Folks running to buy TiVo stock based on takeover rumors—Apple for one—need to get a grip. Proprietary systems always lose to more open competitors, even if the shorthand for the product becomes common.
Our household has never had a TiVo—a stand-alone Toshiba DVR/DVD combo and a Time Warner-Scientific Atlanta cable box/DVR do our time-shifting work—yet we still refer to "TiVoing" programming. Why? Because it is easy and descriptive.
TiVo's chink is its phone-line tether, a 20th century ball-and-chain for a 21st century multi-media world. Not a horrid solution, but a temporary one.