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Old 07-06-2012, 10:08 AM   #1
dsa1971
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Generally poor tivo applications

Why are the apps like netflix and hulu plus on tivo generally poor compared to on other platforms like ps3 and roku? I love my tivo but everytime I try to use hulu plus it is maddeningly slow compared to my ps3 and even my roku. Netflix is mostly okay. I guess in general I get mostly frustrated with the slowness of tivo. I know it's handling a lot but it's just too slow in general. I'll probably just stick with using my ps3 and roku boxes for non-tivo services. I certainly wish tivo could be my only media box. I'm sure it will never happen but it would be cool to have tivo and roku form a partnership and roku would provide all the 3rd party apps and channels.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:33 PM   #2
celtic pride
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I also have problems with pandora! almost never works after 11p.m. and sometimes in the day it cant find my music its gotten to the point where i use my av receiver instead of my tivo. my tivo keeps getting amessage saying error v301,I caleed tivo about it and they say they are aware of this and just tell me to unplug my tivo and restart it. they said they dont know when this will be solved. If i didnt have an av receiver that had internet access (onkyo 809) i would of canceled my pandora account a long time ago.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:29 PM   #3
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Tivo doesn't make the apps themselves so they have to rely on updates from Netflix, Hulu etc. I doubt those companies care all that much about Tivo when compared to platforms like the PS3 and Xbox. Tivo isn't exactly a booming company with a bright future so there's very little incentive for them.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dsa1971 View Post
Why are the apps like netflix and hulu plus on tivo generally poor compared to on other platforms like ps3 and roku? I love my tivo but everytime I try to use hulu plus it is maddeningly slow compared to my ps3 and even my roku. Netflix is mostly okay. I guess in general I get mostly frustrated with the slowness of tivo. I know it's handling a lot but it's just too slow in general. I'll probably just stick with using my ps3 and roku boxes for non-tivo services. I certainly wish tivo could be my only media box. I'm sure it will never happen but it would be cool to have tivo and roku form a partnership and roku would provide all the 3rd party apps and channels.
They are just optimized differently. The PS3 has the horsepower for those companies to push those apps. The Roku was designed to run those apps only so to speak. The Tivo has to do so much more. And you cant just upgrade the CPU as the technology is different between that and a PS3 per say

It is the same on other companies All in Ones.... Pandora runs like crap on Direct TV's newest hardware also
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:43 AM   #5
dsa1971
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I do imagine that most companies don't consider their tivo applications to be a high priority. I think it's frustrating when I paid all this money for the boxes themselves and then the monthly fee and still have to deal with some pretty serious shortcomings. I think tivo boxes are just underpowered. Hulu plus is slow regardless of whether anything else is recording or not. And Amazon doesn't allow me to watch my free amazon prime videos. Basically, it seems Tivo just wants to get this 3rd party apps on there just to say that they are there. I do love my tivo but I think if my wife didn't demand that we keep it then I would probably switch to the fios dvr and use my ps3 and roku boxes for everything else.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:40 AM   #6
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I think most of the cable TV subscribers who use Tivo are doing so because they prefer the Tivo interface over the cable company DVR, so they are more discerning as to the short comings of the OTT applications. I think Tivo would have been better off abandoning the OTT applications all together and just stick to DVR functionality. Tivo was one of the first devices to offer netflix streaming and they still proceeded to lose millions of subscriptions.

If the Tivo interface is clunky and I'm have to pay a monthly fee, I might as well use the clunky Google TV interface and get most of the content for free. Or else use a PS3 or a Roku, if I'm going to pay a monthly fee.

It would be interesting to know what percentage of the Tivo customers are not satisfied with the OTT applications what percentage of all Tivo complaints are attributed to OTT applications.
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:06 PM   #7
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A few years back it made sense for TiVo to push OTT streaming as a way to add value but at this point I wonder if the cost is still justified or if we would be better off with just a DVR.

With so many OTT streaming devices costing less than a $100 and the fact the most new TVs and Blu-Ray players offer OTT Streaming the only reason to pay $5-600 for a TiVo is because you want a DVR. If someone doesn't think the DVR part of a Premiere is worth $5-600 then I would advice them to not to buy one as the OTT streaming really isn't worth much anymore and is easily obtained from other low cost devices.

In my house I have the following devices connected to my TV that offer some type of OTT Streaming:
  1. Panasonic Blu-ray Player
  2. Onkyo Receiver
  3. Roku
  4. Netgear NeoTV
  5. Logitech Revue (Google TV)
  6. HTPC
  7. 3 HD TiVos
Each of these devices have ++s and --s, but my TiVos still provide me the most bank for the my buck because I still value using a very good DVR substantially more than having any OTT streaming abilities. When it comes to OTT Streaming the only advantage that TiVo offers over my other devices is the ability to download some content versus having to stream it live.

Frankly even if TiVo had everything that was available on most OTT streaming devices and worked as good as they did, I really doubt it would sell anymore TiVos.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:15 PM   #8
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It definitely seems like Tivo is trying to push the development of these apps onto third parties or back onto the providers themselves now, who are simply not doing a very good job of it.

Its great that Tivo has an "open" architecture now so that this sort of thing is possible, but for important apps like Netflix, they really ought to consider keeping these in-house or hiring & managing a third-party developer to do the work to their specifications.

Tivo just doesn't (yet?) have the cachet to expect third party vendors to spend a lot of $$ to perfect their apps. I'm confident if Tivo had written the "new Netflix" app it wouldn't have turned out like this one did.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:32 PM   #9
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New Netflix app has improved performance on TiVo. I have had many issues with Hulu on many devices. Complained to a very good tech on my provider who canceled his Hulu service because of the issues he says are on Hulu's end. My TiVo likes to forget that it is connected to my PC. This is annoying but is not a big issue as I do not stream much from my PC other than music. Since the TiVo only streams MP3 out of the box, it is useless for most of the music on my PC. I usually stream to the PS3 and sometimes XBOX. In my opinion, the XBOX actually has the worst Netflix interface since its last update. I used to love the party feature it had before they redesigned it. Again, just my opinion.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:17 PM   #10
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I stopped using the old Netflix app long ago because it was so pathetically primitive and functionality free--you could browse your IQ and play titles on it, period. No browsing other segments of Netflix's library and searching to add new titles to your IQ (or playing them without queuing); no 1080p, 5.1 sound or captions (for titles which have them). The new Netflix app is identical to the PS3 one (I have the same app on two BD players and the Roku 2's player has similar look and feel). Though it's not as fast as my Roku 2, I used it for over a week just to evaluate it and only had a couple of complaints. They mapped the exit app function to CLEAR and I have PAUSE for TiVo mapped to PAUSE+CLEAR (to get rid of PAUSE menu ads) so use of the PAUSE button would exit--personal problem. Since they have "exit app" also mapped to the RED/C button, I don't see the point but like I said, it's a personal problem (and not a bad one, since PAUSE, SELECT and PLAY have nearly identical function when used during playback). Also, the other devices I have with this GUI have FF and REW while browsing title lists mapped as 3-forward and 3-back so you can scroll through those lists at 3 times the speed; the TiVo player neglects to implement that. Otherwise it worked really quite well, with 6 second-or-so title start-up, better than either of my BD players. It worked as advertised and I never ran into any bugs.

The major streaming service providers like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube have developed portable player UIs which the platforms can use for the cost of preparing a common execution environment--very inexpensive compared to developing a player from scratch. Many platforms are choosing to use them. I have 5 devices with Hulu Plus players embedded: TiVo Premiere, PS3, Roku 2, Panasonic BD player and Xbox 360. The Hulu Plus player is absolutely identical on all except the Xbox, where it's been given Microsoft's "Metro" look and feel and made to be controllable with voice and gestures through Kinect. Most players are identical on everything except Xbox. It's the way things are going--get used to it. None of these boxes realizes any direct profit from these streaming services--they want to host players as line item features, but they're going to mount those players as inexpensively as possible and that will generally mean using the streaming services' generic UIs when there is one.

Amazon Instant Video is the only major streaming service that is different on every platform I have it for; I don't think that they've implemented a common UI. Of course, TiVo doesn't have an Amazon Instant Video streaming player at all; if Amazon did have a common UI they could get for the cost of implementing an execution environment, TiVo would probably have done it by now.
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Last edited by mikeyts : 07-10-2012 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:44 AM   #11
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While it would be great for these apps to navigate a bit faster- their functionality of delivering content works just fine. For those like me, without a ton of extra boxes hanging off my TV, this works. I have not yet seen an acceptable solution though these other boxes to view my WHS content- pyTiVo is awesome for this.

It makes sense for TiVo to get out of the app producing business. I just wish the developers made a more concerted effort to design a TiVo-like interface. But unless subscribers grow to much larger numbers, I would expect we continue to get their standard offering.

TiVo just cannot stop including apps- they are what the public wants and are certainly on the "need to have" list of many who buy through comparing bullet lists of functions and features.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:47 PM   #12
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TiVo just cannot stop including apps- they are what the public wants and are certainly on the "need to have" list of many who buy through comparing bullet lists of functions and features.
What exactly are people comparing a TiVo too? Other DVRs? stand alone OTT Streaming devices? HTPCs?

Unlike with other home electronic appliances where we have plenty of similar products from different manufactures most people have very few choices for a DVR appliance. For satellite and AT&T U-verse you only have what the provider offers, for cable and FIOS you have what the provider offers and TiVo, and for OTA you have I think maybe 3 choices including TiVo. HTPCs can be an alternative for most of us on these forums but really are not an off the self appliance and therefor not an option for most.

As I stated before why would anyone pay for a TiVo if they didn't primarily want a DVR? OTT streaming is being added to just about everything we might have in our living rooms and stand alone OTT streaming devices are way cheaper than a TiVo will every be. So while I also believe TiVo is stuck having to have OTT Streaming apps at this point in time because of market expectation, I still doubt having them sells very many new TiVos.

If TiVo could somehow provide all the functionality of a HTPC while remaining a relatively low cost DVR appliance then they might have something. I just don't see how that can happen without a significant improvement in hardware specs and no price increase; which seems very unlikely.
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:32 PM   #13
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I bought mine simply because it was a DVR that could record OTA after I ditched cable. The apps are a bonus. Sure, it glitches from time to time, but so do all of my other devices. Its a damn good DVR with a damn good remote app. Of course, this is all subject to change with one's internet quality.
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:11 PM   #14
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WI just wish the developers made a more concerted effort to design a TiVo-like interface.
Most apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus run on hundreds of devices which aren't Tivos. Their motive for producing custom interfaces for every device is absolutely nil. If fact, it's to their advantage when one of their customers calls in with a problem that the interface on that customer's device be that common interface that they developed and not some custom one like the Xbox's.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:19 PM   #15
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Most apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus run on hundreds of devices which aren't Tivos. Their motive for producing custom interfaces for every device is absolutely nil. If fact, it's to their advantage when one of their customers calls in with a problem that the interface on that customer's device be that common interface that they developed and not some custom one like the Xbox's.
True. In fact, I've watched them migrate to a common platform over time. Netflix has continually tweaked their interface until they found something they liked (which doesn't necessarily match what I liked, but that's neither here nor there). At one point, the interface on my TiVo, iPad, Sony BD Player, PS3, 360 and Wii were all completely different. Then they narrowed it down, leaving only customization based on platform.

And the 360 interface is now just a tweaked version of the standard, adhering to Netflix's UI when possible and the 360 app API when not (for example, the Crackle and Vudu interfaces are similar to the Netflix interface in some places on the 360, where they are totally different on the PS3/Sony Player).
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