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TiVo prepping nex generation DVRs

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by bradleys, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Jul 7, 2013 #321 of 1049
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    The Series 3 does support MPEG4/H.264, it just needs a software update to support it. I think it was in Australia where several years ago their Series 3 boxes were updated to support MPEG4/H.264.

    But then the S3 is a old product now. I would think they would want thier customers to purchase a Series 4 or Series 5 TiVo. So I don't see much incentive for them to put out an update so the S3 boxes work with H.264.
     
  2. Jul 7, 2013 #322 of 1049
    Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    Unfortunately true. They purposely didn't push the update out to force people to buy newer hardware...
     
  3. Jul 7, 2013 #323 of 1049
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    The S3 had a lifespan. H.264 video never came to fruition in the US while in that lifespan. In fact H.264 didn't really hit for cable until about a year ago, which was well into the lifespan of the S4 box and long after they had EOLed the S3. And while they may technically have the software/hardware to support H.264 on the S3 platform they can't just release it untested. And doing a beta test and potential engineering on a product that was EOLed years ago is not a smart business decision. Had H.264 hit while the S3 was still the primary product they would have released it for sure, but at this point it doesn't make sense.
     
  4. Jul 8, 2013 #324 of 1049
    Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    I guess I could see TiVo just being slow and incompetent at updating software, not a plan to force upgrades, given how slow and incompetent they have been with a lot of other software updates, BUT in the case of most companies, I would say this would be a clear case of forcing upgrades.
     
  5. Jul 8, 2013 #325 of 1049
    innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Active Member

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    how long should a company support a product that is no longer sold or produced?
     
  6. Jul 8, 2013 #326 of 1049
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    It's not any of those things. When the S3 was actively being sold in the US there were no cable companies who had H.264 channels. So it was impossible for them to test an upgrade that included H.264 support. By the time cable companies started to deploy H.264 channels the S3 had not actively been sold for almost 2 years, and even then the number of users effected was a tiny fraction of their user base. They took the time and resources to deploy the feature to their current product line (i.e. the Premiere) but it's perfectly understandable that they didn't go back and release it for a product that hadn't actually been sold for 2 years. Doing so would have required them to dedicate development resources to a product that was no longer generating revenue for them. Plus if it had the added benefit of persuading a few users to upgrade then all the better. But it's not really a "forced upgrade" since even now only a few cable operators even use H.264, and most of them only use it for a hand full of specialty channels.
     
  7. Jul 8, 2013 #327 of 1049
    sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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  8. Jul 8, 2013 #328 of 1049
    atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    When we are talking about software it should be a very long time even more so with TiVo as they continue to collect monthly fees.
     
  9. Jul 8, 2013 #329 of 1049
    sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    Support is one thing... upgrades are another.

    I'm with Dan on this one... H.264 is not a bug fix. TiVo would be better off discounting an upgrade to a Series 4 for the small number of users impacted versus the expense of upgrading the Series 3 to support.
     
  10. Jul 8, 2013 #330 of 1049
    bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    If the hardware can handle the format, I think they should provide a patch for the S3 models.

    I don't see this as an upgrade, but I do see this as a minimal necessary maintenance release. It would also go a long way to building on brand loyalty that has been eroded over the last couple of years.

    If cable companies move aggressively to H.264 standard this will effectively brick the S3 models... Ruining not only current use, but also resale.

    Jump on it and the customers will either never know about it and or greatly appreciate the support. Don't do it and deal with significant negative publicity and fallout.
     
  11. Jul 9, 2013 #331 of 1049
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Under that logic they should've provided a patch so the OLED S3s could use a single M-card, but we see how that went.

    It's not a bug fix, it's a new feature for the tuners and they're not going to do that. The funny thing is that Tivo HDs already handle mpeg4, I think, at least for the podcast videos and for pyTivo transfers.
     
  12. Jul 9, 2013 #332 of 1049
    bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    I disagree...

    The Cable Card issue in the OLED units is a hardware issue, not a software issue. Also, that doesn't brick your unit at all - you can have one cable card or two cable cards and it works just fine.

    IF the cableco's begin to agressively convert to an H.264 format that action will completely brick the S3 units.

    But I agree there are a couple of big IF's:

    • IF the Cableco's decide to transition quickly and agressively to the new format.
    • IF the problem is fixable in the S3 units via a software patch.

    I would guess that up to half of the actively used TiVo units in the wild are still S3 models. Can you imagine if the Cableco's decided to transition completly over to H.264 in the next 18 months? Half of TiVo's install base would simply disappear! You would see torches and pitchforks in San Jose.

    On the other hand - if the Cableco's drag their feet for several years. That install base will continue to shrink year over year and the impact may be less painfull for both TiVo and their customers.



    It might be a small number of users today, but if FIOS or COMCAST decide to move entire networks exclusively to the h.264 format then we are talking about a whole new game. I would think offering an upgrade discount to such a huge install base would be far more expensive then deploying a patch.
     
  13. Jul 9, 2013 #333 of 1049
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    Only if the OLED S3 h/w is capable of supporting an M-card.

    It is not a new feature for the tuners. The tuners don't care. It is detecting and decoding MP4 recordings during playback that would have to be implemented.

    Since it has already been done on a similar platform, it should be fairly easy to port it to the other S3's but given the state of TiVo s/w development, who knows.
     
  14. Jul 9, 2013 #334 of 1049
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    That's going to at least partially driven by what percentage of the currently deployed cableco h/w is capable of supporting MP4.
     
  15. Jul 9, 2013 #335 of 1049
    CoxInPHX

    CoxInPHX COX Communications

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    There have been several reports of both Cox and FiOS customers getting a significant discount from TiVo on a Series 4 when they pushed the issue of not supporting H.264 on their S3 units. That is a much more cost effective way of dealing with the very limited H.264 support issue.

    I don't understand why it is even an issue unless you are with Cox or FiOS at this point.
     
  16. Jul 9, 2013 #336 of 1049
    innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Active Member

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    Again I ask how long should a company support a product that hasn't been sold for over three years? In 2010 the Premiere was released and the TiVo HD was all but out of stock shortly before that.
     
  17. Jul 9, 2013 #337 of 1049
    bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    My answer is - how large is the affected install base of that product? Today the deployment of h.264 is very narrow so the affected base is very small.

    I do not think TiVo should provide any functionality updates to the S3 platform. If you want streaming, or mobile app functionality - upgrade. You still get what you paid for when you purchased your S3 unit.

    The difference in this case is a potential for wholesale bricking of these last gen units. The patch has been written - barring any really weird differences that we may not know about - that patch is 80% done.

    I suspect that this is going to be a slow migration. If that is true, then TiVo can safely wait it out not do anything. But... If one of the big 3 decides to pull the trigger on h.264 network wide - you will see a patch.
     
  18. Jul 9, 2013 #338 of 1049
    atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    The simple answer is as long as it makes economic sense. Look how long Microsoft has supported XP. Of course TiVo will have to guess if fixing the software makes economic sense or not. That guess will be based on data that we do not have, like knowing exactly how many Series 3 units are being used on the effected cable systems. Also as this change spreads to more cable systems TiVo will have data on what percentage of people affected upgrade to a new TiVo versus dumping TiVo all together. I am also guessing that if the new hardware that we are expecting this fall turns out to be a big improvement over the Premiere that it will help Series 3 user be more willing to upgrade, even more so if TiVo gives them a deal.
     
  19. Jul 9, 2013 #339 of 1049
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Not gonna happen. They have a ton of their own equipment in the field that is not H.264 capable. Making a complete switch would cost too much. By the time they make a total conversion to H.264 we may be talking about the Series 6
     
  20. Jul 9, 2013 #340 of 1049
    bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    :D

    I do agree that it is unlikely that any of the majors will convert enmass, and if that does not happen, TiVo will not feel any pressure to provide a patch for the new format.

    But I do think it is time for me to sell my remaining S3 units before the value starts to fall off. Just waiting on the S5!
     

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