PVRs: A Convergence Success Story

Wired News chimes in with another skeptical article about Tivo and personal video recorders (PVRs) (via Mitch Ratcliffe). The good news — there are now 1.8 million of the things out there. The better news (from Tivo President Morgan Guenther at the Supernova conference) — churn is less than 1 percent, and Tivo is close to profitability. The best news, and I’ve said this before — PVR is a killer app. People love it, and it’s a platform for other new services.

It will take more than three years for PVRs to hit the upswing of the growth hockey stick. Guess what? It always takes a few years for huge consumer electronics success stories to take off. We forget that was true with CDs, DVDs, mobile phones, PDAs, digital cameras, dial-up Internet access, and television. And maybe the bigggest beneficiary won’t be SonicBlue and Tivo as PVR functionality is built into other devices (though I don’t think people give Tivo enough credit). By 2005, though, I’m sure we’ll be seeing stories about PVRs as a huge seller the way we are today for DVD players.

And then things get really interesting.