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When is 9.3 (or whatever) coming out?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by gwar9999, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. Feb 12, 2008 #41 of 167
    jay_winter

    jay_winter P4+P4XL+Mini+FIOS

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    Jan 13, 2004
    Richmond, VA
    Are you really that naive? Do you actually think that everyone who experiences problems with their Tivo box is also complaining about it?
    And, if they do complain, do you think they all post their complaints >HERE< for your reading pleasure?
    And, if Tivo says "But, we've only had >THIS MANY< complaints!", do you believe them?
    Many of us --maybe even the vast majority-- have seen the evidence posted here that neither Tivo nor our cable provider is either willing or able to resolve the cablecard/pixelation issues. The best we can hope for the that the next software rev will fix it, so we wait, rather than wrestle with service providers who are only interested in collecting their monthly fees.

    The infuriating thing is that my $500 DVR can't display a reliable digital channel as well as the simple set-top box that my cable provider offers.
     
  2. Feb 12, 2008 #42 of 167
    GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

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    Sep 21, 2005
    KFME
    I never said you did. Other posters in the thread have.
    If the problems were more widespread, I think that we would see more people complaining. Regardless, I've already said that the data isn't there to support either assertion, so why waste the time to debate it? Bickering over where we are and how we got there is pointless. What is important is "what is the best way to move ahead?" Any suggestions?

    Riddle me this: what good is whining going to do? If anything it's going to be counter productive, and pressure Tivo to release the software before it's ready - more bugs.

    It isn't an ultimatum, it's a hard and cold fact of life. Sorry if that's inconvienent. You can whine all you want about how Tivo needs to "do something", but I haven't heard a rational suggestion from anyone that will actually work. If you have one, I'm sure Tivo would love to employ you. You're not the first to suggest that Tivo's demise in imminent. So far, all the others have been wrong. It's likely that you are too.

    Yes, naive is exactly what I am. :rolleyes:

    I've already said that trying to argue the numbers is pointless - the data just isn't there.

    If you're not happy with your Tivo, and not wanting to wait for a new update, give me your Tivo and get a cable DVR.
     
  3. Feb 12, 2008 #43 of 167
    logicman1

    logicman1 New Member

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    Jan 10, 2008
    Carmel, NY
    Interesting. What software was running on your Cablevision DVR? I had a Motorola DCT6412. When my cable provider was Suscom, Passport Echo was the OS and while it wasn't Tivo, it was user friendly and reliable. When Suscom sold out to Comcast they switched to TV Guide Interactive, the worst piece of crap I have ever used. The bugs that were present in that software are what made me switch to Tivo. Here are some of the issues I experienced:

    • If a recording was in progress when an EAS test occurred, the DVR would go berserk and record 20+ hours of whatever programming followed the program that was scheduled for recording causing unwatched recordings to be deleted.
    • Setting a Series Recording (Season Pass) would frequently crash the box. Then it would take 8 or more hours before all the programming data reloaded.
    • Series Recordings definitions would randomly disappear.
    • Audio on recorded SD programming was always out of sync with video.
    • Pressing remote buttons often took the DVR 5-10 seconds to respond.
    The designers of the TV Guide Interactive user interface were guided by the principle that a user interface should inflict pain on the user. Lastly, the programming data was frequently wrong.

    So, for me the Tivo software seems pretty clean.
     
  4. Feb 12, 2008 #44 of 167
    Chimpware

    Chimpware New Member

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    Jan 30, 2002
    Interesting that the "Fanboy" advice is to stop whining, or posting about your issues, and then they use the fact that not that many people are posting about issues to support their argument that there are not widespread issues.

    This is the same "Fanboy" cr*p that was posted in my original threads about pixelation issues and troubleshooting with my Tivo HDs during their initial release. All the posts then started with claiming that it was a Cable issue. Then when it turned out it was more than one software bug in the Tivo HD causing the issues, no more "Fanboy" posts.

    Why doesn't anyone who wants to support Tivo by saying "I am not having problems so you shouldn't be either" keep their posts to themselves rather than telling others who are hiving issues to keep their opinions to themselves? I am not personally having issues any longer, but when I was it was a frustrating experience and I can sympathize with those that are having problems.
     
  5. Feb 12, 2008 #45 of 167
    bizzy

    bizzy New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    San...
    Disingenuous and misleading.
    What percentage of tivo users even know about this forum?

    I will be charitable and assume that you simply lack common sense, instead of leaping to the conclusion that you have some motive for spreading this misinformation. Your tactics seem common to paid PR flacks who have been outed on customer forums in the past.
     
  6. Feb 12, 2008 #46 of 167
    KJW

    KJW Member

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    Sep 27, 2003
    With all due respect, GoHokies!, why do you care? You are complaining that people are whining and complaining, but that's because they have problems. You have no dog in this fight, so why are you antagonizing people with opinions that are based on nothing but speculation. A lot of people here are annoyed over specific issues, and that undoubtedly represents only a fraction of customers with these problems. Yet you ignore this obvious fact and baseless insist that, "If the problems were more widespread, I think that we would see more people complaining." How many more to you need?? Obviously, me and others on this board think its enough. Who are you to say, no? And exactly how many more would you like?? Have you counted the number of people complaining? Have you looked at statistics of the people who complaint on message boards compared to a total population of those with the problem?

    Second, what good will whining do? Well, it may let Tivo know how widespread the problem is and how annoyed its customers are. That may lead them to, first, allocate more resources to addressing the issue and less on other software tasks, such as fixing minor bugs or implementing new features. Second, to the extent these singificant issues are addressed sooner rather than later, tivo may be prompted to issue an interim update to fix these problems, rather than hold it to incorporate into a major update that addresses many issues and enables new features. Are those rationale suggestions? Because they blow away your "fast, cheap and bug free (pick 2 out of 3)" theory by noting the reality that existing resources can be reassigned to meet an emergent need.

    Third, I understand people have long been predicting Tivo's demise. But those naysayers were basing their opinions on a perceived weak business model and slow growth in direct consumer sales. What they did not appreciate was the loyal fan-base Tivo had. My concern is that Tivo is ignoring its core customers -- those willing to upgrade to new products like the HD model -- and that this will erode enthusiasm. Also, as data confirms, cable DVR's have eaten into tivo's market share. As a result, Tivo needs to make sure it keeps its core market happy. Which leads to. . .

    Fourth, consumer 101. You can argue all you want about resource allocation and time pressures, but the most important thing a consumer product company must do is maintain the perception that it is meeting the needs of its target market. There may be perfectly logical reasons for not fixing a problem for a month or two or six, but consumers don't care, because they don't have to. If a tivo customer feels they are not being served, they will move to a new product. So while you feel snug in the knowledge that tivo is maintaining the integrity of the software development process, customers are getting angry and moving to other products. You may think that its insignificant if 10, or 100, or 1000 people drop their subscriptions, but I doubt tivo's shareholders and creditors will agree.

    so, Tivo, how about it? at least acknowledge the issue and let us know when these problems will be addressed.
     
  7. Feb 12, 2008 #47 of 167
    bizzy

    bizzy New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    San...
    Thank you, KJW, for doing all the typing that I am too lazy to. I offer you a hearty "YEAH! WHAT HE SAID".

    As a concrete example of the consumer group you mention, I'd like to point out that I fully expect my refurb warranty replacement S3 to die, probably within 6 months of my warranty coverage expiring. At that time, I have no intention of wasting my hard-earned money on another Tivo product.
     
  8. Feb 12, 2008 #48 of 167
    KJW

    KJW Member

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    Sep 27, 2003

    Cablevision used Scientific Atlantic boxes running Sara (?) software. It was ugly, utterly unintuitive, and had very few features, but it worked. Tivo is postively elegent in comparison and a joy to use, but what good are all the extra features if its keeps crashing?
     
  9. Feb 12, 2008 #49 of 167
    menos

    menos New Member

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    Nov 13, 2007
    Moore, OK
    Just to offer a point to the debate.
    I am on Cox Cable in the OKC market. I am having the 'channels go black' problem. I have spoken with the Cable Card rep at Cox here in OKC (My brother-in-law works for Cox and he called her up), and she stated that 80-90% of the users in the OKC market that have a TivoHD and SA M-card are having the problem. She has apparently done her research because she new exactly what the problem was, she even mentioned going to tivocommunity for the thread on the subject.

    My point... If the failure rate is 80-90% in Cox SA environments, overall that's a pretty darn high problem rate. Cox cable has about a 12-15% market share of all Cable customers. So give or take 12% of all TivoHD customers are on Cox Cable. So possibily 80% of those customers are having a problem with the channels going black. That equates to a possibility that at least 10% of ALL TivoHD customers are having this problem. That is incredible! And that is assuming that Cox customers with SA M-Cards are the only ones having this problem. If you take into account that customers of other cable providers may be suffering from the same problem, the percentage just goes up.

    I know they say they are working on the problem, but this is getting quite frustrating.
     
  10. Feb 12, 2008 #50 of 167
    TiVoPony

    TiVoPony New Member

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    May 11, 2002
    Alviso,...
    Yes, I did say that. And it is still correct.

    I'll apologize again to those who find that the bugs they're currently experiencing are severe. That has not been the case for the majority of customers, even those experiencing the same issue. Two people can have different views of the same situation. Everyone has their own definition of what is a showstopper, we have to go with our own and acknowledge that it may not match your personal definition.

    The people who comment that there are always bugs in code are not 'making excuses' for anyone. There will always be bugs despite anyone's best efforts. And sometimes there are known bugs, bugs that beta has uncovered, and yet we have to ship with them and address them in the next release. We try to focus on the big bugs first, as you would expect.

    So I'll give you some background, which will hopefully direct the discussion in a more positive direction.

    The Fall release shipped when it did for a number of reasons. For one, we try not to release a major update between Thanksgiving and the Superbowl. That's the busiest time of the year by far for our support agents, throwing a new set of features out to customers on Christmas morning only exacerbates the number of calls we receive. Surprisingly, this is true even for bug fixes. People notice the software update and call. In this case we bent that rule and shipped an update to the Series3 platforms just after Thanksgiving, but before Christmas. There were bugs with identified fixes that we felt were too important to wait.

    A second item forced our hand in timing this release, and that was the guide data used by all TiVo DVR's. The data format used by our provider changed at the end of October, they switched to a new method of identifying unique programs and episodes. Some of the effect could be mitigated within the service, which is why Series1 systems can continue to record reliably today without a software update. Some of the new functionality on our S2 and S3 platforms relies on handling these new program identifiers within the box...they had to have a software update in October in order to avoid a disruption in service. That was part of the .6 update.

    There were other capabilities we'd committed to within the Fall release, such as Rhapsody and S3/S2 MRV. They drove the timing of the release to a lesser extent.

    So, we did release software with known bugs. In fact, I haven't worked on a release in ten years at TiVo where we haven't. We subsequently got a release out to S3's that addressed some critical bugs that we considered showstoppers.

    There is a new release, almost ready for delivery. No new features in this one, it's all about addressing bugs and notching performance up. We hoped to have it ready to roll the day following the Superbowl, but it's not quite done yet.

    As always, I'll post a note to let everyone know when it is ready to go, and we do plan to put up a priority list at that time for those that want to move towards the front of the release schedule.

    Again, thanks for your patience and your assistance as we've moved forward.

    Cheers,
    Pony
     
  11. Feb 12, 2008 #51 of 167
    bizzy

    bizzy New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    San...
    Thanks for the update. While intangible, this sort of communication is invaluable in conveying warm fuzzies to your customers. I certainly do appreciate the effort to keep us in the loop.
     
  12. Feb 12, 2008 #52 of 167
    bareyb

    bareyb Under Maintenance TCF Club

    25,993
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    Dec 1, 2000
    Silicon Valley
    /Subscribing. Thanks TiVoPony.
     
  13. Feb 12, 2008 #53 of 167
    KJW

    KJW Member

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    Sep 27, 2003
    Excellent, TivoPony. Thank you very much. As always we appreciate your input into the process. As bizzy said, its just nice to know our concerns are recognized and being addressed.
     
  14. Feb 12, 2008 #54 of 167
    ciucca

    ciucca New Member

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    Jun 29, 2004
    Does the new software include fixes for the FIOS pixelation issue?
     
  15. Feb 12, 2008 #55 of 167
    wierdo

    wierdo New Member

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    Apr 7, 2002
    Arkansas, US
    I don't know about you, but I consider often failing to flush the audio buffer when pausing to be a severe error. I pause because I want the TiVo to stop the show and cease making noise, not because I want to hear a continuous loop of the last half second of audio.

    Even worse is that it throws off the audio sync when you resume. Luckily a press of the instant replay button will fix that, but god help anyone who didn't think to try it.

    While I agree that they need to slow down and put some more thought (or perhaps testing) into the releases before they roll them out, it's not uncommon for software houses to release incremental patches to resolve issues of this nature in a fairly rapid manner. I'm sure they could roll out fixes for the most serious and annoying bugs within a couple of months unless they really are hanging on by a thread with only one or two engineers on the entire standalone project.

    The audio buffer issue is especially egregious, since it's unlikely to touch any other areas of the software, thus making the QA process on it relatively easy. There are, by contrast, other issues that would require more far reaching changes to fix, and those I can understand TiVo taking their time on.

    It is good to hear that we should have some relief in the relatively near future, at least.
     
  16. Feb 12, 2008 #56 of 167
    ldudek

    ldudek New Member

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    Sep 2, 2007
    Let me ask you this. Are you really that naive to think that people who don't have problems come to this website and say, "Hey my TiVo is great!" No problems here?"

    Well, in fact they do but take a look at the life of those threads. They don't stick around very long. That's because people in this partcular community seem to be only happy when they can continue to complain.

    Is my TiVo bug free? No, I see little things but like Pony says when it comes to the big picture most of these bugs are so minor I don't give it a second thought. I've been happy with my S3 since day 1. Once and a while I see pixelation but that is nothing compared to the SA 8300 I had. I honestly thought that pixelation was normal HD until I got my S3.

    Further to say that "the vast majority of us" see that neither cable or TiVo is willing to fix your pixelation problem is a complete fallicy. SCSIRAID, a respected member of this community will tell you that they worked and fixed his problem with the last update. So it's not that they are ignoring the issues.

    And I also say to you this. Show me a better DVR then the S3. Go ahead, I'm waiting. You can't because it simply does not exist.

    Thank you TiVo Pony for addressing so clearly and honestly the concerns of people like the one I just quoted.

    And whoever that was that said nothing should be released with known bugs isn't living in the real world.
     
  17. Feb 12, 2008 #57 of 167
    ldudek

    ldudek New Member

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    Sep 2, 2007
    I'm going to be the one charitable by not coming down hard on you with insults like you just did to GoHokies. If you knew anything about GoHokies at all one thing you would realize is that he has more common sense then most of the people who are in this forum.

    And it's not that he can't speak for himself. Believe me he can and would. But I guess insults are allowable for some and not for others.
     
  18. Feb 12, 2008 #58 of 167
    GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

    2,657
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    Sep 21, 2005
    KFME
    Thanks for the update, Pony.

    As for the rest of you, since it seems we can't seem to have a objective, factual conversation with wild accusations of fanboyism and "must be a paid shill or have no common sense", I'm out.

    Enjoy squabbling amongst yourselves.

    Chimpware, welcome back. My life has been incomplete without your posts. :rolleyes:
     
  19. Feb 12, 2008 #59 of 167
    Chimpware

    Chimpware New Member

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    Jan 30, 2002
    GH, thanks for the welcome. I am sure many feel your fact filled, helpful, insightful and "all knowing" posts about "their" issues are something they cannot wait to see more of. Keep up the good work, and grow the post count dude:D
     
  20. Feb 12, 2008 #60 of 167
    ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    Jan 2, 2004
    if 80% to 90% of Tivo HD customers overall were having this problem the forum would be lit up. Returns at Brick and Mortar would lead them to stop carrying the product, etc..

    So I highly doubt that 80% or even 30% of all TiVo HDs are having this problem.

    This leads me to believe that we have a bug that is involving Tivo and the cable system in OKC market. Sure 9x had bugs but not everything is related solely to buggy code but the unknowns of many different cable plants and signal strength and cable card firmware.

    At the bottom line it is up to TiVo to create a stable product that the customer enjoys but to extrapolate that the TiVo HD has seriously bad code and is unstable due to small, incomplete data sets is just bad statistics.
     

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