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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 27, 2013 #61 of 117
    socrplyr

    socrplyr Active Member

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    Test Platform from 2008:
    http://www.sri.com/newsroom/press-releases/sarnoff-releases-new-h264avc-bitstreams-opencable

    That is not a valid argument anyways. You don't do most of your testing on a live cable tv system. Not in this thread, but in another one that I had seen, comments to this effect were rampant. Tivo does most of their testing before it is put out there. Other threads suggested that the majority of their testing was done in beta test type rollouts. That is not true. I grant you that Tivo would most likely have to make minor fixes as things rolled out and began to be used. However, most of those things should have been minor.

    My argument was that it should have been in the product in the first place. Since it wasn't, how should they remedy? I gave up on a remedy, but that doesn't mean that I don't think there should have been one.
     
  2. Sep 27, 2013 #62 of 117
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry, but I simply do not buy this argument in any fashion. If the hardware is there, then development and testing is possible. The platform is not "dead". Tivo chose to change their licensing model (subscription) and there are plenty of those units out there.

    Please don't assume I think that I should be "entitled to a major upgrade to a box that was discontinued over 3 years ago". I said nothing of the kind. However, I also did not say it was reasonable to simply abandon customers and tell them to "buy a new Tivo". And actually, if they provided a way to at least partially subsidize the "lifetime support" we've already paid for then I'd also be OK.

    However, I simply do not in any possible way buy your justification for Tivo to behave this way.

    Let me take this a bit further. I think it's this kind of after the fact acceptance of Tivo acting this way that continues to give them reason to treat customers differently than they should. The BOTTOM LINE for which there is ZERO DEBATE is that Tivo is a 3rd party, totally dependent on them staying aligned with the MSOs as far technology is concerned. Without them being aligned with the MSOs, Tivo is utterly, and totally dead. Zero value.
     
  3. Sep 27, 2013 #63 of 117
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    It is true! I've been part of several early beta tests where core functionality was still broken. And before they let in people like me they do a lot of their testing in the wild using their employees. Bench tests only get you so far. Working in the video industry myself I can tell you that broadcasters rarely follow the specs. So you have to account for many, many, variations and the only reliable way to do that is to test in the wild.

    Just look at what's going on over in the Roamio forum with the 6 tuners. There are tons of people who are having problems using more then 4 tuners because of minor variations in CableCARD and tuning adapter firmware. Even though I'm sure they designed the product exactly to spec.
     
  4. Sep 27, 2013 #64 of 117
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    That's actually not true. Over the last few years TiVo has been shifting their business away from being a retail product to being an MSO supplier. They saw how difficult it was to be a 3rd party and how the MSOs could screw them over at any time (i.e. SDV) and decided the only way they were going to survive was to be on the inside.

    At this point I think the retail portion is nothing more then something to keep them afloat until they can become a major MSO supplier. It also gives them a test platform for new technologies that the MSOs might be reluctant to implement on their own.

    The Roamio may very well be the last retail DVR TiVo ever sells.
     
  5. Sep 27, 2013 #65 of 117
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    Actually, Dan - you just made my point. Tivo is utterly and totally dependent on the MSOs. Either they become a supplier to the MSO, or they are a 3rd party retailer. In either case, they are 3rd party and cannot survive without the MSOs.

    In particular, as more and more "cut the cord" and move to streaming capabilities, Tivo is far from a leader in that case. So, it behooves Tivo to protect the subscription base. Beyond that, if they have decided to simply become a major MSO provider and the Roamio is the last retail DVR (which would also not surprise me), then everything is changed. It makes the entire "lifetime subscription" value debatable, support is debatable, etc.

    BTW, I would not criticize Tivo for doing this. I've said for years that their only real opportunity for growth is to sell their tech directly to the MSOs. Between the increased competition from MSO DVRs, and the increasing amount of content via streaming, Tivo is not in a good place, and their value proposition continues to become more and more problematic.
     
  6. Sep 27, 2013 #66 of 117
    wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    Dan, again we disagree. Tivo has the ability to test against the major MSOs. They "choose" to not invest in such capabilities. I'm not suggesting that they should or should not. Only that they DO have the capability. Tivo is actually in a good position in terms of their ability to manage change - if they elected to do so. So much of their ecosystem is totally within their control it's amazing. I get so ticked off when people make arguments like "well, you have to reboot your pc sometimes" as an explanation as to why Tivos reboot, lock up, etc. That's BS. Total BS. There are VERY few variables outside of Tivos ability to control in terms of environmental factors. Tivo totally controls the UI, and ALL applications. Users do not have (without hacking) the ability to in any possible way modify a single byte of Tivo software. None. We can't add apps. We can't change apps. We can't install 3rd party apps. Certainly there are other factors, such as cablecard implementation (by MSO), signal strength, etc - but that's about it. And all of those "could" be tested - easily. I think you know that.
     
  7. Sep 27, 2013 #67 of 117
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I'm very happy Verizon changed their plans. I read about it years ago and back then I had figured by now I would have had to switch to Comcast to continue using my TiVos.
     
  8. Sep 27, 2013 #68 of 117
    BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Active Member

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    You and me both. That Media Server coming out might be a very different beast otherwise, and the party would be over for everyone.

    And the IPTV plan predates even the Tivo HD. So this debate swings both ways. Since Verizon's actual plan of IPTV was known, why get a Tivo HD when it ran the risk of bricking? Heck, I remember being concerned about buying a Premiere because the IPTV transition was increasingly looming and talked about. Risk was built-in from the start. We ALL got lucky that they changed direction and just about the only loss to date has been the least-watched channels on the older hardware.
     
  9. Sep 27, 2013 #69 of 117
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    My point was that 3 years ago when they stopped development for the S3 platform there were no MSOs using H.264 so there was nothing to test against even if they wanted to. They could have tested against the spec and thrown the code into the product in hopes that it would work when/if the MSOs decided to switch to H.264. However if they had done that and there was a problem people would expect them to fix it and they'd be worse off then they are now. At least now they can just say the S3 platform does not support H.264. If they had a broken implementation then they'd have to fix it or deal with constant support complaints from people who were having issues.
     
  10. Sep 27, 2013 #70 of 117
    BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Active Member

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    You do most of your testing in-house, but should do quite a bit of it on live systems. Otherwise, some unexpected problems could happen after you launch and you could be in big trouble. Tivo never promised H.264 support, and rightfully so.

    It's also obvious Tivo doesn't do ANY real testing on live systems, and are perfectly happy to let the early adopters be beta testers. See the Roamio threads about 6 tuners and HBO/Cinemax not working properly. How could they possibly miss that? All they had to do was use older CableCards and they couldn't even bother to do that. Unless they planned on using their customers' anger and frustration as leverage to get the other companies to fix their problems....

    Finally, if it should have been in the product, but it wasn't, and was never promised, AND YOU BOUGHT IT ANYWAY, whose fault is that? All yours, I'm afraid.
     
  11. Sep 27, 2013 #71 of 117
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    Do you realize what you're asking for? Cablecards are tied to particular head-end software, with proprietary software on both ends. You're asking TiVo to duplicate hundreds of different set-ups, all proprietary, in house, in order to test older cards. That sounds impossible to me, not just something "they couldn't even bother to do".
     
  12. Sep 28, 2013 #72 of 117
    waynomo

    waynomo My One Time TCF Club

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    Seven...
    I realize the whole principle of the thing being debated, but does anybody regularly watch the channels that are now mpeg4?

    I find it not a coincidence that the channels on the list that I receive have not been converted. I take this to mean that FIOS is only converting the least watched channels. Far be it for me to dictate anybody's taste, but in the scheme of things it seems a relatively minute annoyance.

    FIOS needs to convert to MPEG4 so they can distribute more channels. I think this is a good thing even if eventually I lost a few channels. Now obviously it would not be good for me if I lost all the HD channels. Perhaps I should look at selling my TiVoHD. I wonder what I could get for it. It has a lifetime subscription and an upgraded HD. I think I upgraded to 1 TB.
     
  13. Sep 28, 2013 #73 of 117
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    Welcome to the world of Tivo. You buy a Tivo and you're locked into whatever capabilities the box has to offer. If something new comes along the the current model can't handle or they're unable to fix it with a software upgrade, you may or may not see it in the next model they release. It's one of the reasons I switched to using a HTPC as my DVR and dumped Tivo. I'm on FIOS and don't have any issues with mpeg4 since the transition was seamless for me. I already had the codecs installed for mpeg4 playback.
     
  14. Sep 28, 2013 #74 of 117
    waynomo

    waynomo My One Time TCF Club

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    Seven...
    Seems pretty much like any other product I purchase.

    I don't get why people are singling out TiVo for this.
     
  15. Sep 28, 2013 #75 of 117
    CoxInPHX

    CoxInPHX COX Communications

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  16. Sep 28, 2013 #76 of 117
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    That wouldn't have been the case if you were using Windows XP. MS did not support H.264 in the original DVR-MS format they used for MCE recordings. They didn't add support until they created the WTV format. The WTV format was sort of ported back to Vista, but was only fully supported in Win7. If you had been using XP then you would have been forced to do a Windows upgrade, which would have cost abut $150, to gain the ability to record H.264. MS essentially did the same thin as TiVo. There was no technical limitation preventing them from porting the WTV format back to XP, but they chose not to because XP had been discontinued and it was not in their interest to do so.
     
  17. Sep 28, 2013 #77 of 117
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I had been using Windows XP with BeyondTV as my DVR until the Ceton InfiniTV4 cablecard tuner was released. I had to make the switch in order to use it, so it's a moot point in that regard. If you wanted to use a cablecard tuner on a PC and you didn't have one of the turnkey setups that used the ATI tuner with the 2005 XP Media Center Edition, you had no choice but to upgrade to Windows 7.

    I'm not sure where you get the $150 price tag for a Windows 7 upgrade unless you're going with one of the more advanced versions, which is overkill for a HTPC. I pre-ordered a Windows 7 Pro upgrade for $99 prior to it being released. I later purchased a 3-pack of Windows Home Premium licenses for my other PCs for $125. A standalone upgrade license for Win 7 Home Premium is available for as low as $79. Retail is $99. A Win 7 Pro upgrade is $140.

    Microsoft will stop supporting XP sometime next year, IIRC, so there's little reason to keep using it unless you have older PCs you want to keep in service.
     
  18. Sep 28, 2013 #78 of 117
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Wasn't there a hack that allowed Ceton cards work with XP?

    As for the price... The upgrade price for Home Premium is $120 and for Pro it's $200. I was going from memory so I was a little off.

    Even so the point stands. If you had been using XP you would have had to upgrade to get H.264 support because MS made a business decision not to back port WTV support to XP because it was obsolete. Same thing applies to the S3 TiVo. H.264 broadcasting didn't come along until after the S3 was obsolete.

    And for those that say TiVo should offer a discount on service because of this... They do! The S3 TiVos only cost $12.95/$9.95 a month. The S4/S5 units cost $14.95/$12.95. Also back when S3 units were being sold lifetime was only $199/$299.
     
  19. Sep 29, 2013 #79 of 117
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I haven't heard of one. However, there are now at least two or three Media Center front ends besides WMC that will work with the Ceton cards as long as your channels are copy freely. SageTV was one and Media Portal is another. I'm think MythTV may also work, but I'm not absolutely sure.
     
  20. Sep 30, 2013 #80 of 117
    BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Active Member

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    No, I'm asking them to do real live system beta testing in people's real houses. And it's not hundreds, but a sampling in major cable systems would have been nice. The software is proprietary but there don't appear to be a lot of variants -- that is, many cable systems are using the same exact software.
     

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