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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 30, 2013 #81 of 117
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    And how were they suppose to do that when there were no cable systems broadcasting in H.264 back when they stopped developing for the S3 platform? If you're talking about now then it's too late. The S3 platform has been obsolete for almost 3 years now. They are not going to start developing new software for it just because there a few people who can't tune a handful of H.264 channels. Had H.264 gone into broad deployment back when the S3 was the current platform then I'm sure they would have, but now it's to late.
     
  2. Sep 30, 2013 #82 of 117
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    I think I'm standing by my estimate of hundreds of variants. We're pretty much just seeing the cablecard variants with problems. Comcast has dozens of cablecard variants across the country. In addition, there's all the known differences in back-end problems we know about (eg, the Seattle and other market problems with Fox that are not cablecard related, and the earlier problems of Florida Cablevision systems that are different.) There's the tuning adapter hardware and software variants that cause problems. The amount of SDV channels a franchise has matters. Whether a franchise has any analog channels matters. Whether a franchise has h.264 channels matters. What the franchise does with local origination channels matters (I've had problems in the past with my franchise doing strange things with the audio.)

    And then there's all variation in the home of a beta tester. Whether they are OTA or not; whether they have 4 or 6 tuners; what kind of network they have; whether they have premium channels; whether they have various internet source providers (Netflix, hulu plus, MLB network, etc); whether they have iOS tablets; whether they have network problems; whether they have too strong of an input signal; whether they have too weak of an input signal; what the "shape" of the signal is (the different shape of FIOS vs coaxial signals has caused TiVo problems in the past); whether they have kmttg or pyTiVo or TiVo Desktop; whether they have multiple TiVos and what kind of TiVos they have.

    Hmm, I got carried away a bit. But I'm sure TiVo handles much more variability than I mention above. They obviously have a beta program with live testers since they are inviting people to it (and Dave Zatz has been reporting on it for months!) Could more problems have been found with a larger beta? Absolutely. But just the variants above would probably require thousands of beta testers to cover. That's prohibitive.
     
  3. Oct 1, 2013 #83 of 117
    BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Active Member

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    That was the exact point I was trying to make. I think you misinterpreted my previous posts. Just like how the S3s can't support M-cards -- the M-cards came out after the S3 was released and it turns out there's an incompatibility. Even if the spec. is complete, there's always gray areas or flat out bugs that can give you problems unless you beta test first.
     
  4. Oct 1, 2013 #84 of 117
    BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Active Member

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    But most of these bugs were easy to catch. You wouldn't need a huge sample to catch them. Cisco even has release notes that say that only the latest version of CableCard firmware supported all six tuners, which should have thrown up red flags.

    I'll agree the Seatlle bug is a fluke, and there is no real way to catch that one. But ALL Cisco/CableVision customers were affected. And ALL FIOS customers had issues with HBO/Cinemax, which are the only channels that have copy protection on them. These aren't small MSOs here.

    Anyway, getting back to the topic, this shows how Tivo might have problems supporting H.264 in the S3s. There is enough difficulty supporting the latest stuff, never mind trying to guess how the future stuff might get implemented by the MSOs.
     
  5. Oct 5, 2013 #85 of 117
    shwru980r

    shwru980r Active Member

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    Tivo is only allowed to count a lifetime subscription for 66 months. Many lifetime Tivo HDs can no longer be shown as a source of revenue for accounting purposes. I certainly would not expect Tivo to support a lifetime tivo older than 66 months. Maybe they could offer a month or two of free netflix or some free amazon downloads as compensation for the lifetime users newer than 66 months or a reduced subscription rate for monthly subscription customers.
     
  6. Oct 6, 2013 #86 of 117
    cram501

    cram501 Member

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    There wasn't an incompatibility. Tivo chose not to update the S3 to use M-Cards. They were phasing out the original S3 and it wasn't worth the effort. TivoPony explained it a few years back.

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=402682 (post #15)

    How they count a lifetime Tivo for accounting reasons should have no bearing on support for the platform. That is a risk Tivo takes in offering that option. They updated the S3 for H.264 at some point (Australia?) and decided not to make that available to the US market. If they had never supported H.264 on the S3 platform or it didn't have the capability to recieve mpeg4, it would be reasonable. Viewing all channels you receive is fundamental to the platform (unlike the s/card vs. m/card debate).

    It has little impact on me (I'll watch mpeg4 on my Roamio) but moves like that ultimately tarnish their reputation and ultimately lower what people are willing to pay for their products. I assume they will take any minor hit in their reputation as a cost of doing business.

    I wonder how many of the original S3's and HD's are still out there? (I have one of each I'm phasing out with roamio's)
     
  7. Oct 6, 2013 #87 of 117
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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  8. Oct 6, 2013 #88 of 117
    cram501

    cram501 Member

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    Considering I've been using this board for a long time, you'd think I would have figured it out. I guess I do more lurking than posting.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  9. Oct 7, 2013 #89 of 117
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    And there was a good reason for that.

    They had the potential to do more harm then good. So why would they bother if it was going to open up a huge can of worms?
     
  10. Oct 7, 2013 #90 of 117
    cram501

    cram501 Member

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    I didn't really address whether they should have added m-card support or not. I just said it wasn't a technical limitation. It was a choice they made.

    Whenever you make software modifications you have the potential to do more harm than good. Their decision may have been based on risk/reward but my guess is that it was most likely based on available resources. Tivo decided adding m-card support wasn't worth the investment in people/money/time for the small customer base they had.
     
  11. Oct 7, 2013 #91 of 117
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    It was my understanding that it required a PROM update and TiVo decided that a PROM update in the field was simply too risky. If they bricked even a few units it would have been a huge PR nightmare.
     
  12. Oct 7, 2013 #92 of 117
    wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    Instead, they just let the bad PR develop and fester from failing to explain the issue.
     
  13. Oct 7, 2013 #93 of 117
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I don't think they even sold enough S3 OLED units for it to be a big PR problem. Those things were like $800/ea, before service. I'd be surprised if sales got above the low 5 figures. And by the time M-cards actually started coming on the scene they had already replaced the S3 OLED with the TiVo HD. The number of people effected by the limitation was probably pretty small.
     
  14. Oct 8, 2013 #94 of 117
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Yes they were expensive and when they were first released they also did not offer lifetime service. I think I paid $300 for 3 years of TiVo service for each of my three OLED S3 boxes. And then once the three years was up I got lifetime service on them. At least I got it for a discount. Although I sold/gave away all my OLED S3 and TiVoHD boxes shortly after.(My GF has two of my OLED S3 boxes that I gave her)
     
  15. Oct 8, 2013 #95 of 117
    cram501

    cram501 Member

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    I got the original S3 when it first came out in late Sept 2006. I was able to transfer it to lifetime in Jan 2007 for around $200. (I was paying the monthly rate up to then).

    It's a little slow and only 30 hours of recording time but it's still working like a champ.

    I wonder how many they sold before the Tivo HD came on the scene? At the ~$800 price, I can't see it being that many considering that HDTV still had limited availability. I think most, if not all, of my HDTV at the time came from OTA.
     
  16. Oct 8, 2013 #96 of 117
    BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Active Member

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    Accounting reasons should have bearing when you're adding an enhancement instead of fixing a bug.

    And I don't care what Tivo did in other markets. That's a different branch of code. It's not trivial to copy that code into another branch. Besides, it's not just "H.264", you have to figure out which substandards and features each MSO chose to implement. Not to mention licensing fees.

    Did Tivo promise you H.264 support for the S3 here in the United States of America? No, they did not. Did they even promise that you'd always receive every single channel? No, they did not. And they still don't, which is why there's a small risk in buying a set top box instead of renting one from your cable company.

    You buy products for what they can do today, not what you think they might be capable of doing in the future. Otherwise you're going to be constantly disappointed.
     
  17. Oct 8, 2013 #97 of 117
    cram501

    cram501 Member

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    Of course you should expect to receive all channels for the market that align with the cable card specifications. I expect to continue to receive them even if alterations to the code have to be made. I don't expect a product I purchased to maybe, possibly, sometimes work.

    I don't consider it an enhancement. I consider it maintenance on a product they offered with a lifetime option. That is where our opinions really diverge.

    If their code is that big of a mess that merging different branches is that difficult, they have other problems. Merging code bases can be a pain in the ass but I bet that played a minor role at best in the decision. Planning for the resource allocation, testing, and roll out of the changes were probably much more significant. And I don't really care what hoops they have to jump through to make it happen. That is a risk they take by producing a product for which they offered a lifetime option. The risk I take is that they will continue to support it.

    And your right, I am disappointed and not because h.264 did not make into the S3. I'm disappointed because this shows the decision making process they are going through when they decide how long to support one of their products. How long until a premiere someone just purchased no longer receives updates to fix the problems that are still there?

    How much I'm willing to spend and when I'm willing to spend for one of their products is impacted by decisions like this. You may not make decisions based on how the product is supported going forward and the track record of the company, but I do.

    I consider that decision by Tivo to be a mistake. So far it has had little impact on me but if they continue make decisions like this, that may change.
     
  18. Oct 8, 2013 #98 of 117
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I wish they would have offered me that deal. When I got mine I prepaid three years. No one offered to convert me to lifetime when they started offering it again. But they did give me a deal on lifetime when those three years were up.
     
  19. Oct 8, 2013 #99 of 117
    shwru980r

    shwru980r Active Member

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    I think the merchantability and fitness clause applies to the merchandise, not to a warranty. If Tivo has the burden of knowing that there were some channel formats that the Tivo HD could not receive, then you have that same burden. You were free to reject the shipment under the merchantability and fitness clause at the time you started using the Tivo, but you didn't. You used the Tivo for years and that implies that you accepted the shipment.
     
  20. Oct 8, 2013 #100 of 117
    cram501

    cram501 Member

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    I'd have to go back through the threads on the board, but I think they offered it for a short period of time because of the complaints they were receiving. A lot of people were in your shoes and pushed to be able to convert over.

    I believe they only offered it for a month or two and it was still difficult to get converted. It basically was customer service roulette.

    This is all from memory of seven years ago, so I may have all, some, or none of the fact correct.

    Edit: I did go back to the old threads. I transferred by old DirectTV Tivo lifetime membership to my S3. For about a month they allowed DirectTV Tivo transfers. If you had purchased one and activated it, it was a pain to get the cancellation fee waived.

    Ref: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=4825670#post4825670
     

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