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TiVo Series 5 Coming This Fall

timothy posted about a year ago | from the are-there-even-six-bladed-razors-yet? dept.

Television 178

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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"Patent Holder"?! (5, Insightful)

bradgoodman (964302) | about a year ago | (#44038251)

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.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (5, Insightful)

Trimaxion (2933647) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44038581)


I tossed my cable provider (Comcast) rental DVR and replaced it with a TiVo Premier XL4. Best decision ever. The rental used to randomly decide to delete shows, not record things, and reset all my season recordings. Not to mention the cost of the rental going up every fucking time I got a bill. Also now with 4 tuners I can actually record a show I want to watch every now and again, instead of constant reruns of Jersey Shore clogging my DVR.

I expect to recoup my cost within the next year, even with the lifetime service payment to TiVo.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (1)

danomac (1032160) | about a year ago | (#44040805)

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.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44038527)

The reason that the others don't work as well is that TiVo have patents on some of the best features. For instance, when you are fast forwarding and hit Play, it goes back a little bit to account for reaction times. No-one else does this because TiVo hold the patent on it. To me, that's an obvious idea and should not be patentable.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (4, Insightful)

Golddess (1361003) | about a year ago | (#44038777)

To me, that's an obvious idea and should not be patentable.

Two things.
1) That isn't the message that "TiVo today is nothing more than a Patent Holder" sends.
2) While a fair argument, you should be going after the government for enabling such patentability in the first place, not TiVo for holding the patent (and actually making a product that uses it, unlike actual patent trolls).

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44039021)

I've used a DVR from Time Warner cable that had this feature; perhaps they licensed?

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44039547)

Yeah, my boxes from DirecTV do this and so did my box from AT&T U-Verse. My old Comast boxes didn't. That was years ago, though, the new boxes might.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (1)

Terminaldogma (765487) | about a year ago | (#44039151)

Scientific Atlanta cable tuners have been doing that for over half a decade. It isn't just limited to the cable provider either as I've been on two different providers with the same boxes and they've both had the feature. So there are definitely other boxes that do this; whether they are licensed I do not know.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (1)

Isca (550291) | about a year ago | (#44039345)

How is that obvious?

I never knew of any VCR's that did this. Nor did you see it in any commercial systems either. Just because it's obvious in hindsight doesn't mean it's not patentable. It really should come down to if it's been used before, including in other scenarios.

That's what makes it unique among a lot of technology patents. There are plenty of ideas that shouldn't be patents because all they did was take something in the real world and call it patentable by saying "on a phone" or "on a pc". That's obvious - but even though Tivo's patent seems obvious in hindsight no one else had done this before in any electronics that had a fast forward/reverse button

This is an example of GOOD patents.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44039453)

> How is that obvious?

It's not obvious, it's trivial. THAT is the real problem and why the idea should be unpatentable.

Whether or not it is "obvious" is really a red herring.

You shouldn't be able to patent every trivial bit of nonsense that flitters through your head. That's not what patents are for. They are not a virtual land grab. They are meant to encourage the disclosure of interesting trade secrets, things that can't be replicated by University undergrads.

No. This is an example of a really BAD patent and you are just a corporate toadie.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (1)

Digicaf (48857) | about a year ago | (#44039647)

"Trivial" is just as arbitrary and subjective as "obvious".

The GP has a good point. If it was that easy or apparent, then why didn't anyone else do it over the few decades of recording devices that came before?

Honestly, if all your predecessors spent 20 to 30 years making thousands of products and then you come along and find a way to improve them significantly, then you should be able to patent that improvement. Just because it's a small or simple thing, doesn't mean it's less important.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44039363)

The reason that the others don't work as well is that TiVo have patents on some of the best features. For instance, when you are fast forwarding and hit Play, it goes back a little bit to account for reaction times. No-one else does this because TiVo hold the patent on it. To me, that's an obvious idea and should not be patentable.

My FiOS DVR does that. I know it's saved me having to rewind a bunch of times.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about a year ago | (#44040947)

I don't know much, but I'm absolutely certain that "obvious to an anonymous coward after it's been explained to him" isn't the test that matters.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (2)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | about a year ago | (#44038747)

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.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#44038957)

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

In common Slashdot parlance - yes.

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

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (2)

Golddess (1361003) | about a year ago | (#44039083)

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.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44039491)

> 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.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (1)

Golddess (1361003) | about a year ago | (#44039753)

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.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#44038969)

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.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44039383)

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

I concur. I thought the same thing when I read the OP. All of the other DVR interfaces I've seen just suck ass compared to TiVo. They strike me as the Apple Inc. of the DVR world; really making sure that their interface has polish and is intuitive to use. And, personally, I find it sad that the reason they're still alive is because they hold patents on the underpinnings of critical DVR functions.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (2, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44039427)

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.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about a year ago | (#44040983)

Either you refer to your family as "users" which is certainly charming, or you're illegally distributing entertainment. Given your history, I assume both.

Re:"Patent Holder"?! (1)

UttBuggly (871776) | about a year ago | (#44039807)

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!

Rumors- Keep until I delete? (2, Funny)

MiniMike (234881) | about a year ago | (#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?

Great, now I just need 6 cablecards (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44038281)

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

Re:Great, now I just need 6 cablecards (5, Informative)

fruity_pebbles (568822) | about a year ago | (#44038319)

"M" CableCards can decode 6 streams. You'll need only one for a Tivo with 6 tuners.

Re:Great, now I just need 6 cablecards (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44038365)

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.

Re:Great, now I just need 6 cablecards (2)

edwdig (47888) | about a year ago | (#44038757)

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.

Re:Great, now I just need 6 cablecards (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | about a year ago | (#44038761)

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.


Re:Great, now I just need 6 cablecards (3, Interesting)

porges (58715) | about a year ago | (#44040143)

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.

Re:Great, now I just need 6 cablecards (2)

LanMan04 (790429) | about a year ago | (#44040263)

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.

Re:Great, now I just need 6 cablecards (1)

m3000 (46427) | about a year ago | (#44039831)

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 support phone number on a Tivo forum did everything finally start working. It only took about 30 seconds once I got the right people on the phone.

It's actually against FCC rules to make it so incredibly difficult to use a CableCard, so I ended up writing up a complaint to them, and then TWC got really nice to me and gave me a few months of free cable. And at least I haven't had any issues since.

Re:Great, now I just need 6 cablecards (1)

Canth7 (520476) | about a year ago | (#44038731)

I imagine that cable companies have no intention of making CableCards easier to obtain or use. The profits they make on an (HD) DVR + Remote rental every month far exceed the much lower fees for the CableCards. If I were the cable company, I'd make sure it was a PITA to obtain one vs renting a cable box. The best way that TIVO becomes easier for most end users to select is for cable/satellite providers to include it as a DVR rental option - I've heard that some companies do this. Unfortunately, Cablevision (my provider) does not.

Re:Great, now I just need 6 cablecards (1)

Golddess (1361003) | about a year ago | (#44038925)

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.

Re: Great, now I just need 6 cablecards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44038331)

1 multistream will do

Re:Great, now I just need 6 cablecards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44038605)

I had no problem getting an M-Card out of my cableco. Getting it authorized (and keeping it authorized) is a different story entirely.

Not giving up my Series 2 w/ DVD (2)

oneiros27 (46144) | about a year ago | (#44038297)

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)

Re:Not giving up my Series 2 w/ DVD (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44038503)

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 National Geographic/BBC "Space Race" series, which was later basically banned in the U.S. (for daring to show the Soviet space program in a positive light and to talk about Von Braun's Nazi past). My Humax DVD's are the only legal way I can view it in the U.S. now. Even if I bought a gray-market multi-region player (and risk the MPAA kicking my door down for some DMCA violation bullshit), I still couldn't even import the America version, only the much different UK version.

I guess I'm confused but... (1)

rjr162 (69736) | about a year ago | (#44038313)

"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 is really that SLOW and/or doesn't know what the heck the other sections are doing even when it's plastered all over the news... ??

Re:I guess I'm confused but... (3, Informative)

rjr162 (69736) | about a year ago | (#44038325)

Ah okay I figured it out.. they mean ONLY digital connections on the unit its self, NOT just OTA digital only (so no RCA connectors etc). I think the line I quoted above could have been stated that a little better

Missing Innovation (3, Insightful)

Striikerr (798526) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Missing Innovation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44038555)

The one feature I wish they would have is Amazon VOD streaming. Yes, you can rent movies through Amazon. You can download content from your video library (you need to go through the web interface however). I want to be able to stream Amazon content to my Tivo like I can to a Roku (or effectively any other device).

Re:Missing Innovation (1)

Striikerr (798526) | about a year ago | (#44038649)

Yes, this is what I was referring to. Line up deals with content sources on the internet (such as Amazon... and Netflix etc) and index all of their content in a search engine which would include cable provider content and Over The Air Content. Have this searchable, categorized, etc. and then if a person wants to watch a movie, they can see that it's coming up soon through their cable company (albeit with commercials (cough fast forward.. cough) OR that it's available unedited and commercial free through their subscription to Amazon or Netflix or (insert service name here) and the person can opt to "DVR" any one of those sources to watch later. They could even set preferential sources so that Amazon is first, OTA is second and Cable is third etc. which then could be presented to the user when they get the search results with default being their preferred stream method. There's a lot that can be done to vastly improve the end user experience. For some reason, nobody's stepping up to do it.. To put the effort into decluttering controllers, or optimizing UI or making these deals to get everything into one box.

Re:Missing Innovation (2)

WebGangsta (717475) | about a year ago | (#44038913)

Someone will correct me if I'm wrong (and that's okay with me, making the world a better place)... but TiVo currently does do a search through various databases as opposed to only looking at current broadcast options, and I believe the recently announced but not yet rolled out Comcast X2 does the same thing. []

So yeah, this suggestion is already being done or in various stages of implementation by TiVo and others.

Tivo Premeiere has that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44039135)

When I search for a movie, my Tivo will show me a TV icon isf it is coming up in the next 2 weeks schedule for channels I receive, an Xfinity icon if it is available on-demand, an Amazon, Hulu Plus or Netflix icon if it is available via one of their services.

Keep asking for Tivo to innovate services they've/I've already had for over two years now.

The innovations I want is for Tivo and Amazon to be aware that I'm an Amazon prime member and let me search all the Free Video on Demand titles from Amazon Prime. Right now it just pushes me at the Buy/Rent catalog and has no idea I can get a lot of the back catalog of TV shows for free. Also Zombieland.

Tekfactory, didn't log in because work's proxy hates slashdot.

Re:Missing Innovation (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about a year ago | (#44039529)

Line up deals with content sources..

This is actually very close to right (you're not crazy), but it's wrong.

What this industry's player products, video services, and the users of those products and services, really need is for the player-manufacturer-makes-a-deal-with-the-service-provider to not happen, and for all the industry's mis-steps in this direction, to be rolled back.

If we can prevent these deals from happening, and instead put pressure on these video services to conform to a STANDARD INTERFACE for doing the same kinds of operations that you talk about -- so that any player is allowed to implement it, then Tivo (and MythTV and Sickbeard and AppleTV and your "smart TV" and Intel's new product and Roku and the hacker in the garage next door) would just have to write one component that speaks that protocol, and you would be able to use your player (whatever that may be) with any and all video services that you subscribe to, without giving a competitive advantage to Amazon and Netflix and Hulu (and by corollary: a disadvantage to their competitors, both present and future) .

Standard interfaces are what made analog TV (both OTA and cable) great. It's what makes OTA digital TV great, and it's how digital cable fails and why people stopped subscribing.

It's what made the web great.

This is how video could open for business again, instead of giving up and admitting that pirating is the only way to get things to work right. And right now, pirating is the only way to get things to work right, have clean interfaces, be user-friendly and hassle-free, etc. It's not even about money right now, it's about not-brain-damaged functionality and the fact that pirates use standards and the people they pirate from, don't.

Using congressional force to make video services use standards instead of DRM, would be easily justifiable and there's already ridiculous amounts of precedent (thanks, fifteen years of DMCA) that it's within Congress' powers and that no voters have a problem with it. It'd vastly improve the quality of consumer experience, and increase revenues since it'd remove the need for piracy. If video copyright can still be saved, this is how it'll be done.

But we can't get there, the more "deals" that are made between manufacturers and service providers, to make things work about 25% as well as they ought to while at the same time, excluding competition and innovation. That just makes it harder to get progress, and with each passing year of the current clusterfuck, more consumers "drop out." This should have been part of the 2009 mandatory digital OTA TV thing.

Re:Missing Innovation (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#44039035)

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.

The solution to cable (4, Insightful)

IorDMUX (870522) | about a year ago | (#44038363)

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!

Re:The solution to cable (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#44038499)

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 for a mix of Netflix/Hulu/US VPN and various torrent sites.

Re:The solution to cable (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44039185)

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.

Re:The solution to cable (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44039537)

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.

Re:The solution to cable (1)

Trimaxion (2933647) | about a year ago | (#44038573)

This++. Check out antennaweb or tv fool to find out your distance from your broadcast stations.

Here's some of the stuff I used.


Antennas Direct DB8

I installed it inside of my attic instead of putting it on the roof. I have a strict HOA and I live in Florida where we get some pretty high winds and lightning. Having the antenna inside the attic attenuates the signal so I bought a larger antenna than I needed.

Antenna Mast:

Buy 2" PVC conduit at Lowes or HD and use it as a mast. Just screw the PVC to a truss or something in the attic and then use the antenna's u-bolts to attach it to the PVC. The antennaweb/tv fool web sites will tell you the direction (in degrees) of the stations relative to your location. Use that with a compass to aim your antenna.

RG6 connectors:

I used the SNS1P6 connectors. These are proper compression fittings and require a special tool to crimp. It's easy to do, plenty of videos on YouTube on the subject.

RG6 cable:

I used Belden 7915A RG6 Duobond Plus Tri-shield. Belden is the cadillac of RG6 cable. Their tri-shield gives you almost all of the performance of good quad shield (and better than some cheap quad shield) at lower price than quad. It is also easier to pull because it has a tighter bend radius and it is much easier to terminate than quad shield (it uses normal dual-shield connectors). Get yourself a RG6 stripping tool.

I pulled the RG6 from the antenna to my house's central wiring closet (probably about 75 feet), where I installed Motorola BDA-S1 signal booster. On the output side of the signal booster I installed a splitter to send the signal to all of my TVs. Motorola also sells a variant called the "BDA-4" which has an integrated splitter (making it a "distribution amplifier") but I prefer having the amplifier and the splitter separate. You should use the smallest splitter config you can get away with.

I also bought some 75 ohm terminators to put on any open/unused ports on the splitter. It presumably helps with signal loss / leakage.

If the run from the antenna to the signal booster is very long (like 100+ feet) you might also need a low-gain amplifier at the antenna to overcome signal losses between the antenna and the signal booster. I'd start without one and see how you do. It is possible to have too much gain so you don't want more than necessary. If you do need one, there are high-gain and low-gain amps, and which one you need depends on how close you are to the radio stations and how long the run is between the antenna and signal booster. In my case I did not need one.

Re:The solution to cable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44039079)


Antennas Direct DB8

I installed it inside of my attic instead of putting it on the roof. I have a strict HOA and I live in Florida where we get some pretty high winds and lightning. Having the antenna inside the attic attenuates the signal so I bought a larger antenna than I needed.

Just so you know... HOA rules on broadcast TV antennas have been preempted by the FCC. They cannot prevent you from putting up a reasonable antenna (i.e. OTA antenna, Satellite dish etc) in a reasonable location (i.e. near your TV) no matter what the deed restrictions say or what the HOA attempts to do. This applies to apartments and condos as well, as long as you don't damage anything or have to use "common" spaces to mount your antenna. A land lord cannot prevent you from receiving broadcast TV signals. The HOA can insist that you maintain the equipment and may be able to make you screen the antenna from view, but only if it doesn't interfere with the reception of the desired signals.

So don't let the HOA bully you. You are free to put up a reasonable antenna for OTA and Satellite TV reception by FCC regulation and they cannot do much about it.

Re:The solution to cable (1)

Megane (129182) | about a year ago | (#44039197)

I "cut the cable" in 2000, and I've been ATSC-only since around 2007 or so (even had to do without Fox for a year because I was using a digital-only tuner and their digital was very low power at the time). I'm old enough to remember that the reason cable TV got so popular in the first place was the trouble with getting a good picture. With ATSC, I get a good picture as long as the antenna is pointed in the right direction. (Strong winds can really mess things up, but the real problem is that I'm about 10 miles from the transmitter, which is maybe a bit too close.)

When I wanted to get an antenna DVR a few years ago, I was surprised to find that Tivo had effectively gone cable-only. So I got a Channel Master CM-7000PAL. It was definitely no Tivo, and it will randomly crash, taking up to 2 minutes to reboot, but it's still pretty decent. It didn't help when (Mac)Rovi(sion) cut off the TVGOS signal, so instead of a week of guide I barely get 24 hours, but at least I can still set the freaking clock, unlike that Sony model people bitch about.

I'm currently building a MythTV box. It's mostly complete, but still needs an IR reciever (years later, the Hauppage 2250 receiver still isn't supported in Linux) and shelf space.

this just in (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#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 (3, Insightful)

Monoman (8745) | about a year ago | (#44038467)

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

Re:this just in (2)

Megane (129182) | about a year ago | (#44039269)

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 someone had bothered to support the Hauppage 2250's IR receiver in Linux, but they never did.)

Re:this just in (1)

danomac (1032160) | about a year ago | (#44040865)

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 (3, Informative)

Holi (250190) | about a year ago | (#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 (3, Informative)

dead_user (1989356) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:this just in (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#44038919)


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!)

Re:this just in (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#44039309)

There's a quad one that works flawless in Windows. Actually like 15 of them, lol.

Re:this just in (1)

dead_user (1989356) | about a year ago | (#44039339)

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.

Re:this just in (1)

jbwolfe (241413) | about a year ago | (#44039347)

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.

Re:this just in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040931)

I think you stepped off the Time Displacement Bus at the wrong stop, dude. Guess what? You're in 2013! (Google how "Lost" ended, so that when you get back to your real destination, you'll know to stop watching.)

This just in, you can't get a 6 tuner card for your MythTV Box.

"Just in"?! You're reciting a news story from .. 2004? 2005? SiliconDust solved the problem you're talking about, many years ago.

If you don't see many MythTV installations with that many tuners, it's only because it's such an unusual use case (i.e. there's never nearly that many things you happen to want to record, all broadcast at exactly the same time). I don't even keep two tuners very busy.

Re:this just in (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about a year ago | (#44039141)

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

Re:this just in (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#44039323)

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)

Re:this just in (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about a year ago | (#44039507)

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 always remain encrypted.

Re:this just in (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44039603)

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 local provider can do what they want.

You can't trust that a channel like HBO will be treated the same by all providers (adding to the confusion).

Re:this just in (1)

davmoo (63521) | about a year ago | (#44039405)

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 because I live in the country.

I bought the TiVo, drove over to my cable office and got a M-card, brought it home, took the TiVo out of the box, plugged in the M-card, hooked up the cable, powered it up, went through the initial setup, and its worked flawlessly since Day 1.

Re:this just in (1)

Existential Wombat (1701124) | about a year ago | (#44040787)


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).

More fun with it not working properly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44038389)

Through Charter I have to use a cablecard and a Tuning adapter with my Premiere XL box. The combination took 2 months to get working properly, numerous phone calls, 2 house visits by a tech, and 2 complete hardware changes with Charter. And it still flakes out occasionally. The last time it was because the Tivo failed to update it's authorization. These authorizations occur once a month and are supposed to be automatic assuming one still has service. Don't know why it failed, but it's probably because all the hardware combination is a kludge. I sometimes wish Tivo would simply bring back analog inputs even if only at 480i. My series 2 with IR blasters is more reliable.

So unless this unreliable service is fixed I won't be upgrading hardware anytime soon. My family really likes the Tivo UI. We are even considering going the Tivo/DirectTV route (but I need to cut down a tree to get service).

Re:More fun with it not working properly (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | about a year ago | (#44038687)

With my last series 4 it actually took no less than 5 service visits over three weeks from Cox, trying a grand total of something like 15 different cable cards, before they found a set that would work ("pair" was their technical term, I think). I even at one point had a TiVo rep talking to a Cox rep on the line with me. I understood from the service guys that having to try multiple cards is a fairly typical experience (although my case is a bit on the extreme side). Its been great since then though.

Whatever it is that is making those cable cards so flaky *really* needs to be gotten to the bottom of and fixed. However, I've got a sneaking suspicion that the issue is on the cable company's side, and they have no incentive whatsoever to make the things work better.

Re:More fun with it not working properly (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#44039105)

You have the right gut feeling. The card is not flaky, it's a quite reliable and standardized piece of hardware. It's the crypto infrastructure that's built around it that sucks. One of the reasons it sucks is because, due to its proprietary and closed nature, it's hard to learn about it. So even people who work for the cable company simply don't understand what they're really doing, and there's much voodoo involved - voodoo that's a stand-in for knowledge that's inaccessible without you signing an NDA...

Got mine working through Charter no issues. (1)

Viewsonic (584922) | about a year ago | (#44039337)

I have had Tivo since the day it came out, was one of the first to have mcard and the cable tuner when that came as well. I never had an issue with it. The Charter guy showed up, plugged the card in, called a number, read off a string of numbers and letters, worked just fine. That was almost 10 years ago. When the cable tuner came out, same thing, guy shows up, plugs it in, doesn't even need to call anyone. Leaves literally 2 minutes later. Everything has worked fine since.

Not sure why you're having any issues. While they might have different area techs, we all connect to the same provider at the other end. Just my 2 cents and experiences.

Except in Canada... (1)

RobinH (124750) | about a year ago | (#44038469)

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.

Not sure what else I'd use (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | about a year ago | (#44038609)

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 Tottenham Hotspurs games on Sunday mornings in Oklahoma without some kind of home cable service. I know you can usually find some kind of stream from Russia or something if you surf around, but the quality is total crap compared to my HD TV.

So you say they make some money on the side selling their patents? Well, if that gets me a cheaper deal on my Series 5 upgrade, I'm all for that.

Re:Not sure what else I'd use (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#44038987)

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.

Tivo already dropped the ball (2)

jetkust (596906) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Tivo already dropped the ball (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#44039111)

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

Re:Tivo already dropped the ball (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44039157)

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 periodically (google "Tivo gray screen of death"). What's the purpose of having a DVR that randomly dies and stops recording? I finally just decided I'd rather cut the cable cord and just stick with my HTPC. It's a the early years I thought I'd never not have a Tivo. Now I'm moving to another place soon, and AT&T is giving me a really cheap deal on a internet/TV bundle with one of their own DVR's. I've got nothing to lose by trying it.

And that, my friends, is how you go from a company with a rabidly loyal customer base to a dying company trying to claw your way back up the slope. As anyone in business knows, it's several times more expensive to attain new customers than to keep the ones you've got. Sadly, I doub that Tivo has kept enough customers to remain viable for long, unless they're coming up with some groundbreaking functionality at a reasonable price.

Re:Tivo already dropped the ball (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44039211)

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.

Re:Tivo already dropped the ball (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44039227)

My experiences over the last 7 years have been the opposite of most of what you say. I have a S2 DT with a netgear 802.11b usb adapter and it still functions completely fine. I also have two HDs, one with the Tivo G adapter and they both function fine. The interfaces aren't slow or unresponsive. I have done no mods and they have gotten plenty of use recording as well as streaming from pyTivoX. I will agree on customer service though. I tried to cancel one of my boxes a year ago and was promised it would be cancelled only to find out later that it hadn't been. Other than that, couldn't be more pleased.
I was really hoping the next box would allow OTA again and can't wait to actually see what comes out. I was also hoping the Tivo Mini would have been a single-tuner, space-limited, reduced-price option. Throw it in the spare bedroom for guests type of thing. But a S5 with 6 tuners makes the Mini make much more sense.

Re:Tivo already dropped the ball (1)

jetkust (596906) | about a year ago | (#44039737)

You have a Series 2. Those DON'T have the crappy slow interface. And the fact that the newer Tivos don't have built in wireless and you have to buy their custom wi-fi adapter for a ridiculous price is just plain stupid. I remember talking to customer support once and even they told me I'm better off just going with ethernet. And in my experience, they were exactly right. But either way, I'm not talking about Series 2.

As terrible as it sounds... (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | about a year ago | (#44039051)

Windows Media center, which I use as my in-home DVR solution with XBox 360s as extenders to two TVs, beats the pants off of Tivo and it's not been updated in almost ten years.

My hope is that with the new Xbox and Windows 8 I'd have seen some nice updates to the UI and backend to make it more powerful and SOFTWARE ENABLED extenders (so I can watch on my laptop), but no dice. It is however, simple enough for my kids and wife to use without any instruction, and if I switch cable providers or I move, I don't lose any of my DVR settings or recordings. It's a plus for me :)

Ceton (1)

jbwolfe (241413) | about a year ago | (#44039063)

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 database. Why TiVO when you can build your own?

Had to leave Tivo... (1)

gatzke (2977) | about a year ago | (#44039065)

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.

It will take more than a new box (5, Informative)

no_such_user (196771) | about a year ago | (#44039121)

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!


Re:It will take more than a new box (3, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | about a year ago | (#44039793)

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.

second class citizens ... (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | about a year ago | (#44040601)

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

Re:second class citizens ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040991)

All my Tivos have two weeks of programming. Not to mention the website will allow you to schedule a recording from anywhere. On top of all that, the iOS app is pretty darn convenient for scheduling on the go.

Do less. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44039429)

I hope it does less. Faster. Every generation adds features but gets to the guide slower.

Just my experience (2)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | about a year ago | (#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.

Better box than Comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44039525)

Just moved to an area with Cable (finally) and Comcast refuses to give "good" DVRs to customers who don't buy the "triple play" crap (why does anybody need a landline anymore) so got stuck with a DVR older than my grandmothers Christmas fruitcake (one HD movie took up 25% of the space). My only choice was Tivo and I am a very happy guy - affordable, easy to use and lots of HD space. The TVIO stream box was icing on the cake - now I can watch my DVR on my iPad. I like tivo and would buy a new box if it had something useful.

Isn't this called the Xbox One, snigger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44040083)

Does not Bill Gates tell people the one reason they should embrace his NSA designed spy-box, the Xbox One, is because it is the ultimate in all-in-one centralised TV-entertainment equipment? Oh, wait- despite the claims of Team Gates, the Xbone cannot do any of those useful things that TiVo offers- what an utter joke.

Microsoft shills tell you that the Xbone is your 'entertainment hub' (trademark MS). Every Human with a brain (and a deep wallet) clearly will use TiVo, a PC, the PS4 and (non-MS) tablets to sanely cover their home entertainment needs. MS, save for providing the OS on the PC (sadly- come on 'Android for desktops') has no place in this equation.

My point is that, even after all these years, and given what today's semiconductor technology allows, a company like Microsoft can't even challenge a sitting target like TiVo.

They already license (1)

lobos (88359) | about a year ago | (#44040111)

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.

Tivo Series 3 Keeps on Going (1)

highvista63 (587404) | about a year ago | (#44040209)

I bought one of the first of the Tivo Series 3 HD units in 2006, along with lifetime service. I just upgraded it to a 2TB hard drive, as well as replaced a few failing capacitors on the power supply. The hardware is very well suited to someone who wants to do repair work, with easy access to the internals. I'm using it for OTA broadcasts and find the interface responsive and very usable. I've definitely gotten my money's worth out of the thing.

Wow just in time for the medium's decline. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#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 - *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.

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