Ads on scroll bars
I've been a TiVo customer for a long time. I bought a TiVo Series 1, back when it carried the Philips label. Recently I bought a TiVo Premiere for my HDTV. I'm willing to pay for a TiVo box, even though my cable company's DVR would be cheaper, because I like TiVo's user interface. That's the heart of TiVo's business model, as I understand it: a premium user experience for a premium price.
When I began using my TiVo Premiere, I was slightly annoyed that there is no way to turn off the "recommendations" display at the top of the TiVo Central screen. These recommendations are supposedly based on my viewing habits, but lately they also include ads for paper towels and toilet paper. I'm pretty sure that my viewing habits don't suggest any unusual interest in paper products. Apparently TiVo's "recommendations" are for sale to the highest bidder. This diminishes their value and makes me wish there were a way to remove this clutter from my screen.
I was even more dismayed to find that, when I use rewind or fast-forward, the scroll bar is often decorated with another ad. My reaction was, "Seriously? Ads on a scroll bar?" When I am trying to skip ahead in some recorded show, I am definitely not looking for a discount coupon for toilet paper. This visual clutter serves only to make me annoyed, both with TiVo and the company that bought the ad.
It seems that TiVo is turning into just another company that is trying to auction my eyeballs to the highest bidder. There are plenty of other companies doing this, and they do not command premium prices or customer loyalty. I'm beginning to wonder why users should continue to pay a premium price for TiVo service.