TiVo defined the DVR category around the turn of the century, and today the product name has been turned into a verb. If you’re going to record a TV program on your cable company’s DVR, you probably just say you’ll “TiVo it.”*But name recognition doesn’t pay the bills. The TiVo product line is in a steep decline, a victim of fundamental shifts in digital media technology today. Those same trends explain why Microsoft has shifted Windows Media Center into legacy mode beginning with Windows 8.
Ed Bott points to studies and comments from Microsoft and TiVo that suggest that fewer people than ever are relying on TiVos and Media Center PCs to record and play back video, but the numbers don’t make sense. Comcast and other cable providers are pushing DVRs more than ever, and people certainly aren’t using VHS tape machines to record programming.