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Old 12-04-2012, 01:47 PM   #1
atmuscarella
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What Happened to Megazone?

So does anyone know what happened to Megazone?

Seems like I haven't seen any posts by him in awhile and nothing new on his blog since last July.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:24 PM   #2
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He's still active on Fb and Twitter (you can guess his username ).
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:27 PM   #3
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He is still active on Twitter.

I wish BKDTV would make an appearance. He disappeared well over a year ago and doesn't seem to be active on any board unless he changed his name.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:25 PM   #4
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He got married. All down hill after that
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:05 PM   #5
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Tried searching on FB and at first was going to say he wasn't shown.. but I think he's MZ MegaZone, based on the user picture.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:41 AM   #6
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattack View Post
Tried searching on FB and at first was going to say he wasn't shown.. but I think he's MZ MegaZone, based on the user picture.
Indeed, that's me. I'm 'megazone' on Twitter. And on Google+, which I prefer to Facebook. I pretty much always use that avatar.

I used to be a lot more active on TiVo's FB wall, but I haven't been for a while. I lot of that is simply because I'm getting fed up with Facebook and prefer Google+. Especially since FB did their 'timeline' conversion. My usage of FB has plummeted since then. I rarely bother to read FB these days and only keep sharing things there out of habit really, since a lot of people I know still use it. But I pretty much share all the same stuff on G+ now.

And honestly it got tiring since I felt like I was constantly defending TiVo from increasingly valid criticism by other users. And after Jess left TiVo I stopped hearing from anyone and TiVo seems to have stopped responding to most of the users as well. With everything else going on I kind of felt like "why bother".

As to what's happened to me, one word: life.

If you really want to know:
Spoiler:
A mix of good and bad. Originally one of the first things was a health crisis my best friend had. In short order he was diagnosed with kidney cancer, scheduled for surgery, basically died on the table during said surgery when something went wrong, and then spent a week in the ICU recovering. (Obviously they revived him.) During the time between diagnosis and surgery he came down from Maine and stayed with me for a a little bit. It was kind of stressful and draining so I didn't blog much.

He's doing fine now - fully recovered.

There have been a couple of trips with my wife - Disneyland in July for the 4th and her birthday - the 3rd. Which was something I setup on short notice. Then a trip we already had planned to Walt Disney World at the start of October for the Food & Wine festival at Epcot.

Work has been intensely busy for a few months now. F5 is doing very well (anyone looking for work? Check the website) but it has put a little strain on the support group since it is hard to grow the staffing levels fast enough. And there have been a few major changes - a new ticketing tool and others - which have added a bit to the load. Getting used to them while continuing to do our normal work. And I'm in a special role, dedicated to a major customer, and they have a few major projects going in parallel which has kept me quite busy.

And we're having our bathrooms remodeled, which has been going on for over two months now (getting close to done). That's been disruptive. I work from home so there have been more interruptions, noise, etc. It has also messed with my normal sleep schedule since they start work early and I'm a night owl. Not to mention time spent working with the contractors, picking out fixtures, and tile, and paint, etc. Setting up the financing. All the little things. But it'll be worth it.

I've also been getting into a new social activity - drink! OK, actually Scotch, Whiskey, Bourbon, and the like. It started a couple of years ago but this year I got serious and started collecting and going to tastings and events regularly. One of my good friends has been into it for years and would go to tastings held each Wednesday at a local store (Whisk(e)y Wednesday @ Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA) and I've started going with him most weeks. It is quite interesting and a lot of fun.

And yeah, I did get married in February and it does mean I spend more time doing things with my wife now, that I might've spent at the keyboard in the past. ;-)


Gizmo Lovers has always been a hobby since I never managed to get the critical mass to make any real money from it. If I didn't do all the tech work myself and have free hosting (it lives on a FreeNet server for a group I'm part of) I'd probably lose money on it. It is something I enjoy doing, but unfortunately it tends to take a back seat to other things because of the time needed to do a good job, and I don't want to half-ass it. It isn't just the time spent writing posts, but all of the time keeping up with the news. I can spend a few hours a day on it when I'm in full swing. So if it comes down to long hours getting ahead at my job, or time blogging - my job pays the bills.

I did recently update the software and clean some things up behind the scenes. I'm trying to get back on the horse and start posting again. TiVo has had some things worth covering. And I'm booked for CES - I have Press credentials for the show, I have my hotel reservations, and my flights are booked. I damn well better blog something considering the money I'll be spending to be there. :-)

I really have to look at trips like that as primarily entertainment for myself, and secondarily for the blog - because I could never justify the expense for the blog. One trip to CES is probably more than I've made on the blog since it started - definitely a few years worth anyway. I enjoy seeing the new shiny stuff at CES as well as seeing people I never really get to see outside of a tradeshow - TiVo people, old Sling people, other bloggers, etc.

Another issue has been that I just haven't been that inspired. I don't use iOS and have no plans to, so TiVo Stream is worthless to me for now. And even if they get Android support I'd mainly want it for *outside* the home, which they don't do yet. (I don't care about side-loading.) And the IP STB, which I *do* want, seems to have been delayed. Which is disappointing.

The whole Tebow thing I think is just stupid. I don't care about football but I couldn't disagree more with his support of Focus on the Family and the like, so it leaves a bad taste in my mouth to see TiVo using him. Especially since the promos that use him are crap anyway. Ooh, his name sounds like 'TiVo'. That's really the basis of a promo campaign? Weak.

My TiVo Premiere Elite has been giving me some issues. We can't use Netflix without risking it hanging and remaining frozen until the power is pulled. During which time it will do nothing - including record. So my wife has given up on using it for such. (She's the big Netflix user.)

And my Tuning Adapters from Charter still cause problems by losing sync from time to time, which means the TiVo won't record anything until I notice and power cycle the TA. I basically just use TiVo as a DVR and have gotten used to having to find shows that missed recording on Hulu, Netflix, or YouTube. I know that isn't TiVo's fault, but it is frustrating.

I just haven't felt that excited about TiVo in a while. Some of the announcements have been interesting, but I'm still waiting for payoff on past announcements - IP STB, Android streaming, etc. I'm glad to see they continue to win legal victories and land MSO deals, but I'm a consumer and a geek - those things don't really impact me or interest me that much. I'm into the tech and the toys.

So yeah, I'm around, and I should be posting again soon. But I may not be doing it as much as I used to, I'll have to find a new balance.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:03 AM   #8
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Megazone,

Thanks for responding, glad to hear you are still around and may start blogging some again.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megazone View Post
I just haven't felt that excited about TiVo in a while. Some of the announcements have been interesting, but I'm still waiting for payoff on past announcements - IP STB, Android streaming, etc. I'm glad to see they continue to win legal victories and land MSO deals, but I'm a consumer and a geek - those things don't really impact me or interest me that much. I'm into the tech and the toys.
+1. The problem in this space is the lack of competition, as it has been for years now. Tivo has a captive audience and patents to protect their market, so what you see is what you get when there are no other players.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:10 PM   #10
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+1 for me too!

I'm curious about your statement,

Quote:
TiVo seems to have stopped responding to most of the users as well. With everything else going on I kind of felt like "why bother".
TiVo Margret continues to be responsive on twitter and TCF. I know Jess left but they added someone to replace her. I think I may have heard similar sentiments from other tech bloggers. Can you highlight what Jess would do that isn't being done any more?

I'm actually pretty excited about some of the hinted hardware and software in 2013 including: retail Mini; Pique social initiative with personalization, authoritative sources, sharing; new Pace 6-tuner box (MSO-only); new Series 5 box for retail (pure speculation), new Apps with the release of the Web Companion and Device APIs, DLNA support; possibly new TiVo Desktop, new music apps (announced on RCNs forum); ...
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:23 PM   #11
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I felt the same way for a long time. But this last year has been pretty good. I replaced all my S3 units with Premiere units and discovered the wonders of MRS and I bought a Stream so I can watch TV in bed without disturbing my wife. Good TiVo year for me personally!

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Old 12-06-2012, 02:17 AM   #12
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TiVo Margret continues to be responsive on twitter and TCF. I know Jess left but they added someone to replace her. I think I may have heard similar sentiments from other tech bloggers. Can you highlight what Jess would do that isn't being done any more?
Communication from TiVo just about dropped to zero since Jess left, from my POV. I haven't even been getting all of the press releases and I'm signed up for that. She used to reach out and make sure I (and other bloggers, I'm sure) knew what was coming, what was being announced, offer to provide info, and would chase down answers to any questions I asked.

I had some outstanding questions pending when she left and they were handed off to a new person, but communication fizzled without getting answers. I didn't want to be a pest, and with Jess I didn't have to. Things just changed. And then all the other stuff started so I had more important things to do and I didn't push things.

On Facebook I just don't see TiVo engaging with users. Even when Jess was around it was too much for her to keep up with, but since she left whenever I do check in on their FB page it seems like I never see a response from TiVo to user posts, just more posts promoting themselves, linking to a blog post, etc. It feels like it is one-way there. That's one of the reasons I stopped bothering too - I started feeling like I was an unpaid social media handler and if TiVo wasn't going to make an effort I wasn't going to do it for them.

When Jess was around she'd reach out to me from time to time, even if just to say thanks for the help, and that goes a long way. And I always got the sense that she would do more if she could, but she was just spread too thin. So I didn't mind trying to help out. But after she left it felt like the 'vibe' changed and that feeling faded, and with everything else going on my heart just wasn't in it anymore. So I stopped.

The FB wall is so full of negativity now I don't even like checking on it. I've checked and thought about jumping into the fray, but then I just feel like 'why bother' and don't. I find it exasperating and depressing, frankly. Plus I hate FB's new look, so that's already discouraging.

Quote:
I'm actually pretty excited about some of the hinted hardware and software in 2013 including: retail Mini; Pique social initiative with personalization, authoritative sources, sharing; new Pace 6-tuner box (MSO-only); new Series 5 box for retail (pure speculation), new Apps with the release of the Web Companion and Device APIs, DLNA support; possibly new TiVo Desktop, new music apps (announced on RCNs forum); ...
A lot of that stuff is the kind of thing that used to excite me - but frankly I have trouble getting excited about TiVo announcements anymore. The best word for it is 'weary'. I'm worn out by announced products and features that take forever to show up. I'm fed up with Android support lagging behind iOS far too long. I could understand it at first, but the market has changed. Android and iOS are really peers, and Android has been ahead in new adoption for a while, and pulling ahead in actual use. Other major developers have been able to handle simultaneous, or near simultaneous, releases.

The IP STB is what I was really excited about, but it seems to be delayed. The longer I do without it the more I wonder if maybe I can do without it for good. The new wave of Google TV products looks pretty nice.

Maybe I missed something since I've been inactive, but I haven't heard TiVo is finally going to get with it and support DLNA in the US. I beat that drum for a long time, and I was hopeful, but I got disillusioned and I'm not counting on it anymore. I still think they need to do it, but I'm tired of asking 'when'.

The only music app I might use is Google Music. I stream my collection from the cloud. I've just never gotten into Pandora, Spotify, etc. I know they're popular and it'll be good for TiVo to support more of them, but they don't excite me.

A new TiVo Desktop is so long overdue it is a joke. I'll believe it when I see it. I don't even bother installing it anymore and I'd been telling people not to for a while - I point users to pyTiVo, kmttg, and Streambaby instead. TiVo Desktop is an embarrassment and I wouldn't tell anyone to install it lest they think it represents TiVo's overall quality. I can't get excited about the possibility of a new desktop until I see it for myself and see that it is good.

I don't expect a Series5 box until 2014, *maybe* late 2013. I could see a Premiere 6, maybe, based on a six-tuner box for MSOs. Though that's questionable with the Pace box to fill the MSO needs. I don't see a real need for new hardware yet, the Premiere HW is still not being fully exercised.

The Pace box should be good for MSOs - but where is it? At The Cable Show it was talked about as if it was fairly imminent, but we don't have it yet. I'm hoping Charter has decided to wait for the Pace box, since their TiVo trial has stalled out and that's really the only positive option I can think of. I've had a few interactions with Charter techs recently and it seems that the internal gossip has been that TiVo is no longer coming, so we'll see. I know the grapevine has a way of mutating things.

The API is very welcome - but I'm taking a wait and see attitude there. I was very, very excited about HME and the possibilities - and was completely let down. Not by developers, but by TiVo. I knew several HME developers personally, and they were all fired up and eager to do more. I was part of some awesome conversations with them and TiVo about HME at CES. And then TiVo stopped supporting external developers, the API stagnated, and the developers gave up in frustration and left. Lots of promise, squandered. So I'm trying not to get my hopes up that this time they'll do it right.

Basically I feel a bit battered. I kept getting excited by announcements, and then getting frustrated by delays, or disappointed in the final results. So I don't really get excited anymore, so I don't go through the cycle again. I'd love to be excited like I used to be, but, as I said, I just feel weary after going through the cycle so many times. I need to see more of these things delivered, and delivered well, to get my faith back.

In the meantime I do get excited about Google TV and Android products. It looks like there is going to be a wave of new Google TV products, and more and more 3rd party vendors are realizing that adopting Google TV is more effective than rolling their own OS. Just as happened in phones. And have you see the DVR Google created for Google Fiber? If I could get that to use with Charter, I might just switch from TiVo. (I doubt Google Fiber would come to Worcester any time soon.)

I don't know, maybe it is a touch of seasonal depression and stress from the long work hours, but I haven't felt excited by anything from TiVo in the US for a while now. I'm happy for their success both with the courts and with MSO deals, but that's not what excites me. Very little of what they've done or announced has any impact on me as a consumer. The MSO deals, while good business, worry me because what MSOs want isn't necessarily what's best for individual users. We're already second string - products and features are introduced for MSOs and then trickle down to retail.

I'm hoping a visit to TiVo at CES helps fire me up again. I enjoyed meeting with them at The Cable Show earlier this year, but I'm still waiting for the things I saw there to become available.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:17 AM   #13
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Android is ahead in smart phones, but still lags behind iOS significantly in tablets. And since the Stream is mainly aimed at tablet users it make sense that they'd choose iOS. Although why they didn't do them simultaniously I don't know. My only guess was that it was a budget issue.

The IP STB (aka Mini) would have been a big flop in retail had they released it without dynamic tuner allocation. So if it was delayed because that wasn't ready then it was probably a wise decision. Just look at how much critisim they've gotten over the half baked Premiere launch. They're learning from their mistakes.

DLNA is coming via a 3rd party app...
http://www.v-net.tv/tivo-customers-c...h-access-dlna/

The Charter deal is dead...
http://charter.com/tivo

The current API is pretty limited not sure where that's going, but I'm hopeful there will be more potential down the road.

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Old 12-06-2012, 10:50 PM   #14
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Another issue has been that I just haven't been that inspired. I don't use iOS and have no plans to, so TiVo Stream is worthless to me for now. And even if they get Android support I'd mainly want it for *outside* the home, which they don't do yet. (I don't care about side-loading.)
Heh, after analog finally completely went away, I ended up getting a Premiere 4 VERY quickly (my only working digital capable Tivo was a TivoHD).. I was previously using analog recordings as backups/conflict recordings. Then a few weeks later, I got a Tivo Stream. Admittedly, I paid for almost all of the hardware of both of these with gift certificates I earned with Viggle. (It was previously much easier to game the system.. No, I don't consider it cheating in any way, since I did audio-check in to all of the shows.)

I have an iPhone (work supplied), and have been using the iphone to watch Tivo shows in another room. Admittedly mostly sideloaded, but streamed once in a while (I guess my WiFi is slightly flakier than I thought in the past). I had one Jeopardy episode that apparently had problem in it, and I couldn't transfer it completely (either to computer via kmttg or between Tivos). So after a few tries, I was finally able to use streaming to get past the 'bad' bit.

The usefulness of Tivo Stream has made me likely to get an iPad (with my employee discount) much sooner though.. with lots of storage for TiVo shows & music (my own CD ripped music).

I still think the HD UI is nowhere NEAR as fast as the SD UI, but I haven't switched back (permanent-ish-ly) YET. I have switched back and forth a couple of times.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:03 PM   #15
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I second Megazone's sentiments after Krista stole Jess from TiVo to join her at Logitech. They were both really great at making sure we had the latest and greatest and responded immediately to emails. Now TiVo uses a PR firm, and I swear they don't even know who I am. When the stream came out, they emailed Richard instead of me and offered to send me a TiVo too -- I still hadn't sent back the one from the last review I did a few months earlier.

I'm hoping that using a 3rd party PR firm isn't their long term plan, but we'll see.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:33 PM   #16
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I second Megazone's sentiments after Krista stole Jess from TiVo to join her at Logitech. They were both really great at making sure we had the latest and greatest and responded immediately to emails. Now TiVo uses a PR firm, and I swear they don't even know who I am.
Quote:
Originally Posted by megazone View Post
She used to reach out and make sure I (and other bloggers, I'm sure) knew what was coming, what was being announced, offer to provide info, and would chase down answers to any questions I asked. I had some outstanding questions pending when she left and they were handed off to a new person, but communication fizzled without getting answers. I didn't want to be a pest, and with Jess I didn't have to. Things just changed.
Yeah, I can confirm MZ's and Ben's experiences. TiVo's new communication regime is much different than the prior in regards to bloggers and tech press. They've had several heads of marcom and multiple agencies during my tenure, but Krista and Jess kept our relationship positive and stable the last few years despite their internal fluctuations. With them gone, it's been a different story. Not sure what's going to happen at CES. My schedule's nearly full and TiVo's new director has pushed off my meeting request to their PR agency who has yet to respond. Ah well, looking forward to see whatever it is Cisco and Verizon are so excited to share with me. Also looking forward to seeing Ben and MZ!

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Old 12-07-2012, 01:32 PM   #17
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I guess the openness of TiVo that started in the beginning of the year was too much for them. Sad.
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