Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Sad History and (Possibly) Bright Future of TiVo

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the better-to-be-verbed-than-knighted dept.

Television 490

gjt writes "For the couch-potato geek, one name typically comes to mind: TiVo — the company that invented the DVR, and with it, timeshifting. TiVo has been around for more than 10 years now. And TiVo fans (like myself) tend to love TiVo. Yet, despite being well-loved and despite having been around longer than the Apple iPod, TiVo comes nowhere close to the iPod/iPhone's success. Apple sells more iPod and iPhone products in a single quarter than TiVo has sold in the entire lifetime of the company. At its peak, TiVo had only 4.4 million active users — that was over three years ago. Now TiVo the number is about 2.7 million. So I wanted to find out why TiVo hasn't been more successful — especially with a seeming lack of competition on store shelves. I did some research and posted my finding about TiVo's past, present, and future. The key takeaway seems to be that TiVo is a victim of cable industry collusion, loopholes in FCC regulations, and, of course, plenty of their own mistakes."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

TiVo invented timeshifting? (5, Insightful)

lambent (234167) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283918)

perhaps this is a quibbling point, but TiVo didn't invent timeshifting. the invention of the VCR was responsible for that. one should learn about history a bit more before attempting to romanticize it unnecessarily.

Re:TiVo invented timeshifting? (5, Funny)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283952)

I'll have you know my mother invented timeshifting way before the VCR was even thought of. Every TIME a commercial came on the TV she would SHIFT herself into the kitchen and make a cuppa.

Re:TiVo invented timeshifting? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283990)

Oh yeah! Well, my mother invented the creation of time by turning off the TV and demanding that we don't watch so much of that shit.

Now, only if she we're here to keep me off of internet discussion sites. I'd have all that time back.

Re:TiVo invented timeshifting? (3, Funny)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284436)

My mom is The Doctor's mother. So she gave birth to time, sorta.

And she's a time traveler.

And she's bigger than your Dad and can beat him up.

So There.

Re:TiVo invented timeshifting? (4, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283994)

Surely that depends on what type of "time shifting" you mean. If you're talking about "recording to watch later" then VCRs do it, but "live TV pausing" time-shifts are presumably new to newer technology like the TiVo.

Re:TiVo invented timeshifting? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284066)

That's what I always understanded by the term, the ability to, for instance, pause a TV stream and then start watching it x amount of time later but before the programme you are recording has ended, or rewinding/fast forwarding within a captured section of a stream before it's ended, something that was certainly not possible with VCR.

Yes (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31284068)

Surely that depends on what type of "time shifting" you mean. If you're talking about "recording to watch later"

Yup. That's what time-shifting has meant since the term was coined.

In the '70s.

With the introduction of the VCR.

Re:TiVo invented timeshifting? (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284198)

The Vcr allowed people to record stuff to hopefully watch at another date.
Tivo brought the ability to timeshift in real time while recording something a vcr cant do.

the amount that can be recorded is also completely different you can decide to record a season of something and a tivo will do it.

Sad thing is that the content providers still won't let us have the freedom we want to choose what and when we view. Luckily there is an alternative usually referred to as bit torrent.

Re:TiVo invented timeshifting? (2, Informative)

wjsteele (255130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284200)

Also ReplayTV, Microsoft's UltimateTV and TiVo were all introduced at the CES show in 98.

I'm not sure who actually did it "first." But no licensing deals were struck, so it seems that the patents either had already expired or there were none to begin with due to prior art.

Bill

Re:TiVo invented timeshifting? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31284540)

As I recall, ReplayTV was the first one to make/sell anything - I remember waiting and WAITING for that damned thing to be available - only to see them sued into oblivion while #2 (TiVo) managed to survive.

Re:TiVo invented timeshifting? (4, Informative)

Robin newberry (565202) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284350)

Actually, my Dad says that in the Days before TV they'd often set up a Reel-to-Reel tape recorder to record a radio show they'd otherwise miss, and then listen to it later. So "time shifting" is at least as old as reel-to-reel...

Never Mind That; "Tivo Geek" ?? (4, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284364)

How's that stack up against being a "Toaster Oven Geek"? Or "iPhone Geek"? Or "Honda Civic Geek"? Hell, I'm hungry, I think I'm going to go be a Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-on-White-Bread-Geek.

Re:TiVo invented timeshifting? (3, Interesting)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284440)

one should learn about history

History doesn't begin at the VCR, and I think your definition of timershifter is off. I would argue that if you're going to consider a VCR a timeshifter, then you should also consider the phonograph and the human memory cortex timeshifters as well. I'm pretty sure that "recording device" is not the same thing as "timeshifter". A timeshifter allows you to view a stream of data at a point in time other than what it is also simultaneously chronicling. View and Chronicle are separate timelines. This is impossible with a VCR. It could probably be achieved with a complicated array of VCRs, but that invention does not exist.

Re:TiVo invented timeshifting? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284512)

So a VCR with two tape decks then...

Re:TiVo invented timeshifting? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31284442)

I very seldom record and watch later using my HD Tivo, but do a lot of watching streams and my dvds on my HD Tivo. PyTivo works great to let you send your vob files to the Tivo but I also use Galleon, Streambaby and hme-vlc. Series 1 tivo were great in their time because they were so easily hacked. It seemed like Tivo wanted their users to hack their Tivos because many added and beta tested new features to their Tivos, many of the added features even got incorporated into Tivo. However, as time went on the competitors decided they could not have that with Tivo, oh no they claimed, some guy might copy something to his Tivo that was illegal , no we need to protect the copyrights better, we need to limit how much the user can do. After all the Tivo users were having a bal,l while the other companies were struggling to come up with a product. Eventually the others caught up, even "borrowed" from the Tivo and as more and more copied the Tivo technology they produced cheaper alternatives and at the same time stripped Tivo legally of it's greatest resource, the Tivo owners that constantly hacked their Tivos to develop better features. It was a great strategy, use laws to hold back the competition but copy the competitors products - then if Tivo file suit for stealing , they can use their power to limit the damages.

Streaming TV meets the DVR. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283938)

"The key takeaway seems to be that TiVo is a victim of cable industry collusion, loopholes in FCC regulations, and, of course, plenty of their own mistakes.""

Is Tivo ready for streaming Internet TV? The popcorn hour and the boxee sure are.

Re:Streaming TV meets the DVR. (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284388)

Some of the Tivo's decline is attributable to the fact that they stopped evolving. Instead of
improving their product, they decided to sue potential competitors. They also decided to get in
bed with Big Cable. Once they were the only "authorized" 3rd party content channel they were in
a very precarious position.

They would have been much better off with an entire cabal of similar companies by their side.

Tivo was surpassed by Free Software and stymied by HDTV standards intended to allow for openness
but really only served as a means to lock out most of the market.

Simple reason (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283944)

Tivo: $250 up-front + $7 / mo CableCard rental + $15 / mo Tivo Subscription fee
vs.
Cable: $15 / mo for something that works for most people.

(...and if your Tivo breaks, you get to buy another one.)

Re:Simple reason (3, Informative)

Enry (630) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284048)

With Comcast, the CableCard was free, and I'm paying $4.95 for my CC with FIOS. As for the monthly fees, they're about $8/mo if you pre pay for 3 years. In addition, there's built in access to Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, etc.

As for the Cable-provided set top boxes, yuck. None have the flexibility of what the Tivo can do, including the ability to transfer some shows to your PC. Not much access to anything outside what the Cable provider decides you should have, which is usually the on demand stuff and..uhm..that's it.

My Tivo HD is almost 3 years old and it's working well so far (well enough I'm considering upgrading the internal disk). I'm looking forward to the next box to see what its capabilities are.

Re:Simple reason (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31284284)

So you are saying it is $13/mo if you pre-pay for 3 years, plus you get to buy the hardware, and if the hardware breaks after the 365th day, you get to pay another $250 for a new box and another fee to move the subscription. Such a deal! Note that I went through three, count 'em, THREE S3 boxes in the first 21 days before I gave up on Tivo ... at the time, I had been a long time Tivo user and an early adopter (got my S1 in 1999).

As for the Cable-provided set top boxes, yuck. None have the flexibility of what the Tivo can do,

Which is irrelevant to most people.

including the ability to transfer some shows to your PC.

Which is irrelevant to most people.

Not much access to anything outside what the Cable provider decides you should have,

Which is irrelevant to most people.

which is usually the on demand stuff and..uhm..that's it.

How many free on-demand TV shows and movies do you get with your Tivo? Because scanning through my OnDemand list, there are hundreds of free offerings including many of this weeks episodes of both broadcast and cable network shows. This is a feature that customers do use that, IIRC, is not available at all on Tivo (since Cablecards have no access to OnDemand).

Re:Simple reason (2, Informative)

Binestar (28861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284498)

Those features that you are saying are irrelevant really are not. Perhaps the transfer shows TO your computer isn't that great, but for $25 you can transfer shows FROM your computer to your Tivo. The series 3 is also a netflix viewer, youtube viewer, picture viewer (I only use it a couple of times a year. Once on each of my daughters birthdays for a slide-show of pictures that runs in the background from the last year. The netflix viewer has allowed me to show older cartoons easily to my kids (They have the original Inspector Gadget on the Streaming todo list and have watched each episode at least twice) Might not seem like much, but those features specifically are very nice and the average household would use them.

Re:Simple reason (3, Informative)

DougWebb (178910) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284468)

As for the Cable-provided set top boxes, yuck. None have the flexibility of what the Tivo can do, including the ability to transfer some shows to your PC. Not much access to anything outside what the Cable provider decides you should have, which is usually the on demand stuff and..uhm..that's it.

I've got one more, which was the final straw for me before I switched to TiVo: the Comcast-provided box had such poor quality Comcast-provided software that it crashed all of the time, wiping out both my existing recordings and all of my schedules. A DVR is really not worth very much if it can only be reliably used to pause live TV.

Re:Simple reason (2)

soup4you2 (571216) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284144)

When I purchased my TiVo i was given the option for the lifetime service. It was somewhere around $300 however it has paid for it's self in savings of not having to pay for the cable company's DVR capabilities. I love my TiVo box now, and the fact that I don't have any extra monthly bills makes it even better. 2 cable cards is still cheaper than 1 HD box rental. and I'm not really missing the on-demand. I have Netflix for that.

Re:Simple reason (2)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284358)

You forgot ... TV Video card for your computer: Around $20-$100 and no monthly fee. Software to use Video card -- $0 to $100 and no monthly fee While it may not be the reason for most people, that's why I don't have a Tivo. I did spend the $100 for software just because I was too lazy to setup the free stuff.

Re:Simple reason (2)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284544)

Same here. Paid $250 for a refurb system that came with a dual tuner card and remote, and vista media center. Spent another $60 for a dedicated 320 GB drive for media center. No rental, no fees, and it's trivial to control with the xbox or copy shows to my mp3 player. That worked for me, but the real reason as I see it, is that they charge a large fee for tv listings.

Re:Simple reason (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Struct (660658) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284404)

The cost is the primary reason I don't have a Tivo anymore. When we bumped up to HD, the HD Tivo was something like $800, so we just went with TWC's DVR. I'm on the verge of going back to Tivo, though, because the box from TW is probably about the most useless pile of electronics you can possibly assemble and still legally refer to as a DVR. It sometimes just fails to record, and probably 4 out of 5 times, fast-forwarding or rewinding will desync the audio. Tivo was expensive, but it never had rookie problems like that.

Re:Simple reason (1)

digitalaudiorock (1130835) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284490)

Tivo: $250 up-front + $7 / mo CableCard rental + $15 / mo Tivo Subscription fee vs. Cable: $15 / mo for something that works for most people.

(...and if your Tivo breaks, you get to buy another one.)

...or in my case, HD TV over an antenna $0/month, schedulesdirect.com listings for $20/year, and a three-tuner mythtv system with a TB of disk (which cost a crapload more than $250 of course).

Re:Simple reason (2)

toleraen (831634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284530)

Exactly this. I would really like to get rid of my piece of crap Comcast DVR, but TiVo doesn't have enough value add for the cost right now. If TiVo lowered their monthly fee to $5 I'd probably jump on board though.

Cost and portability (5, Insightful)

Slippery Pete (941650) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283960)

For me, I never got a Tivo because of the cost. You need to purchase the equipment and then pay a monthly fee. I believe it is $12.95/month now. I already pay $80/month for cable and Internet access, $50/month for phone, add on heat, electricity and rent and I'm already down a paycheck. I have a DVR at home built with leftover parts and a $40 tuner card that works just fine. I can also move those files between my laptop and any other computer, so I can take my recorded shows anywhere.

Re:Cost and portability (1)

berwiki (989827) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284296)

i would mod you up if i could.

others above you touched on it, but either listed goofy equations with strange numbers (15/mo cable?? where is that deal), or didnt cover the entire issue.

If I purchase a 200 dollar box, I better be done shelling out cash for the thing.

Re:Cost and portability (1)

Binestar (28861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284398)

As posted many times, don't think of it as a $200 box. Thing of that as the subsidized price. You buy for $200 and you're locked into a contract for $12/month. Or you can own your Tivo for $600. (Lifetime sub is $400.) Friend of mine insists on changing his phone every 2 years when the "free" phone becomes available from Verizon. I try to explain to him he would be better off just buying a phone directly and not getting locked into a contract but he won't hear it. That's what the $200 Tivo is. A Tivo with a contract. Look at the lifetime version -- more expensive up front, but the lifetime sub pays for itself in 2 and a half years.

Re:Cost and portability (1)

berwiki (989827) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284482)

I was actually going to say they should subsidize the 200 dollars, since you need a monthly subscription anyway.

I mean comeon, the thing is a hard drive + some simple software. 600 bucks when mass-produced seems terribly overpriced.

Re:Cost and portability (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284504)

I don't know about anyone else, but I am rarely concerned with amortizing the cost of a measly $200 item.

Re:Cost and portability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31284502)

but either listed goofy equations with strange numbers (15/mo cable?? where is that deal)

We're talking about Tivo vs cable, so the $15 is obviously the monthly cost for a cableco DVR.

Dumbass.

Re:Cost and portability (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284300)

I have a DVR at home built with leftover parts and a $40 tuner card that works just fine. I can also move those files between my laptop and any other computer, so I can take my recorded shows anywhere.

Can you watch those shows on an actual television set without having to use that set as the computer's video display?

Re:Cost and portability (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284472)

> Can you watch those shows on an actual television set without having to use that set as the computer's video display?

Why should it matter? A real Tivo is nothing more than a specialized PC. That is
the essential bit of understanding that you gain from knowing what's actually
going on with the technology (and not being impressed by Tivo's bogus patents).

Tivos even run Linux. I can run Linux myself.

You can now buy a $200 PC with HDTV outputs and dedicated video playback hardware. You
can either make a full blown Tivo knockoff out of that or use it as an "extender". This
"extender" concept is something that is common to ALL other solutions but is sorely
lacking in Tivos.

The iPad is another good example of this concept: PC + software -> appliance.

Re:Cost and portability (1)

Binestar (28861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284550)

What do you mean by extender?

Monthly Fee (4, Interesting)

JD-1027 (726234) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283962)

I never bought one because of the monthly fee. I would buy one immediately if there was no monthly fee. I assume there is still a monthly fee, correct?

There is absolutely no reason to have a monthly fee on this piece of hardware. I understand there is a minor "service" they provide in getting schedules and being able to set up recording through an internet page, but in no way does that constitute the size of the monthly fee I remember seeing.

Also, I believe the device stopped working after you stopped paying the monthly fee. What? Why can't it work like an old-school VCR at that point where you have to manually program when it should record?

Please correct me if my history is off, or things have changed. I'd take a serious look at a TiVo if things are now different.

Re:Monthly Fee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31284082)

There's a monthly fee, and you MUST connect it to the internet - if it hasn't been connected to the internet in the past 30 days, it will stop recording stuff - because it can't check to see that you've paid your fee.

It also forces you to view ads - on the tivo menus and stuff. Infuriating.

Wish I could return the goddamn thing.

Re:Monthly Fee (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284190)

if it hasn't been connected to the internet in the past 30 days, it will stop recording stuff - because it can't check to see that you've paid your fee.

I'm guessing it's that, and it will also have run out of guide data so it won't know when shows are on, etc. It's not like it magically gets guide data from the ether. (Actually there is something called EIT, but I think it's only for OTA programs and it's usually crappy data anyway).

Guide data isn't free. It probably should be if you have a cable service, but it's not. Even MythTV users (in the US) have to pay for it, albeit for the price of $20/yr. It used to be free, but the company giving it away decide to stop a few years ago.

It also forces you to view ads - on the tivo menus and stuff. Infuriating.

Yeah, this kind of nonsense is the reason I'll probably never put up with a consumer-grade DVR. MythTV is not exactly easy to set up, but you purchase freedom at the price of ease of use, I suppose.

to bad that Myth TV cant do cable card / cable VOD (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284410)

to bad that Myth TV cant do cable card / cable VOD and does that Myth TV guide pick up all in house cable channels or will it just say no data on the channels?

Re:Monthly Fee (1)

Binestar (28861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284090)

You can get lifetime subscription (The box, not you) for $400, so tack that $400 onto the price of the Tivo and see if it is worth it. As a previous Tivo owner I was given $100 off a new Tivo and as a previous lifetime subscriber I was given $100 off the lifetime sub. Even with that deal it was $700 for my Tivo HD XL. A purchase that to me at least is well well worth it.

As for the monthly fee for the cable card, I was being charged more to rent an HD box from Time Warner, so my cable price went down slightly. I was also able to sell my lifetime sub Series 2 (Which I had upgraded to the maximum of 2x127GB when drives failed) for $200.

Re:Monthly Fee (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284140)

They used to offer a lifetime subscription, but it was very expensive. I considered getting a TiVo when they were new, but at the time I was paying £5/year to a service that provided TV listing and a nice app for setting alarms and filtering them. It also had a scripting interface, so instead I just popped an ATi All-in-Wonder card into a machine and wrote a (trivial) script to make it record things from the TV card. You could set it to record all programs with a given name, or matching other conditions (there was a nice UI in the TV guide app for doing this) for £5/year + a load of spare hardware I had lying around. It could also do pausing live TV, just like a TiVo.

The TiVo advantage back then was convenience, but they never came close to competing on price. If they had charged £5/year or similar for their TV guide service, I might have been tempted as they did give a much more polished product.

Now, I'm not really sure I see the point of such a device. I haven't owned a TV for a few years. I still watch TV shows, but now they're delivered via iPlayer or rented on DVD. TiVo seems to be solving the wrong problem. The problem is not that I want to record broadcast TV and play it back later, it is that I want to watch shows on my own schedule, without adverts. Recording from broadcast TV is one solution to this problem, but it's not a good one. It was the only one that was technically feasible a decade ago, but now I have enough spare bandwidth that I can still do other stuff while streaming 720p shows. What's TiVo's reason for existing in this market?

Re:Monthly Fee (1)

Binestar (28861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284324)

They offer lifetime again for $400. Equal to just over 2 years of cable DVR service.

Re:Monthly Fee (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284148)

I bought a ReplayTV (competitor to TiVo, same basic idea) about 6 years ago, and paid $200 for the "lifetime service". Like TiVO, with a ReplayTV, once the listings stop being fed to the machine it cannot record anything - you can't just do time/day based recording. The monthly service was something like $15, so I figured I might as well "prepay" for 14 months of service and get lifetime service that way.

The overall machine cost $400 with the lifetime service, and 6 years and counting and the machine is working just fine. And I could easily resell it and include the lifetime service with it if I ever decide I don't need it any more.

Somehow, ReplayTV is continuing to offer channel updates, even though I'm not sure you could buy a new one today if you wanted to. They have been absorbed by DirectTV, so I'm sure that's the technology inside DirectTV's DVR units.

I don't know if TiVo has a lifetime prepay option, but it might be worth it.

Re:Monthly Fee (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284280)

Also, I believe the device stopped working after you stopped paying the monthly fee. What? Why can't it work like an old-school VCR at that point where you have to manually program when it should record?

Because the people making them are greedy bastards. The corporate world wants a monthly fee for everything these days, even when they provide no services. You're far better off building a Myth TV.

Re:Monthly Fee (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284342)

I never bought one because of the monthly fee. I would buy one immediately if there was no monthly fee.

My thoughts exactly. I kept waiting for someone to sell a DVR that I could hook up to my cable and record what and when I decided to record without having to pay a monthly fee for it to record things according to when they are scheduled. That's all I want, a DVR that works the way that VCRs work. I tell it what channel and what time to record and it does so. I can understand that there is a market for the service, I'm not it. I suspect that there are a lot of people like me, if they could just buy a DVR that works like a VCR they would. Yes, DVR's with service are growing steadily, but that is largely because that is the only way I know of to buy one.

Re:Monthly Fee (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284576)

As I'm certain you've seen elsewhere, MythTV [mythtv.org] should meet your needs.

Re:Monthly Fee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31284408)

I have two TiVO units. One was given to me with a lifetime subscription already attached to it, the other I paid for the lifetime subscription. At the time, I think the subscription was $300 and equivalent to approximately 2.5 years worth of service. I've had them for over 5 years now so it was money well used.

Re:Monthly Fee (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284500)

Also, I believe the device stopped working after you stopped paying the monthly fee. What? Why can't it work like an old-school VCR at that point where you have to manually program when it should record?

You can do exactly that.

I prefer to pay for the EPG data, so I don't have to look up times, and I get recommendations, season passes etc.

Lousy marketing? (3, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283966)

The world of gadgets is full of technically superior products that failed. Tivo's just another example. Some had a good idea and bad implementation. Others had poor reliability or couldn't deliver product to the customer. From where I see it, Tivo's just another DVR (though to be fair, I've never actually seen a tivo in the flesh - maybe that says' something about their reach outside the world of geeky-dom) and has to complete with all the new products that are better / faster / cheaper / prettier.

File away with 8-track, betamax and video disks

Re:Lousy marketing? (3, Interesting)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284166)

I had DirecTiVo for a while (DirecTV and TiVo had a joint product) and now I have Dish Network's product. Comparing the two, TiVo is really the much better DVR software. They have features that the others don't (and can't until patents expire in probably 10 more years). One of the ones that I miss is the Suggestions (aka keep my harddrive full) that will record shows during "down" time that match types and styles of shows you already record -- it's great when your normal shows aren't recording because of special events like The Winter Olympics. I never had an issue with shows recording multiple times (only record new, but the satellite picks up locals and shows them on 3 feeds [HD, local channel number, and 8000 channel number] so the DVR records the new episode on all three feeds because it's my highest ranked show). The TiVo interface is easier and better with groupings of shows into folders instead of just a list of everything recorded. All-in-all, the TiVo *IS* the best DVR available.

Other than DirecTiVo, there hasn't really been a single device that allowed you to have satellite and TiVo at the same time. Sure, the newer TiVo's have cablecard support, but it's not easy to get cablecards. The TiVo trying to operate the other box isn't the greatest solution either. Especially when your DVR is capable of recording multiple feeds (mine will record two satellite feeds plus OTA digital). The early TiVo's with analog cable were an easy implementation, but now that cable has gone digital, it's harder to have a TiVo.....but you wind up paying extra for the priviledge and in today's economy, the DVR from the provider is "good enough" that the TiVo becomes and expense that you live without. It's better, but is it "better enough" to justify the extra expense?

Re:Lousy marketing? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284264)

File away with 8-track, betamax and video disks

Eight tracks don't belong in your list. They were in everybody's cars (except mine, I used cassettes) and most houses for over ten years. And they weren't technically superior, even though they had twice the transport speed of cassette. They had to switch tracks four times per album, and often this would have songs cut off in the middle. The tapes were bulky and unwieldy, and if a tape got "eaten" it was harder to repair than a casette.

People finally realized that they were inferior and they were superceded by cassettes, which were originally developed for dictation. You can file eight tracks with 78 rpm shellack records, black and white CRT TVs, automotive carburators, and steam locomotives, not Betamax or video disks.

They were included in a humorous K5 article I wrote back in 2005, Good Riddance to Bad Tech [kuro5hin.org] (which is a bit out of date; today's shoelaces are superior, and they've brought back volume knobs in car radios).

Re:Lousy marketing? (4, Informative)

Binestar (28861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284276)

I'm not sure there is any DVR that is better than a Tivo. I say this as someone who has used MythTV, Tivo, and 3 different cable company's DVRs. When it comes right down to it, anyone can use Tivo. The cable company DVR's are not smart enough, MythTV (admittedly a long ass time ago) was hard to use and difficult to setup.

As for faster, a Series 2 Tivo that is upgraded and starts to have a lot of things on the drive can be a bit slot responding to the remote. This is no longer true with my series 3 HD XL. The speed is great no matter if the drive has 300 items recorded.

Cheaper: yes and no. the $700 price tag I paid for my upgrade ($900 for someone without a previous Tivo to get a discount) is the top of the line Tivo with lifetime service. My last Tivo was $300 and $250 for the lifetime subscription (Yes, I got it that long ago). It is still going strong at my brothers house (I sold it to him for $200 to help me pay for my new Tivo). Even ignoring the $200 I got from selling it, I got it August of 2002. 90 months divided by $550 = $6/month. Well under the Cable company price for a DVR. I did upgrade the hard drive in the Tivo with 2 160GB drives part way through it's life. Both were taken out of service from PC upgrades, but figure an average hard drive price of $100 that gets you up to $750, or $8.33/month. I unfortunately do not know how they fare against each other in power usage, so I honestly can't add in the possible differences between those.

In order for my new $700 Tivo to be more economical than the cable company offering (And assuming I will be tossing a 2GB external drive on it to expand it Figure $100 for the drive, $30 for the enclosure I already have that I plan on using and that makes it $830. 55 months to be same price as the cable DVR. Just over 4 and a half years.

It is a gamble that it will last that long, but if I win that gamble it is just savings at that point.

As for looks, I've not seen a DVR interface that is prettier than Tivo. Would love for someone to show me. It really *IS* as good as Tivo fans make it out to be.

Re:Lousy marketing? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284546)

> It really *IS* as good as Tivo fans make it out to be.

While DIY products have the problem that you have to build your own box,
it is not true that a Tivo is any more user friendly in actual use. Nor
is it true that it has any better "curb appeal". Once my own "end users"
had adapted to MythTV they found Tivo to be crude and ugly and didn't ever
want to see it again.

I am sure MCE and Sage users have their own anecdotes along these lines.

No Tivo for me (2, Informative)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283976)

>> I wanted to find out why TiVo hasn't been more successful

I'm very happy with my Mythtv box. It does way more than a Tivo does, I can customise it, and it has no monthly fees. (Although I do subscribe to Schedules Direct for listings, but that's only $20 per year ).

Re:No Tivo for me (1)

DougWebb (178910) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284396)

I loved my MythTV box too, but switched to TiVo when Comcast started moving digital channels around so often that the listings were always coming out wrong, and when it became clear that the analog channels were going away. At least TiVo with cablecards can follow the changes. Comcast still made it very difficult to get the cards; when I called for an installation they said I had to go to my local office to pick it up, and when I went to my local office they looked at me like I had two heads and said they've never dealt with cablecards. Once I finally got a technician to come and install the cards everything was cool, and I've been very happy with my TiVo ever since.

I went for the top of the line model, with the 'lifetime' subscription. I figured that the lifetime subscription is cheaper than the other options after four years, and the box (which the subscription is attached to) should last me that long before it's completely obsolete.

Why are markets for (2, Informative)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283984)

As long as cable box manufacturers are selling boxes to cable companies, instead of to consumers, I'm not sure how things will get better. I guess this is a difference between the "end-to-end" model of the Internet and other networks such as the cable network.

Everyone I have discussed CableCards with has basically come to the same conclusion: the cable companies wanted it to fail. I think this stems from their desire to keep control out of the hands of consumers; anything that breaks that principle must be marginalized as much as possible. You see the same deal with locked handsets from the mobile phone companies... they take a perfectly decent piece of hardware, flash their shitty branded firmware on it that actually disables features built in to the phone, then try to sell those features back to you (or in my case, don't offer them).

Re:Why are markets for (1)

Gadgetfreak (97865) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284110)

I completely agree. I have a TiVo HD, and continue to use and enjoy it... but the problem is that I still have to deal with my cable company. I had to pester them for 2 months to get a CableCard out of 'em, and they still charge me $4 a month to rent it.

There's just something ridiculous about paying for information delivery, only to be charged even more money to decode the proprietary signal they send to you.

Before the TiVo, we had analog-only cable, and a Philips stand-alone DVR/DVD burner that worked just fine.

But this day and age, if you want more than 3 or 4 HD channels or even want to think about some of the geekier SD cable stations, you're still stuck having to get equipment from the cable company. And frankly, for the vast majority of people, it's just cheap enough not to care that it sucks.

An international perspective (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284288)

That's what you get when your markets aren't competitive, so there's no reason for them to embrace new things. Sky, our big satellite TV operator, started agressively pitching a branded PVR system called "Sky Plus" about five years ago, as a selling point versus the entrenched cable companies. Time passes, the idea's lodged on the public mind, and now PVRs are a ubiquitous option when you sign up for a TV service, mandatory with an HDTV service, whether it's through satellite or cable, and there's a concerted marketing effort for free-to-air PVR boxes under the "Freeview Plus" banner. There are about twice as many Sky Plus subscribers on our tiny island as there are TiVo users in the entire US.

Re:An international perspective (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284376)

Yeah, that's actually what I started to type in my subject line... "Why are markets in the US so screwed up" etc.

But really, Comcast and Verizon FiOS do offer DVR services now that consumers seem to like. But it's not a competitive market in the sense that you can go buy any DVR you want, like you could with VCRs.

Besides, after using MythTV it's really hard to go back to branded, crappy company-provided DVRs.

Re:Why are markets for (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284400)

You are absolutely correct. Of course if TiVo (or somebody else) had sold a DVR that just recorded what people told it to with no monthly fee, the public's demand for the ability to hook it up outside of the cable company's control would have been greater as well. What difference does it make who I pay the monthly fee to?
Another point is that the cable companies' attitude is/was shortsighted. By making it harder for people to obtain timeshifting technology, they accelerated the move to watching video over the Internet.

I just farted: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283998)

volume: 3/10
duration: 6/10
aroma: 6/10

Bad customer service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31284040)

I was a huge TiVo fan, at one time running 3 boxes in my house (this was before the Tivo HD or Series 3 had come out). I was going to be out of the country for 3 months so I called Tivo and asked them to suspend my service. After a huge going back and forth, they came back and said they would. Well I got home from my trip and checked my bank account and noticed Tivo had charged me the entire time. I called them up and they refused to offer a refund for the time I was without service because the tivos were "connecting to their servers". Well no shit, I didn't unplug them while I was gone!

So, to make a long story short, they had no record my original call. To top it off, they disconnected them *then* for me, without me asking. And then informed me that my old pricing plan $12.95/mo for first and $6.95 for addl ones was no longer available. I would be required to sign a 24 month contract and pay something like $19.95/mo and $9.95/mo additional. Seriously, Tivo is fucked customer service wise. I would never ever give them a cent of mine again. I thought the original rates were bad for what you're getting (tribune listings which are available all over the net for free) but the new prices are jaw-dropping. I hope Tivo fails. I really like my Dish DVR now, 3 tuners, can record 2 HD shows, 1 HD off-air show, and watch a separate show.

We stopped using TiVo (1)

TimeElf1 (781120) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284044)

We stopped using TiVo because we got rid of our land line. No land line no TiVo, at least that how it was four years ago. Perhaps they have made it into the digital age since then. I do miss TiVo just recording things you might find interesting though I wish my cable provider had something like that.

Re:We stopped using TiVo (2, Informative)

pivo (11957) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284108)

Tivos have been able to use Wifi instead of telephone lines for years now. In fact, you have to if you want to use their Netflix or Amazon movie download service.

Re:We stopped using TiVo (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284134)

You can use an ethernet cable or wifi to connect your TiVo to the internet. The Series 2 box I bought in 2005 had that capability.

Re:We stopped using TiVo (2, Informative)

tgd (2822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284162)

Tivo hasn't required a phone line for Tivo since the Series 2 came out... what, six or seven years ago?

With the Series 1, you had to hack it to go phone-free, but I have not had a phone line hooked to a Tivo in probably pushing eight years.

Re:We stopped using TiVo (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284312)

That was one of the major reasons I chose ReplayTV over TiVo when I took the DVR plunge about 6 years or so ago. Replay had both a phone and Ethernet port, and I didn't have a landline.

As a side effect, someone wrote an open source Java applet that pretends to be a ReplayTV and can copy shows from my Replay to my computer, schedule shows from the computer, etc. So the Replay is sitting in the basement as the only thing hooked up to my Cable TV, and I haven't touched its remote in over a year. It just records shows, and I copy them up to my Linux desktop to actually watch them. Kinda like a MythTV server but without all the setup. :)

I think TiVo added Ethernet and even wireless access later on. I have to imagine they have by now.

Re:We stopped using TiVo (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284522)

As it happens I've got a spare TiVo ethernet card knocking around. Email me if you want it.

You'd have to chase down drivers, be prepared to mount the TiVo HDD under a special Linux kernel to set it up, etc. But it's pretty straightforward.

Add a WiFi bridge and you're away. Plus you can use TiVoWeb -- schedule recordings over the web.

Why compare it to the iPod? (5, Interesting)

ThisIsAnonymous (1146121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284076)

What?

Yet, despite being well-loved and despite having been around longer than the Apple iPod, TiVo comes nowhere close to the iPod/iPhone's success. Apple sells more iPod and iPhone products in a single quarter than TiVo has sold in the entire lifetime of the company.

Why are you even comparing TiVo to the iPod. Why should it come close to the iPod/iPhone's success? They aren't competing products...Are you saying that a product is only successful if it sells the same number of units as an iPod or is as popular as an iPhone?

Re:Why compare it to the iPod? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31284130)

The iPod sells for a profit and doesn't have recurring charges. Tivo sells at a loss and makes it up with monthly charges. Totally different business plan.

Now if Tivo could make a reasonably priced unit that doesn't have a monthly charge, now we're talking...

I have a dual tuner Tivo without a subscription. I use it for the 30 minute pause on 2 channels. Works great.

Apples and Oranges (2, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284346)

I agree entirely - these are different markets, how is this comparison irrelvant? Were they just slow for today's obligitary daily Iphone mention?

One might as well say that the TiVo doesn't sell as much as Nokia, or Microsoft (both of whom have shipped far more than Apple - indeed, can we have an article on how Apple don't sell as many phones as most other phone companies, or how Macs don't sell as much as Windows PCs? Of course that would be viewed as flamebait...)

Lumping the Iphone with the Ipod also makes different sense - so the Tivo has to compete against two different families of products, not just one? Why not compare the Iphone to say, every product that Microsoft have ever released...

The comparison also makes no sense in that the Tivo is measured in terms of the number of current users, whilst figures for things like phones are usually total sales. What are the Tivo's total sales, ever?

It's hard to see how TiVo could really survive. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284086)

The trouble is that, as a basic technical task, doing what a Tivo does isn't rocket surgery(particularly now that more broadcasts and cable transmissions are already being transmitted in a nice compressed digital format, and computing power gets ever cheaper. Tivo still wins over the competition in terms of having a UI and attention to quality that isn't utter crap, unlike most of the cable-bundled boxes; but, because of the technical workings of cable, that doesn't really help them enough.

With computers, there is room for the "more expensive but better user experience/interface" option, because all a computer has to do to interact with the internet is speak a few common networking protocols. Even if your ISP has never heard of mac or linux or whatever, that just means that their phone drones won't help you configure.

With cable, the cable companies rule with an iron fist, and have (largely successfully) resisted any efforts to change that. Cablecard is a clusterfuck. One can only assume that it was intended to fail(or, at least, those who wanted it to fail assigned it a task so difficult that no good faith implementation could possibly work properly). This gives first-party boxes a huge advantage over Tivos in all but cases of serious enthusiasts.

Re:It's hard to see how TiVo could really survive. (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284228)

rocket surgery

I see the US health care system is in worse shape than I thought.

Because its premise is flawed (1)

profBill (98315) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284088)

TiVo, in my humble opinion, is based on a fairly flimsy premise: that television is so important to watch that you are willing to spend time and money to make sure you get to watch all of some part of it. Really? Seriously, what is on television that you couldn't miss? Frankly, very little. I'm not trying to be a hater, I watch TV all the time. I just don't care if I miss something. Because whatever I miss I can find later, and if I can't I didn't miss much. It's mind candy, mostly, and we could all do with losing a little "weight".

Re:Because its premise is flawed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31284158)

Anything good on TV will be played over and over till you are sick to death of it. for decades to come.

Why spend money to speed that up? :D

DVR in Europe and South Africa (2, Informative)

AbbeyRoad (198852) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284100)

In South Africa I had digital satelite TV which had about 70 channels. Later they came out with a DVR with time shifting. After moving to the Netherlands I expected a way-better service (being "1st world") and everything. Not so: the UPC digital cable service was pretty much the same and in the same order of price. It also had about the same number of channels but there are many Dutch language channels that I don't watch. Major differences are the prevalence of sub-titles in the Dutch service on all English channels except for things like Euro news and CNN, CNBC etc. Also less film info on the film channels (the SA film info always had date of film, directory and leads). Film channels are a premium extra. And no BBC food channel - *sigh*.

Re:DVR in Europe and South Africa (1)

AbbeyRoad (198852) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284122)

Oh, and the Dutch service is way more reliable. SA service had occasional glitches and it seemed to be impossible to get a competant technician to fix my dish.

Re:DVR in Europe and South Africa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31284444)

Which one was it? Your dish or their service which had the glitch?

I also have sat tv here in SA, and no glitches... although some friggen competition would be good.

way too expensive and no broadband support (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284104)

The $300 investment plus the monthly fees is way too much. my Time Warner Cable DVR costs $12.95 a month. and i can upgrade anytime a new model hits their inventory every few years.

TIVO didn't have any broadband support for years after it became popular. i had Vonage since 2003 and couldn't get TIVO because supposedly it didn't work.

my Time Warner DVR isn't the greatest and the new software upgrade last year sucks and is slow as molasses, but its still enough to keep me from spending $300 on a TIVO. and my cable company DVR will record HD with no problem

No TV (1)

etherDave (1703560) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284112)

Maybe it's just me, but I don't pay for cable TV if I can avoid it; I don't even have an antenna to pick up broadcast. I just pay for broadband internet and watch my favorite shows/movies online via Netflix, Hulu, etc. So maybe TiVo hasn't done well because it appeals to consumers who consume a large amount of media and prefer to do it via cable tv, but many consumers have come to prefer the versatility of the internet (where something like TiVo is unnecessary ).

Re:No TV (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284552)

Interesting position.

TiVo can add value to a standard non-subscription TV service. I had a TiVo when we only had 5 channels (UK analogue terrestrial). Once it had built up a decent backlog of recordings, it was like having 10 extra channels. Effectively, there would always be something watchable on TV.

Apples and Oranges (1)

reg106 (256893) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284142)

Why would you even think to lead your submission with a comparison between TiVo and the iPod/iPhone. If you want to compare TiVo to an Apple product, how about the set-top box Apple TV. Or compare it to the Sling Box, or to a Windows Media PC, or MythTV, or something else serves an even remotely similar function to TiVo. Different markets perform differently.

Re:Apples and Oranges (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284454)

Indeed. It comes across as a rather poor attempt to make the Iphones's sales look good, by comparing them to a produce that's seen as popular, but with smaller sales, yet is in a completely different market.

Let's compare the Tivo to other DVRs. And let's compare the Iphones to other phones - which sells small amounts compared to Nokia, LG, Motorola, Samsung.

HD TiVo review... (3, Interesting)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284156)

i have the HD tivo, and i move every 4 months... getting the cablecard from the cable company and getting it installed is always a GIANT headache, usually having to deal with comcast customer service that pretends they have never heard of a tivo or cablecard...BUT, after it's set up and working.... nothing beats it. dual HD tuners, that can record while you are downloading web content simultaneously, with high quality netflix streaming, a giant hard drive with eSATA to seamlessly attach any 3rd party hard drive for additional storage... it's a dream and 100% wife approved, but if she had to figure it all out and convince comcast that she really did know what she was talking about, she would never get it set up. it is most certainly a cable company conspiracy. i enjoy my chats with all the cable installer guys as i ask them to justify the cablecard which is just a glorified hardware password... eventually i can get them all to admit that it's just about renting you another piece of hardware. i'm always charged a monthly fee to rent my multistream cablecard... without the cablecard the digital service has no value, and subscribers can not use their own cablecards, so i don't understand how it's legal to sell the service and require the hardware rental as a separate fee... also, the channel lineups available are a giant mess requiring much effort to remove duplicates... can't really fault tivo for that... more conspiracy. i'm just wondering if the set top boxes distributed by comcast also contain 5 copies of most network channels.

DirecTV and TiVo (1)

Matt_Bennett (79107) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284160)

TiVo *MUST* get back with DirecTV ASAP. TFA mentions it, but the reunion of DirecTV and TiVo (with HD) is what I'm waiting for, and why I've stayed with DirecTV without even considering other services. I've tried other DVRs, and compared to TiVo, they uniformly suck. Couple TiVo with the direct recording of the digital stream... and you've got nearly the perfect combination in terms of user interface and picture quality. I was going to stick with my old tube TV and Standard Def DirecTiVo, but a lightning hit took 'em out. Went to the DirecTV HD DVR... slow, featureless, small capacity, and leased. I don't want a separate box, as ultimately that solution is a kludge and would bring forth other issues (not counting the picture degradation by the multiple encoding/decoding).

They are already at least 6 months past the first promised date for the HD DirecTiVo. Don't know what is holding it up, but both DirecTV and TiVo should have this as a corporate priority. If Dish switched to TiVo, I'd switch in an instant, even with the termination fees I'd suffer.

Re:DirecTV and TiVo (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284338)

DirectTV just bought out ReplayTV, who makes a decent DVR (or used to). I doubt they'll be snuggling back up with TiVo anytime soon.

Tivo is not failing because of collusion (2, Interesting)

CByrd17 (987455) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284252)

Come on, really? Tivo is losing subscribers for a few reasons: 1) Cable companies now offer their own DVRs -- Tivo used to be the only game in town 2) You don't have to buy a new DVR if your cable company's DVR fails; you just trade in your old one -- with Tivo...if it's outside the warranty period you have to buy a new one (yes, I know the cable company charges you a monthly rental fee) 3) Cable companies don't charge anything for the privilege of recording onto a DVR (Tivo makes you buy the box AND charges you a monthly fee). I used to have Tivo, and I liked it, but not enough to buy a third new box after my first two failed. Especially considering the above.

Because it doesn't make sense. (1)

Zaphod-AVA (471116) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284256)

Massively broadcasting a show to everyone at a specific time and having a large number of them set up a machine to record that show to watch later is dumb. Hosting the same show on a server and having everyone download it (or stream it) and watch it whenever they feel like makes sense.

Re:Because it doesn't make sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31284414)

Tha is not very efficient, it is way more efficient to have evertyone download and upload small chunks of the show to reduce network load.

Ow, wait, we already have that and it's called p2p.

Re:Because it doesn't make sense. (1)

BVis (267028) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284514)

It makes sense to the consumer. It doesn't make sense to the advertiser, who will see their spots stripped out in "edited" versions that will make their appearance on bittorrent about half an hour after the content is made available.

Unfortunately, television is mostly still paid for with advertising. Thank FSM for the 30 second skip.

false credit (1)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284270)

TiVo didn't invent the DVR, they were simply the first company with a successful consumer product. And they were successful just because prices had come down so much.

And it's a dying and obsolete product category anyway.

Re:false credit (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284464)

I don't recall a retail product before TiVo's. They had to invent their own filesystem in order to stream video fast enough using the hardware available at the time, so they certainly invested in innovation -- just to be a couple of years ahead of what inevitably would become possible with a normal FS on standard hardware.

iPhone I've heard of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31284272)

... but what is this TiVo?

Unlike the TiVo, my PVR doesn't spy on me... (3, Interesting)

Telephone Sanitizer (989116) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284310)

My LiteOn PVR has a simple timer for recording like a VCR.

It has user-replaceable parts.

It doesn't require a paid subscription.

LiteOn doesn't sell records of my viewing habits.

It hasn't got a partition allocated for ads.

It doesn't display ad-banners when I pause or fast forward.

It has editing features.

It has a built-in DVD burner.

Yeah, TiVo offers a few neat features, but I'd have to give up a lot of utility and a great deal of privacy to get them. F-k that. My next PVR will be a computer with a Hauppauge tuner.

Sky + (2, Interesting)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284320)

My UK TiVo still has a little "As recommended by Sky" logo when it boots.

But Sky (Rupert Murdoch's satellite TV service) now has its own DVR.

It *really* annoys me when people coo about how clever their Sky+ is. "I can pause live TV! How awesome is that?", when TiVo had done it for years.

OTOH now you can get cheap DVRs from all kinds of manufacturers, so nobody's all that impressed any more, there's a free market, and that's all for the best.

I still think TiVo has the best UI over all.

The cable co killed tivo with there poor cable car (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284374)

The cable co killed tivo with there poor cable card system, SDV (for some time tivo where unable to get SDV channels) the lack of cable VOD, in some systems you where not able to get sports and event ppv on tivo. Also there are long list of people going though cable card hell to get there tivo working as well.

TIVO needs a tru2way box that can go 2way and cable VOD but it needs to something big like 3-4 tuners and hope that the cable co don't hit tru2way users with DVR fees (yes tru2way forces cable co software and gui on you) outlet fees and HD cable card / outlet fees (yes some cable co's have HD cable card fees) and they may try to hit you with a cable card rent fee (you should be able to buy one)

Also they need a New direct tv box (but with they want hit you with a tivo fee on top of the directv fees for dvr that may kill off tivo) and but directv is working on there own 5+ tuner sever box with mini boxes at each tv as well.

Because it's hard to understand why it's better (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 4 years ago | (#31284466)

than a VCR. Look I have a Tivo and find it difficult to watch TV with out it after having one. The thing is before I got one I really didn't understand how much of a difference it makes. The Tivo basically solves every issue I've ever had with time shifting on a VCR. But it's hard to really understand how much of a difference that makes when you're watching TV. After you have one for a couple of weeks you understand and you realize you almost always watch everything time shifted because it's so convenient but if somebody was looking at it in the store they probably look at it like a VCR that you can't change tapes. (It's not, all us Tivo owners know that but most people arn't going to understand how much better a self programming, self organizing VCR that can play and record at the same time really is.)

I'll tell you why they're not that big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31284496)

Outside of the USA, Tivo doesn't exists.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?