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Television The Media Upgrades Hardware

TiVo Series 5 Coming This Fall 178

Posted by timothy
from the are-there-even-six-bladed-razors-yet? dept.
WebGangsta writes "The rumor mill continues to grow closer and closer to reality, as The Verge is reporting the upcoming SERIES 5 TiVo will have 6 tuners, support OTA recording (an old TiVo feature being brought back), storage beyond the 2TB limit, and more. While some would say that TiVo today is nothing more than a Patent Holder (albeit a successful one), there's still a market for a cable box that doubles as a streaming player. Is hardware the future of TiVo, or should they go and just license their software to all? And don't get us started on those 'TiVo Buying Hulu' or 'Apple/Google buying TiVo' rumors... that's a different story for a different day."
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TiVo Series 5 Coming This Fall

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  • "Patent Holder"?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bradgoodman (964302) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @08:51AM (#44038251) Homepage
    I kind of resent the statement (I have no affiliation with Tivo except that of a loyal customer). I've tried everything - Myth, Roku, Windows Media, Cable DVRs, including those with the Tivo firmware.

    I've always gone back to Tivo - every single time. I won't say that it's "perfect" - but it all comes down to User Experience - and though each of those had nice characteristics about it - Tivo was the one that always worked - was always responsive - and reliable.

    You can say what you want about them - but to refer to them as nothing but a Patent Troll is pretty insulting.

    • by Trimaxion (2933647) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @09:07AM (#44038377)

      TiVo makes a good product and I am happy to have my Premiere. About two years ago we kicked my cable company's TV service and DVR to the curb, installed a large OTA antenna in my attic, and bought the TiVo. 1080p broadcasts are beautiful.

      The one-time buy in for TiVo's "lifetime" service was painful, but I recouped the cost in savings on my cable bill within a year and have long since broken even on the whole deal.

      Check out antennaweb and tvfool to see how far you are from your local broadcast stations.

      You will give up the major network channels (such as Comedy Central and ESPN) when you make the move, but I haven't missed them. Your monthly savings from ditching cable can pay for a lot of streaming services or amazon streaming/itunes/etc purchases.

      • by danomac (1032160)

        About two years ago we kicked my cable company's TV service and DVR to the curb, installed a large OTA antenna in my attic, and bought the TiVo. 1080p broadcasts are beautiful.

        Another person who kicked cable to the curb. Just thought I'd mention broadcast TV currently is 1080i not 1080p. ATSC can support 1080p but no stations actually broadcast it. 720p and 1080i are very common.

      • I want a cable company where there is only one channel. It would be like Netflix. Every program should be available at anytime one desires to watch it. No commercials either. I was just watching a movie called Room in Rome. In this movie two naked women use bing to search for their homes and names. It was much more effective at getting me to use bing than any commercial I have seen. The only equipment required in the home should be the television set. All others should be owned and maintained by the
    • You can say what you want about them - but to refer to them as nothing but a Patent Troll is pretty insulting.

      Wow--does "patent holder" = "patent troll" now in common parlance? I did not RTFA, but the summary at least does not suggest to me some sort of problem with Tivo's patent holding (such as aggressively enforcing extremely broad software patents for stuff that practically everyone is doing). I read the summary to basically just mean what you said--Tivo makes a good product and people like it, so other companies are willing to license their patents, because their patented ideas are good ones.

      • Wow--does "patent holder" = "patent troll" now in common parlance?

        In common Slashdot parlance - yes.

        For the rest of the world... Not so much.

      • by Golddess (1361003)

        does "patent holder" = "patent troll" now in common parlance?

        I think it's more the way TFS said it, "nothing more than a Patent Holder". It implies that TiVo is not actually making anything which uses the patent. And for me at least, when I think of a company that holds patents but does not make anything which uses those patents, I think patent troll.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        > Wow--does "patent holder" = "patent troll" now in common parlance?

        It fits the metaphor.

        The entity is trying to charge for something that really isn't theirs. The fact that they are doing so under the color of law really doesn't change the situation. It just means they are taking advantage of a poorly administered law.

        Tivo abuses bad patents. The question of whether or not they are a non-practicing-entity is really a red herring.

        • by Golddess (1361003)

          The fact that they are doing so under the color of law really doesn't change the situation.

          It does if you want to rectify the situation. It changes who you go after.

          The question of whether or not they are a non-practicing-entity is really a red herring.

          If you are arguing that such patents should have never been granted in the first place, then I agree. But I thought this was about TiVo being "nothing more than a Patent Holder". In which case, whether or not they are an NPE is key.

          • I think that whether or not an entity is a "non-practicing entity" is not necessarily relevant. For example, imagine for a moment that I am an engineer who loves to tinker on cars, but my day job is as a receptionist at a dentist's office (tough job market), and after 18 months of trial and error I figure out that I can get much better gas mileage on my 2013 Suburu BRZ, without losing performance, using a fuel injector that I designed myself in my garage. I don't have the ability to market or build this,

    • by tibit (1762298)

      I've had their 2nd generation box and it was a joke in terms of reliability and UI ergonomics. At home we have a couple of eyeTVs hooked up to an iMac and it works just fine.

      • Most TiVos (all?) are contract manufactured. My Series 2 was made by Samsung, and the cheap fan predictably failed after 2 or 3 years. Not long thereafter, the unit became flaky due to overheating; on a hot day it shut down. I disassembled first the unit and then the fan, and lubricated the fan. Reassembled, it worked fairly well, but the overheating had caused permanent damage and the unit completely stopped working a few months later.

        My point is that TiVo isn't exercising sufficient control over their con

        • by tibit (1762298)

          I'm talking here only of stupid firmware/software. I didn't let myself suffer long enough for the hardware aging to come into play. After a few months I've had enough.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jedidiah (1196)

      The user experience of Tivo is nothing special. While it manages to beat the attempts of entrenched monopolies, that is no special feat. If Tivo has the appearance of being good, it's mainly because they are a patent troll and have chased potential rivals out of their immediate market.

      After a few months of using MythTV, my users didn't want to have anything to do with Tivo anymore.

      For the younger crowd, the entire PVR concept is simply behind the times. They've moved on to options that are fully on demand.

      • Myth is a monumental pain in the ass and has nowhere near the 'fire and forget' utility of TiVo. Unarguably more powerful, but that's not an issue in 99% of the living rooms. And streaming is nice, but most don't have an easy quick rewind, can't be downloaded for offline use, and are often of lesser visual and audio quality.
    • by UttBuggly (871776)

      Ditto. I own 3 TiVos, 2 with CableCards and one doing OTA. Used and/or built all sorts of crap...TiVo wins, period.

      The IOS app is very good; love being able to manage recording on the road. Have the Desktop Plus software and gotten good use with it.

      My home theatre setup is quite good and flexible; TiVos make it work well. 6 tuners? Sounds like my Series 3 HD is heading to retirement/backup status!

    • IM the exact opposite. I have tried Tivo twice, a decade apart, and while i liked it in the beginning, their pricing model is absolutely terrible. Take for instance 'Lifetime' subscriptions. Why is the lifetime of the particular device and not MY lifetime, or at least the lifetime of the product line? They charge exorbitant rates to transfer that lifetime membership ($150) to another person. They charge PER DVR, so if i have 2 or 4 or 10 tivos i pay the same (albeit slightly discounted) rate per machine. Wh
  • by MiniMike (234881) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @08:51AM (#44038255)

    And don't get us started on those 'TiVo Buying Hulu' or 'Apple/Google buying TiVo' rumors... that's a different story for a different day."

    Do you mean we should keep the rumors in our Now Playing list? Or should they get a red thumbs down?

  • It was a big enough pain in the ass trying to get *two* out of my cableco.

    • by fruity_pebbles (568822) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @08:58AM (#44038319)
      "M" CableCards can decode 6 streams. You'll need only one for a Tivo with 6 tuners.
      • by TWiTfan (2887093)

        The last time, I had to explain to them what a cablecard even was, go through about six different people before they finally put on a tech who knew wtf he was talking about, and then deal with hours of installation hassles (thought I could just go pick it up and install it myself--nope, gotta have a tech come do it, and it's going to take him forever to get it working too).

        Now I've got to try to explain to them what a "M" cablecard is. Great.

        • by edwdig (47888)

          When I dealt with mine for my dual tuner Tivo HD a few years ago, they brought a multi-stream capable card with no issues. I got the impression that's standard now.

          On the bright side, shortly after that the FCC ruled that cable companies have to let you install the cable card yourself if you want to, and I believe they're not allowed to charge a fee for that either.

        • by LanMan04 (790429)

          I got a TiVo HD in 2009, called Comcast to have them install an M-card. They knew exactly what I was talking about.

          Guy came, provisioned it, tested it, and was out the door in like 20 minutes. Never had a single problem with it since.

          So, YMMV

          • by porges (58715) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @11:54AM (#44040143) Homepage

            My experience with Comcast from last year: before I got my newest TiVo I picked up an M-card from my local office. It came in a sleeve with a paper listing the procedure for getting it working in the TiVo, including the step "and now call us at this dedicated number where we have people who actually know what to do with a cable card." So I did, and it worked perfectly first time. Moral: sometimes, things do work.

            • by LanMan04 (790429)

              Yeah, they wouldn't let me pick mine up, they had to roll a truck. So I was prepared for the worst, and it worked out just fine.

              Same with the new cable modem I bought. Called 800-COMCAST or whatever, told them the MAC address, they had it provisioned in 5 minutes.

        • by m3000 (46427)

          THIS! My cable card install with Time Warner was a nightmare. No one knew anything at all about Cable Cards, the techs who installed the cable card were clueless but yet TWC required a visit to plug it into the back of the Tivo (they refused to let me install it myself), but then had no idea how to activate it, and neither did any of the tech support people. And it took 4 calls to figure out that I needed a Tuning Adapter as well.

          Only when I did enough Googling to find their Tier 3 Cable Card only tech supp

          • by speedlaw (878924)
            My experience with Cablevision has been good. I need a cable card....sure, sir....clerk returns, gives it over. Plug in. Call company. After minor shuffling, get a rep. Nice conversation. Card activated. The Scientific Atlanta DVR they rent is utter garbage, but my TiVo, and before that, my Sony HDD 250 boxes,(Before Sony and Rovi executed them) had no issues with Cablecards.
        • The last time, I had to explain to them what a cablecard even was, go through about six different people before they finally put on a tech who knew wtf he was talking about, and then deal with hours of installation hassles (thought I could just go pick it up and install it myself--nope, gotta have a tech come do it, and it's going to take him forever to get it working too).

          Now I've got to try to explain to them what a "M" cablecard is. Great.

          Nope, you don't have to explain anything to them. Just say "I want a cablecard". The new FCC regulations require that all cable companies only give out M-cards unless you specifically ask for a single stream card.

      • by Golddess (1361003)

        You'll need only one for a Tivo with 6 tuners.

        And if the Series 5 is anything like the Series 4, the TiVo will only accept a single card.

  • by oneiros27 (46144) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @08:56AM (#44038297) Homepage

    It might be 8+ years old at this point, but Tivo hasn't had a DVD burner in years.

    As I shelled out for Roxio Toast (thank you, MacBundle), I could spend a few hours transfering stuff to my laptop, then go and burn a DVD ... but it's so much more convenient to just pop in a DVD-R, click a few buttons on the tivo, and in under an hour, it's all archived.

    Yes, it'd be nice to strip out the commercials, but you can't beat the convenience.

    Some people talk about the joys of the newer models because of HD support -- but my eyesight is bad enough that it doesn't matter. The only thing annoying about SD is when they letterbox it, then shrink it, so you end up with a black border around a shrunken video. (mostly seems to be PBS)

    • by TWiTfan (2887093)

      It might be 8+ years old at this point, but Tivo hasn't had a DVD burner in years.

      Oh man, I miss my old Humax. I would have paid anything to have had an HD, cablecard ready version of that beautiful box. I've still got a ton of old DVD's I burned off that thing. I guess the good old media industry killed any hope of getting an HD version.

      Funny thing is that it never even slowed me down from buying commercial DVD's. I used it mostly to archive TV specials and stuff that would have never been sold on DVD anyway. My favorite DVD's, that I still watch even today, are my copies of the Nationa

    • by speedlaw (878924)
      There are Blu Ray burners in Japan. You only get what the HDCP consortium (big media) wants you to have. The way we are all controlled by licensing the crappy HDMI plug/format is amazing and brilliant in its evil.
  • "One model of TiVo’ s new all-digital DVRs would include ATSC over-the-air reception capability; this model, therefore, requires waiver of both the DCR Rules and Section 15.117(b)’s dual analog/digital tuner requirement."

    Why does it need a waiver of the rules and Section 15.117(b) when all OTA broadcasts (and pretty much all other forms of broadcast) are now digital and not analog? I mean the FCC mandated the analog to digital OTA switch over... I guess I'm just really confused or our government

  • Missing Innovation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Striikerr (798526) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @09:02AM (#44038337)

    Adding additional tuners is a good thing, Increased storage is a must as well (to accommodate all of those tuners) but what they really need to do is to show some innovative changes to move them ahead of the pack. Simplifying the cable card piece, streamlining their controller and interface and adding some cool new features would compel more people to ditch the archaic dinosaurs that cable companies currently shovel out their doors to customers. I'm not talking about adding voice control or arm gestures which everyone seems to think is the next big thing for using TV's either. We can all agree that the user interface is horrible. They seem to be cramming more buttons on the remote control (3/4 of which I seldom have ever used) and finding content you want has been a horrible experience.
    TiVo should look to integrate with other services too (via the internet) and pre cache content you'd like to watch, perhaps downloading during non-peak times to ease internet load. Get some truly-def content this way all lined up to watch later instead of dealing with reduced quality streams. This would require working out deals with the various providers but that's part of what they need to innovate. Say what you will about Steve jobs, he was able to push, pull and shove companies reluctantly along so that all pieces of his vision for a product were lined up.

    • by tibit (1762298)

      The EE in me finds the "multiple tuner" part to be perhaps the most ass-backwards one. I'd hope they do the tuning digitally and there's just one wideband IF signal chain that feeds into an ADC, with the tuning done inside of an all-digital ASIC. Demodulating QAM in an ASIC is really cheap.

  • by IorDMUX (870522) <mark.zimmerman3NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @09:06AM (#44038363) Homepage
    The summary describes TiVo as kind of a glorified cable box. However I believe (from personal experience) that TiVo's greatest feature is that it lets you cut the cable altogether. TiVo can act as a DVR for your antenna -- a feature that is a reason many stay with cable nowadays -- and supplements free, local programming with thousands of on-demand shows over the internet. I am over 25 miles from the nearest TV transmitter and I can still receive dozens of local channels with excellent quality and better reliability than satellite.

    I no longer pay outrageous cable or satellite bills. I installed a rooftop antenna that, including amplifier, antenna, and mounting hardware, cost less than a once month subscription to my satellite provider. If you are dissatisfied with cable/satellite pricing, programs, and paying to be advertised to, then stop paying them!
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Only if you live in the US. In Canada, you get almost nothing over the air. If you live really close to a major city on the US border, like Windsor (next to Detroit) you can get some decent channels, but for the most part, there's very little to be had OTA in Canada. When the government mandated the switch-over, most of the broadcast stations just cut the signal instead of switching over, Almost everybody subscribes to cable in Canada anyway. Although many are starting to get rid of their subscriptions fo
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Only if you live in the US. In Canada, you get almost nothing over the air.

        The US and Canada have pretty similar problems in terms of both broadband penetration and television reception, related to population density and basic issues of geography. Where I live in the USA, it used to be possible to almost get four stations in via analog. Now two of them can't be picked up at all any more. I don't know of anyone receiving any DTV here at all.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        Even in the US you may find that all you can get are religious and Spanish channels. Broadcast reception remains a tricky thing regardless of the digital switch.

        Even if you are building a Linux PVR from scratch for the first time never having used Linux before, you still may find sorting out your broadcast signal to be your biggest challenge.

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @09:07AM (#44038379)
    This just in: MythTV boxes still 10x larger capacity, more flexible with more features, more upgradeable, custom chassis, you can also game on it, and the OS is free.
    • Re:this just in (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Monoman (8745) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @09:16AM (#44038467) Homepage

      That is awesome but MythTV isn't something I could give to my parents (or grand parents)

      • by Megane (129182)
        While it might possibly be something they could use, it's definitely not something they could set up. I've been building one (using Ubuntu and apt-get install mythtv) and my biggest problem was that MythTV calls all digital tuners "DVB" (the name of the European digital standard) even when they're ATSC. So of course I set up my card as a MPEG-2 source (because it let me) and it couldn't scan any channels. And good luck finding an IR receiver for it off the shelf at Worst Buy, etc. (It would be nice if someo
      • by danomac (1032160)

        I don't know about that. My grandmother (& other relatives) manage to use my mythtv setup with no issues.

        Recording is fairly simple - pressing the record button in the guide will schedule a recording. Now, more advanced things like setting it up from scratch or perhaps series recording I doubt she'd be able to do (she probably couldn't do this on her cableco's DVR either!) But usability itself is pretty nicely done.

    • Re:this just in (Score:4, Informative)

      by Holi (250190) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @09:38AM (#44038647)

      This just in, you can't get a 6 tuner card for your MythTV Box. Hell good luck getting the Ceton 4 tuner card working at all.

      • Re:this just in (Score:4, Informative)

        by dead_user (1989356) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @09:55AM (#44038835)
        Tell me. I have a Ceton 4 USB sitting in the box because COX decided to turn the Copy Never flag on for EVERYTHING. Fuckers.
      • hdhomerun

        I never use 'pay content' but for free OTA, you can gang up as many tuners as you want over ethernet and if your cpu/disk is fast enough, it will capture them all.

        mythtv is still an ugly hack (from install/upgrade/sysadmin POV) but when it works, it works well.

        too bad 'pay content' is hard to do with free stuff, but then again, that is what usenet and others are for (since the content owners won't play things our way, we work around them. easy!)

      • There's a quad one that works flawless in Windows. Actually like 15 of them, lol.
        • The Ceton 4 is the one you are referring refer to. It supports 4 tuners and it works great with OTA, but forget about recording anything on the Cox network. They've set the HDCP copy flag to never allow copying. Not even to record it for time-shifting purposes.
          • by Isca (550291)
            COX Doesn't have it set to Copy Never, but they have it set to Copy Once. (Incidentally this is the same on time Warner as well)

            MythTV doesn't support Copy Never or Once - that requires encryption and a very large licensing fee to ensure your software works with the restrictions (Only microsoft has paid for this license - no other software solutions).

            However if you have Windows MCE on 7/8 you can use it to record it on one machine only. You just can't ever play back that content on another machine or
      • by jbwolfe (241413)
        Not my experience at all. Had one since it came out in late 2010 and never had any problems with it- works great. Not so sure that the InfiniTV6 won't work in MythTV. Is this a Ceton driver limitation or MythTV limitation. Card differ only by number of tuners.
      • Actually, there is now a 6 tuner ceton, and while I haven't seen any reports on anyone buying it yet, we're pretty hopeful that it will work with mythtv just the same with no code changes. There is evidence in the 4-tuner version that the same code it uses was designed to work with 6 tuners.

        As for the 4 tuner version, I've been happily running my mythtv with the 4 tuner ceton for over 2 years. If you can't get it working, then I'm sorry you have a shitty cable provider that locks down their content.

    • with poor cablecard support. You can only view unencrypted channels.

      • What even are cable cards? I plugged my Windows 7 PC into the coax jack and tada, all my Time Warner cable channels come in except digital encrypted ones that they're illegally encrypting against FCC regulations (and then pretending it's okay by offering everyone a free decrypter box for free for the next 2 years)
        • That is great for now, and oddly, FIOS (Verizon) still has around 100 channels unencrypted. Granted, most of them are garbage, the rest are the local channels. However, they (and I mean all the cable providers) have been systematically removed the unencrypted channels from the wire :(

          The only ones that they have to leave are the local broadcasts (basic CBS, NBC, CW, etc etc), and while there is a good amount of programming on them, the interesting channels (BBC, Discovery, Science channel etc) to me will

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          Cable cards aren't proper European style CAM modules. The process at the FCC was perverted by the industry. They still try to enforce end-to-end encryption despite the fact that you already PAID for the cable signal.

          This doesn't just limit Linux. It also limits MacOS and can even sabotage an actual Tivo.

          This isn't about encryption. It's all encrypted. This is about copy flags and what you are allowed to do with the signal you paid for. Comcast tends to be consumer friendly. Time Warner not. Although each lo

      • by zentec (204030) *

        That is not entirely correct.

        You can view encrypted channels, you just can't view/record channels with the no copy flag set. Some cable companies set this for everything, some set it just for premium channels.

        Ergo, usefulness of MythTV depends entirely upon how must customer contempt your cable company has as an operating policy.

        Tivo is an "ok" product, but the increasing service fees chased me to MythTV with Silicon Dust tuners. Not an easy thing to get going, and MythTV is buggy But it's free, and it u

    • by davmoo (63521)

      This just in: MythTV can still be a pain in the ass to work with.

      I've tried it multiple times, I've gone back to my TiVo Premiere every time. I work on computers and build servers for a living. I'm used to banging on computers to get them to work. But that doesn't mean I want to do it just to watch some TV when I get home. I don't give a crap about games, because I'm not a gamer. I don't give a crap about networking to other TVs, because I live alone and only own one. I don't give a rat's ass about OTA beca

      • +1

        MythTV is a great concept but for a single point of getting HD material TiVo is the best, MythTV seems hard to configure (and I'm technical-ish). It's not for mainstream use.

        TiVo just works. Expensive, yes, but I am happy I got what I paid for. I am on my third box now (since 2000).

  • I had a TiVo in Canada before they went to CableCard technology. We don't have that here. It sucked to leave TiVo to go to the cable company's DVR. Then we just gave up cable and went with streaming stuff from online.
  • I have three (operating) TiVos in my house right now. With a wife and three kids that seems to be the magic number that prevents (most) TV viewing strife. When the Series 5 comes out, they will doubtless run one of those deals where I can upgrade for $100 or so again, so most likely I will get one.

    I've talked with everyone about cutting the cable and just doing Netflix or something, but there's things they all watch that aren't easy to get that way. For me its live sports. Good luck watching live Tottenha

    • Yeah, live sports is the killer. But at some point I'm probably going to decide its not worth 60 bucks a month just to watch my crappy local baseball team.

  • by jetkust (596906) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @09:36AM (#44038631)
    Tivo has been in decline since Series 2. Their UI since then has been so slow it is unusable, and a good number of people (like myself) are using the SD or old interface. I don't understand how you release an interface that unresponsive and slow when you own the hardware you are releasing it on, and have a second processor in the machine that isn't even used. Wireless support is useless and it requires ethernet to realistically work. Their customer support is also complete garbage. The only good thing they got for them right now is it's relatively easy to copy videos to a computer. This is the only reason I use Tivo. If they can at least make an interface in Series 5 that is responsive enough that it doesn't give you a headache they could at least be on the road to redeeming themselves.
    • by tibit (1762298)

      I don't know about their internal architecture, but I do agree that the UI on my 2nd generation was absolutely horrendous.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I've had Tivo since 1999, but this is exactly why I unplugged my Tivo a year or so ago and it's been gathering dust. In the early days, the UI was fast and intuitive. I was happy to pay a few dollars a month, even though I could have gotten a free DVR from cable company. I spent over a decade paying my monthly subscriptions and had probably 3-4 new machines during that time.

      Since I got the HD a few years back, Tivo has been painful to use because the UI is so slow, and the machine simply locks up periodical

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Useless wireless has become a ubiquitous plague. MK802 series. Ouya, reportedly. Pretty much every cheapass tablet etc. The Wii was the last device I bought without an external antenna which has good reception. My cellphone has moderately adequate reception (SEMC Xperia Play) and will work farther from the antenna than most laptops with a screen antenna, but that's not saying much.

  • by jbwolfe (241413)
    I've had the InfiniTV4 since it was introduced and can't say anything negative about it. Four to six tuners with an M-card and works under Media Center and has unsupported driver source for Linux. PCIe and USB flavors avaiable, networkable tuners. XBOX 360 functions as a Media Center Extender (no copy flagged media will only play on extenders). They also have the Echo but its pricy for an extender. No requirement for cable but it does support SDV if your cable company uses this. No subscription fees for dat
  • I loved my Tivo over the years but it became just too much.

    It became a super zombie machine. Add a M card. Add an external HD. Add a cable tuning adapter.

    When I had trouble, Time Warner would blame the Tivo. Finding customer service to sort out this hot mess was a disaster.

    On top of that, each update made the interface more and more sluggish.

    I eventually went to a standard TWC crappy cable box and now Direct TV Genie. Not great, but adequate. And the interface is not a total slug.

  • Dear Tivo,

    1) Lower your damn prices already! You'd have people beating down the doors if you'd lower your monthly fee to $5/month, and you'd still be making good money to boot!
    2) Stop treating your old customers as second-class citizens! The old Tivos work just fine, so why aren't you porting new features to these units? Even UI/UX improvements which take negligible CPU or memory usage are never implemented. Sure, there are a lot of lifetime account holders, but you're still collecting monthly fees on some of these, right?
    3) Integrate the "tuning adapter" for switched digital video to inside the Tivo. The fact that I need such a thing in the first place is ridiculous.
    4) Lower your damn prices already! $60 for a wireless G dongle? $90 for an N wireless bridge?! C'mon!
    5) What's the deal with CableCard, anyway? Are cable companies going to continue to support this? What about users of IP-based services, like AT&T's U-verse?
    6) Don't get me started on copy-protection...
    7) Lower your damn prices already! $5/mo -- it's worth repeating!

    Thanks,
    Me

    • by evilviper (135110) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @11:29AM (#44039793) Journal

      5) What's the deal with CableCard, anyway? Are cable companies going to continue to support this?

      The Federal Government and FCC says they will. So... yes they will.

      See the 1996 Telecom law, Section 629.

    • Speaking of which ... is it just me, or does Tivo now only give out one week of guide information?

      I regularly travel for a week at a time, and so look through the 'to do' list, and weed out the stuff that I'm not really going to watch, or make sure to record stuff that's not set up to auto-record.

      Not having a two week buffer's made it a pain, as I have to go and do it the night before I leave

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      3) Integrate the "tuning adapter" for switched digital video to inside the Tivo. The fact that I need such a thing in the first place is ridiculous.

      This adapter is often a device that must match the type of cable system your provider runs. Similar to how you must lease cablecards from your cableco, a tuning adapter often needs to be supplied by them when it applies. These devices require provisioning on the provider's end just like a cablecard does, so TiVo isn't going to be able to build a device like that into their boxes. Their purpose is to provide two way communication between the TiVo and the cableco's head end so it can tell the system to change

  • by flibbidyfloo (451053) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @11:01AM (#44039445)

    My wife and I used to love Tivo. We had a series 2 with lifetime, and then bought three series 3 boxes, also with lifetime. It was a HUGE outlay, but we felt it was worth it and we'd be set for a long time.

    Unfortunately, this was just before they announced the new series 4, which they were keeping quiet, so they weren't making any new units. It turned out they were only shipping refurbished units. Within 6 months all three units had failed, as well as a couple replacement units. We got so frustrated with losing our recorded shows, dealing with shipping back and forth, etc, that we ended up selling the units on eBay and switching to DirecTV with their (at the time) superior DVRs.

    We felt sort of like since we'd paid all that money up front for lifetimes, Tivo had our money and didn't really care about fixing the problem permanently. They just kept sending us refurbs that would fail within a few months. Needless to say, our Tivo love dried up and we won't be going back.

  • Is hardware the future of TiVo, or should they go and just license their software to all?

    They already license their software to other STB makers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @12:09PM (#44040337)

    I'd sure love 6 tuners to catch all the TV I never watch!

    I like entertaining shows. There are even some left on TV. TV, as a whole, is abhorrent.
    I didn't consciously cut the cable, but realized sometime last year that I have not watched actual TV for, well years now. The few gems available are not worth the trouble. Stuff you find on youtube is honestly much more entertaining than 99% content that gets blasted over the airwaves.

    Whenever I visit a household that has traditional TV going it's.. Really disturbing. I don't know how to describe it. The whole medium seems designed to manipulate viewer's thoughts and behaviors in an orchestrated barrage of crap and nonsense. (Yes, this is compared to some of the acid tripping strangeness that can be found on youtube. Ex - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iw1EnLvm88 *Warning* This video is an honest to goodness cognetohazard. It's so bad and yet so.. Bad)

    We all like to laugh at Fox News, but the show really is reality manipulator for it's viewers. The show has honest to fucking goodness /music cues/. That's right. Music will start playing, and reach a dramatic flare as a "reporter" is making a point.

  • I had a lifetime subscription but when digital came in, they provided no upgrade path making the lifetime subscription completely useless. Mythtv is more than adequate and makes it easy to play other videos (Presumably Tivo has this by now). Also handy to use for other Linux functions from time to time.

  • What TiVo really needs is competition. They have their patent on time-shifting, and sue anyone who comes out with a decent alternative. The lack of competition have kept them from having incentive to innovate. I have a Series3, and while it's better than the cable-company alternative, it's still unimpressive. The subsequent Series4/XL models still have a slow interface and STILL haven't managed to go fully HD. Since there's no competition, they overcharge for remotes, Wifi, and even the boxes themselve

    • Sony HDD 250 was a great recorder. Tivo sued, Sony stopped making them, and last month, Rovi killed the listing service. Hell yes, they need competition. DVR outside the US are commonly available.

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