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TiVo OS Update Adds Content Protection

CmdrTaco posted about 9 years ago | from the does-this-mean-they-have-jumped-the-shark dept.

Television 615

generic-man writes "According to PVRBlog, TiVo's new operating system update enables content protection flags on a per-show basis. On some programs, notably syndicated shows, a red flag appears to indicate that the copyright holder has requested that TiVo devices not save a program past a certain date and that the program may not be copied to a PC using TiVo to Go. TiVo users were told to expect this style of flag only on pay-per-view and video on demand programming, and as such are upset that TiVo has restricted the capabilities of the receivers they bought and subscribed to use. The TiVo Community boards have some screen shots and firsthand accounts."

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MythTV (4, Interesting)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | about 9 years ago | (#13557559)

Just one more good reason to bite the bullet, sit down, and build yourself a MythTV box. []

There's a good walkthrough on building a MythTV box over on O'Reilly Digital Media [] , and another on the Electronic Frontier Foundation [] .

As per the poll... (1)

heauxmeaux (869966) | about 9 years ago | (#13557607)


That's fine for us ... (4, Insightful)

b0r1s (170449) | about 9 years ago | (#13557615)

But the age-old argument holds: this won't work for (just an example) my parents.

In the past, Tivo employees have been very helpful in helping users work around these types of issues - they don't really care if you record the show, install larger hard drives, pull video off to your computer, as long as they get their subscription fee.

Hopefully a workaround comes out and makes it to the forums.

Re:That's fine for us ... (2, Insightful)

Gulthek (12570) | about 9 years ago | (#13557629)

Why won't it work for your parents? You can't build the MythTV box for them?

Re:That's fine for us ... (2, Insightful)

b0r1s (170449) | about 9 years ago | (#13557685)

Because eventually something will 'go wrong' with it - for example, the first time they unplug it from the wall without powering down, and the kernel forces a check (e2fsck or whichever), and (because it's actively reading and writing all the time) some inconsistency is found: I'm not willing (due to past experiences attempting to support their electronics) to answer phone calls and walk them through an explanation of how to get the system live again.

It's a decision I made ages ago, and I highly recommend doing the same for anyone who does computer'ish work for a living.

Re:That's fine for us ... (3, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | about 9 years ago | (#13557779)

I'll take journaling filesystems for $200, Alex.

Re:That's fine for us ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557898)

Work in a hosting environment sometime, and you'll see how foolproof ext3 really isn't...

Re:MythTV (2, Interesting)

rovingeyes (575063) | about 9 years ago | (#13557638)

Well yes that is an option. But the idea defies the very purpose any one would be interested in buying Tivo. Lets say if I try to tape a game on sunday and I am out of town for an extended vacation. So when I come back a week later Tivo is gonna say "sorry you're schedule clashed with mine". Wasn't Tivo supposed to solve that problem? I was indeed considering buying it pretty soon but now I will instead look at building myself MythTv box.

Re:MythTV (-1, Troll)

GigsVT (208848) | about 9 years ago | (#13557757)

So when I come back a week later Tivo is gonna say "sorry you're schedule clashed with mine".

What? When you told it to record the game you can say "keep until I delete" in the recording options.

Next time try reading the prompts.

Re:MythTV (1)

biglig2 (89374) | about 9 years ago | (#13557815)

If you'll RTFA, you'll see it is about how the copyright owner on what you record can disable "keep until I delete" on their program.

Re:MythTV (1)

Leiterfluid (876193) | about 9 years ago | (#13557820)

Next time, Try RTFA. It specifically addresses that some TV shows are being broadcast with not only a "do not copy to other Media" option, but a "this program will most certainly be deleted by mm/dd/yyyy" option.

Re:MythTV (1)

brandonY (575282) | about 9 years ago | (#13557641)

Do you know if there's a guide anywhere on taking the Tivo Series2 hardware and using it for other things now that I've cancelled my account? I'd love to use the whole box as a myth tv box, or failing that, I'd love to rip out the video capture card.

Ebay (1)

brakk (93385) | about 9 years ago | (#13557687)

I don't think there's much you can do with it except scavenge the HD. But, you can always sell it on ebay to recoup some cost.

Re:MythTV (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | about 9 years ago | (#13557732)

According to the discussions I've seen on the topic, you can't put MythTV on a TiVo box for one or both of the following reasons:
  • The MythTV interface runs under X windows, and the TiVo can't run X11.
  • TiVo has non-standard hardware for which no drivers are available.
I don't know if any of that has changed with Series2, but I'd love to know...odds are good you can pick up a used box for a song, since most ex-TiVo users will not have any further use for it.

MythTV Doesn't Do HDTV (1)

RockClimbingFool (692426) | about 9 years ago | (#13557818)

There are no real affordable do it yourself HDTV PVR solutions.

Re:MythTV Doesn't Do HDTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557850)

Yes there are, just use a pcHDTV HD-3000 []

yes it does (1)

RelliK (4466) | about 9 years ago | (#13557859)

Have you bothered to RTFM?

Re:MythTV (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 9 years ago | (#13557843)

Or if you dont want to spend lots of your time dinking and want a turnkey solution.

replayTV and Dvarchive. extract your replaytv shows, add a replaytv server and none of the drawbacks of Tivo.

Re:MythTV for MacOS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557873)

I just wish someone would bring us MythTV for MacOS X.. not just a front end, but the whole shabang.. Have 2 spare Macs that I'd love to hack into Myth boxes for myself and family. Using that existing kit is fine, but buying an Intel box just for this, right now, isn't doable $$$-wise...


welcome! (2, Insightful)

namekuseijin (604504) | about 9 years ago | (#13557568)

"Welcome to the (our DRM) future!"

- MPAA, RIAA, Disney, M$ and associates

Evil bit (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557570)

Is it using the evil bit?

Re:Evil bit (0)

rovingeyes (575063) | about 9 years ago | (#13557695)

Damn! Tivo told me it was the "sensitive bit" - sensitive to copyrights. Those lying assholes!

Re:Evil bit (1)

Queer Boy (451309) | about 9 years ago | (#13557767)

Oh yeah, the evil bit is set and the "what a waste of money on a TiVO" switch is broken in the "on" position.

Go Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557571)

This is where Open Source really shines. No dependence on service providers, no taking away what you already have.

short term measure (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557574)

it'll just get hacked around. No biggie

Re:short term measure (1)

aussie_a (778472) | about 9 years ago | (#13557620)

Or you could send Tivo (and their new puppeters) a message and go open source. Everytime you use cracked corporate software, you're hurting open source developers.

Yeah send a message to the little guy ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557720)

who's doing his best Samsonite impression with a cartel of gorillas.

Wrong place to fight the battle. Instead, when your local affiliate stations FCC licences come up for renewal, write letters to the FCC asking that they not be renewed because the network they carry isn't serving your community well. And list everything you object to, and include as a parting shot that they don't respect the American traditions that keep our nation free and strong and are unwilling to live up to the agreements they made with the public when we ceed OUR airwaves for their broadcasts. If a station manager sees a spike of say 100 of those letters in a community, from sane and secular people, that will be a little scary.

Big Deal! (1)

RUFFyamahaRYDER (887557) | about 9 years ago | (#13557662)

I agree with the fact that it will get hacked around, but I disagree with this being a "no biggie" for two reasons:
1)It's a pain to have to get/create a hack for this.
2)This shows the beginning (or maybe the further progression) of how restrictive things are and are going to be in our future.

Driving Sales! (4, Informative)

AcheronHades (837485) | about 9 years ago | (#13557581)

For some reason I remember reading that Tivo struggles to stay out of the red and that they are really not even that profitable. So why then would they add in a feature to restrict the functionality of their product and piss people off?

There has to be something else here, this just doesnt make buisness sense.

Re:Driving Stockprices into the floor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557632)

5 day stock price []

oops a >3% drop in 5 days, nice move Tivo, time to short their stock methinks

Re:Driving Sales! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557669)

I am ripping off something I read in the past...

That is one good reason to ReplayTV as they have no new development...

Re:Driving Sales! (2, Insightful)

Aspasia13 (700702) | about 9 years ago | (#13557672)

It does since their strategy is not off-the-shelf sales, but rather combining with content providers such as cable and sattelite TV companies. That way they can manage to use their position of market leader with brand-name recognizability to get exclusive contracts with the provider companies.

And those companies will only allow it if there is "content protection".

It makes perfect sense if you think about their business model and who their real intended customer is.

Re:Driving Sales! (1)

Alpha_Traveller (685367) | about 9 years ago | (#13557681)

Simple. They're being paid to add that feature, or it's part of an agreement to get schedules and schedule coordination from that content provider.

Or they're doing this to get something new from them and this is what they're doing in exchange.

Wrong (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557586)

There's something wrong about selling a device to do something, and later limiting the ability of the device to do what it was designed to do.

Re:Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557740)

I'm pretty sure it's the part about limiting the device's ability after the sale.

In other news (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557589)

Tivo's sales dropped dramatically on their latest attempts to restrict what people do with their own bought-and-paid-for hardware.

also in other news, sales of MythTV [] increased for the 99th straight quarter at the new increased price of $0.00

And in other other news (5, Funny)

Fastball (91927) | about 9 years ago | (#13557644)

Viewership of cable and over-the-air television dropped dramatically when people realized there wasn't anything worth recording on to begin with.

MythTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557590)

MythTV .. no fuss no muss, free, HDTV/CableTV PVR. End of discussion :-)

BUG!!!! (5, Informative)

doormat (63648) | about 9 years ago | (#13557595)

This is a bug on behalf of the Tivo software...

See opy_protection.html []

Update: Jim Denney, director of product marketing for TiVo, said the instances of standard TV shows being affected by new copy protection restrictions likely are "false positives."

Denney said the copy protection is trigged by a flag in the video signal. The reports appearing on the Web appear to be cases where TiVo misinterprets noise in the signal as a copy protection flag, and imposes the restrictions.

"During the test process, we came across people who had false positives because of noisy analog signals," he said. "We actually delayed development (of the new TiVo software) to address those false positives."

Apparently they still didnt fix the issues.

Re:BUG!!!! (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | about 9 years ago | (#13557719)

Isn't this expected when you start broadcasting macrovision codes which are themselves manufactured errors in the data stream?

I haven't ever been able to comprehend buckling the excellent error correction work that has gone on in many fields just for the disney brigade.

Re:BUG!!!! (2, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | about 9 years ago | (#13557891)

``Isn't this expected when you start broadcasting macrovision codes which are themselves manufactured errors in the data stream?''

Actually, no. I think you can get about any desired reliability by just making the signal sufficiently strong and sufficiently spread out. The fact that this didn't work out in this case shows that the implementation is either bad or BAD [] . In the first case, it can be fixed by TiVo. In the second case, it's likely that the users are screwed, because the big corps probably don't care that you can't copy even the shows that don't have the flag set.

Re:BUG!!!! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557823)

Evidence of his noisy analog signal:

Discussion Thread from the tivo community blog p?t=259169 []

Pissedmonkey quote:

"And the real joke is that I'm using attenna reception, no cable, no satellite. (Yes yes, I know it doesn't make sense. I moved to the woods, and I'm 0.3 of a mile out of Time Warner's service area. Also, trees are too dense for satellite.)"

This is not encouraging (1)

mcc (14761) | about 9 years ago | (#13557881)

So instead of being a "feature" that potentially allows your time-shifting abilities to be blocked by the whims of media companies, it's a "feature" that potentially allows your time shifting abilities to be blocked by the whims of media companies or random electromagnetic interference???

That's even worse...

iTV? (1)

mysqlrocks (783488) | about 9 years ago | (#13557597)

I'm just waiting for Apple to release iTV. People could just download TV shows and watch them whenever they want. TiVo has shown that there would be a demand for such a service.

Re:iTV? (1)

Flying Purple Wombat (787087) | about 9 years ago | (#13557728)

I would pay for that, maybe $2 for a half-hour show. Subtitled foriegn shows (yeah, I'm talkin' about Anime) would probably make some good money for the studios.

Heh (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557599)

Well there goes the last reason anyone around here was enthusiastic about TiVO over anybody else...

And, uh, really, any reason to buy a TiVO whatsoever. Watch what you want, when you want it! Unless large corporations don't want you to.

If someone has a Tivo, do they have a choice of alternate OSes they can use?

Oh, good... (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 9 years ago | (#13557601)'s another example to use when explaining to people exactly why they should be opposed to DRM and the Broadcast Flag. It's good that it will spread awareness of the issue, so that we have a better chance of stopping it before it becomes mandatory by law.

7 days? (2, Interesting)

jshaped (899227) | about 9 years ago | (#13557602)

They limited the particular program stored to only 7 days?!?! That's ridiculous.
So much for saving your favorite concerts, as I have done.
(I just hope my ReplayTV doesn't head toward this...)

Relevant question (4, Interesting)

ifwm (687373) | about 9 years ago | (#13557618)

Is there someplace I can buy a MythTv box, so I don't have to muddle through it myself? I don't mind learning, but I'd rather have a working box while I do so.

Re:Relevant question (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 9 years ago | (#13557813)

I haven't heard of one, and without a lot of work put into refinement, I wouldn't want to be in that business.

These instructions are pretty decent though: []

It would still take several hours. The problem I'm currently having is the system suddenly can't operate my tuner, particularly, channel control.

The problem I had before was that a program to test the tuner before going to the final Myth setup, xawtv, was hard to find, I did find packages for it though. Make sure you install Synaptic, that made finding the packages I wanted a lot easier.

Re:Relevant question (5, Informative)

jvbunte (177128) | about 9 years ago | (#13557847) [] has a prebuilt MythTV setup with a small form factor for about $700, with options for more memory, larger hard drive, and remote. It uses the universally accepted Hauppage PVR250 hardware encoder (I own a 350 and a 150 and they work with all freeware pvr software I've found). You will need an external infrared sender to work with digital cable or satellite receivers.

(I am not affiliated with magicitx in any way, just found a link to them on ebay.)

Re:Relevant question (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557849)

Try this out []

You can buy the box from them, or build it yourself (as I am doing).

Different Account of it over on PVRBlog (5, Informative)

beeudoublez (619109) | about 9 years ago | (#13557621)

Read: .html []
Quoted from one of the posters: This is a BUG! p?p=3233152&&#post3233152 [] p?p=3236586&&#post3236586 []
TiVo recognizes the Macrovision flag but there have been NO cases of a network or studio actually utilizing it.
Even HBO whose websites says OnDemand stuff can't be DVR'ed... well, I could TiVo my OnDemand stuff just fine. I did all the time. That was before 7.2 and I don't have HBO any longer but it did work.
Again - this is a BUG. Neither the local station or FOX intended for this syndicated rerun to be flagged like this.
Are bug bad? Sure. But it's not worth getting all up in arms at TiVo about.

And still nobody will care (5, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 9 years ago | (#13557624)

People will continue to plunk down cash for these products and services, because most people don't care about DRM. Even this won't really affect them, why do you think you can buy the Superbowl on DVD, or the World Series on DVD? People shell out $$ for seasons and seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc. So they DRM the shows on your Tivo after a month.. by then people have either wiped it, or bought the damn thing on DVD.

Then there is the minority, who are not media consumers, who remain unaffected by this.

Before the tinfoil hatters come out, and blame the ??AA or the Government, think: when was the last time you watched one of those old Star Trek episodes you taped 15 years ago "in case you ever wanted to watch them again"?

I, for one, welcome our new DRM masters (1)

spif (4749) | about 9 years ago | (#13557625)

This will either not get used much and be easily ignored, or it will cause a wave of dissent and defection among Tivo viewers which will lead to it getting yanked. It either forces the issue or it's irrelevant. Either one is fine with me. Let's rumble.

Goodbye TIVO (1)

mc900ftjesus (671151) | about 9 years ago | (#13557633)

Why do companies think that imposing their will upon people will keep customers around? If I had a TIVO I would cancel my subscription, run over it with my car and then mail it back.

Can anyone explain what this is helping? Who on this earth makes more money with this feature?

And if you don't kneejerk... (4, Informative)

FortKnox (169099) | about 9 years ago | (#13557634)

... you'll see that this was [] a bug [] found by someone using their TiVo over antennae, not cable, which could have distorted the signal.

The whole macrovision flag is for PPV shows, not regular shows.

Re:And if you don't kneejerk... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | about 9 years ago | (#13557811)

It's not just a bug - it's an exploit. TV stations and other content distributors can start exploiting this bug to force deletions on people's Tivo boxes (unless Tivo patches their product to prevent false positives).

er.. RTFA? (1, Redundant)

GoNINzo (32266) | about 9 years ago | (#13557640)

If the poster read the fuming article, they would have noticed that this was a bug, not on purpose. One of the local fox stations accidently got flagged as 'Content protection', maybe because the guy is using an antennae...

How can we expect readers of slashdot to RTFA if we can't get anyone writing the summary to do so. heh

Anyway, the old software, 3.x, does not support the broadcast flag, I'll continue to use it until I'm forced to switch to MythTV or GBPVR cause of all the advertising. (Which Tivo is letting run rampant, IMHO.)

Incase of slashdotting break glass (1)

coolnicks (865625) | about 9 years ago | (#13557643) []
Here's the now playing list. (yes yes, I know, Oprah and Dharma, what can I say, it's a shared TiVo.) []
Here's the program info. []
Here's the keep until screen. []
Here's the show details screen.

Re:Incase of slashdotting break glass (-1, Troll)

Kethinov (636034) | about 9 years ago | (#13557794)

Talk about fagotry in its most pure form. As if this is actually gonna stop people from making permanent copies of their shows? At best it pisses a few people off and causes public disdain of TiVo. Smart move! *rolls eyes*

Re:Incase of slashdotting break glass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557861)

I would hope in the future you would have a little bit more respect for those of us in the Gay community who do not appreciate the slurs and insults made upon us when you wish to denegrate something completely unrelated.

This must be shooting self at the foot (1)

nomad63 (686331) | about 9 years ago | (#13557645)

Tivo, until now, was a nice and consumer friendly service despite the small tricks they pulled out of their sleeves like "must watch commercials" or product placements on recordings etc. but I took it as survival tactics in the marketplace. And they were livable with.

But when they started sucking up to hollywood, whiich ithe main reason why people bought tivo or PVRs, they crossed a boundary and started to become annoying.

I think it is time to tell customer to tell tivo, screw you and send it to the list of failed companies with great ideas, who just could not execute the idea well.

It's a bug. It's also a feature! Reconsiderations? (4, Insightful)

Alpha_Traveller (685367) | about 9 years ago | (#13557650)

TIVO has attempted to suggest the flags are a bug. While TIVO admits to making the technology available and active, not a single content provider is using it. That said: I do think it's a bad idea.

As a TIVO owner, I have to insist that TIVO needs to remove this technology because content flags that require a time frame within which to watch the show defeats the purpose of my purchasing a TIVO in the first place. I'm their customer because I could timeshift on my terms. NOT theirs. Not Fox's. Not NBC's.

I also want the ability to transfer it to another medium. If I lose that, TIVO loses me as a customer and no amount of lifetime memberships and HDTV versions of TIVO at a discounted rate will prevent me from leaving.

If TIVO does not remove this feature, I will reconsider remaining a TIVO Customer, and both TIVO and all the content providers lose a "captive" audience member.

ReplayTV Tivo (4, Informative)

digitalvengeance (722523) | about 9 years ago | (#13557651)

I use ReplayTV [] and have never had any problems with content protection. There is even a great open source tool called DVArchive (at sourceforge) that lets one copy shows to/from the ReplayTV units and even stream content directly from the ReplayTV to any machine that supports HTTP streaming.

I highly recommend both of these products for the geek who wants a great DVR and the freedom to DivX content at will.

Re:ReplayTV Tivo (1)

brakk (93385) | about 9 years ago | (#13557729)

I also have a ReplayTV and can't live without it now. They are also very easy to increase storage size. (much easier than Tivo from what I understand)

Re:ReplayTV Tivo (1)

GigsVT (208848) | about 9 years ago | (#13557785)

You can divx tivo content, but it's a little more roundabout process.

Re:ReplayTV Tivo (0)

VAXcat (674775) | about 9 years ago | (#13557829)

You haev a ReplayTV DVR? Is it right next to your Betamax VCR?

ReplayTV is better (4, Informative)

waynegoode (758645) | about 9 years ago | (#13557866)

I have two ReplayTVs. I don't have any of the problems you read about with TiVo--and I can skip past commercials, not just fast-forward. I don't understand why TiVo is more popular that ReplayTV. It is certainly is not as good.

Re:ReplayTV Tivo (1)

dmnic (452122) | about 9 years ago | (#13557883)

I agree.
over the past 2 years, I am increasingly glad I went with ReplayTV over Tivo. whether its the phone line requirement of Tivo, or the delayed inability to transfer content to my pc/mac from Tivo to the broadcast flags now showing up on Tivo...

if only ReplayTV had the channel guide layout or the remote from Tivo...then it would be the best of both worlds!

Ha-Ha (3, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | about 9 years ago | (#13557667)

What happens when people don't read the fine print on service agreements and that all important clause which says TiVo can change the terms of usage at any time without prior notice.

And this is supposed to be so much better than taping? The time shifting abilities of PRV's are great when watching live shows, but really the only people for whom the PVR experience is "revolutionary" are folks too stupid to program their VCR's to begin with.

This and digital cable continue to be examples of consumers choosing wiz-bang technology simply because it's new and not because it's better. Few users have the TV's or proper audio equipment to enjoy "the digital difference" but they all lap it up because of all the stations they can't get otherwise, few of them seem to think about how much more difficult exercising fair use rights becomes because of the converter boxes needed for digital cable.

Industries that wreck themselves (1)

HBI (604924) | about 9 years ago | (#13557675)

The commercial PVR was a great way to improve the lives of nongeeks. It was something that did a useful function that people would have difficulty figuring out themselves.

With this DRM crap, it removes most of the value added. If you can't store the video to your liking, the PVR becomes pretty much useless. I'm not talking about people who can make their own PVR out of the parts. I'm talking about my mother here.

I sense the rapid penetration of these devices will end right

Directivo too? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557678)

Does this affect Directivo too? Not all the Tivo software updates get passed through.

Re:Directivo too? (1)

ivan256 (17499) | about 9 years ago | (#13557780)

Nope. Those of use with DirecTV TiVos are already so functionality limited that there was no point.

Advantages to living in the cracks (5, Interesting)

Chairboy (88841) | about 9 years ago | (#13557698)

There are advantages to living in the cracks sometimes. Harry Harrison once wrote that every society has rats, and even an incredibly advanced one would have the equivalent, even if it's a 'stainless steel' rat. By owning a ReplayTV instead of a Tivo, I feel like I'm living in that crawlspace, away from all the media attention that a company like Tivo gets.

Replay got sued for the automatic commercial skip, but once that PVR had been thoroughly surpassed in numbers by Tivo, attention shifted elsewhere and now the only people who know about Replay are the owners.

1. I can pull my shows off my Replay over the network, no broadcast flag.
2. My 5060 (w/ the requisite hard drive upgrade, of course) still automatically skips commercials. They aren't taking away features I bought, and I appreciate it.
3. There's no pop-up advertisements like Tivo has. There just isn't the money in doing stuff like that because the user base is so small (but the development effort doesn't get cheaper as a result).

You can see some of the same stuff happening with Apple. The Macintosh has, lately, demonstrated less enthusiasm about adopting the various DRM flavor of the month technologies that the Windows PC has. This is in part because there isn't the same level of scrutiny, and also because the development effort of adding that stuff doesn't amortize across the user base as well. I'm sure there are other 'do no evil' type considerations and whatnot, but money is the real motive power to be reckoned with.

I sometimes wonder what the implications are for the rest of society. Do I, the middle class anonymous guy have more freedom than the popular, rich people? Probably. There's no media scrutiny of my every move, if I had a T-mobile Sidekick, nobody would bother trying to break into it, I can post diatribes to slashdot without apologizing via a press release, and so on.

Just a thought on the trade offs between being comfortable and caged in the living room above versus being a bit cramped, but living the freedom that only the unknown can claim...

Great, lower prices! (1)

Andrew Lenahan (912846) | about 9 years ago | (#13557712)

Since adding DRM means that the Tivo device won't be able to do things that older versions could (and thus has less functionality), surely this means that they'll compensate customers by lowering prices. Right? Right? Right???

Well then (1)

AvantLegion (595806) | about 9 years ago | (#13557716)

MythTV just got a lot more important.

I've felt that a lot of the complaints against TiVo to this point has been mainly petty Slashdot whining, but now there's something to really complain about.

How is MythTV when it comes to HD? Because I've got my hacked TiVo box for now, but when I get an HD set and all that, it'll be time to move to different hardware.

Re:Well then (1)

HeelToe (615905) | about 9 years ago | (#13557816)

How is MythTV when it comes to HD?

Bandwidth consumptive. You pretty much need to transcode shows (unless 15-25GB/hour sounds good to you). You will also need a pretty serious CPU to handle record, playback, transcode simultaneously. Disk bandwidth is probably ok with most recent drives. My PATA drives keep up with it fine, but the CPU can't decode it fast enough to stream it without the occasional glitch. Plan on an Athlon 64 3200+ or better. Make sure your bus and video card can handle the bandwidth, too.

Right now you can really only get clear cable channels and over the air content. I'm not sure what cable card compatible PC cards are on the horizon.

Re:Well then (1)

GigsVT (208848) | about 9 years ago | (#13557857)

It's still Slashdot whining, nothing has changed. It's just a bug someone found.

Hackers Unite! (1)

GecKo213 (890491) | about 9 years ago | (#13557722)

Hahah, It's only a matter of time before someone gets into the firmware and has a hack to ignore this problem. Just like the mods available for the Playstation, PS2, PSP, XBOX etc regarding copied CDs. There's got to be a flaw in there somewhere to be exploited.

Oh well (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | about 9 years ago | (#13557731)

I'm sure Tivo arnt stupid, they will have realised that this is needed to shut the networks up and that this will also split their customer base into three:

- people who think its totally fair
- people who don't like it but will live with it
- people who will move to build-your-own PVR's and will probably end up creating something much better than Tivo anyway

Just as long as they know what they're doing from a business perspective.

DVD restrictions (2, Interesting)

twl1973 (877541) | about 9 years ago | (#13557737)

I wonder in the future if they will start to restrict any episode of a show that was released on DVD. It will be a move to make more money off of these shows by forcing a person to actually spend the money on the DVD instead of saving it on your Tivo or moving it onto your computer.

Re:DVD restrictions (1)

Dachannien (617929) | about 9 years ago | (#13557874)

The logical thing to do would be to put added value in the DVD release, such as commentary tracks, deleted scenes, and other fun stuff, instead of pissing off one's potential customers.

Then again, I guess we're talking about the entertainment industry here, so never mind.

SageTV anyone? (2, Interesting)

JustASlashDotGuy (905444) | about 9 years ago | (#13557743)

I love my SageTV. If you have the savey'ness, then build your own 'tivo'. I love my SageTV (Dual Tuners, Remote, etc.. 'love'en it).

MythTv is awesome too, from what I hear.

This is no suprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557746)

A lot of us could see this coming way back. It's only a suprise to those early adopters who bought into this naively believing that the industry would preserve their investment.

This is stupid and short sighted behavior from the industry. Those early adopters finance new technologies until the manufacturing costs drop down to where mainstream consumers start buying the stuff. They keep burning the early adopters like this and they're going to have a hard time getting any new technology off the ground.

That's it, I'm buying a movie camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557748)

16mm aimed at the TV.

Look Ma, no DRM.

ObSimpsons... (1)

infochuck (468115) | about 9 years ago | (#13557766)


Suckers. Seriously, who couldn't see this - and worse - coming, eventually?

Methinks my MythTV box will be unaffected.

Yeah, yeah, TiVos are cheap, and Myth requires some effort, but you get what you pay for. Okay, maybe not if you buy a TiVo...

Become a producer if you don't like it (1)

wheelbarrow (811145) | about 9 years ago | (#13557769)

If you don't like the idea that some entertainment producers practice DRM, then why don't you become a producer who releases entertainment that is free of DRM. It should be easy. Create a show that everyone wants to see and then you can freely and voluntarily choose to release it without DRM.

Once your show becomes popular enough, the producers who use DRM may voluntarily decide to change their past DRM decisions and release without DRM.

I'd like to see this fought out in the arena of voluntary decisions.

Re:Become a producer if you don't like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557798)

How about I voluntarily decide not to use TiVo's products and use a DVR system that has no restrictions such as MythTV?

Seems fair to me. You beam the content into my living room, I will decide then how I want to manipulate those electrons.

Now what does Tivo actually DO? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557776)

This just makes me even happier to have MythTV.

I mean, I understand why you can't play emulators or rip DVDs (that I bought) with Tivo, but now you can't even record TV shows permanently? I mean, isn't that the whole point of getting a Tivo in the first place?

I would suggest (1)

hungrygrue (872970) | about 9 years ago | (#13557786)

MythTv, I haven't tried it myself - actually I haven't bothered watching any form of TV much in the last few years - but BS like this would never be an issue.

good bye tivo (1, Interesting)

jrwillis (306262) | about 9 years ago | (#13557790)

I've had a tivo since shortly after they launched their service. I've been a beta tester for them on several occasions. I've sold many friends on the product, but no more. I'm closing my account as I type this. Go fuck yourself Tivo.

Curious.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13557804)


I recently noticed a boat-load of job openings at Tivo. Makes one wonder if there wasn't a mass exodus because of this....


Open Source (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | about 9 years ago | (#13557807)

Fortunately, you hackers all use open source software exclusively, so you aren't at the mercy of some company. With your technical skills, it's trivial to disable the protection and get everything just the way you like it. /sarcasm

Ah, I've been waiting for this... (1)

jonesvery (121897) | about 9 years ago | (#13557835) that I could point out that in Corporate America, TiVo owns you!

Re:Ah, I've been waiting for this... (1)

suitepotato (863945) | about 9 years ago | (#13557878) that I could point out that in Corporate America, TiVo owns you!

Obligatory Nitpick: that should be "...pwns joo!"

Just so you cover all the comedy reference bases...

Information wants to be free, but... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 9 years ago | (#13557851)

the media doesn't want it to (you wouldn't expect the **AA to help you in this, would you?).
I guess, that if you REALLY want information to be free, you have to set it free using YOUR resources (i.e. MythTV).

There's no other way.

IIT'S FRAUD -- Demand refunds (2, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 9 years ago | (#13557880)

TiVo owners should be demanding refunds for the reduced functionality of this purchased device!

How would you like it if you took your car in for factory service and they downloaded an update to the car's computer that restricted your speeds to 55mph because of pressure from your state highway patrol?

Don't tell me that because there was some fine print in some d@mn license agreement that you've already agreed to this ahead of time. I sincerely doubt that the TiVo license agreement clearly states: We absoutely will reduce the functionality of your purchased and owned equipment in the near future without your consent to appease the broadcasting and content creation industries.

You bought the box for what it would do at the time of purchase, and have a right to continue to expect it to perform to at least those levels in the future!

Suck it up and solve the problem yourselves... (1)

pla (258480) | about 9 years ago | (#13557882)

and as such are upset that TiVo has restricted the capabilities of the receivers they bought and subscribed to use

Surprised? Upset? Gimme a break! Companies do that, because we let them get away with it.

Best solution here? A mass returning of TiVos for lying to their customers (arguably a violation of their end of the contract for not acting in good faith? Don't know how well that would hold up in court, though, IANAL). Then set up your own Myth box.

However, for those who don't want the hassle of trying to explain DRM to a service desk clerk who couldn't care less, just patch your TiVo software to not encrypt the content, install Samba on it, and mount the drive from any other machine in your house. Poof, the idea of automatically deleting content after a certain time becomes moot.

Permission to use hardware I own, and monthly payments to keep it working? Hah! Once you have the hardware in-hand, their ability to stop you from using it however you want vanishes.

Wow (1)

EvilMagnus (32878) | about 9 years ago | (#13557904)

I'm glad ReplayTV's been left to dangle without an update for so long ... it's probably not worth DM's effort to put this in now.

But still, once my ReplayTV finally dies, I'll be building a myth box. Or maybe getting a Mac Mini and an eyeTV unit.
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