As the PVR/DVR matures, it's becoming clear that there is a need for a differentiation between the service and the product (see previous commentary on voice). TiVo's a great brand and has developed a signature interface that consumers associate with. But is their business that of content storage or listing/management services?
They were smart in teaming up with DirecTV as a channel to hugely boost their subscriber base, but the ARPU from DirecTV is significantly (and possibly detrimentally) less; $5 from DirecTV versus $13 direct. What's the point? That channel isn't sustainable (DirecTV will likely not renew in 2007) and those customers will have gained little attachment to the TiVo service.
Maybe there's better game to be played by separating the box from the service? Could someone from Apple please call the folks over a TiVo and share some "lessons learned?"
EDN opines on the November 22nd TiVo press release.