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Clones Are Overwhelming TiVo

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the attack-of-the dept.

Television 402

jfruhlinger writes "The first line from this CRN/Associated Press story says it all: 'Debra Baker tells people she has TiVo. But she really doesn't.' As cable companies offer their own DVR boxes to customers for no upfront cost and a lower monthly fee than the original, people are using TiVo as a verb but are frequently not using using the product or service itself in real life. The article notes that the cable company's DVRs don't have some of the archtypical TiVo features, such as the ability to guess what you'd like recorded based on your viewing habits."

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Privacy concerns (2, Interesting)

r_glen (679664) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955435)

"...don't have some of the archtypical TiVo features"

Such as selling your personal viewing habits to advertisers? I'm no tinfoil-hatter, but this is one of the main reasons I chose ReplayTV. I understand TiVo's data collection is aggregate, but the thought that someone keeps a record of everything I watch (or re-watch), and uses it for profit is a bit off-putting.
Kudos to the newcomers!

John "Eff'ing" Kerry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955453)

Does John Kerry, who supports higher automobile fuel economy standards, own a gas-guzzling SUV? He does, but says it belongs to the family, not to him.

During a conference call Thursday with reporters to discuss his upcoming jobs tour through West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, the Democratic presidential candidate was asked whether he owned a Chevrolet Suburban.

``I don't own an SUV,'' said Kerry, who supports increasing existing fuel economy standards to 36 miles per gallon by 2015 in order to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil supplies.

Kerry also has made rising gasoline prices an issue in the campaign against President Bush. In Houston on Thursday, Kerry said the president broke a 2000 campaign pledge to ``jawbone'' oil-producing nations by pressuring them to increase their output.

Kerry thought for a second when asked whether his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, had a Suburban at their Ketchum, Idaho, home. Kerry said he owns and drives a Dodge 600 and recently bought a Chrysler 300M. He said his wife owns the Chevrolet SUV.

``The family has it. I don't have it,'' he said.

Kerry said it's important for his family to buy American cars and pledged to keep car manufacturing jobs in the country if elected. He said he is interested in a hybrid car, and has talked to Ford about making it the ``campaign car.''

``We're going to keep jobs in America and help the industry be more competitive with foreign manufacturers that are building those cars today,'' Kerry said.

The Massachusetts senator said he'll release more details during the jobs tour about his plans to keep jobs in the country.

``I want cars to be made in Michigan, made in America, made'' by the United Auto Workers, Kerry said.

Re:Privacy concerns (5, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955488)

One phone call to either TiVo customer service (or DirecTV's customer service if you own a "DirecTV DVR powered by TiVo" device) is all it takes for them to send your device a signal to stop uploading the viewer-habits data. True, that's opt-out rather than opt-in... but at least they're making it easy to get out.

Me... I kinda like the fact that it reports what I watch. I've always wanted to actually count in the ratings...

Re:Privacy concerns (1)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955601)

not that anyone would try to overthrow arbitron or anything....

Re:Privacy concerns (4, Insightful)

telstar (236404) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955499)

All it does is increase the likelihood that the shows you watch will get renewed so you don't have to go stand outside a building and cheer for some crappy show on UPN or the WB to get un-dumped.

You are an idiot. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955557)

I'm sorry if this somehow gets marked as flaimbait, but Tivo ASKS YOU if you want your information used for data collection so the corps can see that shows like Farscape are more popular and possibly stay on longer if more people did this. If you dont like it? Simply choose 'NO' .. I can't believe you thought this was manditory? They keep NO VIEWING INFORMATION if you dont want them to. Sheesh.

Re:Privacy concerns (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955562)

What gets me about the subscription and surrender-privacy model with Tivo is that the features you get from Tivo don't really require a subscription. You can create a set top box that saves video to a hard drive, lets you pause and rewind, etc.. without a "subscription" to anyone. And you can be sure your viewing habits aren't being monitored.

whirrled peas.

Re:Privacy concerns (2, Interesting)

Bloomy (714535) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955602)

I've been curious about that since I first got digital cable, which has recently been upgraded to Comcast's DVR. How do we know that the box isn't sending info back about what we watch?

I also wonder, if the ones that report back get into enough homes, would the Nielsen ratings people sue because their business model of statisical sampling is being threatened by another method with larger sample sizes?

You'd think it would go the other way. (5, Funny)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955438)

All my clones own Tivos. That's seven subscribers when before, it'd only be one.

Re:You'd think it would go the other way. (0, Redundant)

xkenny13 (309849) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955605)

The Clone Wars have begun...

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955440)

suck it griz-0b

Donald Duck (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955442)

OMG OMG OMG

This is Donald Duck's frist ps0t. Donadl Duck is havinga SCREAMING SCREAMING SQUIRMING BIG HOT DRY ORGASM over his frist ps0t. OMG OMG, aaaaaaaaarrgghhhh, oh G, it feels so HOT, aaaaahrrhh

Re:Donald Duck (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955598)

come on man, that soudn clip is so efffing old

they also lack the ability to (5, Informative)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955445)

record only first runs.

as it is now, they record all showings.

Re:they also lack the ability to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955606)

That sounds lame.

Maybe I should patent "adaptive image fingerprinting for the use of intelligent recording and rejection of a tv programme or movie broadcast in a TiVo'esque apparatus."

If there's no 'flag' announcing the broadcast, and no subtitles to hash, then I guess you'd have to go after something in the image and/or sound. Quantize, hash, store. Check for collisions. If detected, stop recording (if it's even begun) and erase any trace of it.

[jole]

Re:they also lack the ability to (2, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955694)

You'd still have a hard time determining the difference between a rerun and a flashback-heavy "new" episode.

Re:they also lack the ability to (5, Informative)

kman (44878) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955687)

Not true in the case of Time Warner's DVR - you can configure it to record all shows, first runs only, or only shows at a particular time.

The other thing I like about the TW DVR is the ability to record two shows at once. You can even record two shows at the same time while watching a third recorded show. I haven't heard if the for-real Tivo's can do that.

Closed captioned for the standards impared (5, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955448)

Where's OpenCable [opencable.com] when we need it?

Because that's what's really locking TiVo out of the digital cable biz. They can't directly operate on a digital cable wire, and the companies such as Scientific Atlanta are not releasing their decoding specs so that TiVo can make a box compatible with cable systems that run their backend equpiment.

Analog CATV is standardized, cable channel 27 in one town is on the same frequencies as cable channel 27 in another. OpenCable will basically do the same for digital. It should be noted however that OpenCable is leaving decryption and conditional access for others to handle... they're just defining a slot in which the system provider's choice of smart card that that will handle that stuff goes into.

Slashdot has written before that this isn't quite the same as Open Source in the way that it's usually thought of here, this is a hardware spec that pretty much gives up a single-channel digital bitstream to the device's wishes once the access card lets it go.

In the future, this could lead to "digital cable ready" TVs and devices, including TiVo that won't need the assitance of a settop box. But, of course, the present digital cable system makers don't want to give up their cash cow. That's why the current digital cable device makers can eat TiVo's lunch right now...

Mod This Up (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955549)

Tivo is doomed because they don't have access to the unencrypted but still encoded digital video stream. Because the cable television companies have this access they can make lighter weight Tivos that don't need to do a reencoding of the stream. This gives them an unfair advantage that spells the doom of tivo for that market segment. They can also mix the functionality into their already required encoder box such that few people will want to pick up an extra redundant tivo even if it does offer more features.

Re:Closed captioned for the standards impared (2, Insightful)

Piquan (49943) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955552)

Why do I care?

I have a TiVo fed by a settop. My settop is included in my cable package. I'm fine with that; it doesn't matter to me that the TiVo can't decode directly. Why do I care about OpenCable?

Re:Closed captioned for the standards impared (2, Interesting)

SnappleMaster (465729) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955624)

One reason: more reliable channel switching. I've had cable boxes with the remote 9-pin input and also some without so I've had to use the IR dongle thingys. Neither is 100% reliable and the channel switching speed is slow either way.

Re:Closed captioned for the standards impared (1)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955628)

Your Tivo could record the digital stream directly, instead of taking the analog stream coming out your set top box and then reencoding it into digital.

This is how the DirecTV Tivo's work. They actually lack an encoder completely and just record the DirecTV stream directly. The advantage is that recorded shows have exactly the same quality as live TV unlike a regular Tivo where there is some quality loss.

Re:Closed captioned for the standards impared (1)

York the Mysterious (556824) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955655)

A) less redundant equipment to increase costs B) a smaller bill every month from your cable company C) 1 less remote in your living room D) 1 less thing to break E) Less power used

Re:Closed captioned for the standards impared (2, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955685)

It'd allow TiVo to take advantages of several features already enjoyed by DirecTiVo owners...

- Faster response to changes. If there's a last-minute change by the TV networks due to something like a presidential speech, the signal providers are usually good about updating their guide data as soon as they know about it. However, if you don't have a "daily call" between the change and the event, you're going to record the wrong programs because you don't get word of the change.
- Another data source. It'd be great if TiVo could just use the data that's being pushed out by the system operator instead of having to license it from Tribune. There would be coverage for company-specific Pay Per View channels that Tribune doesn't cover, and channel lineup changes would be detected and adjusted for as they happened. (The cost of the data and piping it over a modem are the main reasons they have to charge so much for a subscription.)
- No missed changes. TiVo's pretty reliable at getting digital cable boxes to change channels by IR blast, but they're not perfect. However, when it's all on the same board there's never an accident that way.
- System timekeeping. Ever notice that your digital cable box is a very accurate clock that you don't have to set? There's already a time signal on the wire, and TiVo could benefit from that instead of having to use NTP over a modem connect. Also, this time broadcast would account for any relay delays inherent in the network, if any.

Re:Closed captioned for the standards impared (2, Informative)

taniwha (70410) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955611)

Analog CATV is standardized, cable channel 27 in one town is on the same frequencies as cable channel 27 in another.

While that's true for broadcast it's not uniformly true for CATV - though HRC and IRC are now mostly losing the battle - check out http://www.jneuhaus.com/fccindex/cablech.html [jneuhaus.com] for a list of freqs

Channel Bingo (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955617)

Analog CATV is standardized, cable channel 27 in one town is on the same frequencies as cable channel 27 in another.

Not entirely. It is quite common for systems that even require an analog cable box to remap one or two channels to another channel number. E.g. the public access channel here is on channel 80 when you have one of the cable company's boxes, but on channel 99 for everyone else. Most often such things are done for scrambled channels like Spice so kids can't easily find them and listen in to the moans (now only in the evening hours), but public access here is a basic cable channel.

This frustrates TiVo owners when they want to use their own cable box for their (non-premium) analog channels (poss. because they want to record a better S-Video signal the cableco won't supply on their boxes) but the guide data won't match up to the correct channel numbers for them.

Clones eh? (1)

pointzero (707900) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955449)

using using is a clone of using... nevermind.

Similar (5, Insightful)

z0ink (572154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955451)

Similar to saying "I had a burger and coke for lunch," when you really had a burger and Pepsi. TiVo is becomming part of American culture.

Re:Similar (5, Funny)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955556)

Similar to saying "I had a burger and coke for lunch," when you really had a burger and Pepsi. TiVo is becomming part of American culture.

Yeah, It's kind of like when you say, "I just took a shit and wiped my ass with kleenex." In reality, you didn't actually take the shit anywhere.

Re:Similar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955665)

Didn't you take it from your colon to the toilet bowl?

Re:Similar (2, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955587)

Similar to saying "I had a burger and coke for lunch," when you really had a burger and Pepsi. TiVo is becomming part of American culture.

As in, "I mistook my Tivo for a Kleenex box, and Bushed it all up!"

Re:Similar (-1, Troll)

MBCook (132727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955686)

While understandable, this is really unfortunate. Coke and Pepsi are really the same thing (they taste a little different, but there nothing important different); but a TiVo and another brand of DVR are NOT.

It's like comparing a iPod to a generic MP3 player. They may serve the same function, but one has an excelent design, an exquisite and polished user interface, and more. The other... just does what it does. It's the difference between buying a BMW and a WWII Jeep. They both drive you places, but which one is more user friendly, more comforatble, etc.

This is going to be TiVos big problem going forward. I don't think they will have any problems retaining users, it's getting them in the first place that will be the challenge. Calling something a Kleenex, a Band-Aid, or a Coke doesn't do a disservice because they are very close. TiVo's problem is equivelent to calling all cars Porches. There IS a fundamental difference and TiVo needs to make people know that.

All that said, I wouldn't be TOO suprised if TiVo were to die off in it's current form eventually, and become a software company. To go from making any TiVos to simply selling their software to others to use in their DVR. Most people don't care if the box is made by "TiVo" or "Sony" or whatever, but I would bet that most people would prefer the TiVo software to some generic DVR software. I wouldn't be suprised if this is where TiVo ended up, and it wouldn't be a bad thing.

I hope the issue of calling all DVRs "TiVos" gets sorted out. I don't mind people saying "it's sorta LIKE a TiVo", but to say it IS a TiVo cheapens TiVos. If people go to someone else's house and see their new "TiVo" made by Comcrud (or whoever) and think it has problems (too slow, hard to use, whatever) it could easily turn them off of the idea of a TiVo. But if they KNEW it wasn't a TiVo, then when they saw it was bad they might not think they are all bad, just that model.

Here's to hoping the term DVR becomes very common soon, so that TiVo isn't unfairly "cheepened".

From what I've seen (2, Flamebait)

Soporific (595477) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955455)

Most people hate the viewing habit feature on a TiVo. For me it was unpredicatable and produced some interesting results. Not to say it's a bad feature, but it's definitely something I can do without.

~S

Re:From what I've seen (1)

IceFox (18179) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955517)

<sarcasim>
So it anyoyed you so much you turned it off right, right? Went into settings where *maybe* just *maybe* there might be a setting for that where you can turn it on or off
</sarcasim>

Re:From what I've seen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955596)

Its odd that people have mentioned how our language/culture immortalizes words like this, although then again it is also odd how some people can't spell ^^*coughcough*^^

Re:From what I've seen (4, Interesting)

Yort (555166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955571)

Most people hate the viewing habit feature on a TiVo.

Actually, we were just talking about this today, and a co-worker of mine recounted an instance where an individual decided to give up his TiVo because it was too good at finding stuff he liked - he found he didn't have much of a life anymore besides catching up on all these cool TV shows he didn't know existed!

Troy, who finally ordered his TiVo this week.

Re:From what I've seen (1)

SnappleMaster (465729) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955644)

Well, I'm not most people. I like it.

And even if the result suck, who cares? So what if Tivo records a bunch of shows you don't actually like? It will never bump recording of a Seasons Pass and it will never delete one of your "real" shows earlier.

"Hate" seems a strong word here, ya know?

It happens all the time. (3, Funny)

Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955456)

I've heard people tell me "I have a good computer" but then I look and see it's not an Apple. Same thing I guess.

Re:It happens all the time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955629)

You're just mad because their 1992 Alpha's kick your new Mac up and down the street in sexyness and performance.

kinda like... (1, Redundant)

deathazre (761949) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955457)

all cola is coke, all tissues are kleenex, etc... doesn't really suprise me.

Re:kinda like... (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955487)

all cola is coke, all tissues are kleenex, etc... doesn't really suprise me.

Sometimes, the trend can go the other way, too. For example, these days "Hoover" is just a brand of vacuum cleaner, and Xerox is a manufacturer of photocopiers.

Re:kinda like... (1)

TheHonestTruth (759975) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955607)

What are you talking about? Those have always been specific brands. By intentionally limiting their use, the companies keep their trademark rights. If the word becomes commonly used, they then have no right to use it as a trademark. Xerox vigorously reminds people that Xerox is a type of copy, not the act of copying itself.

-truth

Re:kinda like... (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955647)

That is patently untrue. Trademark holders need only defend their trademark if another company tries to use it in the commerce. They do not lose it because people mistakingly use their brand name in place of the generic term.

God's Machine - "Michael Powell" (5, Funny)

routerwhore (552333) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955463)

I do love my Tivo, but I turned off the personal viewing feature long ago when I realized it had a twisted personality. It kept recording porn and cartoons...

Re:God's Machine - "Michael Powell" (5, Funny)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955483)

I do love my Tivo, but I turned off the personal viewing feature long ago when I realized it had a twisted personality. It kept recording porn and cartoons...

Don't you mean when it realized you had a twisted personality?

Sorry, but that was just too good to pass up.

Re:God's Machine - "Michael Powell" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955490)

I do love my Tivo, but I turned off the personal viewing feature long ago when I realized it had a twisted personality. It kept recording porn and cartoons...

How'd you do that? Mine refuses to record Playboy TV (which I pay for), and it's really pissing me off.

Mine won't even tape bad porn... it's a prude!

Problem Seems to be Marketing (5, Insightful)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955466)

TiVo's got the name-brand recognition, which is good, but it seems like they need to make some marketing efforts pinpointing what differentiates them from their primary competitors.

Re:Problem Seems to be Marketing (2, Insightful)

Hrrrg (565259) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955494)

I love my TiVo, but is they haven't really dropped the price (or expanded the storage/dollar) as hard drive prices have fallen. I have to say that some competition is welcome.

Re:Problem Seems to be Marketing (5, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955546)

I love my TiVo, but is they haven't really dropped the price (or expanded the storage/dollar) as hard drive prices have fallen. I have to say that some competition is welcome.

There's really a "Tale of two TiVos" going on...

The integrated TiVo and DirecTV combo boxes, known officially as a "DirecTV DVR with TiVo" and commonly called a "DirecTiVo", have fallen in price dramatically recently. The units that were first sold for $299 are available for just $99 thanks to major subsidies from DirecTV. The service fee is only $4.99 per month and covers all TiVo units on the same household account.

Meanwhile, the prices of the Series 2 stand-alone TiVo units have not fallen, and in fact their service costs went up to $12.95 per month with no discounts at all for having more than one. Clearly, being able to integrate with service providers is key for TiVo's survival...

Nothing in TiVo's DirecTV contract prevents them from working with cable companies, only other DBS companies like Dish Network and Voom... clearly TiVo would like to have a dual-tuner-integrated box for digital cable, but the hardware makers aren't giving up the specs for that...

Re:Problem Seems to be Marketing (4, Interesting)

SnappleMaster (465729) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955688)

I agree with a lot of what you said except this: "Meanwhile, the prices of the Series 2 stand-alone TiVo units have not fallen".

They were want, $300 when first released? I bought mine for around $172 after rebate about 5 months ago. Amazon now has them for $129 after rebate. (All prices for 40 hour.)

I think Tivo needs to sell the hardware as cheaply as possible and live off the subscription fees. But the non-directv subscription fees are a little steep ($300 for lifetime).

OTOH Tivo's seem to hold their value really well. I recently ebay'ed a Series 1 Tivo with attached lifetime subscription for $356. Crazy...

Why? Tivo exists in nearly every PVR. Patents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955575)

And they make big bank on them as well.

Like hoover (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955467)

I have a cheap-branded vacuum cleaner, but all vacuum cleaners are called 'Hoovers' (in the Uk at least).

Similarly until recently all portable stereos were called 'walkmans'.

Why shoud TIVO be any different - no company can rest on its laurels, it'll just be left behind by its competitors, but the name will live on in consumer's minds. Perhaps its how we're built - we need a 'tag' to describe something.

Re:Like hoover (1)

coastwalker (307620) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955542)

And all mp3 players will be called ipods?

Re:Like hoover (3, Insightful)

rethin (536306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955559)

Why? you ask? Because it dilutes the brand name. And building a respected well known brand name is very expensive and difficult. Companies are expected to take reasonable steps to protect their trademarked name. For example the Xerox corp has been fighting tooth and nail to keep the verk xerox from becoming synanomous with photocopy. This is exactly the reason why Federal Express changed their name to Fed Ex, because Fed Ex was becoming a generic verb that means send by express mail. If TiVo doesn't protect their name, then they may loose their right to their trademark. That would be a disaster to their buisness. Rethin

Re:Like hoover (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955681)

Amazing how many arm-chair lawyers there are on slashdot who have no clue what they are talking about. A trademark holder only has to protect its trademark from being used by other companies in commerce. They don't have to try and stop people from using their brand name to refer to the generic term. There are dozens of examples of company's that make no effort to discourage use and they have not lost their trademark - Band-Aid, Vasoline, and Kleenex are just a few.

Re:Like hoover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955566)

[offtopic]
but all vacuum cleaners are called 'Hoovers' (in the Uk at least).

Yeah, that seems to be a mostly UK/Europe thing. At least I've never heard it over here in the US. We usually just call them "vacuums", and the act of using them "vacuuming". "Hoovering" just sounds stupid to me, but that's probably mostly because I didn't grow up hearing it.
[/offtopic]

Re:Like hoover (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955634)

Say Hoover to an American and they think President Hoover, that's why it sounds stupid. At least it does to the vaguely educated ones. Most Americans have never heard of President Hoover.

Better than TiVi (5, Interesting)

TexVex (669445) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955475)

I just got through building a really nice home media system with WiFi.

The centerpiece is a PC running SageTV [www.sage.tv]. It uses a hardware mpeg encoder to capture video from my digital cable box and save it on a 250 GB hard drive. Encoding at the "DVD Standard Play" quality uses about 3 GB per hour of video and the quality is definitely acceptable. Also stored on the monster hard drive is my entire CD collection ripped to very high bitrate MP3. The hardware media card also includes a built-in radio tuner. The machine has a DVD burner in it as well, and SageTV glues it all together.

Now, the really cool part of it is, I can access the mpeg video files and MP3s over my home network. With an mpeg video codec, I can use any of a variety of players to play my recorded television anywhere in my house on a laptop. SageTV also offers a separate piece of client software that allows you to remote-control the PVR from any networked computer and play any of its recorded media -- so, if I'm in the garage with my laptop, I can call up the current TV guide and select a program to record right there without having to directly interact with the media PC.

TiVo runs Linux and is hackable, but still uses a proprietary filesystem for video storage. Plus, the folks at TiVo don't want you accessing the video externally anyway...

So its like (0, Redundant)

SCSi (17797) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955478)

Making a Photocopy vs Making a Xerox copy, same difference..

This is true in my case (1)

phaetonic (621542) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955480)

I tell people I have TiVo and recommend they get it. However I forget to tell them I really have a DVR device from Time Warner. I guess I'm advertising for TiVo when I don't even have it. Others who might not know what they have probably do the same.

DishNetwork (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955493)

I use 'TiVo' as a verb even though I have DishNetwork's PVR. It is becuase my audience never understands when I say I "time shift" and because using the verb 'TiVo' is no less wrong that using the verb 'tape'.

Scientific Atlanta 8000 from Brighthouse CFL (3, Interesting)

Gangis (310282) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955501)

I currently subscribe to the DVR service from Brighthouse here in Central Florida; which uses the Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8000 [sciatl.com] . I have been blessed with the Passport software as opposed to the rather buggy SARA, and even though it may not have the advanced features TiVo has like being able to intuitively record programs (I don't really see the point anyway, I record what I want to watch) and searching for a show name by inputting the first few letters (currently I have to go through a whole list of shows in alphabetical orders and with 500 channels, it can get mighty long!) I love the box dearly and it's totally worth the extra $7 a month. However, it can be unstable at times, due to it's sensitivity with signal quality. If the cable company started offering TiVo itself for something like $15, I would definitely get it.

I can't help but wonder if that's the path TiVo themselves will have to take in order to survive. We'll see.

More than likely Tivo is getting 1/2 of that $7. (1)

Viewsonic (584922) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955654)

They own nearly every DVR patent known to man. I wouldn't worry about them too much.

It's very upsetting to Tivo, they are constantly.. (4, Funny)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955505)

reaching for the Kleenex,.....err tissues. There's nothing worse than when someone takes your idea and Xerox.... err copies it.

What I'd Like (2, Insightful)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955521)

Is a DVR that I can just buy and hook up to my cable feed without having to pay an additional monthly subscription to the cable barons. Sort of like my VCR.

Re:What I'd Like (1)

redrhino (731176) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955592)

I guess you are saying you would like a TiVo. You can either pay a one time fee of $300 (figure it into the price of the box) or you can pay $13/month ... but not to cable barons, to a start up. Redrhino

Re:cable barons nothing (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955600)

if you don't like the service get your rabbit ears out and enjoy your 4 fuzzy channels you belly aching whining child.

problem with shitbags like you is you think you deserve everthing. try living in an imporverished 3rd world country before you cry about a luxury you waste of life.

Re:What I'd Like (1)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955608)

So either roll your own or buy one with a lifetime subscription. Or get a Tivo that has the free basic service.

How is this different then say . . (4, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955523)

"I need a Kleenex"

How many of you use the brand Kleenex?

"Man this headache is killer, gimmie a Aspirin"

or

"Aww do you got a boo-boo, let me get you a band-aid"

Are you really using Band-Aid brand bandages?

Re:How is this different then say . . (1)

mog007 (677810) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955584)

Since when was the word "aspirin" copyright? Last time I checked it was the name of a drug. Perhaps you meant to say "Advil"?

Re:How is this different then say . . (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955642)

Since when was the word "aspirin" copyright?

1899. At least that's when it was trademarked. There's a difference between trademark and copyright.

Last time I checked it was the name of a drug.

Yup. Its the tradename of acetylsalicylic acid. In many countries, it's now considered a generic name, and therefore not under trademark protection.

Re:How is this different then say . . (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955669)

Aspirin was a trademark of the Bayer Corporation in Germany, but was forced to give up the trademark as part of the treaty to end World War I. Interestingly enough, Heroin was also a Bayer trademark. See this article [about.com] for more info (see last paragraph)

It's not different, it's exactly the same. (1)

Night Goat (18437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955593)

It's the same, that is the point. That is the entire point of the article, that Tivo is becoming a generalized term for DVRs. This behavior is bad news for the brands in question, because it makes the brand generic. Of course, you could also say that it gives these brands a lot of publicity, I suppose.

Re:How is this different then say . . (1)

alanoneil (749691) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955622)

Let's just hope TiVo (which is, according to the article, a superior choice) survives the clones as well as Kleenex, JELLO, Aspirin, Band-Aid, Q-Tip, and Vaseline have.

Does anyone remember Escalator Brand Moving Stairs?

Re:How is this different then say . . (1)

FattMattP (86246) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955640)

I'll be sure to print this out and xerox it for my friends in the office.

Re:How is this different then say . . (2, Funny)

thelenm (213782) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955703)

My wife used to work for Intel and they sent her and a bunch of cow-orkers to a class on trademarks. She told me about how you're not supposed to refer to "a Pentium", but it's called "a Pentium processor [intel.com] " or some such because the trademark was not to be used as a noun. Since then I try hard to use my best, trademark-correct language for humor's sake, as in "Could you please hand me a Kleenex(TM)-brand facial tissue?" or "Curse these blasted Band-Aid® brand adhesive bandages that never stick for more than an hour!" It's interesting (and difficult) to try and figure out what these kinds of products are actually called other than Kleenex, Aspirin, Band-Aid, etc.

Just like when you come home from GrizzleBees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955525)

You say you had the fishsticks but you really had the fishpockets.

GrizzleBees: You'll wish you had less fun.

If other people make a better / cheaper product , (2, Interesting)

bryanp (160522) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955539)

What's wrong with that?

If my cable company (or some satellite company) wants to bundle a DVR with the service, so what? If you don't want to use it you don't have to - go buy a Tivo or build yourself an HTPC or whatever floats your boat.

I love my ReplayTV 4500 with a 120GB hard drive upgrade and lifetime subscription. It has all the Tivo-esque features I want and some more that it doesn't.

One day I may built a home theater PC as a toy but for now my RPTV fills all my timeshifting and commercial skipping needs.

Tivo WAS great (1)

RicJohnson (649243) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955540)

When Tivo came out, we were their only true competitor, but heir product was great. Our only way to grab subscribers was to make our box Free [www.free.tv]
Now everyone thinks they can grab a pice of the PVR market - even Microsoft with their Media Center Edition Xp.
Tivo is trying hard to patent everything they can to protect their turf - they should instead make a better product with cheaper fees.

Clippy, anyone? (1)

David Hume (200499) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955543)


From the CRN/Associated Press story [crn.com] :

Unlike cable DVRs, TiVo machines also can guess what programs a user might enjoy based on viewing habits.


Does this remind anyone of Clippy? "It appears you are writing a letter....." Does anyone value this feature? Maybe its just me, but I don't like it when machines attempt to guess what my intentions are. I certainly wouldn't pay extra for the "feature."

Re:Clippy, anyone? (1)

Keeper (56691) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955577)

It gives you the ability to channel surf without having to wade through commercials if you happen to find a show you like.

I use it often. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955610)

It has found some incredibly interesting programs that I had no idea were on. For instance, I like to watch more modernish War stuff, and since it knows what I like, I went in there and I saw dozens and dozens of programs on Navy SEALs, Vietnam War Heros, Rangers, Future Weapons, Nuclear Bombs, everything.. It also listed some pretty cool Sci-fi movies i've never seen before like CUBE and a whole bunch of old Samurai movies on IFC since it knows I like watching Japanese history and culture and the movies.

Yes, it can also suggest stuff way out in left field, but its not like you have to select that stuff. You'd be surprised what some thumbs up and down tweaking will do. I found there is a LOT of awesome stuff on TV, you just need to tweak it to help it find stuff that you truely like.

That said, I would be disappointed with a DVR that didn't have this.

Re:Clippy, anyone? (1)

jtdennis (77869) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955680)

I think it's a great feature. It knows I like movies with a certain actor and records them when they come on, or it sees I like Enterprise so it'll record TNG if there's space. The shows it suggests are always the first deleted when space is needed.

Tivo's price point isn't competitive... (1, Interesting)

Otus (72660) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955545)

The bottom line for me is the cost -- $12.95/mo on top of the unit price for what? Dialing up to download a program guide & upload my preferences? Forget it.

I've got a cable DVR (Scientific Atlanta) through Cox, and yes, its software sucks by comparison (conks out if 3 programs happen to occur at the same time, other things too). But it's not sucky enough to pay a couple hundred $ a month plus a higher monthly fee just to get Tivo's extra features.

Well there is 1 thing Tivo does have... (5, Informative)

odano (735445) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955553)

The one thing tivo does have is the best remote control of any DVR. It is just beautifully engineered.

TIVO didn't work for me (2, Informative)

baomike (143457) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955560)

I had a TIVO for a day, until I found out I could not record without paying TIVO $10/month.
When I bot it I thought I could program it like a VCR. Turns out you can, if you pay them.

The idea is great, no more tapes, but TIVO's
version isn't it.
mike

Re:TIVO didn't work for me (1)

Secrity (742221) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955625)

I believe that you can program the TiVo to record by time and channel like a VCR. It is probably cheaper to buy the lifetime (of the TiVo) subscription rather than doing month to month.

You cheap, shortsighted bastard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955630)

I bought a cheap TiVo on eBay over two years ago, threw a huge drive in it, and paid for the lifetime subscription. $300, which boils down to 24 months at the current monthly rate. Since January, my TiVo subscription has been 100% free, and will be until the unit dies. I can't for the life of my figure out why anyone would rather pay a small amount in perpetuity.

Then again, I'm a Mac user, so I'm accustomed to paying more to start off and reaping the rewards later.

The price of success (3, Insightful)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955569)

When it was the only PVR on the market, there was no reason to call a PVR anything other than a TiVo. TiVo now will have to fight an uphill battle to try to get people to associate the word TiVo only with TiVo-brand PVRs.

Re:The price of success (1)

coastwalker (307620) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955633)

I actualy had to look up PVR to check what it meant.

Web encylopedias seem to have plenty of alternate deffinitions, though I cannot recall having seen them used anywhere

"A PVR is also referred to as a hard disk recorder (HDR), digital video recorder (DVR), personal video station (PVS) , or a personal TV receiver (PTR)"

The Scientific Atlanta interface sure isn't TiVo (5, Informative)

Secrity (742221) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955573)

I have a TiVo and a friend with a Scientific Atlanta DVR. I can tell you that the Scientific Atlantic user interface isn't any where as nice as the TiVo. I can do without TiVo surprising me with programs it decided I wanted to see, but it sure is nice to be able to do wish lists. The differences between the user interfaces on the SA and the TiVo seem to me like comparing a Mac to DOS 6.0.

Re:The Scientific Atlanta interface sure isn't TiV (1)

bigbadunix (662724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955638)

I think the one nice thing about the SciAtl DVR boxen is the dual-tuner. Second place goes to not having an additional box sitting on my rack. Granted the UI/Experience on the TiVo may be nicer, but (at least for me), it's mostly fluff (at least for now).

As far as the "genericifying" of the TiVo brand name...that's been covered elsewhere.

I just wish I could buy something like that, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955578)

sure I can buy a digital cable decoder and a harddisk recorder, but then it would not be able to change channels on the cable decoder now would it.
It sucks when you only have one cable company and they don't feel like adding new features.

I use band-aids (1, Funny)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955579)

There really generic bandages, but I call em that, Oh, and I have a "Swiss-army" knife. Who the Hell Cares?? My aunt has AOL, ask her, she has the "internet at home"

Clones are overwhelming Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955591)


Jim Smith thinks he reads Slashdot. But he doesn't. Every morning he starts with MSDN [microsoft.com] , a site launched by a different company for a different kind of developer.

Sometimes it works in their favor! (2, Interesting)

Yort (555166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955615)

In my most recent experience, the generic branding helped TiVo. See, my wife was initially hesitant to get a TiVo, feeling that it was too much of a yuppie-geek item to own, and that it would admit that she valued TV too much. And in my discussions with her, I used the term "TiVo" to mean mostly "DVR/PVR."

Well, after a while, the VCR failed her on a couple of separate instances of trying to record Dr. Phil. Now she wasn't so opposed to a TiVo anymore, and thought we could get one! So I started looking around, and was actually leaning toward a ReplayTV, as our house has no land-line and ReplayTV is already set up for broadband access.

But could I convince the wife that a ReplayTV was the same thing (and in some instances better) as a TiVo? Nope. Gotta have a TiVo. TiVo is what I kept telling her we needed, so by golly we'd better get a TiVo, and nothing else!

Ordered it earlier this week.

Troy

I *love* my Tivo (5, Interesting)

Balthisar (649688) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955664)

Yeah, the subject looks dorky. But I'm a computer geek. I have an x86 box that's useless (Mac owner here) that I could simply turn into Myth or Freevo or whatnot. But you know what? It's not TiVo. They look nice, they work well, and yeah, they do things that TiVo doesn't. But... I can do all that with Linux anyway. TiVo is to television what Mac OS X is to the computer world.

And no, this isn't flame-bait, and I don't want to get into a philosophical argument about my choice of metaphor. But... Mac owners that are also TiVo owners that are also x86 owners will truly know exactly what I'm talking about.

Did anyone else see (2, Funny)

Eezy Bordone (645987) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955677)

Clowns Are Overwhelming TiVo? That really freaked me out for a minute.

Maybe if they advertised effectively. (3, Insightful)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 10 years ago | (#8955696)

Sure, the "burly guys tossing the network programmer out the window" ad from a few years ago was funny, but how about some ads that lay out what the TiVo can do, and more importantly, what the cablecos' TiVo-wannabes don't do?

They need a whole series of ads that directly address the cable companies in certain markets. Something like, "Think you've got a TiVo(TM)? Well if it came from your cable company, you don't..."

Satisfied customers' word of mouth is a great way to advertise, but it can't compare to the reach that the cable companies have, unless TiVo does something like hiring a network of their customers to work in Best Buy and Circuit City part time as evangelists-- who else would be better suited to explain exactly what it does?

~Philly

New Flash..... SOme features left out, People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8955708)

don't care!!!

It's like selling pontiacs to folks that have never driven
a mercedes and telling them it's a mercedes.

If you haven't driven one.... you have NO FREAKING clue as to what you're missing.

Life is so much sweeter when you DON'T have to worry about your automobile.

Whatever, the folks that read this kind of trash wouldn't know the difference anyway.
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