TiVo has laid off the majority of its hardware team as it exits the DVR business and focuses instead on software licensing, sources say, including pushing TV recordings to the cloud rather than a box under your TV. Only two engineers have been retained, insiders told Wired, to deal with legacy support and future third-party hardware running TiVo software.
That future hardware will see TiVo turn its attention to capitalizing on its easy-to-use software, rather than making the boxes that actually run that code. DVRs themselves will be supplied by cable and pay-TV providers, such as the Virgin Media box offered in the UK.
However, the future is likely to shift away from dedicated hardware and toward the cloud, or so TiVo believes. The TiVo Network PVR – aka nPVR – is one such way of delivering that; announced back in September 2013, it will store shows online rather than locally, and then stream them to smartphones, tablets, and of course TVs, the latter using a compact, low-powered box rather.
When nDVR launches, however, it won’t be sold direct to users. Instead, it will be provided as part of a cable subscription; Wired suggests there’ll be a Roku app that can receive TiVo cloud streams too, avoiding the need for any TiVo-branded box at all.
TiVo wouldn’t directly confirm the job losses or the bold strategy change, though did say that it maintains “appropriate levels of staffing and expertise necessary to support our existing hardware business.”
[Update] TiVo has denied that it is shifting away from dedicated hardware. TiVo’s VP of PR and Corporate Communications Steve Wymer replied to Techland; “We continue to balance appropriate levels of staffing and expertise necessary to support our existing hardware business and continue our innovation in hardware platforms and accessories with the need to allocate resources where strategic growth opportunities exist – and there is no doubt that we expect growth in the cloud-based delivery aspects of TiVo’s business”.