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TiVo Fights for Survival

The term "TiVo" has become synonymous with personal video recorders (PVRs), but the company behind the name is on the verge of becoming a footnote in the history books. TiVo used the 2005 International CES show to try to convince the world it's still relevant, but it received possibly fatal news from its biggest partner. At the show, DirecTV announced that it will begin to offer its own PVR box without the TiVo software. TiVo currently has around 2.3 million subscribers, and more than half of those come from its partnership with DirecTV. The company isn't taking the news sitting down. TiVo announced the release of its long-awaited TiVo-To-Go technology that lets users transfer TV recordings to other devices, an upcoming set-top box that uses CableCard technology to negate the need for cable boxes, and Internet-based subscription services that TiVo hopes will help the company compete in an increasingly crowded field. TiVo's biggest failure has been its inability to get support from cable companies for its technology. Cable companies have instead launched competing products using less expensive (and less functional) technology. New details just emerged that in 2004 the company was on the verge of licensing its technology to cable giant Comcast but at the last minute decided against the deal. TiVo certainly stands next to Windows XP Media Center Edition as one of the best sets of PVR technologies out there, but the best technology doesn't always win. Here's a tip for TiVo: Lower your prices

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