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Old 09-29-2008, 04:04 PM   #1
TiVoPony
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Arrow TiVo Suggestions in the UK - Update

Hi all,

As I'd mentioned here, we've been investigating why TiVo Suggestions have stopped recording for our Series1 UK customers.

We now believe this to be due to recent changes in the program data supplied by our provider. While these data changes are necessary and allow the continued recording of your favorite shows, they are incompatible with the TiVo Suggestions feature. As such, TiVo Suggestions will no longer be available as a part of the TiVo Service for Series1 subscribers in the United Kingdom.

We appreciate all of the support that you've demonstrated over the years for TiVo, and are disappointed that an alternative could not be found. The version 2.5 software is simply incompatible with the new data format we've had to adopt (the new format was necessary as the old format had run out of headspace...there was no room to assign id's to new programs). These identifiers are largely abstracted by the service to prevent this sort of dependency, unfortunately TiVo Suggestions in that early software depends on the actual raw data format (which has now changed).

Thanks again for your patience as we've worked through identifying the root cause of this issue. Although this situation is regrettable, it was out of TiVo's control. Fortunately, all other core TiVo features are unaffected by these changes.


Bob Pony

MOD EDIT: PLEASE NOTE THAT SUGGESTIONS ARE NOW FIXED
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Last edited by OzSat : 02-06-2009 at 09:20 AM. Reason: The opening post is now misleading - although originally thought correcty
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:17 PM   #2
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I hate to be the pessimist here, but this is sounding ominous.

Reduced service, but no reduced monthly subscription. Why? because TiVo know no-one will cancel over lack of suggestions.
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:18 PM   #3
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Can we then please have the option to buy a new UK model to replace our old Series 1 units?

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Old 09-29-2008, 04:20 PM   #4
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A sad day indeed

Thanks for at least letting us know the situation that forced this.

Meanwhile networked users can use my suggestions hack which schedules its own suggestions based on your thumbs.

Non-networked users can buy one of my preconfigured drives with it already on

I'll be developing this further now since its will be our only method of regaining suggestion functionality.
Stay tuned folks !

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Old 09-29-2008, 04:36 PM   #5
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Cheers for the update Bob.
If our version 2.5 is incompatiable, would it not be possible to send out a nice shiney new version to allow the new data format to run on our TiVos?
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:41 PM   #6
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Cheers for the update Bob.
If our version 2.5 is incompatiable, would it not be possible to send out a nice shiney new version to allow the new data format to run on our TiVos?
Unfortunately an update for those boxes is not in the cards.

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Old 09-29-2008, 04:44 PM   #7
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Unfortunately an update for those boxes is not in the cards.

Pony
Oh Bob, not what we want to hear!! How to lose friends or what
Seriously though, unless a manufacture is willing to take on a new box etc, it doesn't look good for us (Whilst you lot across the pond get all the new boxes and updates you require!)
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:45 PM   #8
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TivoPony (Bob),

Thanks for the update. As a poor sap who has been faithfully paying my monthly sub for more than I’d care to mention I am very disappointed and feel somewhat cheated.

Fair enough that any subscribed service provider can legally change the service that they provide, in this case I will be cancelling my monthly sub. To ask a last question, given the ongoing problems with re-enabling UK subscriptions, if I cancel my monthly sub and then wish to re-enable will I be able to do it?

A sad day indeed.

Thanks
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:51 PM   #9
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TivoPony (Bob),

Thanks for the update. As a poor sap who has been faithfully paying my monthly sub for more than I’d care to mention I am very disappointed and feel somewhat cheated.

Fair enough that any subscribed service provider can legally change the service that they provide, in this case I will be cancelling my monthly sub. To ask a last question, given the ongoing problems with re-enabling UK subscriptions, if I cancel my monthly sub and then wish to re-enable will I be able to do it?

A sad day indeed.

Thanks
I'm sorry you feel cheated, hopefully the years of service your TiVo has provided you have been worthwhile. It sounds as though that is true, it would be a shame to throw your system out due to this.

Regarding the account issues, we believe those have been (or are very nearly) resolved. Here's the link to my post:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...49#post6723649

I hope you'll stay on with us, even though the box is a bit long in the tooth, those Series1 systems are solid machines.

Pony
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:04 PM   #10
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So they ran out of TMSIDs, and had to move from it being a 16-bit to a 32-bit integer (or something like that). I suggested that the way things started appearing under the wrong Season Passes might be linked to this - sounds like it was, and they started to re-use TMSID numbers, causing problems.

I wonder if a hack might be created to reassign new TMSIDs to incoming data in the range that our S1s can understand? Or to otherwise edit the guide data back into the old format. Of course I don't have an active TiVo any more so I can't try it!
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:18 PM   #11
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TivoPony,

Could you please check this thread regarding suggestions not recording in US boxes, particularly older S1 boxes.

How is this UK news related to the US problems, if at all?

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=394935
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:18 PM   #12
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I hope you'll stay on with us, even though the box is a bit long in the tooth, those Series1 systems are solid machines.
The machines certainly appear solid, shame about the support.

Thanks

Nero

Last edited by Nero2 : 09-29-2008 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:19 PM   #13
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I hope you'll stay on with us...
To the bitter end, Bob
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Originally Posted by a68oliver View Post
How is this UK news related to the US problems, if at all?
I guess they'll never record suggestions again too
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:35 PM   #14
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thanks for the (admittedly dreadful) news - if nothing else it's good to know where we stand - a lot of companies would drag something like this out and hope 'the user' forgets (or at least gives up!)

I am knowledgable of databases, but know little about the architecture of them within the Tivo, but I am wondering if 'suggestions' are just a start, and are we soon to have similar problems with recording new programs / season passes, or is it a different kettle of fish?
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:49 PM   #15
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Its very sad to read this! So basically what i have sitting under my TV is a glorified PVR! I'm, really fed up with TiVo not giving us a straight answer. Either they are stopping the UK service, or they are gonna update the hardware that i runs on. It does seem as tho our boxes are slowly going to become more and more incompatible, and slowly but surely, the features will disappear one by one. as the US and Oz customers get more, we get less and less. Seriously tho, apart from the snazzy GUI what sets tivo apart from other pvr's now? not much! Thank you TiVo for being upfront with us, and also thank you so much for leaving us out in the cold. SkyHD seems a lot more appealing today............
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:00 PM   #16
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Its very sad to read this! So basically what i have sitting under my TV is a glorified PVR! I'm, really fed up with TiVo not giving us a straight answer. Either they are stopping the UK service, or they are gonna update the hardware that i runs on. It does seem as tho our boxes are slowly going to become more and more incompatible, and slowly but surely, the features will disappear one by one.
Sadly that looks to be the case but your statement is a bit harsh IMHO.

Technology moves on and our Series 1 Tivos originate from the time that PCs were running Windows 98. Some people are still using Win98 and dont have access to features and even some hardware that people using XP and Vista do.

Is it fair to hold back future development for a bunch of machines that would probably all have been replaced by now had we been given the opportunity to buy a more modern machine.

I have two SKY+ boxes (one controlled by my Lifetime Tivo) and I have to say that I hate SKY+ with a passion. Tivo is definately the best bit of AV Kit I ever bought and as long as it continues to record my programs I will be happy.

I turned suggestions off shortly after I first got Tivo because with all the family using it at the time it filled up with their choice of program. Since getting SKY+, Tivo has been MINE ALL MINE

I recently upgraded the hard disk and decided to enable suggestions again just as they stopped working so although technically I have lost a feature, because I never really used it I dont expect I will miss it.

I have had a few fouled up recordings due to wrong data recently but that has been the fault of SKY (Or Discovery/NatGeo) because the recorded banner agrees with what Tivo was trying to record... they just broadcast a different program
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:05 PM   #17
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I am knowledgable of databases, but know little about the architecture of them within the Tivo, but I am wondering if 'suggestions' are just a start, and are we soon to have similar problems with recording new programs / season passes, or is it a different kettle of fish?
We're not aware of anything that would interfere with the recording features you've mentioned. As I said, the software for the Series1 UK boxes (and all other TiVo DVR's) abstracts the program ID (TMSID) for the scheduling function. We don't use TMSID's, we use our own equivalent TiVo ID's for scheduling. Since TiVo ID's are under our control we don't anticipate this sort of issue impacting the standard recording functions.

The algorithms used within the software for TiVo Suggestions (in version 2.5 software) unfortunately do not take advantage of this abstraction, they require the actual TMSID's (which have now changed format)...leading to the inability to create or schedule Suggestions on UK Series1 boxes.

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Last edited by TiVoPony : 09-29-2008 at 06:22 PM. Reason: Added clarification that this issue is for version 2.5 software
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:20 PM   #18
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cheers for clarification and further explanation Pony
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:39 PM   #19
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Damn this is bad news. I'm still on a monthly sub and it looks like this might be the end for me and tivo.

I'm hoping Mikerr or someone can write a decent suggestions hack.

It would seem the fat lady is doing her vocal warmup......
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:34 PM   #20
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I hope you'll stay on with us, even though the box is a bit long in the tooth, those Series1 systems are solid machines.
They are, and I love mine to bits - I've yet to find a PVR that works anywhere near as well and reliably as the TiVo does. But... they will fail, and also in these days of energy conservation the energy requirements for a set top box and a TiVo are quite high.

There is a market out there for TiVo. I know my Swedish friends are incredibly jealous of the UK having one. By the look of the Nero/TiVo deal there is a possibility there for a new UK and "worldwide" option. I hope that comes off, because I know plenty of people who'd be rushing off to the website now to order it!

Yesterday I was in a satellite store in Malmö, Sweden. I was getting spares for my dish. At the next counter a man was asking for advice about receiving British TV in Sweden. The man behind the counter advised him not to buy a Sky+ box but a normal Sky box and a TiVo... That says a lot.
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:38 PM   #21
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Just thinking about the Nero/TiVo system... Maybe you could ask loyal UK TiVo subscribers to help with beta testing the UK version? That, I would guess, would passify a heck of a lot of people.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:40 AM   #22
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Thanks for investigating Pony and getting an answer - even if it is the one that we don't want to hear

Can I suggest that the uk.tivo.com website is updated, it's now offering features of a service that doesn't exist anymore...
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:59 AM   #23
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Well, sadly, I think this is the end for me and my beloved TiVo. If suggestions have stopped now, how long until the next feature stops working?

Not even a token gesture of an even slightly reduced subscription.
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:58 AM   #24
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I'm sorry you feel cheated, hopefully the years of service your TiVo has provided you have been worthwhile. It sounds as though that is true, it would be a shame to throw your system out due to this.

...

I hope you'll stay on with us, even though the box is a bit long in the tooth, those Series1 systems are solid machines.

Pony
Of course our boxes are "long in the tooth" - we've been denied the opportunity to replace them. I've been a champion of Tivo for many years, but I'll be replacing mine now.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:14 AM   #25
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Very disappointing news, but not surprising from a company that really doesn't seem to have been interested in the UK market for a long long time. I'm still at a loss as to just what's so bad about launching new product into the UK market, others seem to be making a healthy profit doing so

Are TiVo planning on sending letters to all its UK customers explaining the withdrawal of service? Not everyone uses this forum and there are bound to be a lot of confused customers out there. Certainly my 70 year old mother thought is was something she had done to break it.

Perhaps it is time for the monthly subscription to be abolished and for the "gentleman's agreement" on guide hacking to be revoked allowing us to hack our machines with alternative guide sources.

Fitting perhaps that my Topfield PVR is due to arrive today, with a view to replacing TiVo/Cable. Yes, it requires hacking to get anywhere near the TiVo level of functionality, but it appears so does TiVo from now on.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:49 AM   #26
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News is disappointing but not very surprising.

Here's hoping to a new Tivo option in the UK soon. I could probably swing a new media PC if I could get the Tivo interface on it.
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:05 AM   #27
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I hope you'll stay on with us, even though the box is a bit long in the tooth, those Series1 systems are solid machines.
Thanks for the update.

As you are no doubt aware, most TiVo users will continue to use their TiVos to the bitter end - as my continuing sales of replacement drives etc. to users whose machines have failed demontrates - but what we really need here is, of course, a new UK TiVo!

What happened to the TiVo Reference Platform? Even without inbuilt Freeview/Freesat tuners, if this can record from a SCART (or HDMI) input then we could use it with our existing STBs.

If you need any beta testers for a new UK box then I'm sure plenty of posters on this forum would be willing to volunteer, and to sign any necessary NDAs as well

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Old 09-30-2008, 04:06 AM   #28
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me me me! I want to test a new tivo!
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:07 AM   #29
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Disappointing. Another bit of the UK service is taken away. Many of us would *love* a S3 tivo, but that is not an option as Tivo decided not to make it an option.

So rather than actually provide the advertised service to paying customers it's just another 2 fingers up to the UK market. And then the marketing execs wonder why people refuse to buy products. Those who do not learn from history....

"Some people are still using Win98 and dont have access to features and even some hardware that people using XP and Vista do."

The hardware is available. There is no artificial market restriction for PCs. Tivo decided not to supply newer boxes/service to the UK so the arguments are unfortunately not comparable.

"Is it fair to hold back future development for a bunch of machines that would probably all have been replaced by now had we been given the opportunity to buy a more modern machine."

Is it fair to tell paying customers "we're no longer going to provide you the service we advertised because we cannot be bothered?". Also, the fix is to patch S1 machines to be compatible with new TMSIDs - this would have no affect on newer machines and is not holding back future development. A better argument would be "Office 2007 cannot open Office XP documents without losing vast parts of the data (but only if you were in the UK)" and you could imagine how well that would go down in the marketplace.


But Tivo just cant be bothered to actually assign (and pay) a developer to do so. But they are perfectly happy to keep taking in the money.

I appreciate that it is not TivoPonys fault however it's just another big corporation saying "we have your money and we no longer care - go away".

Such is life ;-)

Cheers,
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:13 AM   #30
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Well said my friend! I couldn't agree more!
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