"Everyone's heard the saying, "little things mean a lot." Then
why do so many engineers, marketing folk and corporate suits forget
this small piece of masterful homespun wisdom? Small things do mean
a lot, and someone at TiVo never forgot this, because the design
sense distilled into the TiVo Personal TV Receiver is a technical
homage to small things, adding up to one awesome piece of TV magic.
Though TiVo essentially outsources manufacturing of the hardware,
it controls the software, interface, design, user documentation,
etc. as well as customer service and channel listings...."
"While Microsoft's hands' are filled with other worries,
Redmond could learn a few valuable lesson from tiny TiVo on how to
design interfaces and software. Perhaps in this light it's not
surprising that the TiVo PTR runs a Linux core on a PowerPC CPU, as
the TiVo demands stability. Why? Because it's always on and always
running. Seriously, there's no power switch. Plug the TiVo in
and it's on, though it does go into power saving mode after a
period. Back-of-the-envelope extrapolations of a future with 50
million TiVo-like always-on boxes sucking electricity 24x7,
troubles the environmentalist in me, as power usage is often
overlooked in cutting-edge electronics. For example, my TV and
stereo receiver (each purchased within the last year) together burn
120 more watts than the equipment they replaced. It's a small
amount, but multiply it across a country."