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Old 10-07-2013, 03:24 PM   #91
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It was my understanding that it required a PROM update and TiVo decided that a PROM update in the field was simply too risky. If they bricked even a few units it would have been a huge PR nightmare.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:54 PM   #92
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It was my understanding that it required a PROM update and TiVo decided that a PROM update in the field was simply too risky. If they bricked even a few units it would have been a huge PR nightmare.
Instead, they just let the bad PR develop and fester from failing to explain the issue.
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:01 PM   #93
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Instead, they just let the bad PR develop and fester from failing to explain the issue.
I don't think they even sold enough S3 OLED units for it to be a big PR problem. Those things were like $800/ea, before service. I'd be surprised if sales got above the low 5 figures. And by the time M-cards actually started coming on the scene they had already replaced the S3 OLED with the TiVo HD. The number of people effected by the limitation was probably pretty small.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:22 AM   #94
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I don't think they even sold enough S3 OLED units for it to be a big PR problem. Those things were like $800/ea, before service. I'd be surprised if sales got above the low 5 figures. And by the time M-cards actually started coming on the scene they had already replaced the S3 OLED with the TiVo HD. The number of people effected by the limitation was probably pretty small.
Yes they were expensive and when they were first released they also did not offer lifetime service. I think I paid $300 for 3 years of TiVo service for each of my three OLED S3 boxes. And then once the three years was up I got lifetime service on them. At least I got it for a discount. Although I sold/gave away all my OLED S3 and TiVoHD boxes shortly after.(My GF has two of my OLED S3 boxes that I gave her)
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:11 PM   #95
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I got the original S3 when it first came out in late Sept 2006. I was able to transfer it to lifetime in Jan 2007 for around $200. (I was paying the monthly rate up to then).

It's a little slow and only 30 hours of recording time but it's still working like a champ.

I wonder how many they sold before the Tivo HD came on the scene? At the ~$800 price, I can't see it being that many considering that HDTV still had limited availability. I think most, if not all, of my HDTV at the time came from OTA.
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:06 PM   #96
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How they count a lifetime Tivo for accounting reasons should have no bearing on support for the platform. That is a risk Tivo takes in offering that option. They updated the S3 for H.264 at some point (Australia?) and decided not to make that available to the US market. If they had never supported H.264 on the S3 platform or it didn't have the capability to recieve mpeg4, it would be reasonable. Viewing all channels you receive is fundamental to the platform (unlike the s/card vs. m/card debate).
Accounting reasons should have bearing when you're adding an enhancement instead of fixing a bug.

And I don't care what Tivo did in other markets. That's a different branch of code. It's not trivial to copy that code into another branch. Besides, it's not just "H.264", you have to figure out which substandards and features each MSO chose to implement. Not to mention licensing fees.

Did Tivo promise you H.264 support for the S3 here in the United States of America? No, they did not. Did they even promise that you'd always receive every single channel? No, they did not. And they still don't, which is why there's a small risk in buying a set top box instead of renting one from your cable company.

You buy products for what they can do today, not what you think they might be capable of doing in the future. Otherwise you're going to be constantly disappointed.
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:56 PM   #97
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Accounting reasons should have bearing when you're adding an enhancement instead of fixing a bug.

And I don't care what Tivo did in other markets. That's a different branch of code. It's not trivial to copy that code into another branch. Besides, it's not just "H.264", you have to figure out which substandards and features each MSO chose to implement. Not to mention licensing fees.

Did Tivo promise you H.264 support for the S3 here in the United States of America? No, they did not. Did they even promise that you'd always receive every single channel? No, they did not. And they still don't, which is why there's a small risk in buying a set top box instead of renting one from your cable company.

You buy products for what they can do today, not what you think they might be capable of doing in the future. Otherwise you're going to be constantly disappointed.
Of course you should expect to receive all channels for the market that align with the cable card specifications. I expect to continue to receive them even if alterations to the code have to be made. I don't expect a product I purchased to maybe, possibly, sometimes work.

I don't consider it an enhancement. I consider it maintenance on a product they offered with a lifetime option. That is where our opinions really diverge.

If their code is that big of a mess that merging different branches is that difficult, they have other problems. Merging code bases can be a pain in the ass but I bet that played a minor role at best in the decision. Planning for the resource allocation, testing, and roll out of the changes were probably much more significant. And I don't really care what hoops they have to jump through to make it happen. That is a risk they take by producing a product for which they offered a lifetime option. The risk I take is that they will continue to support it.

And your right, I am disappointed and not because h.264 did not make into the S3. I'm disappointed because this shows the decision making process they are going through when they decide how long to support one of their products. How long until a premiere someone just purchased no longer receives updates to fix the problems that are still there?

How much I'm willing to spend and when I'm willing to spend for one of their products is impacted by decisions like this. You may not make decisions based on how the product is supported going forward and the track record of the company, but I do.

I consider that decision by Tivo to be a mistake. So far it has had little impact on me but if they continue make decisions like this, that may change.

Last edited by cram501 : 10-08-2013 at 03:56 PM. Reason: Fixed a typo
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:57 PM   #98
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I got the original S3 when it first came out in late Sept 2006. I was able to transfer it to lifetime in Jan 2007 for around $200. (I was paying the monthly rate up to then).

It's a little slow and only 30 hours of recording time but it's still working like a champ.

I wonder how many they sold before the Tivo HD came on the scene? At the ~$800 price, I can't see it being that many considering that HDTV still had limited availability. I think most, if not all, of my HDTV at the time came from OTA.
I wish they would have offered me that deal. When I got mine I prepaid three years. No one offered to convert me to lifetime when they started offering it again. But they did give me a deal on lifetime when those three years were up.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:00 PM   #99
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From the UCC (Universal Commercial Code act)

It is the merchantability and fitness clauses.

I did mis-speak.

The 3 year parts are part of Massachusetts consumer law

And, no, they were not within their fitness for use. They IMPLIED that they can received 'all' subscribed channels with a cable card. The could not and can never support H.264 channels, even though they did start to appear BEFORE the TivoHD was phased out. I had 2 H.264 channels on comcast in 12/2009. (HBO-HD DISCOVERY SCIENCE-HD). I had a tivoHD at the time and got a cablebox from Comcast for Video on demand and to watch these 2 channels
I think the merchantability and fitness clause applies to the merchandise, not to a warranty. If Tivo has the burden of knowing that there were some channel formats that the Tivo HD could not receive, then you have that same burden. You were free to reject the shipment under the merchantability and fitness clause at the time you started using the Tivo, but you didn't. You used the Tivo for years and that implies that you accepted the shipment.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:03 PM   #100
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I wish they would have offered me that deal. When I got mine I prepaid three years. No one offered to convert me to lifetime when they started offering it again. But they did give me a deal on lifetime when those three years were up.
I'd have to go back through the threads on the board, but I think they offered it for a short period of time because of the complaints they were receiving. A lot of people were in your shoes and pushed to be able to convert over.

I believe they only offered it for a month or two and it was still difficult to get converted. It basically was customer service roulette.

This is all from memory of seven years ago, so I may have all, some, or none of the fact correct.

Edit: I did go back to the old threads. I transferred by old DirectTV Tivo lifetime membership to my S3. For about a month they allowed DirectTV Tivo transfers. If you had purchased one and activated it, it was a pain to get the cancellation fee waived.

Ref: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...70#post4825670

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Old 10-08-2013, 06:01 PM   #101
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Yes they were expensive and when they were first released they also did not offer lifetime service. I think I paid $300 for 3 years of TiVo service for each of my three OLED S3 boxes.
I had cleaned out the local BestBuy of lifetime cards when they were discontinued and saved a few for myself (bought 11, sold all but 3 for significant profit) so both of our S3s had real lifetime. (used the last one for my first Premiere)
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:17 AM   #102
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I had cleaned out the local BestBuy of lifetime cards when they were discontinued and saved a few for myself (bought 11, sold all but 3 for significant profit) so both of our S3s had real lifetime. (used the last one for my first Premiere)
I had used TiVos with DirecTV prior to getting the OLED boxes. Had I known about those lifetime cards I would have picked a bunch up just to make a profit. I really made out with the DirecTV SD TiVo and HD boxes. I bought several of each and sold them at enough profit to cover my initial three SD boxes in early 2002 and most of the cost of upgraded hard drives. In 2004 I did the same thing to cover the cost of two DirecTV HD boxes and the cost of upgrading to dual hard drives. But when I switched to the cable TiVos in late 2006 it was a whole new ballgame for me. By the time I found out about lifetime service it was way too late since I think they had stopped that the year prior.
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:47 AM   #103
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I wish they would have offered me that deal. When I got mine I prepaid three years. No one offered to convert me to lifetime when they started offering it again. But they did give me a deal on lifetime when those three years were up.
I bought 2 of the S3 OLEDs in December 2006 and January 2007 when they had dropped to $600 and they were offering the lifetime "upgrade" for $199 each plus giving a year of free service to the old TiVo that you were upgrading from. This was discussed here on the forum at the time.

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=316298

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=315843

I upgraded both of our S1's to S3's at the time as I was concerned that they were never going to offer lifetime again. I certainly paid a lot more for the original S3 at the time (although less than the original $800) but I've been happy with the purchase and both are still working great almost 7 years later.

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Old 10-10-2013, 09:42 AM   #104
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Of course you should expect to receive all channels for the market that align with the cable card specifications.
Great, so no switched digital video channels, then? I mean, that's a LOT of channels to go missing and it impacts everyone except FIOS users so Tivo had to do something there. But how many users and channels are affected by H.264?

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Merging code bases can be a pain in the ass but I bet that played a minor role at best in the decision. Planning for the resource allocation, testing, and roll out of the changes were probably much more significant. And I don't really care what hoops they have to jump through to make it happen. That is a risk they take by producing a product for which they offered a lifetime option. The risk I take is that they will continue to support it.
I was including all of that testing and rollout in my assessment as well. We agree that it would be a huge PITA for Tivo with very little return. And you're still with them, correct? So it can't be all that bad. Normally I'd say vote with your wallet, but Tivo already has all the money they're ever going to get from you. Unless you sell the S3 and buy the Roamio, which would fix your situation yet reward Tivo with even more of your money. Tough call. Maybe if you call and complain you can get a discount on the Roamio or its service. That's way easier for Tivo to do than implement a new feature on a 7 year old box.

I also agree that calling it "lifetime service" implies code updates for a long time. Since most people would consider code updates as part of the service. But everyone in this forum knows better. Tivo considers their service to be just the guide data, and if they happen to fix bugs or add features along the way that's a bonus.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:53 AM   #105
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...Tivo considers their service to be just the guide data...
Well, actually the guide data and the ongoing license to use the software they wrote.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:56 PM   #106
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Tivo considers their service to be just the guide data, and if they happen to fix bugs or add features along the way that's a bonus.
Not quite. The fee you pay for their service allows the various features in the Tivo software to function. Consider it an ongoing activation fee. You could also compare it to a satellite box. The box may function for free channels but nothing else. You can't get any of the regular channels until you sign up for the satellite service and get the access card activated. Same goes for Tivo. The basic functions will work, but you can't record anything or use any of the Tivo special features.

I used to be able to download guide data for my DirecTivos without having satellite service. I'm not sure if that's still allowable with a standalone Tivo.
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Old 10-10-2013, 01:48 PM   #107
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Same goes for Tivo. The basic functions will work, but you can't record anything or use any of the Tivo special features.
These days you can't do anything with a TiVo without service. It will tune live TV that's it. It doesn't even buffer the 30 minutes any more.
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:22 PM   #108
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I was including all of that testing and rollout in my assessment as well. We agree that it would be a huge PITA for Tivo with very little return. And you're still with them, correct? So it can't be all that bad. Normally I'd say vote with your wallet, but Tivo already has all the money they're ever going to get from you. Unless you sell the S3 and buy the Roamio, which would fix your situation yet reward Tivo with even more of your money. Tough call. Maybe if you call and complain you can get a discount on the Roamio or its service. That's way easier for Tivo to do than implement a new feature on a 7 year old box.
We agree it could have been a pain in the ass for some programmer sitting in a cube someplace. That's his or her job and not really my concern. I agree there is little return in immediate revenue but it can have an impact on the volume of units you sell of your next product and affect future income. It can also impact the level of frustration users are willing to tolerate.

It's one of the reasons I skipped the Premier. I did buy a Roamio. That was lost income for Tivo.

I never said I was taking my toys and going home. I said it would have an impact on when I bought another unit and what I was willing to spend for it. Tivo hasn't lost me yet but if they continue to ditch products that, in my opinion, still require updates, they may eventually.

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I also agree that calling it "lifetime service" implies code updates for a long time. Since most people would consider code updates as part of the service. But everyone in this forum knows better. Tivo considers their service to be just the guide data, and if they happen to fix bugs or add features along the way that's a bonus.
My expectations are different than yours. It's your choice to not expect updates, deal with unresolved problems, and pay more money to see if the issue is fixed in the next hardware rev. It's your money.

I don't expect just guide data. My guess is a majority of the population on the forums expect updates and fixes. They may be disappointed.. but the again, see above.
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:58 PM   #109
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We agree it could have been a pain in the ass for some programmer sitting in a cube someplace. That's his or her job and not really my concern. I agree there is little return in immediate revenue but it can have an impact on the volume of units you sell of your next product and affect future income. It can also impact the level of frustration users are willing to tolerate.

It's one of the reasons I skipped the Premier. I did buy a Roamio. That was lost income for Tivo.

I never said I was taking my toys and going home. I said it would have an impact on when I bought another unit and what I was willing to spend for it. Tivo hasn't lost me yet but if they continue to ditch products that, in my opinion, still require updates, they may eventually.



My expectations are different than yours. It's your choice to not expect updates, deal with unresolved problems, and pay more money to see if the issue is fixed in the next hardware rev. It's your money.

I don't expect just guide data. My guess is a majority of the population on the forums expect updates and fixes. They may be disappointed.. but the again, see above.
Your opinion or my opinion are really irrelevant when it comes to what Tivo should do. Management has a legal responsibility to what ever they believe will result in the maximum return to stock holders. You or I can again have opinions on how to do that when it comes to issues like spending money to update the Series 3 units software or not, however TiVo has significant more data than we do and can and should be adjusting their decisions based on it. Given how well the Roamio DVRs appear to be selling I would think the absolute most TiVo is going to do for Series 3 owners is offer them a deal on some left over or refurbed Series 4 hardware.

In the end we get to vote with our wallets but then so does TiVo and yes there are times when the customer is wrong and/or they are not worth having/retaining.
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:46 AM   #110
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It doesn't even buffer the 30 minutes any more.
Incorrect. A while back there was an update for the Premiere which disabled the 30 minute buffers, but I believe that was a mistake because a subsequent update later reinstated them.
As of now, my unsubscribed Premiere has the 30 minute buffers.

Of course, things might be different for the Roamio line. I don't have one to compare.
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Old 10-11-2013, 06:11 AM   #111
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But you lost trickplay, right? So even if you have the buffers you can't skip around in live?
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Old 10-11-2013, 06:19 AM   #112
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But you lost trickplay, right? So even if you have the buffers you can't skip around in live?
No, trickplay still works within the buffer.
If trickplay didn't work, there would be no need for the 30 minute buffer.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:50 AM   #113
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Hmm... could've sworn that I saw they disabled trickplay at some point on unsubbed Premieres.
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:33 PM   #114
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Hmm... could've sworn that I saw they disabled trickplay at some point on unsubbed Premieres.
I have an un-sub TP-4 and trick play works within the buffer, that also works. A past update did not allow for the buffer, or the HDUI, the newest update does have both options.
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:20 PM   #115
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Hmm... could've sworn that I saw they disabled trickplay at some point on unsubbed Premieres.
They did. I believe it was v14.9.2 that disabled the live buffers.
I don't remember when they were restored, but I want to say it was within a short time span.
I thought it was a mistake at the time. Why would TiVo disable a marketing tool? It seems you would want that little feature there to give unsubscribed users a taste of what the Tivo interface is all about.
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:55 AM   #116
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These days you can't do anything with a TiVo without service. It will tune live TV that's it. It doesn't even buffer the 30 minutes any more.
I forget which models had it, but didn't some of them come with basic service that provides a day or two of guide data and some of the Tivo functions without requiring a contract?
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Old 10-12-2013, 08:29 AM   #117
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I forget which models had it, but didn't some of them come with basic service that provides a day or two of guide data and some of the Tivo functions without requiring a contract?
Some of the DVD equipped units used this model.
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