Back in February of 2006 I wrote about a crazy concept for TiVo: I suggested that the Palm OS could have been embedded into TiVo units based on how the Treo 5-Way Rocker for navigation was much like the TiVo Remote’s design. This suggestion was mostly do to the frustrations with TiVo’s APIs (still a frustration BTW) but let’s flash-forward to today.
First I want to say that TiVo has a great product for your basic needs of a DVR and has some great extras that many DVRs lack. However, HTPCs and many newer devices that connect to internet services has made the TiVo feel a bit dated in features. I use to watch Video Podcasts on my TiVo (moved to a HTPC) and still rent a Movie through Amazon to TiVo but I’ve had a thirst for more from this company for well over 4 years now. I don’t want to see TiVo go away but they need to reinvent themselves as something special and new.
Fast forward to today. I still think that TiVo has one of the easiest forms of UI navigation for DVRs, it’s design works much better than things such as Boxee and Roku. I still believe my concept of Palm OS integration would have been a perfect fit for the time but now they can take that same concept and use either Android along with the Google TV concepts or even look to partner with Apple and bring the iPhone OS to the TiVo Platform for unlimited application expandability. A TiVo/Apple partnership could really be a win-win. Granted many of today’s apps will have more navigation challenges that didn’t exist with the Palm OS or Windows Mobile that used 5-Way Rockers more but it gives developers a new way to help reinvent TiVo. As I said in 2006, it can turn TiVo and your TV into a Personal Information Center. TVs are no longer just about sitcoms, they are a 10 ft interface that can give us unlimited information from a remote control if done right.