Sad Blockbuster Abandoning Sad TiVo

Illustration for article titled Sad Blockbuster Abandoning Sad TiVo

Here are two nouns you probably haven't thought about in a long while: TiVo and Blockbuster, vestiges of the way we used to watch moving images in the recent past. Like what, Friends? Dante's Peak? I forget. Now they're divorcing.

Dave Zatz noted an email sent to Blockbuster streaming customers, who either have a loyalty to the company stronger than any between man and dog, or simply haven't heard of Netflix:

We have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that, as of 3/31/12, the Blockbuster app will no longer be available on your TiVo DVR. We are updating our technology platform and will not be able to continue supporting your device. You won't be able to watch movies from Blockbuster On Demand on your device, but you can still watch on any of our other devices or stream via PC or Mac.


Haha, sucker! There is no good news. It was a joke—apparently Blockbuster still has just enough money to afford a sense of humor.

It's strange—TiVo was the way you'd watch non-live television, and Blockbuster was the way we rented movies. Now there are almost an annoying number of ways to do either, and the originators are stale, forgotten, and escaping each other. Is this how the inventor of the horse felt? Possibly. Probably. So which company will fade completely out of our consciousnesses first into the plastic heap of obsolescence? It's a tough call, but TiVo seems a likely candidate—with streaming so facile and fun, there's no need for terabytes of saved shows in another hulking home theater box.

And when even the has-beens are fleeing, your hulking box is clearly headed for some kind of heap. [Zatz]

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Yeah, I know I'm not the first to point this out, but TiVo is still the absolute best at what it does, and can't be easily replaced by YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix.

Why do tech writers have to gloat sarcastically when companies fall on hard times? Blockbuster provides basically the same streaming service to set-top devices as Amazon (no free Prime video on TiVo, yet), so why all the hate?

Is it just that Blockbuster isn't financially viable these days? Why do tech writers care more about that than if the product is good? Or is it just that it's fun to kick someone when their down? But wouldn't a strong, competitive Blockbuster (not that it's likely to happen) be good for the industry and good for consumers?

There's no ignoring the obvious (see also: RIM), but I'm really sick of the gleeful attitude in these kinds of posts, especially when you try to lump TiVo in the same category, when not only are they still providing a popular, best-in-class product (even if that's not saying much), but they're not facing market obsolescence in the same way that Blockbuster is.