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Old 11-17-2012, 10:16 AM   #31
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Depending on the significance of the test, participation, thoroughness, and overall noticeable value to the process, if all you got were trinkets, you weren't really helping them that much anyway. That may be a tough nugget to swallow considering the time put in, but it's true. In my past experience and communication with others, not everybody gets the same thing, FYI. There ARE nice bonuses, but since they're good testers and probably still in the program, they're not going to brag or comment here about it since they have NDAs.

If Tivo felt they were experiencing "shortages" of testers, they'd promote it a lot more often than once or twice a year.

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Old 11-17-2012, 01:50 PM   #32
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Depending on the significance of the test, participation, thoroughness, and overall noticeable value to the process, if all you got were trinkets, you weren't really helping them that much anyway.
That's an amusing analysis of Lujan's usefulness in the beta, but of course you have no idea if that is true or not.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:41 PM   #33
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Glad you enjoyed it. But I've been around the block enough times to know the "payscale" as it were.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:12 PM   #34
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I find it funny what some arguing for Tivo are suggesting. I'm sorry to be the one to break the bad news to you, but idealistic beta testers who do work just because they love the company are pretty rare -- especially if we're talking long-term work. Furthermore, an idealistic beta tester with relevant certifications and a useful and relevant college degree are even more rare.

Most well educated beta testers who will do a very good job will want to be compensated for their hard work. As the old saying goes: You get what you pay for.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:42 PM   #35
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Sorry, but I don't understand all of the contrary remarks in this thread. If you want to be a beta tester, the link is there. If you don't, that's fine. Next.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:43 PM   #36
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Sorry, but I don't understand all of the contrary remarks in this thread. If you want to be a beta tester, the link is there. If you don't, that's fine. Next.
There was a time when TiVo used people on this form that had upgraded hard drives in their TiVos, A high % on this form do have upgraded TiVos so now can't be part of the beta program, at one time people on this form with upgraded TiVo were asked to join the Beta program, TiVo even asked what size Hard Drive you had put into your TiVo. Some problems must have come up as TiVo will not use anybody with upgraded hard drives anymore, one reason may have been if the beta software stopped your TiVo from working you would send it back to TiVo, but the problem now has to be looked at with a non stranded drive and what do you send back to the hapless Beta tester.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:56 PM   #37
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There was a time when TiVo used people on this form that had upgraded hard drives in their TiVos, A high % on this form do have upgraded TiVos so now can't be part of the beta program, at one time people on this form with upgraded TiVo were asked to join the Beta program, TiVo even asked what size Hard Drive you had put into your TiVo. Some problems must have come up as TiVo will not use anybody with upgraded hard drives anymore, one reason may have been if the beta software stopped your TiVo from working you would send it back to TiVo, but the problem now has to be looked at with a non stranded drive and what do you send back to the hapless Beta tester.
I don't know if the high percentage is necessarily true anymore. I would say the number is lower since the Premiere was released especially since the cost difference between upgrading vs buying stock has come down. The Premiere 4 is $235 on Amazon vs XL4 which is $360. $125 is inline with what a 2TB drive would cost you though we are finally starting to see them below $100 again. The 2TB AV-GP drive is $111 on Amazon.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:14 PM   #38
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That's true to some extent. After hours and hours of helping the TiVo company squash bugs, they should be willing to compensate their beta testers better as well since they're not paying us and would have to pay tester in-house to do this. I was at least expecting that they give us the full version of the TiVo Desktop and ended up with a stupid cap is what made me upset. What is the cost of the full software to compensate all the hours spent? Not much in my opinion...
Just because it is for profit, doesn't mean that beta testers "expect" to be compensated. In fact, I would be leery of those who are expecting compensation possibly fudging online surveys just to get a little something.

If you want a discount...go to sellmoretivo.com, take the classes, and get your damn discount!
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:58 AM   #39
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This is a for-profit corporation that you are doing work for, and you don't think there should be adequate comp to test out their beta code?

This is the definition of Tivo fanboy.
Lots of companys do final beta testing with volunteers who get nothing more than early access and the satisfaction of helping to improve a product that is important to them. This isn't a "TiVo fanboy" phenomenon.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:41 AM   #40
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I had the privilege of testing a TiVo accessory once. Although I had hoped I could keep the product, it didn't upset me that I had to return it.
I had satisfaction being able to use the product before anyone else.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:45 AM   #41
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Just because it is for profit, doesn't mean that beta testers "expect" to be compensated. In fact, I would be leery of those who are expecting compensation possibly fudging online surveys just to get a little something.

If you want a discount...go to sellmoretivo.com, take the classes, and get your damn discount!
This argument can go on forever and ever but I'm always going to disagree with you and there will always be those that agree with you and those that agree with me. All I know is that I will NEVER provide free beta testing to TiVo again and you can consider this matter closed.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:18 AM   #42
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NTTAOB but I actually enjoy testing new stuff. Whether I am compensated or not isnt important.

Although I haven't been asked to beta test in years
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:34 AM   #43
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I don't know if the high percentage is necessarily true anymore. I would say the number is lower since the Premiere was released especially since the cost difference between upgrading vs buying stock has come down. The Premiere 4 is $235 on Amazon vs XL4 which is $360. $125 is inline with what a 2TB drive would cost you though we are finally starting to see them below $100 again. The 2TB AV-GP drive is $111 on Amazon.
True, but i want a backup drive for any TiVo I own, so with the TP-4 upgraded with a 2Tb drive i still have the 0.5Tb drive as a backup and a little less cost to boot.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:35 AM   #44
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Lots of companys do final beta testing with volunteers who get nothing more than early access and the satisfaction of helping to improve a product that is important to them. This isn't a "TiVo fanboy" phenomenon.
Agreed. I guess there are those out there who ALWAYS want to be compensated regardless of what the product is.

I would tend to shy away from those types, and their reporting could be a little skewed if they think that they are going to be compensated. Rather than someone out there who truly wants to help make a better product.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:22 PM   #45
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NTTAOB but I actually enjoy testing new stuff. Whether I am compensated or not isnt important.
...
apparently i'm a moron without skills but when i get off my butt to beta test that describes me too.

I've never expected anything. Recently I've been lucky enough to "win" a couple home automation boxes and amazingly a cell phone. Still i was shocked to have gotten them (to keep), and what most excited me was not the value but that i got to fiddle with hardware before anyone else did.

That said I am pretty perplexed why Tivo apparently asks for people to send things back when done. UPS isn't cheap anymore so shipping physical goods back might cost a significant chunk of the "cost" of physical hardware- that they aren't going to resell anyway. So I do wonder why they waste the time, money, and effort to do that? Maybe they have so many people beta that they are afraid it's many of their early adopters who might otherwise pay early adopter tax of just released hardware?

I've beta tested software and hardware for various companies before. I think that consumer electronics must be different then some other things becasue I've seen the sentiment above (that you need a CS degree and certifications and to be a software professional to "properly test") on another forum and had to shake my head there too. I would "argue" that while there's certainly value to professional coders testing thing- you also need actual real world users who might be "stupid" like me to try things and see what my fellow morons might do to a consumer device. Maybe you want the CS guys to futz with the alpha but isn't the point of beta testing to let it get out into the wild and experiment with a larger sampling of situations?
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:15 PM   #46
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apparently i'm a moron without skills but when i get off my butt to beta test that describes me too.

I've never expected anything. Recently I've been lucky enough to "win" a couple home automation boxes and amazingly a cell phone. Still i was shocked to have gotten them (to keep), and what most excited me was not the value but that i got to fiddle with hardware before anyone else did.

That said I am pretty perplexed why Tivo apparently asks for people to send things back when done. UPS isn't cheap anymore so shipping physical goods back might cost a significant chunk of the "cost" of physical hardware- that they aren't going to resell anyway. So I do wonder why they waste the time, money, and effort to do that? Maybe they have so many people beta that they are afraid it's many of their early adopters who might otherwise pay early adopter tax of just released hardware?

I've beta tested software and hardware for various companies before. I think that consumer electronics must be different then some other things becasue I've seen the sentiment above (that you need a CS degree and certifications and to be a software professional to "properly test") on another forum and had to shake my head there too. I would "argue" that while there's certainly value to professional coders testing thing- you also need actual real world users who might be "stupid" like me to try things and see what my fellow morons might do to a consumer device. Maybe you want the CS guys to futz with the alpha but isn't the point of beta testing to let it get out into the wild and experiment with a larger sampling of situations?
You are not moron without skills, your just the type of person TiVo is looking for, I am sure TiVo people test out the first systems but after that TiVo wants ordinary consumers to have a go at it, you would be surprised at what such people may find that the TiVo people missed, and for some (like me) it is fun to test out the new software/hardware and I don't care about any compensation. Now that TiVo does not use people with upgraded TiVos I am out of any TiVo beta programs.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:11 AM   #47
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Whats funny about this is I been signed up for Tivo as a tester for at least 3 years and the most I have ever been asked to do was fill out surveys. Go figure.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:23 AM   #48
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Whats funny about this is I been signed up for Tivo as a tester for at least 3 years and the most I have ever been asked to do was fill out surveys. Go figure.
Make sure your profile is up to date. I know occasionally they release a new profile to fill out that adds more fields. Sometimes they will also ask you to fill out a new profile just to refresh their records to make sure you are still interested in testing.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:45 AM   #49
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Make sure your profile is up to date. I know occasionally they release a new profile to fill out that adds more fields. Sometimes they will also ask you to fill out a new profile just to refresh their records to make sure you are still interested in testing.
I am in the same boat. Been signed up for ages but haven't tested anything. I logged in, after seeing Margaret's tweet, and realized I hadn't updated my profile in over a year. I updated my profile, added my newer boxes, removed older boxes and updated my email. Maybe now I'll get lucky

One thing I wonder about... they won't count TiVo approved external hard drives as modifications will they? My HD space doesn't read as spec with them attached and I wondered if perhaps that was the issue keeping me from testing.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:53 AM   #50
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Testing

I Beta tested windows Vista, 7 and 8 and Microsoft just gave me an opportunity to buy the programs at a small discount. I am really surprized at the fact people are looking to get something for doing something they probably enjoy doing anyway, otherwise why would you sign up.
Upon reflection, I guess I'm not that surprized.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:55 AM   #51
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One thing I wonder about... they won't count TiVo approved external hard drives as modifications will they? My HD space doesn't read as spec with them attached and I wondered if perhaps that was the issue keeping me from testing.
My understanding is those are fine, at least they were back when I tested.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:41 PM   #52
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My understanding is those are fine, at least they were back when I tested.
Good to know. Thank you.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:19 PM   #53
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You are not moron without skills, your just the type of person TiVo is looking for, I am sure TiVo people test out the first systems but after that TiVo wants ordinary consumers to have a go at it, you would be surprised at what such people may find that the TiVo people missed, and for some (like me) it is fun to test out the new software/hardware and I don't care about any compensation. Now that TiVo does not use people with upgraded TiVos I am out of any TiVo beta programs.
I totally agree (hence the wink)- I'm not surprised at the things 'ordinary people might find.

I once found a bug for a company, that under certain conditions would allow their system to ignore the cable CCI bit flags. I was able to isolate it and determine the exact steps to repeat the issue. I was actually pretty proud (still am as i brag) that I found the bug after the product was so close to finished and so many others must have checked it out before me. I was happy that i was able to make such a difference- can only imagine the wrath of cable labs against that company had I not pointed the flaw out and they released the product as it was with the bug.

(while at the same time being angry at my self that I couldn't ignore it and had to go and say something- i could have copied months of HBO HD movies probably before anyone would have noticed- LOL)
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:52 PM   #54
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Too bad the original TiVo was never beta tested on a Sunday night on the east coast during football season by someone who watches 60 minutes.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:49 AM   #55
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I don't understand this thread. From the way the software works, I always got the impression we are already all beta testers... (insert rim shot sound effect here :-).
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:00 AM   #56
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I don't understand this thread. From the way the software works, I always got the impression we are already all beta testers... (insert rim shot sound effect here :-).

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Old 11-20-2012, 08:30 AM   #57
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I don't understand this thread. From the way the software works, I always got the impression we are already all beta testers... (insert rim shot sound effect here :-).
You jest, but that's pretty much the story with Tivo software now. We're all in extended beta.
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