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Old 07-09-2013, 07:31 AM   #331
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Under that logic they should've provided a patch so the OLED S3s could use a single M-card, but we see how that went.

It's not a bug fix, it's a new feature for the tuners and they're not going to do that. The funny thing is that Tivo HDs already handle mpeg4, I think, at least for the podcast videos and for pyTivo transfers.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:21 AM   #332
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I disagree...

The Cable Card issue in the OLED units is a hardware issue, not a software issue. Also, that doesn't brick your unit at all - you can have one cable card or two cable cards and it works just fine.

IF the cableco's begin to agressively convert to an H.264 format that action will completely brick the S3 units.

But I agree there are a couple of big IF's:
  • IF the Cableco's decide to transition quickly and agressively to the new format.
  • IF the problem is fixable in the S3 units via a software patch.

I would guess that up to half of the actively used TiVo units in the wild are still S3 models. Can you imagine if the Cableco's decided to transition completly over to H.264 in the next 18 months? Half of TiVo's install base would simply disappear! You would see torches and pitchforks in San Jose.

On the other hand - if the Cableco's drag their feet for several years. That install base will continue to shrink year over year and the impact may be less painfull for both TiVo and their customers.


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Support is one thing... upgrades are another.

I'm with Dan on this one... H.264 is not a bug fix. TiVo would be better off discounting an upgrade to a Series 4 for the small number of users impacted versus the expense of upgrading the Series 3 to support.

It might be a small number of users today, but if FIOS or COMCAST decide to move entire networks exclusively to the h.264 format then we are talking about a whole new game. I would think offering an upgrade discount to such a huge install base would be far more expensive then deploying a patch.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:26 AM   #333
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Under that logic they should've provided a patch so the OLED S3s could use a single M-card, but we see how that went.
Only if the OLED S3 h/w is capable of supporting an M-card.

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It's not a bug fix, it's a new feature for the tuners and they're not going to do that. The funny thing is that Tivo HDs already handle mpeg4, I think, at least for the podcast videos and for pyTivo transfers.
It is not a new feature for the tuners. The tuners don't care. It is detecting and decoding MP4 recordings during playback that would have to be implemented.

Since it has already been done on a similar platform, it should be fairly easy to port it to the other S3's but given the state of TiVo s/w development, who knows.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:31 AM   #334
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On the other hand - if the Cableco's drag their feet for several years. That install base will continue to shrink year over year and the impact may be less painfull for both TiVo and their customers.
That's going to at least partially driven by what percentage of the currently deployed cableco h/w is capable of supporting MP4.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:35 AM   #335
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There have been several reports of both Cox and FiOS customers getting a significant discount from TiVo on a Series 4 when they pushed the issue of not supporting H.264 on their S3 units. That is a much more cost effective way of dealing with the very limited H.264 support issue.

I don't understand why it is even an issue unless you are with Cox or FiOS at this point.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:41 AM   #336
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I disagree...

The Cable Card issue in the OLED units is a hardware issue, not a software issue. Also, that doesn't brick your unit at all - you can have one cable card or two cable cards and it works just fine.

IF the cableco's begin to agressively convert to an H.264 format that action will completely brick the S3 units.

But I agree there are a couple of big IF's:
  • IF the Cableco's decide to transition quickly and agressively to the new format.
  • IF the problem is fixable in the S3 units via a software patch.

I would guess that up to half of the actively used TiVo units in the wild are still S3 models. Can you imagine if the Cableco's decided to transition completly over to H.264 in the next 18 months? Half of TiVo's install base would simply disappear!

On the other hand - if the Cableco's drag their feet for several years. That install base will continue to shrink year over year and the impact may be less painfull for both TiVo and their customers.

I would think offering an upgrade discount to such a huge install base would be far more expensive then deploying a patch.
Again I ask how long should a company support a product that hasn't been sold for over three years? In 2010 the Premiere was released and the TiVo HD was all but out of stock shortly before that.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:50 AM   #337
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Again I ask how long should a company support a product that hasn't been sold for over three years? In 2010 the Premiere was released and the TiVo HD was all but out of stock shortly before that.
My answer is - how large is the affected install base of that product? Today the deployment of h.264 is very narrow so the affected base is very small.

I do not think TiVo should provide any functionality updates to the S3 platform. If you want streaming, or mobile app functionality - upgrade. You still get what you paid for when you purchased your S3 unit.

The difference in this case is a potential for wholesale bricking of these last gen units. The patch has been written - barring any really weird differences that we may not know about - that patch is 80% done.

I suspect that this is going to be a slow migration. If that is true, then TiVo can safely wait it out not do anything. But... If one of the big 3 decides to pull the trigger on h.264 network wide - you will see a patch.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:10 AM   #338
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Again I ask how long should a company support a product that hasn't been sold for over three years? In 2010 the Premiere was released and the TiVo HD was all but out of stock shortly before that.
The simple answer is as long as it makes economic sense. Look how long Microsoft has supported XP. Of course TiVo will have to guess if fixing the software makes economic sense or not. That guess will be based on data that we do not have, like knowing exactly how many Series 3 units are being used on the effected cable systems. Also as this change spreads to more cable systems TiVo will have data on what percentage of people affected upgrade to a new TiVo versus dumping TiVo all together. I am also guessing that if the new hardware that we are expecting this fall turns out to be a big improvement over the Premiere that it will help Series 3 user be more willing to upgrade, even more so if TiVo gives them a deal.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:42 AM   #339
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I suspect that this is going to be a slow migration. If that is true, then TiVo can safely wait it out not do anything. But... If one of the big 3 decides to pull the trigger on h.264 network wide - you will see a patch.
Not gonna happen. They have a ton of their own equipment in the field that is not H.264 capable. Making a complete switch would cost too much. By the time they make a total conversion to H.264 we may be talking about the Series 6
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:43 AM   #340
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I suspect that this is going to be a slow migration


I do agree that it is unlikely that any of the majors will convert enmass, and if that does not happen, TiVo will not feel any pressure to provide a patch for the new format.

But I do think it is time for me to sell my remaining S3 units before the value starts to fall off. Just waiting on the S5!
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:14 PM   #341
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waiting on the S5!?

Those of us who bought the S3 at the time, bought on the quality of a premium product and paid for it. The complaints on the S3 were nothing like the out cry and out rage garnered from later cheap line of DVR's.

There was an out cry that it was too expensive! So Tivo started making a cheap DVR's to mollify that crowd that they were convinced would be a bigger market. They failed. Cheap is Cheap and they should have never gotten away from their premium line by playing a marketing word play with the product known as "Premiere".

If they don't bring back a premium quality line with the S5 and they keep with cheap junk that they have been peddling or if they don't offer a true choice (not just in hard drive) but in quality on the whole DVR, forget about them.

Whose having the last laugh now? The original S3 owners that paid the high-price for a premium DVR that had a quarter of the problems and has had their investment paid back to them (with Lifetime) again and again.

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Old 07-09-2013, 01:34 PM   #342
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I'll take any of my S4 boxes over the three OLED s3 boxes and five TiVo HD boxes I've owned. The S4 has been better in almost every way.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:53 PM   #343
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waiting on the S5!?
I purchased my OLED S3 christmas 2006, added an HD model a year later and picked up a Premier in mid 2010... (OLED was $800 + lifetime service)

I have been pretty happy with all my units - I keep the Premier in the Family Room and it gets the majority of use, I keep the HD in the Media room and it is gets second highest use. The OLED S3? Sitting in my bedroom and barely gets used at all.

The Premier has always had faster transistions then my S3 units even with the HDUI. The difference is so significant now that I cannot stand going back to one of the older ones.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:06 PM   #344
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waiting on the S5!?

Those of us who bought the S3 at the time, bought on the quality of a premium product and paid for it. The complaints on the S3 were nothing like the out cry and out rage garnered from later cheap line of DVR's.

There was an out cry that it was too expensive! So Tivo started making a cheap DVR's to mollify that crowd that they were convinced would be a bigger market. They failed. Cheap is Cheap and they should have never gotten away from their premium line by playing a marketing word play with the product known as "Premiere".

If they don't bring back a premium quality line with the S5 and they keep with cheap junk that they have been peddling or if they don't offer a true choice (not just in hard drive) but in quality on the whole DVR, forget about them.

Whose having the last laugh now? The original S3 owners that paid the high-price for a premium DVR that had a quarter of the problems and has had their investment paid back to them (with Lifetime) again and again.
Have you actually compared the various Series 3 & Premiere DVRs directly?

I have, and currently have an Original Series 3, TiVo HD, & Premiere all sitting in the same cabinet attached to the same TV. There is only one place where the Premiere isn't equal or superior to the original Series 3 & TiVo HD and that is in dealing with certain OTA multi-path reception issues. Of course if you are using your DVR for OTA and happen to have those type issues that is a big deal, (like I am & do) but otherwise not so much.

Did/does the Premiere have issues with the HDUI - certainly and at the begining the HDUI was almost not usable, but that was/is a software issue not a hardware issue. We have always been able to use the SDUI and when using the SDUI the Premiere has always been very fast and pretty much problem free (at least for me).

At this point in time I think all three of my HD TiVo's are excellent DVRs, but if I use the SDUI in the Premiere it clearly has superior performance compared to the 2 Series 3 units and if I use the HDUI is has performance on par with the Series 3 units with superior functionality. Either way the Premiere is an upgrade to my Series 3 units.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:33 PM   #345
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Premiere was irritating for these reasons.

Laggy UI. It really hurts your experience when much of your interaction with the device is through this UI.

Some menus HD. Some still SD. I could live with this. But it always gave the impression of a half-finished product.

Terrible 3rd party apps. Netflix was atrocious when I had a Premiere a few years back. Crashed all the time. The other apps as I recall were equally bad.

Less than desirable streaming of your own media options from your computer.

lack of improvement. Ok the UI improved some, for example, it showed a description of a show in the sidebar without having to click all the way through. But other things bugged like the talked about back to back recording of shows on the same channel especially when it came to recording football games on Sundays. I can't believe they hadn't dealt with that yet. Now that I think about (it) I probably could have just scheduled it to record x and y channels for 7 hours each every week from 12-7 CST right? And just dealt with the extra 3-6 hours of recording. Am I correct here? I could have just done that and set it up weekly? I haven't had a Premiere in a few years so maybe it didn't work that way. But if it does work that way what a Doh!!? moment for me. Anyway I was expecting some more improvement with the whole recording shows thing. WMC has some decent improvements over what Tivo does.

It was fairly expensive and still only had 2 tuners and little storage space when it first came out.

No On-Demand which only helped make your crappy cable dvr more attractive.

You had to buy another $800+ Premiere in order to watch shows on a 2nd tv.

Those were my beefs with the Premiere when it came out. I have no first-hand knowledge of any improvements since. I hope the Series 5 pulls a rabbit out of a hat.

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Old 07-09-2013, 02:50 PM   #346
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Trip1ex

I think your critiques are fair... Some of that has improved over time and others are inherent to both the S3 and the S4 model lines.

What I am looking for in the S5 line is a stronger processor, more tuners and the hub and spoke implementation with distributed Mini's.

The stronger processor should allow the TiVo to handle the OTT apps in a more stable manner. This I think will encourge content providers to partner with TiVo more then they have been willing to do so far.

I would love to see streaming of your own media... I am hoping / suspecting that a new TiVo desktop is on the horizon as well. We can only guess if that functionality is forthcoming at this time.

I do hear a lot of people argue there is no reason to upgrade their TiVo from say the S3 to the S4 and now ultimately the S5. And if you are only looking for a base DVR then you are correct.

But you have the functionality you have. You are not getting anything more in a legacy product. If what you have meets your needs then there is no need to upgrade.
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:23 PM   #347
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Only if the OLED S3 h/w is capable of supporting an M-card...
I thought it was a requirement that ALL M-Cards be backward compatible with S-Card devices, as in the M-Card falls back into S-Card mode. Then you have to use two M-Cards, one in each S-Card slot. Am I wrong?

I'll stay out of the rest of the mayhem here for a while...
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:49 PM   #348
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You had to buy another $800+ Premiere in order to watch shows on a 2nd tv.

Those were my beefs with the Premiere.
The dual tuner Premiere with lifetime never cost $800. The absolute worst case would have been $700 for the first one and $600 for the second and you would have had to try hard to have paid that much. However for most of it's life the dual tuner Premiere has been offered to existing customers for $500+/- with lifetime almost continuously.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:24 PM   #349
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how long should a company support a product that is no longer sold or produced?
Some of the S3's weren't that old when MPEG-4 started rolling out and TiVo wouldn't do the update. I'd say they should support at least 48 months from the last new unit sold, as that's the depreciation period that makes TiVo make sense from a cost perspective.

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It's not any of those things. When the S3 was actively being sold in the US there were no cable companies who had H.264 channels. So it was impossible for them to test an upgrade that included H.264 support. By the time cable companies started to deploy H.264 channels the S3 had not actively been sold for almost 2 years, and even then the number of users effected was a tiny fraction of their user base. They took the time and resources to deploy the feature to their current product line (i.e. the Premiere) but it's perfectly understandable that they didn't go back and release it for a product that hadn't actually been sold for 2 years. Doing so would have required them to dedicate development resources to a product that was no longer generating revenue for them. Plus if it had the added benefit of persuading a few users to upgrade then all the better. But it's not really a "forced upgrade" since even now only a few cable operators even use H.264, and most of them only use it for a hand full of specialty channels.
Now it's FIOS, which covers a pretty good chunk of relatively wealthy people. There's really no excuse for that in the first place. They could have sent it out with MPEG-4 support originally. I'm sure CableLabs and others have test beds that can test MPEG-4 or just about anything else you can dream of in a lab environment.

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Under that logic they should've provided a patch so the OLED S3s could use a single M-card, but we see how that went.

It's not a bug fix, it's a new feature for the tuners and they're not going to do that. The funny thing is that Tivo HDs already handle mpeg4, I think, at least for the podcast videos and for pyTivo transfers.
You can work around the M-Card thing for $1.50/mo, and you knew what you were getting into when you bought it. There is no way to work around MPEG-4.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:27 PM   #350
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No On-Demand which only helped make your crappy cable dvr more attractive.
I agree with a lot of what you said about the laggy UI and such, but the Premiere does support VOD, it's just up to the cable provider to support it. Blame your cable company if they chose not to support it. Not that VOD is that great in the first place.
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:07 PM   #351
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I thought it was a requirement that ALL M-Cards be backward compatible with S-Card devices, as in the M-Card falls back into S-Card mode. Then you have to use two M-Cards, one in each S-Card slot. Am I wrong?

I'll stay out of the rest of the mayhem here for a while...
Supporting an m-card running in single stream mode is not the same as supporting it in multi-stream mode.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:28 PM   #352
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Supporting an m-card running in single stream mode is not the same as supporting it in multi-stream mode.
Isn't that what I said? Tell me how what I posted would speak otherwise. Back off. It was a question, to make sure I knew what I thought I did.

I don't recall saying anything at all that would be leading anybody to possibly believe that running an M-Card in S-Card mode was the same.

My curiosity, was simply if there may be some TiVo, which I was unaware of, with some problem with running an M-card, at all... So very simple.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:40 PM   #353
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The OLED TiVo was designed to handle a multi stream card prior to a card being avaiable. Unfortunately, once the m-card finally came on the market it wasn't compatible with the TiVo in multi stream mode.

Hardware issue...
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:15 PM   #354
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Isn't that what I said? Tell me how what I posted would speak otherwise. Back off. It was a question, to make sure I knew what I thought I did.

I don't recall saying anything at all that would be leading anybody to possibly believe that running an M-Card in S-Card mode was the same.

My curiosity, was simply if there may be some TiVo, which I was unaware of, with some problem with running an M-card, at all... So very simple.
I would say that a better phrasing is that newer M cards are compatible with S-CARD slots. I remember in the beginning some of the M cards did not work and we had to make sure they were the latest and greatest.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:31 PM   #355
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The OLED TiVo was designed to handle a multi stream card prior to a card being avaiable. Unfortunately, once the m-card finally came on the market it wasn't compatible with the TiVo in multi stream mode.

Hardware issue...
Partially correct. A TiVo spokesman (TivoPony) once said that it was technically possible to add full M-card support to the OLED S3, but that doing so would be very difficult and could cause problems so they didn't bother trying. I don't know how much of that was truth and how much was BS, but that was what was said. If it was a hardware only issue, I doubt it could be potentially fixed in software.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:45 PM   #356
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Isn't that what I said? Tell me how what I posted would speak otherwise. Back off. It was a question, to make sure I knew what I thought I did.

I don't recall saying anything at all that would be leading anybody to possibly believe that running an M-Card in S-Card mode was the same.

My curiosity, was simply if there may be some TiVo, which I was unaware of, with some problem with running an M-card, at all... So very simple.
And I was simply clarifying the issue for you and informing you that it is irrelevant whether or not an m-card will work in single stream mode. What was being complained about and has been complained about for years is that the original S3 continued to require 2 cards even after the m-cards became available. There are some posts that indicate TiVo had at least implied that multi-stream support would be added.

I don't know as my first S3 was a THD purchased in 2008 and has never had anything but a single m-card.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:44 PM   #357
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And I was simply clarifying the issue for you and informing you that it is irrelevant whether or not an m-card will work in single stream mode. What was being complained about and has been complained about for years is that the original S3 continued to require 2 cards even after the m-cards became available. There are some posts that indicate TiVo had at least implied that multi-stream support would be added.

I don't know as my first S3 was a THD purchased in 2008 and has never had anything but a single m-card.
OK, that's better. I, too, never have owned a S3 OLED. I have four TiVo HDs. So, I'm familiar with the two slots. I also, recall reading on here about how the S3 OLED was *supposed to* work the same way, but didn't.

In the scenario, where you have to rent two M-cards, each running in S-Card mode, I can see why people would be angry. As much as I feel TiVo is at the opposite end of "being all it can be", I would think that if it was anything other than hardware, it would have been fixed, long ago. Even hardware issues sometimes have software "workarounds", like the TiVo HD grey/black screen tuner issue. It took until well beyond the end of production (end-of-life point), for TiVo to issue that patch, just prior to 11.0K. Then enter the Premieres, the Premiere 4s, and all the issues they have, or have had, and how much time it takes for them to make them less frustrating to own... I fully expect, nothing less, than to be majorly underwhelmed by whatever comes next. The S3 will always need two cards to have two tuners. The HD will always have some issues, that remain unresolved. Sometimes I picture the TiVo R&D department as a heaping pile of smoking TiVo units, and the first one that doesn't explode, or catch on fire, gets put into production, released with "just barely" software, and by the time it reaches end-of-life, it may be a cool product to own, that truly provides entertainment and enjoyment, making cableco DVRs unthinkable to use. I think what truly drives many to TiVo, is the ability to expand capacity, and tinker.

If I could make it happen, I'd solidify the TiVo user base against buying any newer product, until TiVo fixes/finishes what they already sold. Somebody made a good point about how, unless lifetime service is involved, we still pay TiVo every month to use our existing equipment, no matter how old it is. Unfortunately, it seems most of the TiVo user base will buy ANYTHING TiVo releases. It's a phenomenon, which hurts those of us that can't afford the upgrading. The way I see it, the original Premiere, is currently the product it SHOULD HAVE BEEN, the day it was released to retail. It still has a lot of issues to address, and instead of focusing on that, TiVo is shifting effort to release something "new". Unfortunately, people will buy it.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:15 AM   #358
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Why wouldn't I buy it? I'll sell my S4 boxes to cover the cost of the new hardware. And have zero to very little out of pocket cost to me. I would be crazy not to upgrade.

And in the process I'll eventually be down to one cable card. I had eight cable cards(ten if you count when I had Comcast and FiOS) at one time when I had my OLED S3 boxes and TiVoHD boxes.
When I'm finally down to one cable card that will be only $4 a month in cable card fees. At one point I was paying $24 a month for cable cards.
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:16 AM   #359
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Why wouldn't I buy it? I'll sell my S4 boxes to cover the cost of the new hardware. And have zero to very little out of pocket cost to me. I would be crazy not to upgrade.

And in the process I'll eventually be down to one cable card. I had eight cable cards(ten if you count when I had Comcast and FiOS) at one time when I had my OLED S3 boxes and TiVoHD boxes.
When I'm finally down to one cable card that will be only $4 a month in cable card fees. At one point I was paying $24 a month for cable cards.
If I understand your sig correctly, you currently have 10 tuners available. How is one box going to replace that?
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:42 AM   #360
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I will absolutely upgrade as well.

As I have said, I would go as for as saying that I am VERY happy with all the TiVo's I have owned. Yes, I have some annoyances in some models - but nothing that would make me rise up and storm the TiVo campus.

I have three TiVo's all with lifetime. I should be able to get $300 each for my OLED and HD models. I will keep the Premier and purchase one Six tuner S5 and one Mini for the bedroom.

That will refresh my hardware for what; a $200 - $300 investment?

You are dang right I am going to upgrade!

Holding off and allowing your boxes to continue to age and loose value just out of some sense of spite is a great strategy, but I will not be following you off that cliff. I might also add, this is another expample of the value of lifetime service.
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