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Why no Web Browser? Waiting to upgrade for years

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by tom22, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. tom22

    tom22 New Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    TLDR - I love how Tivo works as a DVR - have loved it for a long time
    I will stay with TIVO.. but not sure if I should upgrade . The extra storage capacity and nifty back lit remote are somewhat attractive.. but I'd need to feel some goodwill to the company also.. and my goodwill is strained by what I don't understand.

    any ideas of something that works well along side tivo ?


    edit (2) learning about the Fling phone application (in post below) that will interact directly with the Roamio explains how large elements of the functionality I seek are being built in via alternatives that are better than trying to put browser software on the device itself not set up for hosting third party software. Thanks....the dialogue helped a lot because my goals painted a better question that could be answered affirmatively (yoggi berra can't get there from here?)

    edit(1).. I've concluded that what I was hoping for was a PC which pc companies do better than DVR companies... correct my expectations and I won't be bothered by the below. (i'll leave it.. because I'm the kind of person that wants to hear all of someones motivations.. I don't like conclusions.. I'm far more into knowing what people considered while arriving at a conclusion. That is just my nature

    ... and that is the way I watch TV too! which Tivo enables me to do.. .I use TIVO to watch TV my way.. which is often in slo motion.. repeating scenes.. skipping other segments of a show etc.

    Long version below:

    Hi.... long time Tivo user... bought my first one in June 2000 when my wife was pregnant with our second kid (thats how I know)

    I was content with the first one forever but eventually the HD TV thing starting coming out and the old one showed some wear so I bought a new series 3 around 2006 (?) This one is still going strong.

    What I've really been waiting for is convergence. I figured in 2006 or 2007 or was it 2008 when began to be able to access YouTube on my series 3 that is was only a matter of time till I got a full browser.

    Instead they went backwards.

    Just 2 months ago, I broke down and ordered Uverse in disgust -- I really wanted to get away from Comcast for political/free-speech sorts of issues and they're almost more a media content creator than a data carier. Not that AT&T is an angel...

    OK well.. that was a mistake .. uverse's DVR was an insult to the very notion of the advance of Technology.. it was lacking core features of my year 2000 TIVO ! disgustingly pathetic attempt to shackle consumers. So, I'm happily back with my dated Series 3

    NOW... here is where I"m at.

    I want convergence ... I'm feeling like I'd be better served spending 600$ on separate PC (or more accurately using the $600 towards a $1000 ish pc with a game quality video card).

    Some of me really wants more capacity... it would be great not to have a second thought about which football games I want to watch.. just record 10 or 15 3 hour games in HD and decide late at night which ones looked good and stop watching if one became a blow out and switch to another

    . .... and I want that back lit remote on the pro. The Drive on the series 3 is going to fail eventually too I suppose being 8 years old.

    But, I'm not made of money.... purchasing both the PC and the Romaio isn't an option.

    Some of this question is to sooth bitterness I suppose... why can't I just have my Tivo act alos like a PC ?

    I got the Samsung Note 2 last year. I have my choice of 3 or 4 web browsers on it.. and I'm not bound to using web ap pages.. I prefer to access the pages via browser for a few reasons....(complicated perhaps.. but mostly fear or walled gardens and a pissing match on who sets the terms of access in terms of how much data I need to share....contact lists are sacrosant.. i don't ever want to connect my yahoo id, to my google id to my twitter id , to a facebook id.. .and some other places i use mutiple identities... that is getting increasingly hard to do on phones.

    If my Samsung Note 2 has the capacity to run web browsers the procerssor in a tivo box (a modern one.. not my year 2000 one that can still function if I bother) has got to be powerful enough.

    I feel like it is a matter of Throttling... and..

    ...and somehow throttling power to access information really sets me off.

    Is there a reason beyond throttling I'm not getting?

    Will I really need two boxes under my TV to be happy (I am a football fan, and have enough network tv shows as do my kids to justify the $90 a month packaged entertainment deal from the cable company )

    As I tend to watch programs with the rewind button and the super slow motion button constantly in use (i'll watch each key play in a football game 3 or 4 times concentrating on the qb once, linemen second.. refs eye and reciever on a third..perhaps.. or just watch at different speeds and toggle back and forth frame by frame lookng at gaps or content.. that will never work via streaming (or maybe more precisicely they won't tend to let me). I' do similar on policital events analyizing in slow motion changes in body posture in minute seconds upon beign asked a question etc.. or just want to hear and ponder the implication of the word choice again right after I hear a sentence)

    I guess I'm saying ,.... I NEED a Tivo for what Tivo does a great job at...recording channels...
    ... I don't think I need a tivo for streaming (my kids use the xbox.. for amazon prime free content etc)

    Anyway.. I guess I'd like to hear other kindred spirits who adore TIVO in some ways I do but are feeling like they also need more that TIVO hasn't wanted to scale with...
    ... I mean if my phone can go from a motorola Brick in 2000 to a Note 2 in 2013.. why hasn't my Tivo grown in similar leaps and bounds into being both a DVR and a full on Linux based PC that can run any ap a pc can and fit video cards and maybe even integrate console game access etc? ....

    Not quite as pathetic as Uverse not having slow motion and freeze frame in 2013 that tivo had in 2000 but.. still really hard for me understand!
  2. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Way too long, I bet most people won't read the whole thing.

    As you showed with your U-verse experience, Tivo is *still* better in MANY people's minds at the core DVR functionality even though it hasn't changed TONS AND TONS in terms of _core_ "record my TV Shows" functionality since they added wishlists way back when.

    If you want to browse the web and not use a 'full computer', get an iPad.

    Plus, if you want external storage, you have *some* kind of computer already, right? Get an external hard drive ($100) and use kmttg.
  3. bmorePete

    bmorePete New Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    Tivo is trying to stick with what the know, making a great DVR.

    Building a web browser on the proprietary shell they are probably running on now would take way too much time, plus I doubt too many people actually want that. My PS3, XBOX, and Wii and DS can all browse the web. The experience is awful. Slow, akward to navigate, hard to read, hard to zoom in.

    What would you really want to browse on there that you can't do easier from your smartphone?

    If they try to take on too much, with such a small company, they would fail.
  4. tom22

    tom22 New Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    I guess this thought came somewhat to mind....

    but thats the thing about an open operating system.. other people write the software for you !

    Why is it a closed system ? I can already access the TIVO files on my PC via their network without cracking open the proprietary programming... can't they just have half the disk running another software companies operating system shell ?

    You are 100% correct... I do not want them to make their own web browser.. I want to be able to load (maybe linux based versions already created to use on android unix?) 3rd party web browsers.

    I am not really a Tech person.. I sort of read about the field but I don't fully grasp what is a big techical issue that would take a huge investement and what wouldn't.. But.. like I said.. very inexpensive computers seem to be able to run very complex software.... of course they run on an open operating system

    why not an open operating system?
  5. tom22

    tom22 New Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    I guess the bottom line is I just need to think of it as a DVR and be happy with anything else that might come along in some small way.

    It was so revolutionary when it came out... but in the end.. it is the fact that it works well that is more important. It works really really well as a DVR and has an interface I love (I scratch myself with the remote just like the guy in the ad... that remote is worth $150 !

    If I set my expectations just on the dvr I won't be dissapointed.

    I'll hook up a PC to my computer and be done with the other wishes.. I guess that is really what I'm looking for.
  6. consumedsoul

    consumedsoul Member

    Jan 13, 2013
    Agree... I'd rather they focus on:

    1. Continuing to create the best DVR/streaming experience possible.

    2. Secondary, add solid/functional apps.
  7. tom22

    tom22 New Member

    Nov 4, 2010

    OH.. you did bring up an important upgrade....maybe?
    are you saying that I can RECORD streaming stuff like I can record a TV show now?

    If so that is a pretty big thing in terms of advancing.
  8. bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

    Oct 31, 2007
    With the HTML5 app platform the TiVo actually does have an Opera browser and I suspect if and when they open up an App Store you will see a proper browser being one of the first third party additions.

    But... Just skimming your post it doesn't seem that is actually what you are looking for. If I get you correctly, you want an open ecosystem - not a walled garden style product.

    I get it, but that type of product never works very well in the mass market. Consider an HTPC computer with MS Media Center and cable cards. A little more effort to setup and manage, but really the only solution that is flexible enough to give you that kind of off the cuff flexibility you are expressing.
  9. NYHeel

    NYHeel Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2003
    Really?! Why do you want a web browser on a TV? It just doesn't work well. There's been attempt after attempt and it just doesn't work. There are plenty of minor features that I wish TiVo would add like user profiles, auto soft padding, using 1 tuner per channel even if there are 2 concurrent recordings, and adjustable season pass defaults. But a web browser has never been a feature I wanted TiVo to add.
  10. bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

    Oct 31, 2007
    No, and you never will be able too. Not hard technically - but the content owners like Netflix will pull their app so fast your head would spin.
  11. apw2607

    apw2607 New Member

    Nov 16, 2012
    Exactly ... Every attempt has being a disaster ...

    WebTv ... Microsoft MSN tv .... Google TV ..... Opera tv browser built in to BD players. All terrible.
  12. tom22

    tom22 New Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    Well.. my TV is a LCD monitor. I don't want a "internet TV" I want an easy to use controller to sit on my butt on my sofa with my feet up and do some of the more recreational things I might do on my computer.. very especially watching videos of all sorts.

    And I don't want to watch it through specialized aps. that might have separate controls than they would have for PC browser access.

    .....Videos I get at the Walls Street Journal... videos I get from links at embedded links at web forums to music videos or computer game videos guides etc.... with my feet up on my automan.

    For me Forums.. are better than Facebook.. independent people create them run their own server and broadcast to the world without needing to jump through hoops... the idea of keeping access to that sort of uncontrolled content is hugely important to keep up the battle against the horror depicted in Network and other movies.

    There is a lot I watch from my office chair that I would prefer to watch from my sofa.

    But.. I guess i should look at it as we did at component stereos.. the all-in-one phonograph, receiver, tape-deck were almost always of lower quality than the higher quality stand-alone components

    I'm afraid people are getting accustomed to the ap controlled walled garden world and it won't be long until you need a licesnce to put up a web site and won't be long until ISP's only allow access to approved sited instead of the otherway around..... only blocking sites on a blacklist.

    So.. yes.. when I make a purchase decision I do consider these things.

    I am paying $30 extra a month to get my internet through AT&T and my cable from Comcast ... not a huge statement, but an incremental one to let UVerse know that at least some customers demand a TIVO quality DVR and to give less business to Comcast who doesn't remotely think of itself as a common carrier.

    I liked the way TIVO was a major disruptor of the cozy control of the TV industry... I'd love to see them continuing that spirit in terms of getting WEB to your TV Your way.. like we could get TV our way.. but heck.. can't do everything... not like they don't have pressures to work with or be shut out by enough lobbying of congress etc.
  13. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Roamio does support DIAL for the YouTube app. What that means is you can pull up a YouTube video on your tablet or laptop and then fling it to the TiVo. The TiVo will automatically launch the YouTube app and start playing that video. Right now it only works with YouTube, but there is nothing preventing them from supporting it with a more general purpose streaming app like the Chromecast.

    Speaking of which have you looked at the Chromecast? It's only $35 and it can stream any tab in the Chrome browser to your TV. This includes the full text of a web page, or just a video if you make it go full screen. It's a pretty cool little gadget.
  14. tom22

    tom22 New Member

    Nov 4, 2010

    Thank you very much.

    Those were the sort of things I was looking for in explaining broadly what I wanted.

    That Fling function would solve a very large number of things I want to do.

    It would be a reason to buy the Roamio


    I'll look at the chromecast thing too ! wow.. that is even more what I want if google doesn't break the beast they created !

    The phones are increasingly becoming as powerful as PCs of a more and more recent past ... whether they'll be able to break the walled garden thing (or maybe the phone companies will sell a micro sized "phone" that links via blue tooth with any device)

    (I imagine that the Tivo fling will stream far more efficiently and smoothly having a better buffer etc)
  15. tom22

    tom22 New Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    Thanks for this too.. took me longer to process it. (and would put me in the quandary of not having my cool TiVo remote and sounds etc.. which.. I truly enjoy ! lol)

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