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TiVo to Let Users Record Shows Via Cellphone

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the instant-gratification-generation dept.

172

Carl Bialik writes "Verizon Wireless plans to offer a new service called TiVo Mobile that will allow its customers who also have TiVos in their homes to schedule TV shows for recording when they are on the go, the Wall Street Journal reports. ' A customer might use the service to impulsively schedule a sitcom for recording after the show is recommended by a friend at a party,' says the WSJ, adding, 'Verizon Wireless executives said the service, to begin this summer, is expected to cost less than $5 a month, in addition to normal cellphone-service charges and TiVo subscriber fees, which are $12.95 a month.'"

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and orb (0)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870963)

will let you do it free..

yea, I read engadget too.....

Re:and orb (4, Interesting)

krisp (59093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871076)

and beyondtv and sagetv and any other pvr software with a web server. all you have to do is point your mobile web broser at it and schedule for free.

not to mention all of these packages get guide data for free rather than forcing you to lock in to a monthly plan.

personally i built an htpc and use beyondtv as a replacement to my series 2 tivo because

a) i want high resolution output
b) i don't want to pay monthly fees

Re:and orb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14871194)

Verizon's "Mobile Web 2.0" plan is $5/month, and you may incur extra per-KB fees if you go over some limit.

Re:and orb (1)

krisp (59093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871476)

unless you change the proxy and then it just uses minutes

Re:and orb (4, Insightful)

Romancer (19668) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871300)

I recently scheduled the oscars to record from a web enabled phone by going to online tivo scheduling.

WTFITBD?

The hell I'm going to pay for a specialized app on a phone that has internet access already.

Standards are there for a reason, if a phone can access normal web pages it can do hundreds of things, if it has a bunch of nickle and dime apps that raises your bill it's a POS and your provider is screwing you.

If your phone can only view "mobile pages" there are scripts that you can run on your own webserver that'll strip everything but the actual info and serve you that.

A bit obsessive (4, Insightful)

RedHatLinux (453603) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870965)

Seriously, are there TV shows that important one needs this service to ensure they don't miss them

Re:A bit obsessive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14871201)

Seriously, are there TV shows that important one needs this service to ensure they don't miss them

yes, i'm certain there are [216.110.153.230]

Re:A bit obsessive (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14871370)

Oh come on. With your line of thinking, how many people even actually need cell phones?

Some scenarios where this feature might come in handy:

1. You are out with friends and they mention a new show to you.
2. You are out and realize you forgot that your show is on a new night this week - and tonight is the night.
3. You are out and see an advertisement for a new show. You can write it down and hope you don't forget to enter it in later, or you can just enter it in right now.
4. You are out with friends and one of them realizes he forgot to record a show he wanted to watch. You can do him a favor.

Ah, back in my day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14870967)

my cell phone only made calls to local numbers and that's the way I liked it! The thing weight three pounds, and had a battery that only lasted for one 30 second phone call or 1 hour standby and that's the way I liked it!

Hey Carl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14870971)

Why don't you quit your job over at the WSJ and become a Slashdot editor?

BECAUSE THERE IS TOO MUCH RAMPANT FAGGOTRY (1, Flamebait)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871015)

He only has to suck one cock to get scuttlemonkey to post a story for him. He doesn't want to become slashdots new man-whore. The editor with the least senority is known as the "Slashdot CumBucket".

Yawn (2, Informative)

yotaku (26455) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870977)

Media Center, and I'm sure the linux htpcs too, have been able to this for ages. And we dont have to pay a monthly fee.

Re:Yawn (1)

sarvinc (662408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871020)

Gosh, I was just about to ask where you where... then I refreshed. There's always one who has to point out that what their using already has this feature. Oh yeah, MythTV and mythweb are working fine for me.

Re:Yawn (2, Informative)

Locutus (9039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871240)

this has been something Tivo hackers have had for quite some time with the webserver access hack. I guess now, Tivo finally feels this is something they should provide as part of the "Tivo Service".

Obviously, this isn't really news to techies and/or hackers but the general public is clueless as to what's available to them. Heck, I've told friends who great the Tivo DVR is but only til they get one with some new service, do they then tell me that they'd not want to be without a DVR... I guess that is why marketing is so expensive. The people have to be told over and over again before they finally "get it". :-/

LoB

Re:Yawn (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14871660)

In fact, TiVo has a SDK you could use to build an app that does exactly this (scheduling using a cell phone) without any hacks.

You are incorrect, sir. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14871407)

Media Center, and I'm sure the linux htpcs too, have been able to this for ages. And we dont have to pay a monthly fee.

Sorry, but that's a big negatory.

TiVo users already have been able to schedule recording via the web for quite a while for free. In fact, it was a feature of TiVo long before Microsoft added MSN Remote Record to their offerings.

This isn't web scheduling; it's scheduling via your Verizon mobile phone.

Which is the stupidest idea I've ever heard.

I'm sure someone somewhere has been crazed enough to hack this sort of functionality into Myth, but it's not a current stock feature of MythTV, Windows MCE, or TiVo. Or ReplayTV, for that matter.

Re:You are incorrect, sir. (1)

KingVance (815011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871677)

if tivo made a wap page for scheduling they could bypass verizon...but verizon offered them money im sure to not do just that.

MythTV has web front end (1)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870978)

Thats almost as good. If you can browse the net on your phone, it would be the same thing.

Re:MythTV has web front end (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871059)

Yeah, and you can do on-line scheduling with TiVo as well. Just need a browser that can login to the TiVo website. No, it isn't an extra feature.

If you want to see what your TiVo has already recorded, you can even talk to it through a web browser. Just need to get to it through https, and have your media access key handy.

Re:MythTV has web front end (2, Informative)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871228)

Yeah, and you can do on-line scheduling with TiVo as well. Just need a browser that can login to the TiVo website. No, it isn't an extra feature.
But the Tivo has to call in to get the new schedule, right? So anything you schedule before the next time Tivo phones home will be lost. MythWeb doesn't have that problem - it directly controls the system.

Where's the advantage? (4, Insightful)

magicsquid (85985) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870984)

Why should I pay $5 more a month for a service that I already have for free? Why not just go to the Tivo web site on a web-enabled phone and do your remote scheduling there?

Re:Where's the advantage? (4, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871011)

> Why should I pay $5 more a month for a service that I already have for free? Why not just go to the Tivo web site on a web-enabled phone and do your remote scheduling there?

Because if you do it that way, Verizon doesn't get $5/month out of you! (Alternate: Because when you signed up for Verizon, they disabled the web-enabled part of your phone when they installed their ugly red user interface and branding onto it, but will re-enable it for $5/month.)

Oh, wait, you're looking at it from the customer's perspective. Never mind.

Re:Where's the advantage? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871191)

Well, if I were a Verizon shareholder, I'd be wondering why management can't see it from the customer's perspective. They went and invested in all that data network technology without any clear idea how they were going to make any money off it. Their schemes for getting people to pay for services that send data back and forth are getting more and more lame — or should I say desperate?

Re:Where's the advantage? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871235)

What makes Verizon any different than any other communications company? Remember, the reason these guys are all still around is because they are all customer-hating, overcharging pricks, and the shareholders just love it.

Re:Where's the advantage? (2, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871345)

It's not enought for the shareholders that management consists of overcharging pricks. Those pricks have to be able to con people into actually paying those excessive charges.

Re:Where's the advantage? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871413)

Well yes, the root of the problem is that consumers really do put up with the crap instead of having the balls to go "take your stupid cell phone and shove it up your ass."

Instead they come to places like /. and moan about evil telcos and the vile shareholders that...

Oh wait!

Re:Where's the advantage? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871681)

The only reason crappy carriers like Verizon still exist is because they have better coverage in all the places people need to use a cellphone.

If a company can produce a network that has the coverage of verizon without all the crap, they will make a mint with all the verizon customers switching to them (thank god for mobile number portability)

Re:Where's the advantage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14871714)

Remember, the reason these guys are all still around is because they are all customer-hating, overcharging pricks, and the shareholders just love it Oh man that hits the nail right on the head. I'd mod you +1 "that's sooo true"

Re:Where's the advantage? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871144)

I'm sure someone could easily write a script to handle incoming SMS (or e-mail) and submit the updates to the Tivo website.

Personally I just record stuff by the season. Anything else that I "miss" won't be a big loss.

Re:Where's the advantage? (2, Interesting)

Horrortaxi (803536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871174)

I've had Tivo since 2000 and from Day One I thought this would be a great feature that I was always surprised didn't exist. Tivo has a phone jack, so it seems reasonable from a consumer's point of view to call the Tivo and schedule a recording. When they brought out web scheduling I thought it was a step in the right direction, but it's still far from perfect (mainly because it's not instant, Tivo doesn't get it's instructions until the next time it calls in). So this should be a good thing, except that it's a bunch of bullshit.

This should be a feature of Tivo, not something that's locked to ONE cell phone provider. And to charge extra for it? That's just insulting.

Although I have a Tivo and Verizon I'm definitely not going to use this service. I've got a shiny new CoreDuo Mac Mini sitting on top of my TV and between iTunes, podcasts, and BitTorrent it's going to get harder and harder for me to find reasons to use my Tivo and cable box. Amateurs are often putting out better content than the networks, and I can control the stuff on my Mini 100% (not counting DRM obviously).

I used to love Tivo and be a big fanboy, but lately every announcement they make just causes me to hate them more.

CoreDuo Mac Mini (0, Offtopic)

bobalu (1921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871429)

How do you like it? Mine's coming Thursday, gotta be faster than my 12" Powerbook at 1Ghz!

Re:CoreDuo Mac Mini (0, Offtopic)

Horrortaxi (803536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871522)

How do you like it? Mine's coming Thursday, gotta be faster than my 12" Powerbook at 1Ghz!

I like it a lot. Honestly it's not 100% "there" as a set top box yet, but it's a good solid 85% "there." In time when either Apple updates FrontRow or people hack FrontRow I think that it will be 100%. By biggest problem so far is that the Flip4Mac plugin is PPC only, so I can't play wmv in Quicktime (or FrontRow) yet.

The Mini is hooked to my TV, stereo, and gigabit network. So far I've had to Remote Desktop into it to do one thing or another every day, but I've only had it 3 days and I do it less every day. Mostly I just use the remote and FrontRow.

iDVD? (1)

bobalu (1921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871567)

Burn any DVD's with it? I'm curious as to how long it takes to groove up a full disc.

Even better, just call someone... (3, Insightful)

Slashdot Junky (265039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871207)

Even better, just call someone that can connect to Tivo's website using a PC. You know, like a parent, spouse, girlfriend, regular friend, kid, etc.

Why pay to have a cell phone do yet one more thing.

Later,
-Slashdot Junky

Re:Where's the advantage? (3, Interesting)

WushuJim (595318) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871430)

I have an even better solution, but not as simple. I can control my ReplayTV and Tivo over WAP access through my cell phone. The WAP is provided by my FreeBSD box via Kannel. I then wrote a webapp that generates mobile pages from the already existing open source webapps: Personal ReplayGuide and Tivoweb. I have been able to schedule recordings via my cell phone for over a year now.

The Advantage of Open Architecture (2, Interesting)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871617)

If TiVo and cell phones were built on a truly open architecture, this service would be free... someone would write a couple of 100-line apps, one on the phone and one on the TiVo, and they'd be open source.

Just as we'd have had caller ID in 1970 if POTS was an open network architecture.

sounds like this thing that works on ALL carriers (2, Informative)

montale127 (307830) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871000)

http://www.dvreverywhere.com/ [dvreverywhere.com]

Re:sounds like this thing that works on ALL carrie (1)

montale127 (307830) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871044)

and, oh, right: let's you actually PLAY your content streamed to whatever Web device you're on

transcoded on the fly to the appropriate bitrate and format

free

or... don't waste $5 a month (4, Informative)

loraksus (171574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871004)

And use the tv.yahoo's tivo scheduling.
Wow... $5 a month?

Expensive (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14871005)

This is too expensive even after I give them the benefit of doubt and assume it can be managed online as well (unless being able to view the tivo'd or bought shows is possible).

Anyway, my point is they'll try this service .. few will buy in .. and then they'll say it failed "The market doesnt want such a thing"

Then someone else (Apple?) will do it for free successfully and Tivo/Verizon will run around claiming they were first. No they wasn't. They did it all wrong.

This is what happens when you charge an exorbitant amount for something that's dirt cheap to provide.

BFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14871014)

I already do this with Windows XP Media Center and a homebrewed solution I have. I assume you'd be able to do this easily with MythTV and any phone with internet access also.

MythWeb... (5, Interesting)

kebes (861706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871042)

I don't want to turn this into a "TiVo versus MythTV" argument, but I think it's worth noting that the MythWeb plugin that comes with MythTV allows you to schedule shows from any browser, anywhere. Because MythTV runs on a Linux box, you get a webserver and fileserver and all that out-of-the-box. So you can log into your Myth from anywhere that has internet, and schedule a show to record, on an impulse. You can even remotely (via SSH) transcode a show, and download it to your local computer for easy viewing.

There's no reason why you couldn't access your MythTV from any laptop or PDA that has some basic web access. I often, as the summary suggest, record a show on an impulse, when someone mentions it to me. This is an awesome feature that I'm sure TiVo users would love to have. However even at 5$/month it seems overpriced to me. This should be included for free as a "value added" that would encourage people to buy TiVo and and sign up for Verizon.

Re:MythWeb... (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871089)

You can schedule programming from anywhere with TiVo too. Even from a phone if it's webenabled. This is just a way for Verizon to get paid for something that was already possible.

Re:MythWeb... (1)

irrision (536964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871286)

I'll tell you why people aren't using MythTV. You need at least $400 in hardware (If you're a true hardware bargin shopper) unless you have old computers lying around like most of the slashdot crowd probably has. The core audience for Tivo is for people that aren't techheads. The service through verizon is probably made to be easy as hell to setup and use. Sure they could surf to the tivo.com site but guess what? Mobile web is $5 a month on Verizon as well. If you don't have mobile-web and own a Tivo you might be likely to go with this service instead. Personally I run a Beyond TV DVR and a Tivo for my mother who isn't tech literate.

Re:MythWeb... (2, Informative)

pivo (11957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871327)

TiVo also runs on a Linux box. And as others have pointed out, you can scheduule TiVo via a web browser.

Re:MythWeb... (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871372)

As somebody that had a Myth setup and Tivo's, you can do the same thing to any tivo that has been hacked (no harder than a mythtv setup). You can also do all the transcoding you would like, play your avi's etc via the tivo. Tivo's are realy good at watching things, myth has mame and thus piles of games and does a good job of recording things.

For me the quality loss of myth isn't aceptable (hr10-250 HD tivo's) and that is not going to change untill firewire recording from digital cable becomes possible. Myth is a great project and could do what I want (HD Directv receivers can be hacked to provide firewire out) but the HD tivo's do a better job at less cost myth front end gets used for games and weather.

Re:MythWeb... (1)

meehawl (73285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871560)

the MythWeb plugin that comes with MythTV allows you to schedule shows from any browser, anywhere

That's cool. Sounds like DVArchive [wikipedia.org] on ReplayTV [wikipedia.org] .

Re:MythWeb... (1)

jridley (9305) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871569)

Yeah, GB-PVR too. I use the web interface to cruise the listings and resolve recording conflicts while eating lunch at work.

I tried to get Myth going but after 2 days of screwing around trying to all the hardware drivers working to the point where I could even start to install Myth, I gave up. So restored my Windows install to the machine, and had GB-PVR up in 10 minutes. It works very well.

Cool but.... (1)

max99ted (192208) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871047)

A customer might use the service to impulsively schedule a sitcom for recording after the show is recommended by a friend at a party.

... for "less than" $5/month? USD? I dunno... I can't think of a TV show so great (that I haven't already heard of) that I'd need to pay a monthly fee to remotely record it before I got home. Maybe a small fee per use or something, for those times you are away for an extended period or something...

TFA says that TiVo allowed you to schedule via the web - did you have to pay per month for that?

Re:Cool but.... (1)

Viper168 (650370) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871241)

Apparently their web scheduling is free, but to do it from your phone (on verizon) you need web enabled, which is a $5/month subscription from verizon anyways.

Japan (4, Interesting)

gnovos (447128) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871057)

Last year in Japan they had a tivo-like device for the cell phone.... Not to record shows at home, though.... To record shows ON the damn phone since they all have sattelite receivers in them now...

Re:Japan (4, Insightful)

MrWa (144753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871307)

While this doesn't have Tivo-like features, it does run Linux: P901iTV [linuxdevices.com] Some people go too far with their Japanese fetishes but, in general, it is pretty sad how far ahead the Japanese consumer product market. Simply go to any shop in Akihabara or Yodabashi camera and there products years ahead of what is considered new in the U.S. Hell, the free phones in Japan are better than $100-200 models in the US!! The US consumer market is way too slow in adopting new technologies - or even having them available for the bleeding-edge, early adopters to play with! When a bloody $5 per month "service" to let you schedule recording on your Tivo is considered news on a tech-centric website, you know something is wrong.

Re:Japan (1)

bombadier_beetle (871107) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871380)

Depending on your opinion of consumer electronics as a facet of the human experience, it's either sad for us that we're behind, or sad for the Japanese that they're ahead...

Re:Japan (1)

MrWa (144753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871553)

Really, it all comes down to choice and available options. In the U.S. your options are more limited. If you personally do not care to have the latest whizz-bang gadget then, obviously, a limited selection does not impact you. For people that are interested in trying out the next new thing, which presumably would include a large portion of /. readers, then the slower release cycle is frustrating.

Re:Japan (1)

jheath314 (916607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871310)

I've got this too... my phone has a video camera in it, and if I hold it in front of the TV I can capture one minute clips of any show I want! Take that, TiVo!

Re:Japan (1)

Zadaz (950521) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871591)

I own a phone that can do this (Japanese phone). The quality isn't great, but good enough. I haven't found a way to copy the files off the phone yet (it records them on miniSD)

Of course this phone also has GPS, barcode reader, 2MP camera with flash, motion sensor, music service, e-book reading, looks sexy and cost $100 less than my RAZR...

Tivo was a great service while it lasted, and it at least has a good interface. But its days are numbered when put up against media-type PC's and Peer download networks.

Re:Japan (1)

kb7oeb (543726) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871708)

Does it work with CDMA or GSM?

and I can do it for free without cable! (2, Interesting)

magicrobotmonkey (948047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871060)

So, someone's finally starting to get what we want.

For some time, I have had a media box set up at home (behind the couch) running Azureus [sourceforge.net] . Combine that with Hamachi [hamachi.cc] , Firefox [mozilla.com] , the ConQuery [mozdev.org] extension and the WebUI [sourceforge.net] plugin for Azureus, and I am a right click away from downloading any torrent I want whereever my laptop is. Tivo's got me beat though, because I can't do it from my phone (yet...).

On the other hand, I've got Tivo beat because I can do what I want with the media I get this way.

Re:and I can do it for free without cable! (1)

Overloadplanetunreal (603019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871610)

Wow. Hamachi is awesome. This is the answer my friends and I have been looking for for a long time! I demand that you share with me other cool apps you use!

TiVo from the cell (1)

kc0re (739168) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871064)

I don't see why this service wouldn't work. I'd love to say "AWW! Forgot to set my TiVo to record 24! Let me call my TiVo."

Although I can't fancy seeing me paying 5 dollars a month for this functionality. (Disclaimer: I don't have a TiVo)
I'd be more apt to be able to log into a web interface and do it. ( i don't know if you can do that now )..
Hopefully one of the OpenSource Guru's has a free way to do this not long from now.

Re:TiVo from the cell (1)

user32.ExitWindowsEx (250475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871088)

mythtv already does, from what i know.

Re:TiVo from the cell (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871212)

TiVo already has web scheduling through its own web site or Yahoo! TV. No extra charge for either one.

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$60 a year? (2, Insightful)

bvwj (473084) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871082)

I have Verizon service. I have TiVO service. I can't imagine how this add-on could be worth $60 a year to me. That's the same price as Verizon web access. The arrogance of these two to just assume people will pay whatever they ask! Can't wait till advancing technology and the free market make both of them a memory.

$5 / Month?!?!? (4, Informative)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871133)

You can do this for free with MythTV via MythWeb.

You can also do it for free at tivo.com

Totally ridiculous.

Re:$5 / Month?!?!? (1)

Sime208 (709155) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871472)

You can do this for free with MythTV via MythWeb.
Not everyone has MythTV.
You can also do it for free at tivo.com
Not everyone has a web-enabled phone. Not familiar with MythTV.com (Don't have Tivo), but if functionality exists already to schedule recordings that way it must've taken a developer all of half a morning to rustle up this SMS offering. Why not charge $5 a month for it, they'll have likely done research that shows some folk will be willing to pay it.

RTFA (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871592)

The service works with a small software program Verizon Wireless customers can download to their handsets that will communicate back to their TiVo digital-video recorders.

Has nothing to do with SMS at all.

And anyone who can download apps to their phone has WAP.

TiVo users are suckers (1, Insightful)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871139)

They'll pay $13/month for a "service" that is just letting them use hardware they already bought. Of course they'll pay $5/month to send SMS on a phone they already pay to send SMS on.

Re:TiVo users are suckers (0)

dimator (71399) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871272)

Car owners are suckers, too. They keep paying for gas for a device they already own.

Re:TiVo users are suckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14871652)

Stupid logic. Buying gas for your car is like buying electricity for your TiVo.

You get nothing for the monthly fee to TiVo except for letting them sell your aggregated viewing habbits. ATI has its free Gemstar guide, BeyondTV has a free episode guide, I can look up listing info for free on the web. The print version of TV Guide can be mailed to your door every week for a fraction of what TiVo charges to download that data.

You'd have to be a total idiot to buy a PVR and then have to pay a monthly fee to use it in a non crippled version.

You think that's bad? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871295)

Any bluetooth-enabled cellphone that isn't protected against people placing malicious calls is therefore not protected against malicious TiVoing.


"How could TiVo be used maliciously?" Bombard TiVo with enough PPV demands and it could start getting expensive. Fill the hard-drive with enough teleshopping or other pr0n, you've essentially managed a denial-of-download attack. America doesn't have anything similar to Open University, but that would be another potentially vulnerable area.

Re:TiVo users are suckers (2, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871326)

You can actually do without the service if you don't mind entering all your start and top times by hand. But you actually get more for your $13 than easy scheduling. With a schedule feed, the device has to ability to automatically record shows you never heard of, but which are similar to shows you know you like. That one feature probably accounts for most of TiVo's popularity.

(Back before TV listings became available online for free, people used to spend $3/month for TV Guide just so they'd known what was on. Same idea, only more advanced.)

What bugs me is that they no longer allow you to buy lifetime service for a flat fee. I guess too many people realized that you came out ahead if you owned your TiVo more than 18 months. Though if you were unlucky (as I was) your TiVo died on you before the 18 months was up!

If I ever had cable TV again, I'd have to have a TiVo. I mean, what's the use of having 200 channels if you can't separate the few shows you want to watch from all the crap? But I'll probably never have cable again — at current prices, that's really for suckers.

A couple corrections (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14871492)

You can actually do without the service if you don't mind entering all your start and top times by hand.
This hasn't been true for years; in fact, it stopped being true back in the days of the Series 1. Later Series 1 models and nearly all Series 2 models are doorstops without a TiVo service subscription.

(Back before TV listings became available online for free, people used to spend $3/month for TV Guide just so they'd known what was on. Same idea, only more advanced.)
$3 a month for TV Guide? Maybe in 1962. The cover price of TV Guide has been almost $2 for several years now, and I can't count the number of people I knew (my parents included) who just grabbed a Guide at the checkstand every week during grocery shopping.

Up until TV Guide quit doing TV listings, TiVo was pretty price competitive with newsstand purchase of weekly issues.

What bugs me is that they no longer allow you to buy lifetime service for a flat fee.
This is untrue. Lifetime service is still available, and is still $299.

They also still offer the ability to buy an annual subscription if you prefer.

Though if you were unlucky (as I was) your TiVo died on you before the 18 months was up!
If your TiVo dies on you out of warranty and you have a lifetime subscription, you simply send it to TiVo for a standard flat-fee repair. If your unit is repaired, your subscription will keep working when you hook it back up. If your unit is replaced by TiVo, they will transfer the lifetime to the replacement unit. This is not a new policy; it's been active for years.

Re:TiVo users are suckers (1)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871706)

(Back before TV listings became available online for free, people used to spend $3/month for TV Guide just so they'd known what was on. Same idea, only more advanced.) So for $3/month you can have TV Guide print out the weeks listings, and mail it right to your door. On top of that, they pay jouranlists to write articles about the shows to help you decide what you'll like and find out behind the scenes stuff. If you don't care about the articles, you can get the listings magazine for free in your weekly newspaper. Or you can pay $13/month just to download the listing data. What value compared to mailing a printout. What bugs me is that they no longer allow you to buy lifetime service for a flat fee. I guess too many people realized that you came out ahead if you owned your TiVo more than 18 months. Though if you were unlucky (as I was) your TiVo died on you before the 18 months was up! This is one of the stupidest things about TiVo. You pay $300 for "lifetime" service, but that only lasts as long as you own that box. If the box dies or you upgrade it, your $300 is lost. Once again, you'd have to be an idiot to buy into that (no offense). If I ever had cable TV again, I'd have to have a TiVo. I mean, what's the use of having 200 channels if you can't separate the few shows you want to watch from all the crap? But I'll probably never have cable again -- at current prices, that's really for suckers. I aggree with you there. What really gets me is the commercials and the way the stations ruin the content with ID logos and using the credits as extra commercial time. I actually don't have cable now and do all my tv watching on DVDs rented from netflix. It's just annoying to have to wait 6 months to see each season. If something like Apples service ever comes along but has decent quality downloads for $2/episode without commercials and available before or at the same time as the broadcast, I'd be happy.

Re:TiVo users are suckers (3, Insightful)

horatio (127595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871639)

I'm a sucker? No. Like I've said in other stories where this inevitably comes up, I pay not to have to deal with the bullshit. I fight with computers every day because it is my job, and because it is a hobby. Yet, I don't want to have to mess with kernels or libraries or dependencies or drivers or modules or the latest bug in mythTV or lousy hardware or whatever other problem there might be with running a typical PC. MythTV has its uses, and some people swear by it. Maybe you like it when your video card craps out on you. Maybe you're the type that walks/swims 8 miles to work instead of paying the bridge toll (haha sucker - I live under my desk!). I have no idea.

I pay 13$/month because I don't want to screw with my television (+DVR), I just want it to work. TiVo obviously provides me a service for this - the most obvious being the guide data. It is a small price to pay, imho, for the (nearly) worry-free joy that is my TiVo. If the series3 isn't vaporware, I'm all about it.

Massively OT, but... television?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14871148)

As someone who spent a frightening amount of his childhood fascinated by television, does it strike anyone else as downright bizarre these days to sit down in front of a television screen for hours at a time, on a regular schedule, to "be entertained"?

Am I completely out of touch, is there anything worth a goddamn on TV any more? Even the significant time I waste arguing on /. feels orders of magnitude better spent than staring passively at a screen for a large portion of my day.

coincidence? (4, Funny)

sedyn (880034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871158)

I just realized that I got to see an ad for Verizon Wireless early because I saw an ad for Verizon Wireless [slashdot.org] ...

Hacking the TiVoSphere (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871178)

I can see it now:

Having your roommate get TiVo $xxx per month. - $xxx.

Having your roommate get cellphone-enabled TiVo for $5 a month - $5.

Hacking your roommate's TiVo remotely via an SMS remote hack - Priceless.

How about a pen and paper for free... (1)

DAE51D (776260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871210)

I can't think of anywhere I would be that a friend would tell me to record a show and I couldn't jot it down on a scrap paper, napkin, back of my hand, put it in my PDA, or write it as a txt msg to myself from the same cell phone they're trying to charge me $5 to use.

TiVo WAS an amazing product at one time. Truly cutting edge and brilliant. Now it's just a sad, dying company grasping to try and retain some sort of market.

They should just open source the whole thing, and focus on making the hardware dirt cheap. Or maybe make a single PCI card with all the inputs/outputs and concentrate on selling that.

TiVo's days are surely numbered. I have my Series 1 that I've hacked and it still runs like a champ, but with things like Meedio, MythTV, Media Center, and the bazillion other PVRs coming down the way (often included IN a Television or Cable Box these days), I don't think they're innovating enough to keep up.

Right Analogy, Wrong Company (1)

meehawl (73285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871545)

TiVo WAS an amazing product at one time. Truly cutting edge and brilliant. Now it's just a sad, dying company grasping to try and retain some sort of market.

No, that was ReplayTV [wikipedia.org] . Tivo was like Replay's dim younger cousin, always eager to play nice with "The Man".

You can buy the Season DVD for that Price (2, Interesting)

ThisIsForReal (897233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871211)

5/month - I know a few have mentioned that's a bit steep. Well, to bring in a valid comparison to just how steep this is - it's CHEAPER to buy the show on DVD than to pay for this service that allows you to tivo DRM'ed television.

On another note, I applaud people who have the audacity to turn off their tv and go out to a party thus living their life, but if the end result is that we're now spending more money to help us make sure we don't miss our tv programming, society has still taken a step backwards.

If any more signs of the apocolypse start happening, I'm going to say 'screw it' and eat all the bacon I want!

Re:You can buy the Season DVD for that Price (1)

kadathseeker (937789) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871709)

Well, for people like me that really only care about two or three shows, the occasional History Channel special, and movies, TiVo means I get more time to do other things than plan my life around watching these shows or giving them up. I get both. I do stuff Fridat and Saturday, then watch TV only at dinner during the week.

Mo Money! (4, Insightful)

SaturnTim (445813) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871219)

$5 a month for something you will probably use a couple times a year (at most)?
on top of your verizon plan, on top of the tivo monthly fee, on top of the broadband connection...
(this won't work if your tivo still works on dial-up)

Never mind (as 50 other posts mentioned) the free alternatives...

Just doesn't make financial sense.

More proof that Who^H^H^HVerizon sells... (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871319)

...revenue generating devices that allow interpersonal communication at high costs, and not cellphones.

RTFA damn it! (0)

bluestar (17362) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871365)

To all the people saying you can already do this for free with MythTV and even TiVo's own website:

This will let you program your TiVo from a CEL PHONE. Not a web browser, not a WAP browser, a CEL PHONE.

Thank you.

Re:RTFA damn it! (2, Informative)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871396)

And considering every cellphone that will have the ability to use this feature will also most likely already include at least a WAP browser (if not a full HTML browser).... what was your point again?

Re:RTFA damn it! (2, Funny)

Ray Radlein (711289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871455)

Tsk, tsk! Read before you reply! He wasn't talking about cell phones at all; he was talking about CEL phones. Completely different thing.

Re:RTFA damn it! (1)

timmyf2371 (586051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871487)

Well yes, but when you have applications such as this one [opera.com] which is merely a standard web browser, then there isn't really any distinction.

Pay Per Use (1)

WebScud (662900) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871366)

Not that I want to pay at all. It should be free. But, if they're going to charge for this service, it should be like $0.50 a scheduling session. No one will do enough TiVo scheduling via their phone to make it worth $5/month. At $0.50 you suddenly have everyone recoding that one show they forgot to set.

tivoweb? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14871403)

I'm an avid Tivo fan, although I'm in the UK where Tivo has unfortunately long since left. My Tivo has been suitably modded, ethernet, 600gig storage. Frankly it is all good! With the open source tivowebplus project sitting comfortably on my little PVR not only can I search, schedule and watch programs using my webbrowser, but I can access the web interface via my WAP phone (HTML rather than WML) and have done for a long time... What is all the fuss about? Surely an broadband connection, dynamic DNS (where required) and tivowebplus means you can access your tivo from a WAP/Web-enabled phone? I thought being the UK with a pre-y2k Tivo meant we were still in the dark ages.. Myth is good, but my good old Tivo just works(tm)

Presumably tivowebplus will run on the tivos you are talking about?

Re:tivoweb? (1)

Wavicle (181176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871525)

I'm in the UK where Tivo has unfortunately long since left. My Tivo has been suitably modded

I'm a TiVo user in the US, but I am curious about TiVo as a company. When they pulled out, did you have to modify your subscription at all? Are you still paying, using a fake call hack, or did tivo remove the subscription requirement?

comon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14871515)

Comon people, it's only $5, I am sure most of you spend more than that on crack.

Feel the Verizon love (2, Insightful)

abes (82351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871529)

I am currently a Verizon customer. I am switching phone companies once I am no longer their bitch (contract is up in a year or so). What really pisses me off is how they charge you for every little small thing. Is it not enough that I am a current paying customer? That I paid that much more for a phone that could run a couple of apps? Nope. You have to pay for every single thing you put on your phone. And if something happens to your phone, it's a major hassle. Something happening can include replacing your phone, because their service sucks in your area. Somehow it's impossible for them to copy everything over.

So it's no surprising at all that they want to charge for this service. As many people have noted it's easily done already. But Verizon can sell it as a 'select' service you can get, to lure you into getting a 10-year contract. They won't mention the cost, until it is too late. They might also leave off needing a TIVO subscription on top of that. Until you get your bill, and realize how stupid it is.

They do that with their web phones. On some phones (like mine) you can actually change the gateway such that you can surf the net for free, until you realize exactly how painful it is to do with a cell phone, and give up.

Slingbox (1)

rickmus (872230) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871537)

http://www.slingmedia.com/ [slingmedia.com] I just got a Slingbox last week - allows you to stream a video signal over your lan / internet as well as control the device it is hooked up to ( in my case, a ReplayTV ) - works pretty well, you need about 300kbits for internet streaming.

Frist Ps0t (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14871604)

the hard drivE to offended some followed. obviously

Dear editor (5, Interesting)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871609)

Dear editors.

Please check who is submitting an article before you post it. In this case the article was submitted by a guy using the e-mail "wsjarticles@wsj.com". When the article says "A customer might use the service to impulsively schedule a sitcom for recording after the show is recommended by a friend at a party,' says the WSJ, it's not exactly difficult to put two and two together.

Slashdot is being used as free PR for companies. People have started to complain about this and yet no one seems to take a bit of notice.

Nickel and Dimed... (4, Informative)

EMIce (30092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871633)

...for just a few ip packets. Uhh, I hope the way Verizon runs their cellular business is not an indication of how they'll treat us under tiered internet, but who am I kidding?

Anyone who has compared developing applications for Verizon phones vs. Sprint/Nextel vs. Cingular knows that Verizon is simply not an option unless you have $$$ and enough clout to negotiate access. No feature that Verizon thinks they can get an extra fee for is left unlocked. DRM is built in and all applications are signed so as to grant just the permissions that have been paid for.

Compare this to Cingular and international gsm providers, who have no DRM and allow access to the phone hardware (bluetooth, gps, ringtones, other content)and the network via java. You own the hardware, you pay for network access, and use it as you will. No getting billed for every single permutation of features like with this Tivo app.

Verizon considers each application a billable "feature" in and of itself, while more open providers bill for network access and leave applications to open hardware and software.

The later architecture allows anyone to get in on the game, while the former restricts access to those that pay up. You can bet that development companies who pony up for access will need to make a return asap, and so will be pushed towards making applications that maximize return quickly. This will only lead to fewer experimental ideas attempted, and fewer niche applications being developed.

If \.'ers want to support more open cell standards I'd suggest looking into Cingular, who at first advertised themselves years ago as "the company the support self expression" - of course no one got it. I hear their network has gotten much wider since the AT&T merger so they are worth a shot.

"the company that supports self expression" (1)

EMIce (30092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871676)

I mis-typed it.

$5.00/month Saved can = (1)

xoip (920266) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871637)

Ok lets say you're 24 years old. Forget the $5 per month and then invested the resulting monthly savings in an investment that earned 7.5% per year, between now and age 65, you would then be able to withdraw $153 from your investment each month...until you croak at 80!Then there is the service fee calculation [blogspot.com] that I did about a month ago.

not the typical tivo use case (2, Insightful)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14871712)

i am a long time tivo user and advocate. the idea that someone would pay $5 / month for the ability to schedule shows from their verizon phone is absurd. i can say, since i've had access to the web-based equivalent (free) service (about 1.5 years), i've used it probably twice, and once was just to see how it works. it's just not the typical tivo use case.

this is like every other service offered on cell phones. cell phone companies are trying to build a proprietary internet for cell phones only and nickel and dime us to death with fees. you pay for bandwidth, and you pay again for the content! well, it's not working. proof is the state of the celluar web today. nothing but toy content that you try once and then can't believe you actually paid for it.

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