will Apple’s device work with the CableCard format (like my Tivos)? Can’t ditch cable even if I wanted to (basic cable included in H.O.A.) and the idea of getting content from the web doesn’t work for sports and other live events.

    1. Once MPEG 246 comes out and Apple quickly adopts the standard, all content in the iCloud is half the size yet in Blu Ray quality.

      Apple has avoided the Blu Ray for a reason. And plans obsolesce of optical drives sometime soon.

      They envisioned this way into the future and that’s what makes Apple so amazing.

      TiVo is toast.

  3. Apple should buy TiVo, if for no other reason, then to get their patents. TiVo invented so many things that makes the television experience simple, user friendly, and a joy to use – I’d hate to think Apple TV products avoid doing these things just to steer clear of TiVo’s many patents.

    1. gcaptain5:

      OK, this is a much better reason. No other DVR offers the features that TiVo does, and these might very well be a good fit with Apple’s plans. We can hope anyhow.

  4. Well said MND.

    Why buy them if Apple has something better.
    As Tim Cook said, Apple partners with technologies it can not compete with. Hence, TiVo is toast.

  5. This has been my longest-running unfulfilled desire since I started blogging about Apple. TiVo is a company that only runs in the black when they cash in on their time shifting patents, yet users love their stuff. I know they’re much higher-profile than the companies Apple usually goes after, but I think they could be a great combination.

    And if MDN thinks providing cloud-based on-demand content is a replacement for what TiVo provides, they’re mistaken. Apple would never be able to provide cloud storage at the scale that people use TiVo storage. Plus, cable companies are fixtures – like it or not. And there’s nothing that says TiVo couldn’t be a feature that works in parallel with an Apple box.

    1. TiVo stores in H.264 as does Bell and Rogers on demand.

      H.265 will add consider value 1) in size and 2) in quality. The verdict isn’t out but if there is no partnership as of yet then most likely Apple has a better plan.

  6. I’ve been saying this for years.

    Actually when I think about it though, I want Apple to buy everything. Safeway, Walgreens, Colgate toothpaste, Mercedes, etc… That’s the thing, I want everything to have the Apple logo and all the goodness that comes with it.

  7. I personally would love Apple to PUT BACK the hard drive into at least a version of the Apple TV as well as turn it into a true DVR machine that can handle cable/satellite/Web recording.

    I know full well that our lunatic Corporate Oligarchy get’s all twitchy and psycho about people RECORDING digital video. Well FRACK THAT! Ignore the C.O. tards and make a super DVR Apple TV box! YEAH!

  8. I’m not holding my breath for any of this.

    ISPs, people. ISPs.

    Until throttling, etc., etc., is history, this is pointless. It won’t make a whit of difference what video compression is used, or whether you’re streaming or downloading… you’re still talking about goodly amount of data coming down the pipes. The ISPs have all said they want a piece of the action… and there intend to get it.

    1. Thank you leodavinci1!

      Finally somebody sees the big picture.

      Nobody likes middle-men taking a cut without offering any real value in a business transaction, even if Apple is the middle-man. What exactly is Apple bringing to the table FOR THE END CONSUMER? By the time the ISP takes its cut, there’s no business case for Apple’s (or MSFT’s, or anybody else’s “cloud” servers. Redbox wins on pricing and quality for the foreseeable future; cable + TiVo wins for those who don’t like to touch optical discs and are willing to pay more for real-time sports.

  9. I don’t know how this would make any sense for apple. They want to sell content not allow users to exchange content. The discussions with the cable companies is just to give them an ultimatum to participate with the atv or be taken apart piece by piece. Apple WILL add individual channels to the atv. Maybe not the big channels right off the bat but they will start adding channels, adding more and more all the time, until they are a full video provider.

  10. why in the world would apple buy tivo??? for what? the company is worthless to apple…

    1 – apple has a larger customer base
    2 – other than a nice interface, what does tivo offer? apple tv can do the same in due time (or actually right now)
    3 – they are about to put tivo out of of biz…
    4 – the valuation of tivo is nowhere near what it actually is worth, which is like $10,000… maybe…
    those disagree with my estimates, bookmark the page and come back and tell me tivo’s valuation in 6 months… bla

    apple, do NOT buy tivo…

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.