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Tivo On Board With YouTube's New API

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the what's-not-to-like dept.

Google 73

impuLsive writes "YouTube has announced they're rolling out a brand new API. The API will allow you to integrate YouTube into a website, allowing for features like: uploading videos, adding and editing video metadata, fetching localized feeds, custom queries, and a customized player UI with controlled video playback. Alongside YouTube, TiVo announced that they will be supporting the site's content via the Series3 and TiVo HD DVRs starting later this year."

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73 comments

Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22732934)

Instead of spending $600 on a Tivo Series3 [amazon.com] device, you can buy a cheap $200 computer, use MythTV to replicate what the Tivo would offer, put Firefox and the VideoDownloader extension on there to watch all the YouTube videos you want on your own time.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (4, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22732998)

The remaining question is, do you have the skills to do this fast enough, and do you work cheap enough, for it to take less than $400 of your time?

Don't get me wrong, I'd do it regardless -- although VideoDownloader is absolutely NOT what you want to be doing from your couch; I'd look for whatever API they gave the iPhone and just stream h.264.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (2, Interesting)

Gadgetfreak (97865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733032)

Or the skills to do it at all. I'm definitely a geek, but I'm a mechanical engineer... while I physically built my computer, I've just never delved into Linux based systems. I just don't program anything, and rarely have the time to start from scratch. But TiVo has pissed me off enough to the point where I think I'd rather have spent the extra time to have something I have full control over, let alone not having to pay a monthly fee to use.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

martin_b1sh0p (673005) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733320)

Just curious...what or why has Tivo pissed you off about? I have moved my Tivo to the bedroom (series 2) since I have a crappy HD DVR in the main room now. But I ALWAYS set up Tivo to record whatever the HD DVR is recording, because sure enough, at least once a month the HD DVR doesn't record something, or cuts it off etc etc...at that point I can still watch it in the bedroom...just not in HD. Tivo has yet to let me down in the 3 years I've had it.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

DynamiteNeon (623949) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733784)

"because sure enough, at least once a month the HD DVR doesn't record something, or cuts it off etc etc...at that point I can still watch it in the bedroom...just not in HD."

My DVR does the same thing occasionally, but that's when I turn to the internet and bittorrent. Problem solved.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22733218)

I'd look for whatever API they gave the iPhone and just stream h.264.
SageTV [sagetv.com] has had YouTube built in for over a year now.

*shrugs* I'm always surprised how many people on /. know about MythTV but don't know about the commercial options. They're much simpler. As much as I like linux, SageTV was worth every penny.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

Mi1ez (769713) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733480)

Neuros OSD has been able to do this for a very long time now, too. Sure--this is a good new feature for Tivo but it's sort of something everyone else seems to have already done; makes this seem like more of a 'me too!' feature at this point but I guess most of the Walmart shopping non-geeks wouldn't know it.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22734532)

It's called 'spare time' for a reason. By the way, I would kill for a job that landed $400 for 2-3 days of work. Perhaps I'm just looking at it wrong, but unless I'm taking time off work, my time has no monetary value.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (2, Insightful)

NNKK (218503) | more than 6 years ago | (#22735080)

Where do you live?

If you're employed in tech in the US and not making $400 or more for 2-3 days of work, there's a decent chance you're doing something wrong. $16-$25/hr is not particularly special, it's entry to mid-level pay depending on exactly where you are (in the San Francisco Bay area, it's not even "mid-level").

As for "spare time" having no monetary value, that's pretty absurd. For some people, it may be effectively true (though I'd argue most such people have the financial sense of a rock), but for others, the monetary value of your time is whatever you can get for it.

A second job, side consulting, or even researching investment strategies are all ways to monetize time not spent working at a "primary" job. The question is not "Does my spare time have value?", it's "How do I wish to extract the value of my spare time?". The answer to that question depends on the answer to other questions, like (simplistically) "Is the money I could get from working two extra hours per day worth more to me than time spent relaxing?".

If you prefer to use your spare time to goof off, that's fine. Nobody can make the right decision for you. But thinking that time outside of a 40-hour-a-week job has no value is pretty silly.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

Acer500 (846698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22786156)

I'm not the OP but I'd kill for U$ 400 for 3 day's work. Hell, for a week's work. I live in Uruguay btw :P (I make about U$ 800/month before taxes).

And yes, I should REALLY look into getting some of those outsourcing jobs you people in the US worry about :)

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22734978)

Actually, my main reason for the DIY habit is that nobody can cripple my PVR but me. There's no feature lockout, no HDCP bullshit, no planned obsolescence or "unsupported codecs". I make the rules, and sure enough after running my current media center system for over 6 years, it's still going strong and being used daily with fresh content. It just works.

If I had bought a Tivo, I would probably have spent thousands on upgrades and replacements. It's not like they make a 2-terabyte Tivo anyway.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22735082)

Yes, they can cripple your PVR.

1) no cablecard support

Most people (not including me, btw) get encrypted channels. Having to use an "IR blaster" or somesuch is a really hokey workaround, but even then they have Macrovision or somesuch. I realize it can all be worked around, but you end up with more failure points.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (0, Troll)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22735950)

The remaining question is, do you have the skills to do this fast enough, and do you work cheap enough, for it to take less than $400 of your time?

It's a bullshit question.

Unless you're forced to do it all during your work hours, OR you work every waking hour of every day, you will have some "free time" (in every sense of the word).

What's more, it's amazing how people focus on initial time, and ignore the rest... How much money does it cost you due to the user interface (on every electronic device you own) isn't exactly perfect, and therefore wastes untold amounts of your time, in a few seconds increments?

Considering that I built my DVR 5+ years ago, I think I've much, much more than broke even... Count subscription fees, the ability to retain the same box across different TV service providers with minimal time invested, and all the other benefits it offeres, I'm going to say anyone who doesn't put together a DVR is wasting several thousands of dollars worth of their time...

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22736916)

Unless you're forced to do it all during your work hours, OR you work every waking hour of every day, you will have some "free time" (in every sense of the word).

Then maybe another question is: Do you see this as a chore, or as a hobby?

My suggestion here was simply that for at least some people, it makes a lot of sense to simply shell out for a TiVo, because now you get to spend your time actually watching that TV, or whatever else you wanted to do.

The fact that I'm off the clock doesn't mean my time is worthless -- I have a limited amount of it, so sometimes, I do simply throw money at the problem. Recent example where this actually made sense (MUCH moreso than the TiVo debate) -- I had a laptop with onboard sound which wouldn't work on Linux. After struggling with it for awhile, I bought a good USB soundcard. Problem solved.

What's more, it's amazing how people focus on initial time, and ignore the rest... How much money does it cost you due to the user interface (on every electronic device you own) isn't exactly perfect, and therefore wastes untold amounts of your time, in a few seconds increments?

Depends. Are those few seconds uncomfortable? Do I even notice them?

Count subscription fees, the ability to retain the same box across different TV service providers with minimal time invested, and all the other benefits it offeres, I'm going to say anyone who doesn't put together a DVR is wasting several thousands of dollars worth of their time...

Erm... no, it costs no time to lose your shows when you switch providers, and it costs you no time to pay your subscription fee. You mean "several thousand dollars", period, based on those examples. A valid point, sure, but again, how much is that initial (and ongoing) investment for the Myth box, especially for Joe Public, who barely knows Windows, let alone Linux or hardware?

Again: I'd certainly build one for myself (except I don't really watch TV now) sooner than I'd buy one. But it's not for everyone, and I'm not even convinced it's cost-effective for me. I'm a geek, I like to tinker.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738662)

First, this is a false premise. That $200 PC with Myth is NOT the equivilent of a Tivo Series3.

You can get an HD Series2 Tivo for $100 that supports up to 1080i.

By going to a Series3 you get CableCARD technology. You're not getting that with a $200 PC running Myth. You get OUTSTANDING HCI, both in terms of the software and the exceptional remote control. You get dual tuners, you get a nice LCD output telling you what's being recorded. You get a LOAD of Media Center features including stream Rhapsody and Amazon UnBoxed at a single click of a button.

Second, You are wrong, too.

This is simple economics. Opportunity cost.

I work 50 hours a week, and, as a software developer, I make more than the US Median income.

The simple question of opportunity cost is: What COULD I be doing with these resources had I not done this.

Time is a valuable resource for most of us. Once you move out of moms basement, hang that B.S. on your wall, being your career and even perhaps begin a family, time is very, very precious. No offense, but you come across as somebody who cannot yet relate to that. When you're in your late teens/early 20s college years you have more constraints on your money than you do on your time. That resource balance shifts rapidly in the following years. You find yourself with all your own interests, the demands of a spouse and (perhaps) children, the demands of a career that--when you're making a decent living--demands far more than 9-5, 40 hours a week.

Finally, you said something thst made me laugh: "What's more, it's amazing how people focus on initial time, and ignore the rest." I started with ReplayTV. I've used Tivo for years. I also have some slim experience with the DVR from my cable company. And my brother ran Myth for years, and now runs Beyond.

TiVo has, bar none, the best HCI. It's far easier to do common tasks in Tivo. It's a polished user experience that's downright Jobsian. Its use of audible and visual feedback, the organization of its menus and options, its simple PNP tivo-to-tivo networking, its small form factor and quiet fan, all of it. It's all superior to every other DVR I'd seen.

Your argument holds no water here, my friend.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22743648)

That $200 PC with Myth is NOT the equivilent of a Tivo Series3.

You're absolutely right! The $200 PC is infinitely more capable than any Tivo could ever DREAM of!

By going to a Series3 you get CableCARD technology.

That much is true. However, there are innumerable problems with CableCards, and simply using analog pass-through is both more flexible and can give even better results (eg. smaller files with potentially visually better quality through on-the-fly encoding/processing).

This is simple economics. Opportunity cost.

You're the one who doesn't grasp economics. You obviously aren't going to be working every (spare) waking hour, so there is no opportunity cost here. If putting together a DVR required you work on nothing else 24/7 for weeks, THAT would be an opportunity cost. But that's not how it works. ie. No opportunity cost.

TiVo has, bar none, the best HCI.

If you've used nothing else, it's easy to say that. It's hard to beat a flat list of files, being one click away from all your content, and any operations you want to perform on them. Yes, MythTV's UI also sucks, but it's a piece of crap I wouldn't dream of using or recomend. It's merely the press' favorite.

It's all superior to every other DVR I'd seen.

Obviously your experience is far too limited, but let's just go with it as a hypothetical...

Does your Tivo3 allow you to watch DVDs without being forced to watch trailers? How much of your time is wasted on every FBI warning and forced trailer? How many such DVDs will it take before it would have been quicker (or CHEAPER for you) to put together a DVR?

Better yet, does your Tivo3 allow you to STORE all your DVD, VHS, etc. movies on it's hard drive, so you never have to waste your time (or MONEY for you) removing them from the packaging, waiting for your DVD player to power up, cleaning them, etc?

How's your Tivo doing, replacing your CD player and disc collection?

How well does your Tivo allow you to edit out commercials, so that you don't have to skip through the commercials every time you want to watch a show that you've saved?

How good is your Tivo at allowing you to convert any videos to DVDs (or VCD/SVCDs) so you can give hard copies to other family members (eg. kids) to watch in another room and not bother you, or to give out?

How often do you think you're going to need to replace your Tivo, because it runs out of space or doesn't support some feature like CableCard2 or HDTV/QAM? What's the opportunity cost of losing all your saved shows and the like?

What's most disturbing about your post isn't how utterly wrong you are on all counts, it's how utterly sure you and your actions are the only right ones, and everyone else MUST be wrong, somehow.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744204)

I got this far: <i>You're the one who doesn't grasp economics. You obviously aren't going to be working every (spare) waking hour, so there is no opportunity cost here. If putting together a DVR required you work on nothing else 24/7 for weeks, THAT would be an opportunity cost. But that's not how it works. ie. No opportunity cost.</i>
<br><br>
And I stopped reading.
<br><br>
You just have no clue what you're talking about. EVERYTHING has opportunity cost. EVERYTHING. It makes no difference if you were going to be working-for-pay during that time or not. None. At all.
<br><br>
Look, kid, this is covered in Micro 101. (And 201, 301, 401, Macro 101, 201, 301 and 401 for that matter). Go back, learn a thing or two, and then we can talk.
<br><br>
k? thx.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22744224)

I got this far:

You're the one who doesn't grasp economics. You obviously aren't going to be working every (spare) waking hour, so there is no opportunity cost here. If putting together a DVR required you work on nothing else 24/7 for weeks, THAT would be an opportunity cost. But that's not how it works. ie. No opportunity cost.

And I stopped reading.

You just have no clue what you're talking about. EVERYTHING has opportunity cost [wikipedia.org]. EVERYTHING. It makes no difference if you were going to be working-for-pay during that time or not. None. At all.

Look, kid, this is covered in Micro 101. (And 201, 301, 401, Macro 101, 201, 301 and 401 for that matter). Go back, learn a thing or two, and then we can talk.

k? thx.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733258)

I made a solid attempt to do just that. But, the POS box i got didn't have a supported video card, so that's another 100 bucks on top of the 100 for the HD Tuner. Then Zap2It got killed and none of my roomates could work the thing, so we got the crappy DVR from comcast at 10$ a month. As I understand it they have since resolved that and have a service you can use, just a little to late is all. Besides, TiVo isn't exactly marketed to those of us with the time and resources to do all that, its geared much more toward the people who want to buy a box from the local Big Box Retailer (TM) take it home, plug it in and have it work. There are plenty of people out there who think that an extra 200/300$ bucks is well worth it for that security, as well as the TiVo interface which is frankly a hell of a lot nicer than MythTV (at least when I was using it).

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733840)

Well, I have the time and resources to do that, but I would still pay $200/$300 more. I'm also lazy, have lots of work, and don't want to worry. That, of course, supposing it works as I want it to.

Sometimes, even us geeks just want to sit back and relax.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (3, Informative)

desmodromic (30262) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733406)

Dude, the Series 3 is discontinued. It's replacement, the Tivo HD, is about 2-fiddy. And it does a bit more than just play YouTube videos.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733502)

Amen. I bought an HD for ~$300, and really couldn't be much happier with it. It has a Rhapsody and Unbox client, the Tivocast content is nicely geek-targeted (much comes from ZDnet/CNet, so you get Dvorak's talk show, DLTV, etc.). More to the point, the box just works.

I sunk $200 in for a lifetime transfer from my Series 2 and another $200 for an external WD 500GB SATA drive, so I guess I'm in for $700 total. Until the next big TV paradigm change, though, I don't see having to touch it again.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

0x15e (961860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733544)

Is there finally a Linux/Myth compatible HD tuner card with CableCard support? If not, they simply cannot be considered a viable alternative to the Series 3 / Tivo HD.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

glindsey (73730) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733632)

Instead of spending $600 on a Tivo Series3 device, you can buy a cheap $200 computer, use MythTV to replicate what the Tivo would offer, put Firefox and the VideoDownloader extension on there to watch all the YouTube videos you want on your own time.
You're either a troll, or grossly misinformed.

Let's see what it would really take to assemble a MythTV system that could do everything the cheaper ($300, less if refurbished) HD-TiVo can do:

  1. Record two HD streams simultaneously: Two ATSC/QAM Hauppauge HD-PVR cards will cost $600 total. If you want to record any channel that is encrypted, you're out of luck: no decoder cards (that I can find) exist that can accept analog HD video and encode it. (If they do exist, you'll have to hook them each up via an IR extender to a cable box... and you'll still lose quality from the cable box decoding the signal and you re-encoding it.)
  2. Record any instance of a show a la Season Pass: You'll need to pay SchedulesDirect for your TV listings (although granted it is far less than the TiVo monthly fee), and hope they don't collapse and leave you with no listings at all at some arbitrary point in the future.
  3. Output your video to an HDTV: Requires a video card with component, DVI, or HDMI output. Requires a sound card that can output digital sound.
  4. Install additional plugins to watch YouTube: Easy or not, it still requires time that many people simply don't have.


  5. And when you're done, you still get to deal with an interface that is far less intuitive than TiVo's... and in my opinion a lot uglier as well.

    There are two main reasons I prefer the MythTV solution to TiVo: first, if you're in full control of the system, you're in full control of the data it records, and you don't have to deal with any encryption crap for the media saved on your own drive. Second, MythVideo lets you play other video files easily, whereas with TiVo you have to use a rather cumbersome TivoToGo hack to do it. But the total inability to record encrypted HD digital cable channels is the deal-stopper for me.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

ouzel (655571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22734134)

I agree with this post overall, but want to add a couple of comments:

1. I have used the HDHomeRun unit with good success - it has two ATSC/QAM tuners and can record two streams simultaneously. It records over your network to a destination such as a MythTV box. It costs around $170.

2. Outputting HD video to an HDTV via MythTV is non-trivial. So much so that I am going to try a TiVo HD unit for a while to see if I can live with it (been using MythTV for 4 years), because MythTV requires endless tweaking to get this to work and I have not been entirely successful.

The freedom to do what you want with MythTV is great, and I have used pretty much all of the MythTV plugins over the years, but I am growing tired of messing with it. Paying $180 for a refurbished TiVo HD unit (e.g., recent woot.com deal) is attractive, even with the monthly charges. Believe me, I have paid so much for MythTV-related hardware over the years that I could have bought a couple of TiVo lifetime subscriptions.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

glindsey (73730) | more than 6 years ago | (#22734558)

1. I have used the HDHomeRun unit with good success - it has two ATSC/QAM tuners and can record two streams simultaneously. It records over your network to a destination such as a MythTV box. It costs around $170.
I'd love to try that guy out. Unfortunately, that doesn't resolve the primary issue -- there's no way to record encrypted digital cable streams with a homebrew system, and I doubt there ever will be. In fact, I fully expect that cable boxes will soon only provide HDMI connections encrypted with HDCP -- can't have that "analog hole" now, can we.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

ouzel (655571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22735306)

Yep, I hear ya. I am recording from OTA signals only (no cable) so for me it is not a concern. I have been really impressed with the HDHomeRun for recording OTA HD signals.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738862)

This is the benefit of the Tivo CableCARD slot. Not only can I record 2 HD streams simultaneously, I can record every channel I recieve, including HBO, etc, that are encrypted. And I don't have to use some crappy setup where I have an IR Blaster taped to the fricken cable box.

Not to mention, Tivo is the only setup I've seen that's been THX certified, that has an Optical Out port for audio, that has both HDMI and Component video outputs.

It's just a great, great appliance.

And it comes with the ability to get Amazon UnBox movies and Rhapsody music subscription at the click of a button, not to mention the ability to play your own music (and photos) from your PC. It also lets you watch things you've recorded on your PC, and on other Tivos on your network--and networking them is trivial--and it includes remote-scheduling that is a no-brainer for anybody.

It's downright Jobsian in its quality. Apple should scrap iTV and just purchase Tivo. Make the box white, run a trendy ad campaign, give it an iPod dock, drop Amazon UnBox and add iTunes. You do that, and nobody would ever know that it wasn't designed by Apple from the ground up. It's that good.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22734010)

1) You're ignoring the TivoHD, which is $262.94 from tivo.com right now (cheaper if you go elsewhere)
2) As someone else in the thread mentioned, there is no CableCard support for MythTV, AFAIK. (Even with the Windows support for cablecard, can you do dual cablecards, enabling recording 2 channels simultaneously, regardless of OTA/cable or analog/digital?)
3) Even with MythTV, you'll have to pay for the guide data, since it's no longer free (though there are probably more hacks to web-scrape from online listings.. still more stuff to break and keep hassling with). You didn't mention it, but another common complaint about Tivo, the montly fee. I believe you can still buy lifetime (for $400) on Tivos, so 'keep paying every month' isn't currently a valid complaint.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22734032)

erm... no, not just yet...

That will make sense once there's decent quality (and non-copyright infringing) material at a much higher resolution -- we are several years away from that being YouTube.

Although, I guess it's perfect right now if you normally tivo pets skateboarding or teenagers doing retarded things. Or you are one of the very few people who like to see slideshows of lame celebutards to a soundtrack of music that only a 12 year old could possibly enjoy.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 6 years ago | (#22735004)

"Instead of spending $600 on a Tivo Series3 device, you can buy a cheap $200 computer, use MythTV to replicate what the Tivo would offer, put Firefox and the VideoDownloader extension on there to watch all the YouTube videos you want on your own time."

True, but would it offer all the ease a set-top box would offer? A few years ago I'd agree with you, but for $600 it does everything without any troubleshooting or incompatibility problems. Maybe if you're poor college kid and you're the only one that uses it, but if you're a family guy or if you're trying to get laid (having a PC connected to your TV reeks of uber-dorkness) then just spend the extra cash for the Tivo.

FYI you can always watch Youtube on a Nintendo Wii [youtube.com] and skip the new Tivo entirely.

Re:Tivo's Series3 is a ripoff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22740936)

Or, shop the sales for a TiVoHD which runs Series3 software (as it is a Series3 unit) and has an eSATA port for storage space expansion. It was at woot [woot.com] last week for $184.99 (which includes shipping). I've built MythTV boxes for people - even had a side business that did it. I got good at setting up the software, but even when you do get it set up just right, things outside of your control break (such as the TV listing fiasco or some other part of the software pitching a fit) and ruin the experience.

Even when building MythTV boxes, I did all of my DVRing on a TiVo. It just worked. I own it. I can hack it if I want, and my cable company doesn't get to tell me what ports will work and what ports won't. Plus it's Significant Other-friendly.

hi :D (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22732942)

fuck tivo, youtube and this whole stupid internet generation. you are all a bunch of retards......

How about just putting in a browser... (1)

goatpunch (668594) | more than 6 years ago | (#22732972)

... and calling it WebTivo, or maybe just WebTV?

Re:How about just putting in a browser... (1)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733254)

Keep in mind youtube uses flash. Flash is not open source. It is built for x86 only under linux. TiVo uses linux. I would assume that they would take advantage of open source linux browser like firefox if they decided to do that. They could use something like nspluginwrapper to run flash non-natively. I'm not sure tivo would want to support that. They'll probably just write their own stuff based off the API, patent a few things and make it proprietary.

If apples not going to put flash on their iPhone, I don't see tivo putting flash on their box.

Re:How about just putting in a browser... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22733498)

Also, the license for the Linux version of the Flash player has some interesting language forbidding use in "embedded systems" (no doubt Macromedia smelled a way to extract money from hardware manufacturers).

I wouldn't be surprised if TiVos meet the definition of an "embedded system", which would require TiVo to fork extra cash over to Macromedia.

Re:How about just putting in a browser... (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22735592)

Tivo is adding open access to h.264 versions of their videos, so people will be able to build clients without using the flash plugin. (This is what the iphone does.)

and so begins the end of.... (3, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22732986)

those conversations at work that start out "did you see show_xyz last night?"

Television is about to get more customizable, whether you believe this is a good thing or not, if YouTube makes itself available to anyone that can plug in a box like a Tivo, well that means joe six pack will watch more YouTube.

Wonder what the response of the MPAA and others related will be? Outlaw YouTube on television screens?

Re:and so begins the end of.... (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733160)

Wonder what the response of the MPAA and others related will be? Outlaw YouTube on television screens?

While this would fit in with the slashdot persecution fantasy, unless it contains a copyrighted work held by one of their members, the MPAA can't do a damned thing.

Re:and so begins the end of.... (1)

Metaphorically (841874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22734642)

Because we all know it's impossible for a lobbiest to write a bill and pass it to their favorite government official to sponsor.

Re:and so begins the end of.... (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#22736734)

Just like how CRIA couldn't touch demonoid because its legal to torrent music in Canada? Oh wait, they did manage to get demonoid shutdown? Guess the law doesn't really matter too much then.

Re:and so begins the end of.... (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733672)

those conversations at work that start out "did you see show_xyz last night?"
More like, "Did you download feed_xyz? No? Want to take a look on my iPhone? Ya, I know ur busy, but that feed was so awesome. I'll send ya a link."

Watercooler talk will be more viral and less structured, and structure will now be organic rather than institutionalized.

About time... I'm looking forward to it

Re:and so begins the end of.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22735038)

if YouTube makes itself available to anyone that can plug in a box like a Tivo, well that means joe six pack will watch more YouTube.
Well, Joe Blow with an HDTV. TiVo isn't offering this to people with SD TiVos, just with the ridiculously expensive HD models. (Who in their right mind would pay $800 for a DVR? The extra cost is apparently for the THX sticker and nothing else.)

I fail to see why you would require an HDTV to watch videos of YouTube quality, but whatever. I suppose TiVo is desperate for some reason why HDTV owners shouldn't just rent a DVR from their cable/satellite company for less than the cost of the TiVo service itself.

Re:and so begins the end of.... (2, Insightful)

aug24 (38229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22737282)

I think you're wrong. We've talked about this in my workplace before and come to the conclusion the release of a new episode of a well-regarded show (whether it's Joe Dickhead on YouTube or a new series of BlackAdder) will be announced by RSS (or its future equivalent) and dled/p2ped automagically before you get home. Then most everyone will watch it at some point on the same evening.

In the morning, at the watercooler and in the playground, the cool kids will still be quoting it. And I'll still be watching it several days later and missing the conversation.

Justin.

Apple on board? (3, Interesting)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22732992)

I wonder if Apple will put this functionality into Front Row? It seems like a natural extension to what is already on offer.

Re:Apple on board? (1)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 6 years ago | (#22735304)

I wonder if Apple will put this functionality into Front Row? It seems like a natural extension to what is already on offer.
I doubt it, since AppleTV already does it.

Re:Apple on board? (1)

g-san (93038) | more than 6 years ago | (#22742102)

I am seeing this as a defensive or aligning maneuver to Apple TV. Although Apple TV doesn't have a Tivo functionality, it has a YouTube client built right in. You navigate the menus on your TV, Most Popular, Top Rated, Search, then the videos play full screen. After the video plays, you get more links to related videos. Forget cable. This is funny stuff. You don't see kids blowing their hands up with Mentos and Diet Coke bombs on channel 3. I also don't watch videos about murders with no followups or sex scandals or commercials. Couple that with a video podcast catalog and a video rental service... I canceled the cable, kept the internet. I am saving $80 a month, you know how many videos I can rent for that much, or music videos I can BUY?
      So my guess is a bunch of Tivo engineers sat down in front of an Apple TV and said, "Damn, I wish we were that smart instead of this good looking, we better get to work!" Forget the promises of ISP and those trying to do this from the core, the cool stuff is happening out on the edge in the set top box, working on the existing infrastructure. This is a sign that Tivo, a non-trivial player in this space, recognizes the upcoming transition and wants to be there.

I'm sure they'll charge for that "convenience" (5, Informative)

Gadgetfreak (97865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733010)

I received a TiVoHD unit for the holidays, and while it has some interesting features, I'm continually frustrated at the nickel-and-dime tactics of TiVo. People often don't realize that TiVo, while still charging a fee for the unit and a monthly service fee, still has advertisements laced into it. The subscriber agreement allows TiVo corp to activate even more intrusive ads if they so chose to. And the "added features" on the box, especially PC-related features, often require paying for TiVo's upgraded computer software to do anything but the basics. And then there's the DRM and non-anonymous statistics reporting.

What concerns me is that TiVo is that these new "features" are just going to end up as more annoying ad clutter, and at every menu option will be a prompt to pay for some new feature. Just like so many other devices spawned of the communication age.

TiVo corp has yet to turn a profit, so I'm sure they're just looking for more revenue streams. I'm sure the latest software update will be just what I'm waiting for.

Re:I'm sure they'll charge for that "convenience" (4, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733114)

I'm going to play Devil's advocate here. I have a TiVo, I love the thing. I have a Series 3, which I paid full price for shortly after release.

I don't care much about the ads. I've been using TiVo since before then, and they don't bother me, I just tune them out. If they tried to stick in their own commercials, I would complain very VERY loudly. But adding a little extra item to the main menu? That's nothing. A little thing on their "you're done with this program, now what?" screen? Fine with me. The little "pop-ups" during commercials? Also doesn't bother me. If companies I cared about used them, I might click on one.

Do they charge you a monthly fee? Yes. Totally worth it. For that you get software updates, guide data, suggestions (which is what's most valuable). For the amount of TV I watch the the amount I love my TiVo, I consider it money well spent. You also get some of their services. The Amazon Unbox integration, the downloadable shows (like The Onion videocast), and some other things.

Paying for the extra features? If you're on Windows, you don't really have to pay for any of them as far as I know. That's OK. I don't care much about viewing my photos from my TiVo (which is free).

As for the YouTube feature? Kinda neat. I'll probably never use it. The only feature I'd like at this point is Netflix integration (especially HD movies). But that won't happen any time soon. I'm happy.

If you're on the Mac... they've forgot about you. It's sad. I'm on a Mac, and it annoys me. I used to be able to use TiVoDecodeManager (which was awesome), but that seems to have broken with Leopard. You could pay $100 to get some piece of junk from Roxio... but at least the option is there. Even that wasn't available just a few years ago.

As for their revenue problems, I see a few reasons:

  1. Dish Network - Stole their technology, advertised it out the ears, made a fortune, forced a lawsuit which they haven't paid up on yet (probably on appeal)
  2. DirecTV - Held more TiVo subscribers than TiVo, I think. They dumped the far superior TiVo product so they could save $1 per month per box
  3. Comcast/etc - Advertise their vastly inferior boxes as "Better than TiVo"
  4. TV Guide - Have a junk patent on grid views of time. They sued TiVo, and now charge them a monthly fee and force the TV guide logo to be displayed on the boxes
  5. Misc - TiVo has some expenses that could go away. They have to maintain dial-up accounts for all the boxes to dial in on (they have UUNet do that for them, IIRC). If they could get more subscribers over to broadband, they could cut the size of that down and thus reduce their costs

Re:I'm sure they'll charge for that "convenience" (1)

jtdennis (77869) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733486)

I'm using TivoDecodeManager on Leopard. What's broken for you? The only problem I have is if I'm queuing multiple shows, anything after the first has the file name all wrong, so I only do one at a time. But it's hardly unusable.

Re:I'm sure they'll charge for that "convenience" (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22735162)

I would LOVE to use TivoDecodeManager, but for me, it keeps downloading OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER.. i.e. it never successfully downloads. (And no, I can't carefully watch it and stop it at just the right point.)

TivoDecodeManager _says_ it doesn't support Series 3 or TivoHD, so I am not surprised there are problems.. But I see it working for others like you.

I have gotten web-based downloads to work with both my Series 3 & TivoHD, but it's a pain because the files are named the title of the show, and I have to run the tivodecode CLI program on them afterwards.

Re:I'm sure they'll charge for that "convenience" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22733588)

I'm on the Mac (most times), and use a TiVo HD.

It's true, there is no TiVo desktop for the Mac, but with the built in web server on the HD, and TivoDecode, I just rip the shows to straight-up MPEG-2 files, and can use VLC to play them back. I also use StreamClip (note: $20 for the QT MPEG-2 codec) to transcode to MP4 or Quicktime .mov and then cut out the commercials.

So, in the end it's a few more steps, but I have a nice collection of shows that I can throw on the iPod, or watch on different PCs.

BTW, the Mac mini does faster than real-time h.264 encoding, which is a pleasant surprise. :)

Re:I'm sure they'll charge for that "convenience" (1)

glindsey (73730) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733664)

Comcast/etc - Advertise their vastly inferior boxes as "Better than TiVo"
Actually, I believe it's Dish Network that's doing that, and to be fair, from what I've heard the DishPlayer has made huge strides since the buggy mess it was a few years back. It probably beats the DirecTV DVR hands down, but I'd be surprised if it beats TiVo. I haven't seen one, though, so I can't make a fair comparison.

Re:I'm sure they'll charge for that "convenience" (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733858)

But adding a little extra item to the main menu? That's nothing. A little thing on their "you're done with this program, now what?" screen? Fine with me. The little "pop-ups" during commercials? Also doesn't bother me.
You forgot the ones at the end of the list of shows gathered together in groups, but you may be watching your shows before you end up with two or more unwatched. I was delaying watching Lost so a friend could catch up. There was an ad entry at the end of the group of recordings in the Now Playing list.

Do they charge you a monthly fee? Yes. Totally worth it. For that you get software updates, guide data, suggestions (which is what's most valuable).
I find I don't peruse the suggestions much. Regular TV spots clue me into new series well enough, except when they're advertised with reruns and premiere simultaneously with new episodes instead of waiting a week to premiere (e.g. "Spectacular Spider-Man").

Also, changes forced upon us by Time Warner Cable has made their cable boxes incompatible with TiVo's Suggestions engine and Series1 TiVos. They're prone to mis-tuning and crashing if channels are changed on the minute their internal guide data would update. TWC is at risk of losing their local contracted monopoly over subjecting this city to their beta-test software without informing their customers.

the downloadable shows (like The Onion videocast)
Oh, if only the audio podcasts were downloadable in the same way, or I could pick video podcasts from other sources. Also, some of those video podcasts have been having glitches. "Indy Mogul" has had bad audio sync and even severe jitteriness like they got the interlacing completely wrong (though I've seen that on premium movie channels, once on an independent foreign film), or the download ended with minutes of slug at the end, or ended prematurely. One "Rocketboom" was mere seconds long and could not be redownloaded (prob. due to depicting the AACS key in mirror image on a T-shirt). And timeliness is lacking. "GeekBrief.tv" often comes in bursts of episodes out-of-order and "DL.TV" episodes have come almost a month late.

As for the YouTube feature? Kinda neat. I'll probably never use it. The only feature I'd like at this point is Netflix integration (especially HD movies). But that won't happen any time soon. I'm happy.
They'll need a complete browser implementation I think to get it working. And with that, a USB dongle for use with a Bluetooth keyboard as both of the Ouija boards built-in can be annoying to use for extended periods (and certain useful shortcuts like PageUp to jump from the board to the list of shows no longer work).

I haven't used their Amazon service. I still like owning content permanently.

If you're on the Mac... they've forgot about you. It's sad. I'm on a Mac, and it annoys me. I used to be able to use TiVoDecodeManager (which was awesome), but that seems to have broken with Leopard. You could pay $100 to get some piece of junk from Roxio... but at least the option is there.
I've been using the Roxio solution. It seems to work, though for some reason it won't transfer the recent Knight Rider TV movie to the Mac. It'll start, then abort the transfer. Neither of two showings will transfer. It's broadcast TV, and they're not flagged; it should transfer. I haven't had this trouble with other shows.

I do wish the TiVos had the computer's ability to auto-transfer shows between them as they arrive. It could be close enough to cooperative scheduling to satisfy power users, leaving units headless just to tune and transfer to a system with 2 TB of storage. But then there's the mandatory copy protection on CableCard-recorded content and almost every video podcast ("GeekBrief.tv" almost always allows transfer).

TiVo has some expenses that could go away. They have to maintain dial-up accounts for all the boxes to dial in on (they have UUNet do that for them, IIRC). If they could get more subscribers over to broadband, they could cut the size of that down and thus reduce their costs
They'd have to disenfranchise Series1 users to do that, or offer exchanges to Series2 or better (so far only offered to Lifetime-service subscribers for limited times), or have a service to install network cards such as TurboNET, AirNET, or CacheCard [9thtee.com] into them. And TiVo users don't want to part with their systems even briefly. They may just wait for the analogue broadcast TV cut-off to do that.

I own eight TiVos: three Series1 (two subscribed, one never), four Series2 (two lifetime units, another with DVD-R), and one Series3. I've thought about getting a TiVo HD or second Series3, but I'd have to pay full rate for monthly service on it (discounted service limit doesn't extend with two lifetime units). All my immediate family members have their own TiVos except my brother whose work moves him too often for him to bother getting cable.

Re:I'm sure they'll charge for that "convenience" (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733164)

People often don't realize that TiVo, while still charging a fee for the unit and a monthly service fee, still has advertisements laced into it.
I have a TiVo, and the advertisements don't bother me.

And I'm the kind of guy who won't browse without AdBlock or some equivalent.

I'd say TiVo's adverts are about as intrusive as Google's text ads, but maybe a bit more sly.

TiVo corp has yet to turn a profit, so I'm sure they're just looking for more revenue streams.
This is more worrying, I agree. But I hope the existence of viable alternative DVR competitors will ward them away from going too far.

Re:I'm sure they'll charge for that "convenience" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22733306)

One word: MythTV

- Free
- Open Source
- Intelligent Searches (like Tivo recommendations)
- Infinitely Customizable
- SlingBox functionality
- Web Interface
- Works with Streams from the net
- No advertisements

- Did I mention it is FREE? (as in beer and freedom)!

Re:I'm sure they'll charge for that "convenience" (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733336)

I have been a Tivo supporter for years, but I think they are headed down the crapper.

My new TivoHD actually breaks down on occasion and needs a reboot (It loses sound and background colors sometimes).

They have not made switched digital video work (SDV). I can't get half the HD channels in my area because of this.

The PC integration is ok for me, but could be better. They still have yahoo photos listed, and they have been gone for months! Decent PC software would be nice, but I make do.

Ads? Bah. You see them 2 seconds while navigating to a show you watch for half an hour. If they start inserting commercials like OTA TV I am done...

Re:I'm sure they'll charge for that "convenience" (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22735318)

I hate ads too (that's why I Tivo virtually everything I watch, and used multiple VCRs before that -- to avoid ads).

But cable boxes are *far* more littered with ads than Tivos are. Is that a lesser of two evils? Yes, but IMHO Tivo has a lot of positives like the UI.

You Civil Rights In the United Gulags of America (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22733084)

Are A Joke [youtube.com]

Vote Communist

That's swell, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22733110)

it would be even better if TiVo would release a software patch to make all models do what they're supposed to. I've had a DirecTiVo since 2000 and the damned thing can't remember which channels I actually get.

Yeah, it's old hardware and I "should" buy a newer one. But (a) TiVo hasn't proven that they can fix this problem so I don't trust their technical expertise, and (b) there's no longer such a thing as a lifetime license.

Implications are intense... (5, Interesting)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733196)

The TV industry only recently acquired a commodity model like the music industry (little pieces of plastic), and most of its history, has been one of broadcast. If any website can route around using the a youtube API, and TiVo is in on it, then one should be able completely skirt the broadcast model completely. Instead of a "tube" going from broadcaster to audient, the tube is removed and then anyone can talk to the audient.

The only thing that remains are issues of "quality" that one gets from expensive productions (crane shots, long tracking shots, fancy lighting tricks, quality make up, good direction and acting). So, the funding would have to come from somewhere - the economic model would have to work - but if it is settled either through fees for DL or subscriptions or whatever, then basically two things happen: the broadcaster business model is mortally wounded and the advertisers that support it will have a harder time keeping eyeballs...

This youtube / tivo thing is a harbinger of the future of TV, and is a BIG step in the right direction.

RS

Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22733290)

YouTube on the boobtube. Couldn't ask for more.

Welcome Google (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22733878)

Sounds exciting. Perhaps the best brains in the business are now having an impact at YouTube? The interface is a lot better these days too.

YouTube jumped the shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22735248)

Only recently was I starting to get into YouTube - but now they've started inserting adverisements INTO the content, just like on television. It's disgusting. I have started looking for alternatives to YouTube which don't ruin the content.

Stopped Watching Tv (1)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 6 years ago | (#22738312)

TV needs to change it's one-way media style to something more interactive in order to compete with media like the interent. I think in the furture we will see TV intergrated completly online almost in a p2p fasion where users can share their 'playlists'. I hate to say this...but I think Microsoft is on spot. I think were heading into a Home Server type system where your TV recieves brodcasting streamed from a computer and supported by content you selected. I stopped watching TV in 2003 becuase of the growth of video online with the likes of youtube and veoh. Many are in my same situation. The content on TV tends to be garbage anyways. If you compare news channel websites to the messages they broadcast on TV you will be shocked at the difference. I remember CNN broadcasting a story about Britney Spears all day while the website only mentioned Spears on a small column in the bottom right... Furthermore, we see a trend in broadcasting networks to provide high definition content online for free. Take Faux On Demand (fox.com/fod), when I want to watch House, I stream it from FoD to my Xbox =)

Yay! (2, Funny)

dghcasp (459766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22740634)

Yay!

I'll be able to watch over-compressed, out of focus home videos at 320x200 blown up to 1920x1200 on my HDTV!

This will be a good feature (1)

Control-Z (321144) | more than 6 years ago | (#22741958)

I've been waiting for Tivo to do this for some time, seems like a natural thing for them to do. They already support various downloads like Amazon Unbox.

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