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TiVo Suggestions in the UK - Update

Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by TiVoPony, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. Sep 30, 2008 #41 of 546
    Tim L

    Tim L New Member

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    Jan 5, 2002
    London, UK
    I wonder what would happen if a hack could run through the old thumbs and convert them to new thumbs so that they get resubmitted? I'm guessing there's a lot more to this, involving recording history and so on, so the results would be flaky at best, even if it were possible.
     
  2. Sep 30, 2008 #42 of 546
    carl newman

    carl newman New Member

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    Aug 7, 2004
    Cambridgeshire
    If this new data is incompatible with Tivo's Suggestions feature how does it manage to give you suggestions for stuff that you "thumbs up" today?( before it makes the daily call).......surely you wouldn't get anything at all if it cant read the new data format?
     
  3. Sep 30, 2008 #43 of 546
    terryeden

    terryeden TiVo, Tivum, Tiva,

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    Nov 2, 2002
    Surrey
    Quite upset by this. I paid my life time a few years ago after paying monthly for... too many years. I even convinced the inlaws to get one.

    Looking at the UI of some of the newer FreeviewPlayback PVRs, they exceed TiVo in many ways (video previews, subtitles, etc). I'd love a S3, but once bitten, twice shy.
     
  4. Sep 30, 2008 #44 of 546
    TCM2007

    TCM2007 New Member

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    Dec 25, 2006
    The TiVo service in the UK is almost certainly running at a loss - as well as paying to have the data to be put together and for customer service to be maintained, most people's daily calls are on a freephone number which TiVo picks up the bill for, and the only revenue is the dwindling handful of monthly subscribers.

    So I think complaining that TiVo should throw more money at the UK market with no prospect of any return on it is a bit unfair. They are a business, not fellow hackers!

    Almost six years after said service ceased to be offered to new customers, yes I'm afraid it's perfectly fair.
     
  5. Sep 30, 2008 #45 of 546
    TCM2007

    TCM2007 New Member

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    Or failing that, give us a technical briefing on the exact problem, under an NDA if necessary. UK hackers have been quite resourceful in the past at bodging together solutions to problems with the TiVo software! There are three or four people on here who, I'm almost certain, could come up with a patch/hack to get things going again for those with hacked TiVos.
     
  6. Sep 30, 2008 #46 of 546
    mikerr

    mikerr TiVoCentral.co.uk

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    Jun 2, 2005
    Up North
    To be pedantic, service did not cease six years ago, only hardware sales.

    New service (subs) is still offered to new subscribers today !
     
  7. Sep 30, 2008 #47 of 546
    ColinYounger

    ColinYounger It wasn't me.

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    Aug 9, 2006
    Southsea,...
    I don't wish to say 'I told you so', but... well... 'I told you so'.
     
  8. Sep 30, 2008 #48 of 546
    ColinYounger

    ColinYounger It wasn't me.

    1,381
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    Aug 9, 2006
    Southsea,...
    It would need to be more than an NDA - resourceful hackers might start to try to implement S3 features with enough access, and TiVo wouldn't want us 'doing our own thing'!

    I'd be massively fascinated to get even a restricted access peek behind the curtain.
     
  9. Sep 30, 2008 #49 of 546
    TCM2007

    TCM2007 New Member

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    I guess what's happening is that historical thumbs are being stored in some kind of data table associated with the TMSID of the show. As TiVoPony says, this is not typically how TiVo works - when it loads the guide data it creates a database object for each show (and series) which has an ID unique to that show on that Tivo. All subsequent data manipulation is done on that new ID, not the TMSID. Which is why everything else keeps working.

    Updating that table probably occurs when new guide data is loaded, and that's why things break every night.

    If we knew where in MFS this table was, and what its format was, it might be possible to patch it in some way by doing our own editing of TMSIDs in the guide data or in MFS.

    If anyone's running my Tracker application - this also works by maintaining a database of TMSIDs and I'd be interested to know if that's broken too.
     
  10. Sep 30, 2008 #50 of 546
    TCM2007

    TCM2007 New Member

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    I think you'll find we already have!
     
  11. Sep 30, 2008 #51 of 546
  12. Sep 30, 2008 #52 of 546
    Pugwash

    Pugwash New Member

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    May 23, 2003
    Spalding'ish
    Over the years I've discovered programmes I like but had never heard of. There's countless documentaries shown on obscure channels at stupid o'clock we'd never have spotted.

    If a team of programmers can't sort this out for the hundreds? of S1 customers you've really lost the ball.
     
  13. Sep 30, 2008 #53 of 546
    Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    Aug 1, 2006
    Not Far...
    So how many man days of programming effort are actually required by Tivo staff to update the algorithms used within the software for Tivo Suggestions in order to cope with the new format of data being supplied by Tribune Media Services? And since this issue also appears to affect your US Series 1 machines and therefore has the potential to do serious damage to the Tivo brand in its home territory surely it needs to be sorted out by Tivo.

    You seem to rule out an updated release of the software run by our Tivo S1 machines but if a new release is necessary in order to maintain the existing advertised data feature set then why not. We aren't asking for an update to our software just for fun but in order to maintain the original advertised feature set.

    Also aren't Tribune Media Services now in breach of contract by providing data in a format not compatible with the continued support of the Tivo Series 1 machines? Alternatively Tivo would appear to be in breach of contract to the Lifetime Subscription customers and we should therefore all be entitled to a significant refund of the original cost of the Lifetime Sub? Similarly the cost of a Monthly Sub should also be reduced to reflect the downgraded service now available.

    The Suggestions concept with the Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down buttons on the remote is at the very heart of what a Tivo is about and is one of its key patented features. To my mind without the continued availability of Suggestions then the service we will continue to enjoy is not really a Tivo service at all but merely a cut down ordinary PVR service.:eek::mad::thumbsdown::thumbsdown::thumbsdown:;)
     
  14. Sep 30, 2008 #54 of 546
    cwaring

    cwaring VM Tivo User

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    Feb 11, 2002
    Knaresboroug...
    Wow! Hyperbole much?! Have you actually read the rest of this thread wrt subs? (Post #44 in particular)

    I would be stupid to suggest that the service hasn't been affected at all, but with phrases like "the service is now 25% what it used to be" and the suggestion (okay, that wasn't intentional, honest :p) that our Tivos are now "useless", etc. being bandied about I think some people are getting so upset it's a little un-nerving to be honest.
     
  15. Sep 30, 2008 #55 of 546
    mikerr

    mikerr TiVoCentral.co.uk

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    Up North
    Probably more effort than to simply make a new tivo available to the UK ;)

    Either in hardware (the austrailian DVB tivo) or software (Tivo PC)
     
  16. Sep 30, 2008 #56 of 546
    Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    Not Far...
    But the development costs of type approving and releasing and distributing a replacement hardware platform for the remaining active UK user base are probably not worthwhile......
     
  17. Sep 30, 2008 #57 of 546
    Alcatraz

    Alcatraz Occasionally Helpful

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    Nov 22, 2000
    Who says they "can't"? It's more likely that it's not practical for them to fix such a minor issue for a relatively small population of boxes that haven't been updated in.......how long? If most of those boxes are getting lifetime service at whatever price was available back then, they've stopped being a source of revenue long ago.

    If they did go back and try to revive antiquated code and spend whatever time and resources needed to refamiliarize themselves with said code, as well as fix the issue and run a beta program to test for several weeks, there's a strong chance that many boxes wouldn't survive the upgrade process anyway. I've read on this forum that Tivo uses a separate partition just for software. How many people would be much more upset that their box died [you know they'd blame the software itself rather than the process of upgrading a crusty hard drive] than they would be at losing Suggestions? The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. It's just not a good choice for them to make.

    For most of us, regardless of which side of the pond we're on, Suggestions are a "nice-to-have" feature that is rarely used and is not a key factor in using the service. If a core user function were broken that kept you from using it at all, that would be different story. Suggestions are just a cherry on top of the frosting. Without it, you still have a tasty cake.

    And if the argument is "we're paying the same and getting less", all you gotta do is compare the old Series1 boxes to the Series2, and newer, models over here. Granted, the old S1 owners haven't lost anything, but they are paying the same as newer customers who are "getting more" for the same price.

    I'd say you should get a newer model, but that's not an option. If anything, take your disappointment/anger and start a campaign to get Sky back on board with a Tivo partnership and then you'd be in on the ground floor when upgrades are available! :D
     
  18. Sep 30, 2008 #58 of 546
    JNLister

    JNLister New Member

    55
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    May 21, 2002
  19. Sep 30, 2008 #59 of 546
    Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    Not Far...
    A great article covering all the main ground. How many readers a day or a week does your site get? I take it that you are yourself an American based in the United States?

    One interesting further point is that the US Series 1 Tivo machines possibly have not had their Suggestions feature irreparably broken because they run a Version 3.x.x something of the Tivo software instead of our last software release version of 2.5.5 dating from late 2002. If this is true then why can't the UK users be upgraded to version 3.x.x of the software as it already exists and can support Suggestions and run on the Tivo Series 1 hardware platform with the altered Tribune Media Services data source?
     
  20. Sep 30, 2008 #60 of 546
    Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    Not Far...
    Its never going to happen with Sky and Tivo in the UK again as they make far more money out of selling their own inferior Sky+ PVR. That is why they cut ties with Tivo in the first place.

    The only likely partners for Tivo in the UK are our main cable service provider Virgin (who even use the same model of Scientific Atlanta cable box that can support Tivo software in the US) or our Freesat or Freeview digital satellite and digital terrestrial television platforms. The problem with the latter two is that they do not charge monthly subscriptions so covering the costs of Tivo's data supply from TMS is a real issue.
     

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