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The Roamio unboxing experience is really lame

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by dtivouser, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. dtivouser

    dtivouser Tivoless

    Feb 10, 2004
    I bought a Roamio Plus from Amazon to replace a failing S3.

    I can't believe how much time it had to spend "upgrading" before I was able to interact with it. Seriously, two upgrades just to power up for the first time? And each "should take less than an hour"?

    Time-Warner Cable [North County San Diego] was oddly helpful and helped me pair my Cable Card over the phone. THAT was a great surprise that they didn't require a truck roll. Score one for TWC.

    What I thought would be an easy call to Tivo to activate service was really frustrating. They are transferring service from my old Tivo (I presume that eliminates minimum contracts?) but because I called fairly late in the day on a Saturday, they don't think a supervisor will be able to approve the transfer before... MONDAY. What? How is this not a 24x7 capability?

    Oh and also, I want to transfer shows from another Tivo in the house and from Tivo Desktop. Today, obviously. Apparently that won't work for several days either, as MAKs are exchanged during the nightly calls and it takes several "calls" from each before key exchanges are done.

    So a day later my new Tivo is still nagging to activate service, and the oddest error message appears in Tivo Central: "Go to UNKNOWN and enter your Tivo Service number to active this UNKNOWN." Huh?

    Doesn't Tivo realize that when someone pays hundreds of dollars for a new entertainment gadget, they expect a great experience right away?

    Doesn't Tivo understand that we are sort of past the paradigm of "Nightly Calls" from the boxes and that modern web architectures shouldn't have this limitation?

    Oh, and a curse upon their designers for introducing the A-B-C-D color coded remote keys. My Harmony One doesn't have a good place to put those (ugh more soft keys) and I really don't want a Harmony Touch.

    So for the first time ever, my cable company comes away with a far better unboxing experience than Tivo. Note: UNKNOWN wants to use UNKNOWN right now without UNKNOWN service being UNKNOWN.
  2. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    Those keys have been on the TiVo remotes for 3.5 years. And Harmony has a remote that has those keys on it.

    But you can just easily put those A-D buttons on the touch screen or easily map it to a hard key. I have several Harmony Ones and decided the four buttons weren't worth the expensive upgrade.

    But one of the best things about the Harmony remotes is the ability to easily map to a hard button or the touch screen. So I really don't see a valid complaint about those.

    They have been on BD player remotes for much, much longer than they have been on TiVo remotes. They are nothing new.
  3. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    The out of box experience has pretty much always sucked. They could do a lot better. It's annoying but eventually worth it once it's done and out of the way.
  4. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

    May 14, 2007
    Until you get to all the annoying ads after spending up to $1500 on gear and lifetime service! :rolleyes:
  5. GameJerk

    GameJerk New Member

    Jul 8, 2007
    Yea the ads were a bit of a surprise to me too as well. Kind of shocking actually.
  6. Devx

    Devx New Member

    Jun 1, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    The ABCD buttons can easily be mapped to soft keys with the harmony remotes and depending on your use of the interface, mostly forgotten after that.

    I agree that something Tivo should advise new customers is to force connections, repeatedly if necessary, on new and existing boxes and even restart them until full service is available. On my Roamios I was able to get activations, SP and MRV transfers working the same day after forcing connections. Waiting on the standard service calls, it could easily be several days before all boxes are sync'd.

    With the grace period bug, it may just be easier if Tivo had new boxes call home more often with the assumption that activation is coming and new features may need to be activated. The increased call home activity could be relaxed several days after activation.
  7. replaytv

    replaytv gun talk ignore list

    Feb 20, 2011
    Denver ish...
    Another example of a company spending too much money on advertising and not enough making the customer happy after they buy the item. I guess they figure they have you once you spend your money, so they can abuse you by cutting corners. I do love my TiVo but hate it whenever they download new software that breaks a perfectly good machine. And how come I know more about TiVos that the call center staff?
  8. bbrown9

    bbrown9 Member

    Mar 12, 2011

    I'm paying for service. A LOT! I shouldn't be subjected to ads.
  9. uw69

    uw69 Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    It would be nice not to have ads, but it adds a revenue stream to TiVo and helps keep them in business which we all want after spending our money on hardware and service. TiVo has been doing this many years and I guess I'm just used to them. Not a big deal for me.
  10. dtivouser

    dtivouser Tivoless

    Feb 10, 2004
    The miserable unboxing experience is what keeps me from recommending Tivo to non-technical family and friends. My dad is in his 70s and would probably enjoy the Tivo experience, but with the unboxing confusion in the first day he would probably just unplug it and forget about it. As a typical counter example, he loves his iPhone.

    Trying to activate service 2hrs before "quittin' time" on a Saturday means I had to wait until after the weekend to use the device. Amazing.
  11. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

    Jul 24, 2001
    Milwaukee, WI
    Why would you have to call in at all? That's the part I'm not clear on.

    When I got my Roamio, I was able to log in online and get the TiVo activated even before unboxing. I then set the Roamio up, let it go through it's upgrade cycle (nothing unusual - even the new Nintendo Wii U requires an extended upgrade right out of the box, I believe), then I was ready to go.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with the 'out of box' experience with a TiVo, to be honest.
  12. uw69

    uw69 Member

    Jan 25, 2001
  13. aristoBrat

    aristoBrat Active Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Va Beach, VA
    To me, the only confusion about your unboxing experience is that it sounds like you had something dorked up on your pre-existing TiVo.com account that required a manager to fix.

    I think if you did a show of hands in this thread from people that had the same experience (and there's people in this thread that have activated a lot of TiVos over the years), you'd probably be the only one raising your hand.

    You had a bad activation experience, and shame on TiVo for that.

    But IMO with the Start Here poster that comes with every TiVo box explaining as much as it does, I'd see no reason to not recommend TiVo to non-technical friends or family, unless you're just pissed about your "it took a weekend" experience and that somehow makes you feel better. :confused:
  14. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    With My replacement Roamio Pro, I activated it online at 11Am when I was at work. I didn't set it up until I got home that evening after 7PM. The service number is on the outside of the box. I just took a picture of it in the store so I would have a copy of the service number to activate it. Then I just set it up and it updated and everything was fine. I do expect any new piece of electronics to update right away. I would rather it update on the first bootup then sometime later. That way I know it should have the most recent software. It's when a device doesn't update at first bootup that I get worried. Because a device just purchased is typically weeks if not months old since it was packaged.
  15. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    I agree. I would rather have the device update itself out of the box, even if it takes a while.

    I'm sure the reason TiVo has to have so many updates out of the box, is because of changes in the software.

    You can't just go straight to software version C because you need software version A before you can install version B, and so on.
    That is pretty much common for any device.
  16. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

    Sep 21, 2004
    I believe since the Premiere launch they have added the ability to do updates during guided setup. Before, the user might not see the update for 2-3 days. And since so many of these updates include cablecard fixes, it is extremely important they are pushed right away. The Roamio is so fast that updates probably take half the time as before so I don't see it as a major issue but a welcome one.
  17. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    And remember that TiVos are not built to order. If they updated each unit before shipping, someone would have to unpack it, take the time to install the newest software, and then repack it. How much more would the people who are complaining about setup time be willing to pay for a TiVo employee to do that?
  18. rhettf

    rhettf R3T1CAL

    Apr 5, 2012
    Oakland, CA
    I set up my Roamio on Friday starting at 2PM. I had already bought the lifetime service that morning at work.

    By 3PM I had the box completely updated including cable card activation and onDemand available. By 3:30PM the other boxes on my network were available. Really a much smoother process then ever before. Sure the updates said "may take an hour" but neither update took more than 10 minutes.

    By 3:00PM 95% of the features were working, just had to wait on Amazon and MRS/Transfer.

    I wonder how much of that quoted may take an hour is built in for slow internet connections.
  19. ptr727

    ptr727 New Member

    Dec 2, 2004
    I installed 2 x Roamio's, 2 Pro's, and a Mini.
    The out of box experience was excruciatingly terrible.
    In this technological day and age an hour+ setup time is unacceptable, and basic consumer user experience research shows first impressions have a lasting impact.

    The Mini was the worst, 1:20 until operational, the Roamios all about 0:50 to 1:10. And I am just talking about getting the box operational, this does not include cable card pairing, which took a few minutes online.

    (Not an internet speed problem, have 75Mb/s)

  20. aristoBrat

    aristoBrat Active Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Va Beach, VA
    I wonder what TiVo can do to improve this.

    Doesn't seem like skipping updates during setup is an option, because they have to deal with people who are buying TiVos that have been sitting in Best Buy warehouses for several months and arrive with old software that's missing features. Or specifically with the Roamio, the fact that the original software load contained a bug that prevented a grace period (which turned out to be a fairly big deal with as long as activations were taking to process the first week or so).

    I don't think there's anything unique about the Roamio's unboxing experience. IIRC, all of the various TiVo models I've owned and activated over the years forced updates during the setup process.

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