If you own a TiVo DVR or have been following the DVR market lately (cord cutting, cloud DVRs, streaming devices, etc.), you probably know at least two relevant things: TiVo (Rovi) owns TMDb, and TiVo is looking for buyers for both of the businesses (DVRs and IP/patents/licensing), which it has recently been splitting up into.
As a longtime TiVo DVR customer who also watches the business, I think that TiVo may have waited too long to wake up to the trend away from traditional cable TV and toward streaming and the cloud. They have been shopping for buyers for their businesses, without much success, and their stock price has been falling steadily over the long term.
I think they are getting desperate, because they just announced that the next "New User Experience" software update, as they call it in Orwellian-type Newspeak, will include advertising pushed on viewers before the playing of each DVR recording. If users want to avoid these ads (one of the main reasons they bought a TiVo Bolt, for example, in the first place), they will now have to FF through the ads each time they want to watch a recording. In their desperation, I think TiVo's owners are just digging themselves into a deeper hole, competitively.
I called TiVo tech support today and asked them about this upcoming change. They told me that neither my current TiVo Bolt nor my older TiVo Premiere will have this feature installed by default. I would have to navigate to a particular place in the apps section of the DVR and manually upgrade to the "New User Experience." I hope they are right, and that this change will affect only newer TiVo DVR boxes by default. Good luck to their sales department!
I have already decided that when my TiVos finally bite the dust, I will not buy any more of their products. I'll probably get a Tablo Quad or something similar. But I wonder what their plans are--or the plans of the prospective buyer(s) of their companies--for TMDb. Any thoughts, anyone?