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Discount due to Fios MPEG4 (rant)

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by socrplyr, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Sep 26, 2013 #1 of 117
    socrplyr

    socrplyr Active Member

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    Alright, so I am a bit frustrated at Tivo here. Let me know if you think I am out of place in my thinking.

    First off, I have a TivoHD and I now can't get some channels on Fios due to the MPEG4 changes. The first part of my frustration with Tivo comes with the fact that the TivoHD supports MPEG4 (as shown by the Australian Tivo and Netflix), so this is pure "planned obsolescence." It had been known for years that the cable companies were going to move to MPEG4.

    That said, I called up Tivo a week ago and they offer me a deal that was apparently offered a while back. $50 off a Premiere 4 and $200 off lifetime service for it ($498 total). This is of course not a deal, since MSD wise I already get $100 off and the box is easily found at >$80 off. More specifically, an example would be Tivo selling them through Woot for $149 with an included Stream. With MSD that would be $548 total with the included stream. So really, Tivo wasn't offering me anything special (and in some ways a worse deal). The deal offer gets more offensive when you think about the fact that the Premiere is now an obsolete product to Tivo. They are trying to get me to spend $500 on an outdated product, that I have no idea if the core functionality will be broken tomorrow on.

    Now, I fully believe that they should offer me something special. They chose to make the box obsolete ahead of its "lifetime." Really, I think I should get a free lifetime on the replacement box as a consolation for the fact that they "broke" it intentionally. (Maybe a bit harsh in words, but they could have easily provided the functionality.)

    So I call them back today. I explain how I feel that they have wronged me by knowingly not implementing something they new would be used in the near future. Then I said that I don't want an already out of date box (Premiere). Could they just provide the $200 discount on a box that I am less likely to fall prey to the same issues in the next couple of years (Roamio)? After waiting for 15 or so minutes on the phone for the rep to talk to a supervisor. The answer is NO (no offer of any kind). Basically, Tivo's failure is my loss. I guess I didn't expect much, but this new Tivo would be my 5th. I didn't think I was asking for too much.

    Sad thing is I am perfectly happy with my TivoHD, I don't need to upgrade. However, if I am forced to upgrade, I am not going to spend my money on something that is already out of date.

    Done. Alright, frustration vented.
     
  2. Sep 26, 2013 #2 of 117
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    The TiVo HD was replaced by the Premiere in March of 2010. No cable company in the US was broadcasting H.264 until late 2011, long after TiVo had stopped developing for the S3 platform. It wasn't "planned obsolescence" it was a simple fact that there was no way to test H.264 support in the US until long after the platform was obsolete. Do you expect them to support the platform forever?

    You can probably sell your HD for about $250. You should do that and pick up a new Roamio to replace it. You can get a 4 tuner Roamio with lifetime for $600. I absolutely would not recommend getting the Premiere. The Roamio is well worth the extra $100.
     
  3. Sep 26, 2013 #3 of 117
    philhu

    philhu User Since Day ONE!

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    Dan you are wrong

    If the TivoHD was discontinued 3/2010, Tivo is obligated to update and support it for 3 years. Well into H.264/mpeg4 distribution dates.

    On top of that, the item is not considered obsolete as long as they take subscription money for services, which they still do or sell extended warranties, which they did through 3/2010.

    The point you make is further weakened by the fact that they just did a software upgrade (11.0m), to fix certificate problems, so the notion that they cannot upgrade these boxes falls apart.

    On top of this, it has been stated that the TivoHD is capable of Mpeg4/H.264 use with only a minor software change now!
     
  4. Sep 26, 2013 #4 of 117
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    The 3-year period you mentioned expired in 3/2013 so it sounds to me like they met the criteria.
     
  5. Sep 26, 2013 #5 of 117
    WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

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    Ah, the age of entitlement!

    FIOS changed their system and you want Tivo to give you free/discounted stuff. Makes sense. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Sep 26, 2013 #6 of 117
    socrplyr

    socrplyr Active Member

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    Yes, you are correct. But also look at when those cable companies started replacing their boxes with ones that could handle MPEG4. MPEG4 didn't come out of the blue in 2011. It was a known expectation for years. Tivo made a conscious decision not implement it. Thus, planned obsolescence.

    I do not expect them to support it forever. I do expect them to have at least extended support for say 5 years after I purchase. I do not expect them to add new features, but I expect them to keep core features working. In this particular case, they could have easily implemented H.264. In the extended support time, they make minor tweaks to it for any minor variations that occurred. As a point of reference, the last (semi-)regular update was 11.0k (I think March 2011).

    Maybe I expect too much. However, I view the fact that Tivo tried to offer a deal in the first place as an admission of some sense of culpability.

    Maybe I should or shouldn't get some special deal. I don't know. I am frustrated by the situation, so I ranted. I will get over it (someday anyways).

    I agree. For my Tivo HD, I think $250 might be pushing it. (No wireless or add ons etc. and I never upgraded the drive.) I will definitely recoup a decent amount that way. However, I was looking at it from the perspective that if it supported H.264, I would be spending $0 right now. I am not even considering the Premiere at this point (even at the elevated costs of the Roamio).

    One thing that I just remembered that is interesting. Tivo made a conscious decision to do service as an add-on fee. In their pricing, it is always listed out the same. But when they run deals or give special offers, they differentiate based on the hardware. (Examples: In this case the $200 discount applies only to the Premiere. In many cases the $99 deals on older units do this as well.) Just interesting.
     
  7. Sep 26, 2013 #7 of 117
    atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    My opinion is TiVo should either fix the issue or offer people negatively affected a real discount on a Roamio with lifetime (like $500 total).
     
  8. Sep 26, 2013 #8 of 117
    socrplyr

    socrplyr Active Member

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    Call it what you will. I feel like they didn't properly support their product. I call them on it and they don't offer anything meaningful. Part of me thinks they should give me a whole lifetime for free. I asked for a pittance compared to the money I have spent with them over the years. It isn't unreasonable. You ignore the fact that Tivo knew cable operators were going to do this well in advance. If it makes you feel any better, I had Cox before. They have had H.264 channels for longer. I ignored the issue at that time, because they were being broadcast a a frequency higher than the Tivo could physically tune.
     
  9. Sep 26, 2013 #9 of 117
    socrplyr

    socrplyr Active Member

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    I would be happy if they fixed it. That is actually my preferred option.

    Your suggestion of $500 total, is in effect, exactly what I asked for.
     
  10. Sep 26, 2013 #10 of 117
    philhu

    philhu User Since Day ONE!

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    Mr. Unnatural......They did NOt do their obligation. Mpeg4 came out well within the 3yr obligation for support. and Tivo chose not to update their systems, even though the HARDWARE could support h.264 (and does for netflix, etc). That forced obsolescence of the product.

    Back in 2010, everyone knew cable companies were going to H.265 to save space on the cable. It wasn't 'out of the blue'
     
  11. Sep 26, 2013 #11 of 117
    jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    You were offered something special, just not special enough by your own measurement. it stinks when technology passes you by, but it happens to nearly everything at some point.

    When was the move to H.264 officially the new standard for all cablecos? Was it even certain that it would be used, or widely adopted over other standards? What actual proof did tivo have when the box was still being actively updated that this was a "known expectation" and would take place?

    I'm also wondering where the three year obligation is? I would assume that support and updates may be more narrowly defined than some would hope.
     
  12. Sep 26, 2013 #12 of 117
    philhu

    philhu User Since Day ONE!

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    The Mpeg4/h.264 was being implemented in test in 2010 and even earlier on Satellite boxes.

    The 3 year implied compatability of a software/hardware project is a well know amount of time in the industry. It is the default used for products that can be updated.

    If the tivoHD could not do mpeg4/h.264 due to hardware constraints, then it doesn't apply. But the box CAN do it, CAN be updated to do it using software
     
  13. Sep 26, 2013 #13 of 117
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Where are you pulling that number from? Who says they are obligated to update it for 3 years? That's ridiculous! They're not obligated to update it at all, let alone for 3 years after the product was discontinued. That being said the S3 platform was released in 2006, and the final software release was in early 2011, so they updated the platform for almost 5 years.

    The 11.0m software does NOTHING but update the certificate. They did not have to beta test that or dedicate any significant amount of engineering to it. Updating the S3 platform to support H.264 would require a full beta cycle and a significant portion of their engineering staff to accomplish. That is an apples and oranges comparison.
     
  14. Sep 26, 2013 #14 of 117
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    TiVo is not in the industry. They don't have access to early testing like that. They do beta tests by recruiting employees and volunteers to try out software at home. So there is no way they could have tested H.264 until it was released in the wild, which didn't happen until late 2011. And even then I think it was a half dozen channels on one provider. Even now, in late 2013, there are only 2-3 providers using H.264 and only on a few channels. FIOS just happens to be the biggest adopter.

    Until September of last year Apple was still selling the iPhone 3Gs as a new product and yet it's not supported by the new iOS7 upgrade.
     
  15. Sep 26, 2013 #15 of 117
    socrplyr

    socrplyr Active Member

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    Maybe you are right there.
     
  16. Sep 26, 2013 #16 of 117
    socrplyr

    socrplyr Active Member

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    Not exactly the same. IOS6 still functions for all core functionality. Phone, internet, etc.
     
  17. Sep 26, 2013 #17 of 117
    philhu

    philhu User Since Day ONE!

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    Not true. They updated it for 5 years WHILE they still sold it. There is a merchantability and fitness clause in the Consumer Fair Trade act that requires a company that sells a product to support it 'in all ways possible' for 3 years after sales complete.

    They could have done a reduced purchase blanket price. They could have upgraded the software to handle it. They could have done a buyback for a newer Tivo, but they just cannot stop supporting a device WHEN THEY STILL TAKE subscriptions on the device. That would be like the cable company changing encryption on their cable and saying you need to buy a new cable box to get the new encryption.


    No it is not. It shows the upgrade paths available still existed. Nothing about the upgrade itself, just that the path to DO AN UPGRADE did exist.

    And yes, a beta cycle would have been needed. It is called 'cost of doing business'

    I do agree Tivo was not in the industry and could not get betas to test against, but I do remember that back then, everyone knew it was going that way.
     
  18. Sep 26, 2013 #18 of 117
    socrplyr

    socrplyr Active Member

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    I did a web search for "H.264 cable box 2009"

    One of the first results dated Apr 01 2009:
    http://www.multichannel.com/technol...warner-cox-launch-cisco-whole-home-dvr/124780
    Sure sounds pretty definite, since Cisco was advertising it.
     
  19. Sep 26, 2013 #19 of 117
    DaveDFW

    DaveDFW Member

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    Citation, please. I've never seen any provision stating this.
     
  20. Sep 26, 2013 #20 of 117
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    And a TiVo HD still functions for what it was sold for. It was NEVER advertised as supporting H.264/MPEG-4 and as such they have no obligation to support it. The fact that the hardware technically supports it is irrelevant. The only reason the hardware even does is because they wanted to support OOT apps like Netflix, Amazon, etc... They had no intention of supporting H.264 broadcasts back in 2006 because no one was even considering it back then. The fact that they were able to support H.264 broadcasts using the same basic hardware in New Zealand is again irrelevant. The AUS/NZ unit is different, so the software would still need to be tweaked and retested here in the US, and they simply have no incentive to do so.

    Honestly I don't understand why someone like yourself, who obviously likes technology, would be OK with using hardware from 2006 anyway. There are so many reasons to upgrade to a Roamio other then just H.264 support. It's well worth it.
     

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