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Tivo Signs Deal With Comcast

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the stick-around,-why-don't-you? dept.

Television 291

Chappy01 writes "TiVo has inked a long-term deal with Comcast, America's largest cable television operator, to develop a version of the TiVo service that will be offered to Comcast's DVR subscribers. The deal calls for TiVo to adapt its software to work on Comcast's existing DVR platform, and it allows TiVo to extend to Comcast subscribers the advertising it sells in the form of interactive video clips that automatically appear in the TiVo menu." From the article: "The move will increase TiVo's presence in American homes as it faces competition from generic DVRs offered directly by leading cable companies. Comcast Corp. expects to begin marketing the new DVRs, which will carry the TiVo brand, by mid- to late 2006." News also available from MSNBC and the Official Tivo Site.

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Phone line needed? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945019)

Does it still need to connect to the phone lines these days? You'd think Comcast, with their digital service, could stop having to tie up the phone at strange hours of the night.

Re:Phone line needed? (1)

tdemark (512406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945122)

Dunno. Right now, I am a Comcast subscriber and I have a 5 year old Tivo with lifetime sub. I'm not sure what I am going to do when my unit dies. I'm using TurboNet, so I'd hate to have to run a phone line to use their offering, if, in fact, you need a telephone line.

What really scares me, though, is this statement:

The deal calls for TiVo to adapt its software to work on Comcast's existing DVR platform

... based on press releases from last May, aren't Comcast's PVRs built on an MS platform [news.com] ?

Re:Phone line needed? (5, Informative)

jspayne (98716) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945135)

Does it still need to connect to the phone lines these days?

No, the current TiVo boxen can use ethernet, and the Comcast boxen can talk DOCSIS. There will be no need for a phone connection.

Jeff

Re:Phone line needed? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945143)

their boxes. not boxen.

Box(es) is perfect English.

"You sound like a damn fool..."

Re:Phone line needed? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945167)

If I can't have my boxen, where will I keep my virii?

Re:Phone line needed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945205)

Box(es) is perfect English

But 'their boxes' isn't. Thank you for playing.

Re:Phone line needed? (-1, Redundant)

Kick the Donkey (681009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945356)

The sentence was not 'No, the their boxen can use ethernet...', but was 'No, the current TiVo boxen can use ethernet...' which would make 'boxes' proper...

Damnit! I can't believe I'm arguing about this!!!

Re:Phone line needed? (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945381)

Does anyone else hate the word boxen as much as I do?

Re:Phone line needed? (0, Offtopic)

Trigun (685027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945411)

Sounds like you need a kick in the boxen.

Let the h4X0rs have their word, it makes it easy to filter resumes.

Re:Phone line needed? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945269)

As long as those boxen don't have virii, it should just work.

Re:Phone line needed? (-1, Flamebait)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945392)

... and if her box *has* a virus, she should see her doctor for some Valtrex or Zovirax

... oh, wait, you meant her "box" like in "boxen", not like in, umm, well, ... forget it.
- just one example where "boxen" helps clarify rather than confuse. Languages change. "Boxen" may not be perfect english, but it's "good enough". Get over it.

If you're so concerned, why not spend the same energy trying to get your fearless leader not to say "nu-kyu-lear", or to figure out that "no child left behind" isn't the same as "all children left behind", or that "bigger is better" doesn't apply to debt?

[tt]

Re:Phone line needed? (1)

Nerd Cooties (823179) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945138)

Tivo hasn't needed a phone line in a while, just add a USB network adaptor and plug into your home network (assuming you have some flavor of broadband) and it gets its updates off the net and some cool features become available.

Re:Phone line needed? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945170)

I got a series 2 about 4 months ago, and it's true you can use ethernet, however for the 1st connection it HAS to be over a phone line, which was a real pain in the ass since I don't have a land line.. Had to take it to a friend's house for the initial setup, and then bought a wireless USB to connect through my home network...

Re:Phone line needed? (0)

krakelohm (830589) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945190)

Actually you do need a phone line for the initial install and download. After that however you can use your network :).

Re:Phone line needed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945298)

Oh, I'm really happy to know that my Sony DirecTiVo, with no USB or Ethernet ports, doesn't need a phone line.

This is why I gave up on TiVo and bought a Replay (now at .25 Terabytes and wireless ethernet).

Re:Phone line needed? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945145)

With the Series 2 TiVo's, a phone connection is only needed for initial setup. If you connect a network adapter, from then on it can update over the 'net. This also allows you to use the home media options (like making music and pictures from your computer available from the TiVo).

It never really "tied up" the phone line much anyway - the daily calls tend to be a couple of minutes long, and it dutifully disconnects if you pick up your phone to make a call and simply tries again later. With my old Series 1 TiVo, I have never actually noticed it making a call.

Re:Phone line needed? (0, Offtopic)

technomancerX (86975) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945182)

Actually, assuming you have digital cable your Comcast system shouldn't need a phone line either. They haven't informed most of their customers of this, but Comcast's cable boxes no longer use the phone to call home, communication goes over the cable line.

The last time we had the Comcast service tech at our place the guy actually told us this and we unplugged all the phone lines. Everything still works fine.

Re:Phone line needed? (1, Informative)

kuwan (443684) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945222)

Does it still need to connect to the phone lines these days?

Yes and no. The latest Tivo boxes can operate over ethernet or 802.11, but you still need to set the box up over a phone line (which really sucks). My wife and I got a Tivo for Christmas from my parents and had to set it up at their house because we have no landline. But once it's set up it works great using a wireless adapter.

There is still a downside though. Tivo series 2 boxes are supposed to have USB 2.0, but the Tivo software only has USB 1.1 drivers. So even if you connect the ethernet adapter to a 100 Mb network or if you put in an 802.11g adapter, Tivo2Go stuff only transfers at USB 1.1 speeds which is horribly slow when transferring multi-gigabyte TV shows.

--
Join the Pyramid - Free Mini Mac [freeminimacs.com]

Re:Phone line needed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945291)

With the CPU in the current Tivo boxes, even if they put USB 2 drivers in there, it still wouldn't make a big difference. The current hardware is just plain IO bound...

Re:Phone line needed? (1)

redtape (37014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945494)

version 7.1 has USB drivers in it. As you say, the problem is the hardware (or other parts of the software).

Re:Phone line needed? (2, Informative)

wembley (81899) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945388)

Yes and no. The latest Tivo boxes can operate over ethernet or 802.11, but you still need to set the box up over a phone line (which really sucks).

This was not true for my 80g Series 2 TiVo that I got 2 years ago.

I put a USB Ethernet adapter on it, ran a cable to my DHCP router, and picked some settings. No phone line was ever required.

Can't see how wireless would be different.

Re:Phone line needed? (1, Interesting)

dreamt (14798) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945427)

I don't think that the speed for transfers for Tivo2Go has to do with the USB1.1 interface speed. Transfers using T2G are much slower than transfering the exact same program from 1 Tivo to another Tivo.

It might have something to do with the fact that in TivoTivo transfers, it is transfering the video in 'native' format. It probalby has to do some encoding (maybe combine audio/video stream) to transfer Tivo->PC.

Good for Tivo, but... (4, Interesting)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945022)

Comcast is constantly raising fees to the point where I'm dropping things I get from them. But I hope it works out for them.

Re:Good for Tivo, but... (1)

Seth Finklestein (582901) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945056)

Just do what I do. Call them.

CS Monkey: Yes hello thankyou for caling comcast
Seth: Hello, this is Seth Finklestein. I see you've raised my rates. This is not acceptable. I'm going to satellite.
CS Monkey: no pls dont you will lose your grate local chanels and would u like to try comcast phone service
Seth: Transfer me to your supervisor.
(hold)
Supervisor: yes hi this is the supervisor
Seth: Roll back my rates to the 2004 levels or I'm switching to satellite TV.
Supervisor: i cant do that but i can throw in free hbo for you sir
Seth: I accept.

Re:Good for Tivo, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945183)

Wow! Starting your posts at -1. I salute you...

Re:Good for Tivo, but... (1)

bigtech (722116) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945213)

Same here -- dropped my $10 a month digital cable service when it hit $25 a month. No new features, mind you.

Re:Good for Tivo, but... (4, Interesting)

ryantate (97606) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945312)

Comcast tried to hide their most recent 6 percent fee hike by announcing the day before Thanksgiving [sfgate.com] . Shady.

At that point, I decided to switch to Netflix. Comcast then offered to roll me back to the original rates and then take $10/month off of THAT. I went ahead and canceled anyway and have never looked back.

I watch all my shows on Netflix DVDs now. I get to watch whenever I want and pause whenever I want without having to pay for cable or a DVR. All the HBO shows I used to watch are available, I just can't watch the latest season. Which is no problem because I'm catching up on everything I missed.

It's been a little over three months and Netflix is still working very well. My monthly bill went from $80+ (with HBO but without DVR) to less than $20.

For news I turn to the Web. I even watch Daily Show segments online.

Guess I sound like a Netflix fanatic, but just wanted to point out there are good alternatives to Comcast.

Once the Hook is Set (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945353)

Re:Good for Tivo, but... Comcast is constantly raising fees to the point where I'm dropping things I get from them. But I hope it works out for them.

Funny how someone said, back in the 70's, that people wouldn't pay for commercials and something similarly devoid of foresite that eventually TV wouldn't need commercials.

Personally I don't have cable, it's too damn much for the amount of viewing I'd do anway. I wish that a la carte bill would get a move on.

Great for Tivo, sure, but how long before they're tarred with the same brush we reserve for Comcast?

TIVO ROCKS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945023)

I've personally always enjoyed Tivo. Great suggestions and they really pioneered DVRs.

Re:TIVO ROCKS (4, Interesting)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945240)

I've personally always enjoyed Tivo.

Going from a Tivo to Comcast's DVR is an exercise in frustration. Suggestions are good, but the responsiveness of a Tivo to Comcast DVR is the difference between a sports car and shouting directions to Grandma while locked in the trunk of her Fairlane. I'd love to switch to Comcast for their HDTV, but refuse to give up my DirecTivo(s).

Great news! (4, Funny)

skroob (450575) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945025)

Hopefully this will stop people from predicting TiVo's death.

Re:Great news! (5, Funny)

MasterOfUniverse (812371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945107)

I predict this deal will mark the death of Tivo.

Re:Great news! (1)

deanoaz (843940) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945286)

I predict that TiVo is near death because of Windows Media Center and this is a desperate attempt to stay afloat.

Re:Great news! (1)

NuShrike (561140) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945477)

I predict this is TiVo's death throes as Comcast moves to buy it up.

anyone else get lots of lag w/ comcast? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945030)

All will be forgiven if I get first post.

is it a good thing or a bad thing... (4, Insightful)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945040)

Well if your a TiVo shareholder, obviously this seems like a good thing, but is having TiVo further in bed with content creators/delivery industries a good idea for consumers?

The one really cool thing that I hope comes of this, is some more traction for bidirectional CableCards leading to uber standalone HDTV tivos... which hopefully inturn leads to bidirectional CableCard PCI tuners for PCs (I can dream, can't i?)

e.

Re:is it a good thing or a bad thing... (1)

Nasa Rosebuds (867909) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945068)

but is having TiVo further in bed with content creators/delivery industries a good idea for consumers? Isn't it better than if Tivo went away completely? Gotta play with the big boys sometimes.

Re:is it a good thing or a bad thing... (3, Insightful)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945150)

"Isn't it better than if Tivo went away completely? Gotta play with the big boys sometimes."

Well, if my TiVo all of sudden is "upgraded" so that I can't fastforward through commercials on Comcast owned stations/programming... I won't care anymore how succesfull they are as a company, i'll cancel my subscription.

You're point is well taken though, without the overpriced 13 buck service my tivo would be a paper weight (although that's not entirely true, but for the context of the discussion it is) so of course i'd like to see TiVo continue to do well and provide the service/software/experience on my series 2 tivo... but based on their prior actions I'd hope for them to keep the end user/customer in mind while at the same time keeping in the black =P

e.

Yes. (5, Insightful)

mekkab (133181) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945069)

As long as the product lines can remain distinct, Tivo gets the best of all worlds: MONEY, exposure through Comcast, and the ability to continue to have a full functioning stand alone DVR (i.e. no "unrecordable content", etc.)

However, if they follow the Sony model (where the home electronics suffer becuase of concerns from the content side*), they're doomed.

*After I learned my friends SONY surround sound system couldn't play CD-Rs, I decided Sony had gone too far.

Re:Yes. (1)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945379)

"and the ability to continue to have a full functioning stand alone DVR (i.e. no "unrecordable content", etc.)"

How so? I figured this would be like the DirecTiVo's that you can get from DirecTV. They don't work as standalone, they just save the digital feed from the dish.

That's the way to go anyway, much higher quality.

IANAL (1)

arothstein (233805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945082)

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/_TOSS_\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)___MY__|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\SALAD!/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_


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Re:is it a good thing or a bad thing... (1)

nb caffeine (448698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945180)

Its funny, yesterday i was thinking about buying some tivo stock, because it was so low (below $4), that a little bit couldnt hurt for a young professional such as myself. Woulda made a killing if i bought a few (lot) and sold it this morning, peaked over $6 early this morning. Ah well, next time ill go with intuition...

Let's hope it benefits Tivo. (5, Insightful)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945043)

I'm a fan of Tivo, but I think any impartial observer would note that Tivo would've definitely been negotiating from a position of weakness. Here's to hoping that they were able to negotiate a deal that would be profitable for them despite them needing Comcast much more than Comcast needed them.

Since the stock is currently up 49.52%, it would appear that a lot of people think this really will benefit them (or there are a lot of shorts panicking and covering their positions).

Re:Let's hope it benefits Tivo. (1)

Chappy01 (785030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945075)

I hope that Comcast does not 'adapt' the TiVo software too much. Too much adaptation, and you'll have another useless Comcast DVR!

Re:Let's hope it benefits Tivo. (2)

kingozymandias (307171) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945086)

Are you sure Comcast doesn't need TiVo? If so, apparently you haven't tried to use any of the interfaces to Comcast's features such as On Demand. This is very possibly the worst user interface ever... and this is somewhere TiVo can provide huge improvements.

Re:Let's hope it benefits Tivo. (3, Interesting)

Josuah (26407) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945425)

TiVo may have been negotiating from a point of strength, not weakness. As evidenced by the number of Comcast customers that were willing to pay TiVo $50 + subscription fees a while back by standing in a line for hours to get a $50 discount on boxes at TiVo headquarters. TiVo made a point of advertising directly to Comcast customers frustrated with Comcast's horrible PVR system.

I would think after this, it would be clear to Comcast that their customers would rather give all their money to TiVo, and Comcast would be better off taking a smaller profit per customer than no profit at all.

Mixed emotions (1)

mojotooth (53330) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945046)

I'm not sure whether I'm glad TiVo is having life breathed into it, or I'm sad because they're getting into bed with Comcast.

I suppose, since I'll never be a Comcast customer, I'll feel pretty neutral in the long run.

To save someone else the trouble of posting it... (5, Funny)

koreth (409849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945053)

What losers! Comcast's millions of customers could save so much money if they just built their own MythTV boxes from the spare computer parts they all have lying around their houses. I mean, it's the way I decided to do it, so it must therefore be the best possible solution for everyone on the planet!

Re:To save someone else the trouble of posting it. (-1, Troll)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945103)

What losers! Comcast's millions of customers could save so much money if they just built their own MythTV boxes from the spare computer parts they all have lying around their houses. I mean, it's the way I decided to do it, so it must therefore be the best possible solution for everyone on the planet!

While MythTV is great for those people that are Linux/computer savvy it's not so great for people that just want shit to work...

When I say "work" I mean when the powersupply goes someone comes out to the house in a truck, gives you a new box, and turns it back on to make sure it is recording again for you. It also means that there was no setup involved for the end user. Nothing needed to be done other than plugging it into their RCA/s-video jacks and hitting power. It means that if for whatever reason a serious issue comes about it will either be automagically updated (like my TiVo is) or it will be replaced by that same nice truck driving tech that replaced the one w/the burned powersupply.

Yes, MythTV is a great thing for the power users (and it may even be good for people that aren't "power"users but still are somewhat savvy). What TiVo is great for is people that just don't want to fuck around with that crap.

Just so you know I wouldn't have a single problem setting up MythTV. I don't use it because it's too much work and TiVo just works.

Re:To save someone else the trouble of posting it. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945151)

Wow. Way to miss the point...

Re:To save someone else the trouble of posting it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945165)

I didn't miss the point. I realized he was trying to be funny but it really wasn't.

Re:To save someone else the trouble of posting it. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945338)

I realize that you re trying not to be a douchebag, but you really are.

Re:To save someone else the trouble of posting it. (3, Funny)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945462)

I think that the point the GPP is making is that if you can't build your own MythTV box and set it up yourself and support it yourself, then you don't deserve to have a television.

And that's true - just like computers. And cars. If you can't build it yourself out of spare parts, you shouldn't be allowed to have one.

Re:To save someone else the trouble of posting it. (1)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945124)

Although that was pure sarcasm due to mythTV not really following the philosophy behind cable-company PVRs, I do agree some company needs to take mythTV and turn it into a commercial project. The server-side is well developed, all we really need is a CHEAP set-top box compatible with it (and no, a modded X-Box doesn't count). An open source game console would be nice.......

Re:To save someone else the trouble of posting it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945129)

And this works with comcast digital cable how? As far as I knew there is no way to decode the cable broadcast without an "official" comcast box. This is the whole reason Tivo signed this deal in the first place. For basic cable users sure, but I am not aware of anything linux wise that will decode the digital cable streams.

Interactive video clips? (0, Troll)

Crescens (650873) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945076)

"and it allows TiVo to extend to Comcast subscribers the advertising it sells in the form of interactive video clips that automatically appear in the TiVo menu."

Uhm, don't I already get video clips like that in the existing Comcast menu? What are they going to do? Try and sell me TiVo through that? I'm not

Well it's about bloody time (1)

neonzebra (33639) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945079)

This is definitely good news. Tivo has needed to sign this kind of deal like forever. Looks like the recent management shake-ups have finally yielded some results!

Will they ship a new remote? (4, Interesting)

jncook (4617) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945085)

Substantial user interface design and testing went into the Tivo remote control, including many battles over which buttons to leave off (to reduce complexity), a special rubber for good click feel, and the distinctive peanut shape.

I wonder if Comcast will ship new remotes to their DVR customers if they sign up for Tivo.

James

Re:Will they ship a new remote? (5, Funny)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945223)

"Substantial user interface design and testing went into the Tivo remote control,"

Not substantial enough. Sure, it fits perfectly in your hand and the button layout is good too. But god forbid you set it down for a few minutes and the damn thing is constantly rolling off the couch.

Re:Will they ship a new remote? (2, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945268)

a special rubber for good click feel, and the distinctive peanut shape.

Besides the obvious juvenile jokes about that sentence taken out of context I really don't see the remote as being all that great when using it with a system that is rather slow.

Great, so the remote has a "click" feel. Does that help me to know that I actually did engage the button when the Guide takes 5+ seconds to refresh (yes, it is much better now that they 7.0+ series update came out but it still sucks)? Or when I click the TiVo button at the top is it supposed to let me know that I can wait up to 10 seconds for the main menu to show up from live TV?

Yeah, the remove is nice and easy to use. It even looks good but it is certainly not making up for the lack of speedy internal hardware.

Re:Will they ship a new remote? (1)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945325)

a special rubber for good click feel, and the distinctive peanut shape.

There's a few good Engrish jokes in there somewhere...

Re:Will they ship a new remote? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945454)

a special rubber for good click feel ... I wonder if Comcast will ship new remotes to their DVR customers if they sign up for Tivo.

Comcast will ship you a rubber, all right. In fact, you'll need one once a month when the company fucks you in the ass.

Happy bill-paying,
Your fellow Comcast cusomter

Dual Tuner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945101)

I'm a little confused...
Most new customers now get a dual-tuner DVR, which lets viewers record two shows at once as well as high-definition television; TiVo offers such features only to DirectTV satellite customers.

so are they saying the Comcast TiVos will not have a dual tuner?

good for them! (1)

nappingcracker (700750) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945113)

Not that I think they would drown as quickly as some critics were suggesting, but a deal like this is quite a PFD!

(personal flotation device,a.k.a "life-preserver" for the nautically challenged)

Tivo needed this (4, Interesting)

thenefariousone (710805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945127)

While having good tech, brand recognition, and a hacker friendly box - before this Tivo was a company whose days were numbered due to competition and commoditization.

Now they live to fight another day and build up their install base.

Cheers to another successful company using with Open Source Software. ...before they used to say it couldn't be done.

TiVo is the tool of the devil (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945147)

TiVo allows our children to safely lock away smut in that infernal machine while we, the parents of America, are away on our Caribbean cruises. If I said it once, I'll say it again. Pornography, television, TiVo and fucked up capitalization are ruining America.

Re:TiVo is the tool of the devil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945215)

You're a pretty ugly troll, but not the ugliest. Don't worry, even Shrek had to work at it.

Comcast's DVR is great (1)

orionware (575549) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945149)

I love comcast's DVR box. 14 hours of HD or 60 hours of non HD capture. 5 bucks a month. can't beat it.

Sorry to see TiVO will be taking that over. I left TiVo because of their crap.

How about a Tivo logo for the icon? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945162)

We do enough Tivo stories here...

Comcast sucks but... (1)

cshuttle (613776) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945168)

...bright idea. It's good to admit that there's a team in the industry that has already gone through all the effort to present a nearly perfect product, and to acknowledge them for it, instead of attempting to re-invent the wheel.

Let's hope that it's enough to replace DirecTV... (3, Informative)

Manchot (847225) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945175)

As a Tivo owner, I must say that I'm extremely happy about this announcement, as this will help keep the company from dying. However, we mustn't forget that they also lost their DirecTV deal, so they're not much better off than they were before. Hopefully Comcast pushes this onto its customers.

Sounds like a powerful force to contend with. (3, Interesting)

FrothyBitter (848137) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945181)

I guess this means Comcast isn't going to roll out the Microsoft version they were testing in limited areas. I was interested in the Microsoft version because Comcast's software really blows. I ended up taking my Comcast DVR back because not only did nobody at Comcast know when or if the Microsoft version would ever come out, they'd never even heard of it.

Now I'm using a HTPC solution, Beyond TV, which is barely acceptable. It has all the features a DVR needs, but the features don't all function on a level I would consider professional.

I'm about to go to MythTV, I had that running once a year or so ago, but it took a lot of time and effort to get it working. I understand that's not as big of a problem now, so I'm going to give it another try.

However, a Tivo/Comcast DVR really would be hard to beat. Well aside from the fact that Comcast wants to suck every last dime from my bank account every month. However, the quality of the Comcast DVR was excellent, it just lacked features.

I'll most likely go back to the Comcast DVR when the Tivo versions are out. Other than not being able to archive shows, I can see the Comcast/Tivo solution being unbeatable. My PC solution will be able to pick up the slack by recording any shows I want to archive.

Re: your mention they were rolling out MSFT ver (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945321)

I guess this means Comcast isn't going to roll out the Microsoft version they were testing in limited areas. I was interested in the Microsoft version because Comcast's software really blows. I ended up taking my Comcast DVR back because not only did nobody at Comcast know when or if the Microsoft version would ever come out, they'd never even heard of it.

Interesting. Kind of like my Qwest DSL service is apparently not provided by Qwest since I got a small business version (with multiple email accounts and a webspace and domain), so when I contact Tech Support they get very very confused.

Do you think that the Comcast insert in my mail last night offering the Digital Video Recorder was for the old MSFT offering instead of this new Tivo offering?

But it seems to be missing a key part (3, Interesting)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945185)

No mention of using the TiVo remote in the new software. The remote and the interface are the best things that TiVo has going for them.

Since they are focusing on just the ads and the wishlist features, this could be a big letdown for Comcast users that have heard good things from TiVo users.

Re:But it seems to be missing a key part (1)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945246)

Actually, my favorite part of Tivo is the sounds it makes. The little click-click coo-coo is so friendly and nice I sometimes press buttons just to hear it.

If Comcast gets these sounds coming out of their boxes the deal will be worth it for them.

Re:But it seems to be missing a key part (2, Interesting)

maugt (3520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945266)

You like the peanut remote? I hate it. The one that came with the original sony tivos was so much better. The new one has non-logically organized buttons that are difficult to find in the dark, and the channel number buttons are placed in a completely awkward position at that bottom of the remote that makes it very difficult to use in the dark.

And I can never find the power button at night either. I always end up hitting skip-back-5-seconds. Ugh.

Current Comcast DVR sucks (1)

skeptictank (841287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945191)

The only thing better about DirecTV is the DVR. The current comcast DVRs have a tendency to freeze every 15-20 minutes and you have to change the channel to get the video stream flowing again. Which pretty much defeats the purpose of have a DVR.

A new DVR would be greatly appreciated.

Re:Current Comcast DVR sucks (5, Funny)

dfn5 (524972) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945352)

The current comcast DVRs have a tendency to freeze every 15-20 minutes

When they said "Pause live TV" they just forgot to include "every 15-20 minutes".

need to port to windows. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945194)

the comcast box runs a modified form of windows. Which is why it has problems. I wonder how well tivio will run with issues from Windows?

Licensing Tivo Software, Not Hardware (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945208)

Important Distinction: Comcast is licensing Tivo software to be installed in their own boxes by mid to end 2006, and not the unit itself. Comcast also inked a huge deal with Motorola recently.

Already offering this in Seattle (2, Informative)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945227)

I just got my Comcast bill last night and it had a paper insert on this service - they want $9.95 per month for this.

Re:Already offering this in Seattle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945285)

It's not TiVo though. It's Comcast's DVR and it's sorely lacking. See my post at:
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=142571&ci d=119 45247

Re:Already offering this in Seattle (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945369)

It's not TiVo though. It's Comcast's DVR and it's sorely lacking. See my post at ...

Ah, I stand corrected. Well, actually, I sit corrected, and hereby use the backspace key to type over this f\e\l\d\e\r\c\a\r\b\.

Annoying auto-launch audio ads at the Forbes site (0, Offtopic)

Harodotus (680139) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945238)

Am I the only one who gets these annoying "Forbes attache.com audio ads auto-executing when I try to RTFA?

Major websites and businesses should never do these kinds of experiance ruining advertisments. I might have considered using getting some of my business news from forbes.com, but not now that they've gone and annoyed me.

(One of my little dirty secrets is that I tend to browse Slashdot using IE (generally not having spyware problems), if it turns out that these ads don't happen using Firefox, I await my inevitible egging.)

Re:Annoying auto-launch audio ads at the Forbes si (1)

Seth Finklestein (582901) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945297)

I'm using Mozilla Firefox 1.0.1 with AdBlock and a customized list of regexes that let me filter the content I download.

Frankly, I thank you for continuing to use IE. I would absolutely hate it if the hoi polloi were to use my browser; then Joe Sixpack would look up from his "American football" game to see thousands of stupid-looking ads which he would click and make my browser less well-perceived than it is and Goddammit Americans get the fuck off my Internet

User of bothe TiVo & Comcast DVR. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11945247)

I have multiple TiVos (3) in my house. All expanded to 200+ hours.

Recently, because Comcast offered me 3 months free (otherwise it would be $9.95 per month.), I added the Comcast DVR to my entertainment center.

Ultimately, if TiVo is a 10 for ease of use, programmability, expandability, etc., the Comcast DVR is about a 5. It does allow for HDTV recording which is a big + (I would have rated it a 3 or 4 without it). As it is, unless I want to record somthing in HDTV (sports, & a couple of PBS shows), I still record everything on the TiVo. It's just that much better.

This is the right move for TiVo. Comcast obviously hasn't put much effort into developing their UI, so I think this is a win/win.

If this meand that I'll get TiVo with my cable, HDTV, and no hardware purchase for $9.95 a month, I'm all for it (I will miss the 200+ hours though).

OT but neccesary (-1, Troll)

eadint (156250) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945257)

I think that the rating system for /. sucks, we need moderator point like, "you are such a fucking idiot please cut your balls off and kill yourselfe before you accidentally procreate". or better yet " the problem is not with company XYZ the problem is that you are an idiot with no personal skills and you have a unuiqe knack of pissing people off soo much that they actually go out of their way to fuck with you" . and finally " you are living proof that there are a small percentage of compleat idiots in the world that will buy a horrible and worthless product if you think it will make you look original and different." to the /. editors please institute these forms of moderator points so that we can correctly judge posts from other /.'ers

Good.. Comcast's Scientific Atlanta Box is Awful. (2, Interesting)

Mean_Nishka (543399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945279)

I'm a faithful ReplayTV owner, and reluctantly picked up Comcast's HD recorder so I could record HDTV broadcasts. Their SA8000HD is for the birds.. Awful interface, jugheaded features, and a real step down from the ReplayTV's I've been using for the last six years.

Most annoying is that it doesn't 'time shift' properly. If it's recording a show, I have to rewind all the way back to the beginning to watch it.. Even worse is if the recording ends while I'm still in the middle of watching it, it'll stop and force me to fast forward back through everything I already watched!

They've slowly updated the firmware over the last several months, but this thing is DOA.. Just a clunky piece of well intentioned hardware. It is nice to be able to record two simultaneous HD streams, but it's just so poorly implemented..

This is a good move for Comcast as the recorder they gave me really feels like it's still in beta. Good for Tivo too as they need a wider net.

Re:Good.. Comcast's Scientific Atlanta Box is Awfu (1)

Reignking (832642) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945315)

Their Motorola box sucks, too -- I can't use the DVR to record one thing while watching another.

Re:Good.. Comcast's Scientific Atlanta Box is Awfu (1)

murphj (321112) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945449)

You need the new box. The Mot DCT6412 has dual tuners. In my area, I was able to take my old box to the office and swap it for a dual tuner box.

Re:Good.. Comcast's Scientific Atlanta Box is Awfu (1)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945433)

What? No it doesn't. Just go in through "My DVR" to see the show from the beginning. You won't be interrupted at the end, either.

Don't get your hopes up too high... (5, Interesting)

Elias Israel (182882) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945301)

As someone who has visited the Gerrold/General Instruments/Motorola offices in Hatboro, PA, and who has spoken to a fair number of cable operators, I can tell you this:

The box that this system will be built on, and the services to which it connects will almost certainly not be of the quality that Tivo now provides.

First of all, check out the Wiki entry on this cable box [wikipedia.org] , and you'll see it's not that impressive, although it does have a few nice features (HDTV, recording two channels at once, 120GB disk).

Second, remember that cable operators buy these units by the millions, so every extra penny is a big deal.

You wouldn't think twice about a nice feature in your Tivo box, even if it cost an extra $10. To a cable operator, an extra $10 per box is an insane, indefensible amount and they'll cut the feature instead.

Finally, embedded programming on a cable box is worlds cruftier and more limiting than the Linux underpinnings of the current Tivo architecture. It's virtually certain that some features just won't be portable to this new box.

Count me a curmudgeon on this if you like, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Re:Don't get your hopes up too high... (1)

SmokeHalo (783772) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945409)

I'll believe it when I see it.

At least you can trust your eyes. I can't, so I'll just have to wait until Netcraft confirms it.

Re:Don't get your hopes up too high... (1)

fruity_pebbles (568822) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945422)

The Wiki entry seems to describe software/firmware problems. I don't see anything in there that leads me to believe that the hardware of the Comcast box is flaky or otherwise bad.

Good point about the cost concerns of cable operators . People shouldn't expect the hardware to have anything but the basics.

By the same token, Tivo's cost concerns for their hardware are very similar, which IMHO has led to the current Tivo hardware being no better than the first Tivo hardware 5 years ago. I'm not sure that the Comcast hardware is going to be a step down for Tivo.

Comcast Buying the Brand (4, Interesting)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945340)

I think what we are seeing in the TiVo Comcast deal is Comcast making the very smart move of leveraging the TiVo brand. This is actually pretty good news for both. If things go well, don't be surprised to see Comcast make a play to buy TiVo outright. Yeah, I know many here think Comcast sucks, and maybe they do, but I wouldn't mind seeing what TiVo has built and their name survive, even as part of Comcast. So far I've been pretty happy with TiVo and as a Comcast customer, adding TiVo can only be a good thing!

Comcast's Tivo will be the target (1, Insightful)

BlakeCaldwell (459842) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945395)

Comcast's Tivo will be the target of Hollywood, just like Napster was the target of the RIAA, despite the alternatives.

The service will slowly degrade down to a pay-per-view or points system. You won't be able to use it to record shows that don't want to be recorded, and you won't be able to fast forward through commercials. ... Despite the occasional driver-related crash, I'm very happy with my MythTV box [blogspot.com] , which, as long we have analog, can't be shut down.

OT: The fun of Comcast VOD (1, Interesting)

British (51765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945431)

Has anyone explored Comcast's Video on Demand? I was amazed to be able to see the classic film "Hardbodies" for free. But it didn't end there: They had almost the full first season of Diff'Rent Strokes avaialble, all free! Saved me the cost of renting the DVD. I was in 80s nostalgia heaven.

"Tube Time" is easily my favorite showcase of shows on Comcast's VOD. I eagerly await for more 80s tv shows in rotation.

DirecTivo features? (2, Interesting)

powdered toast dude (800543) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945458)

As a "regular" (i.e. non-DirecTiVo) TiVo user, I lament the lack of DirecTiVo features (e.g. record-two-shows-at-once) while enjoying the analog TiVo features (e.g. TiVo2Go). Any word on which features ComcasTiVo(tm) will support?

$0.02,
ptd

Great news, hope other SA customers do likewise (1)

jonabbey (2498) | more than 9 years ago | (#11945506)

I ditched Time Warner cable for DirecTV and Tivo because the SA-8000 sucked so badly (I had two of them die due to hardware problems, and the software showed every sign of being written by monkeys).

If Comcast is willing to get away from Scientific Atlanta's piss-poor product, maybe there's hope that the other cable corps will as well.

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