This post was updated at 3:45 p.m PT with information from the earnings call.
TiVo on Wednesday reported a loss of $4.1 million, or 4 cents per share, for the first quarter of fiscal year 2010.
It's a letdown for TiVo, which a year ago recorded a $3.6 million profit. The Alviso, Calif.-based maker of digital video recorders had been anticipating a $6 million to $8 million loss for the quarter ended April 30.
The company's technology and service revenue was $48.5 million, down just more than 12 percent from last year's $54.4 million. But TiVo did see an uptick in revenue from the sale of DVR hardware, up from $6 million a year ago to $6.4 million during the most recent quarter.
About 37,000 more people bought subscriptions to its DVR service directly from TiVo, to bring the current total of all subscribers to 3.2 million.
CEO Tom Rogers put a positive spin on the results during Wednesday's conference call with analysts. He called it "a solid quarter" and said he believes TiVo "started fiscal (year) 2010 off on the right foot."
He stressed the company's strategy of becoming a single destination for all video entertainment, whether it's content from cable, satellite, or streaming over broadband.
Though TiVo essentially invented the DVR market, it's never been able to capture a mass audience on its own. It did manage to eke out a profit last fiscal year of $104 million, or $300,000 without counting the large sum it was awarded from its lawsuit with EchoStar last fall.
To increase its subscriber base, it has relied heavily on partnerships with companies like DirecTV, Cox Cable, and Comcast, which is beginning to roll out its TiVo service in a few markets. Recently TiVo has added more streaming-video options through partnerships with Blockbuster, Netflix, and Amazon HD.
Looking ahead to next quarter, TiVo anticipates a net loss between $6 million and $8 million.
TiVo stock was down 2.9 percent to $6.78 per share in after-market trading.