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Old 11-26-2015, 02:50 PM   #1
Lyrical1
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Longtime Tivo customer with a rant

Longtime happy Tivo owner, but troubled by some of Tivo's recent changes. I currently own an older unit (Series 3) with Lifetime service.

First, I used to be able to rent movies on it from Amazon as downloads that, once started, had to be watched within 24 hours. That option was removed from the menu in the last year or so.

Then, several months ago, I began having problems with Netflix. It seems that Tivo has stopped supporting the OS on these older units and that causes problems with Netflix. Every few weeks I need to reboot the unit and then Netflix works OK for a while.

Finally, they no longer let me access my unit from the Tivo website. I can't program it remotely, nor can I even see what it's going to record.

Now, I understand that older hardware can't do what new hardware can, but taking away functionality is not the way to keep customers. I have a nearly 8-year old Mac Pro and the latest OS from Apple loads and runs just fine on it. My Tivo is 6 years old and the company keeps removing functions. In addition, there's no upgrade path for existing customers, no discounts, nothing to provide any incentive to move to the new Bolt.

OK. Rant is over. If anyone knows of a way to put back some of these things that Tivo has removed, I'd love to hear about it. Thank you.

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Old 11-26-2015, 03:06 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Lyrical1 View Post
First, I used to be able to rent movies on it from Amazon as downloads that, once started, had to be watched within 24 hours. That option was removed from the menu in the last year or so.
This is Amazon's fault not TiVo's. Amazon made the decision to change their service and no longer allow downloads.

It's no different than if you bought an Amazon app for your iPhone and then Amazon changed the app in some way you didn't like. That's not Apple's fault.

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Old 11-26-2015, 03:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Lyrical1 View Post
Longtime happy Tivo owner, but troubled by some of Tivo's recent changes. I currently own an older unit (Series 3) with Lifetime service.

First, I used to be able to rent movies on it from Amazon as downloads that, once started, had to be watched within 24 hours. That option was removed from the menu in the last year or so.

Then, several months ago, I began having problems with Netflix. It seems that Tivo has stopped supporting the OS on these older units and that causes problems with Netflix. Every few weeks I need to reboot the unit and then Netflix works OK for a while.

Finally, they no longer let me access my unit from the Tivo website. I can't program it remotely, nor can I even see what it's going to record.

Now, I understand that older hardware can't do what new hardware can, but taking away functionality is not the way to keep customers. I have a nearly 8-year old Mac Pro and the latest OS from Apple loads and runs just fine on it. My Tivo is 6 years old and the company keeps removing functions. In addition, there's no upgrade path for existing customers, no discounts, nothing to provide any incentive to move to the new Bolt.

OK. Rant is over. If anyone knows of a way to put back some of these things that Tivo has removed, I'd love to hear about it. Thank you.
All good points, all valid.

As the owner of two S3 OLEDs, I share your pain.

After all, we're not asking TiVo to maintain our units, or fix them, or to equip them with the newest, coolest features, like Quick Mode or Skip mode. None of that.

But I think we all expected that as long as the unit kept working, they would at least leave 'em alone, and let them keep operating the way they always had.

Instead, you're right. TiVo is slowly dismantling the infrastructure that many of us came to rely on for our units. Your list of lost features is right on the money.

I'm not angry at TiVo...I just bought a new Romio Pro and OTA. But I'm just kind of confused.

- Are these features costing TiVo a lot of money?

-Are they squeezing out the features in order to nudge S3 owners towards buying Roamios and Bolts?

- Did Tivo figure the S3 would have an 8-10 year lifespan? And they are now surprised how many are still operating perfectly? Maybe they shouldn't have made them do well!

- Or, finally, is this just normal corporate product evolution? Logical, normal movement forwards, while the past products slowly drop away?

Thanks for bringing this up, in such a constructive, positive manner.

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Old 11-26-2015, 06:23 PM   #4
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I find the terminology "up grade path" miss leading as it indicates to me a way to trade something in and get a newer product (like trading a car in). As far as I know TiVo has never done that and likely never will.

TiVo has had deals for existing customers that have allowed them to buy a newer product at a lower cost than a new customer could. So far TiVo has not had any deals like that on the Bolt. However they do currently have great deals on Roamio & Roamio Pros with lifetime for existing customers. Either of these units would be a significant upgrade from a Series 3 TiVo.

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Old 11-26-2015, 06:50 PM   #5
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Longtime TiVo customer with a rant
Happy Thanksgiving to you too. You might be confusing today's holiday with Festivus. That's not until next month.

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Old 11-26-2015, 07:42 PM   #6
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Hello, all. I appreciate your discriminating and tasteful responses. I did not intend to complain too much. It was more of a steam-letting-off (if there is such a thing).

I think it started for me when I found that Amazon is no longer supporting Amazon Prime in HD on Apple Macs. I have a Mac Mini connected to a display at my desk and I would occasionally watch something on Amazon Prime on the Mini. Recently, I kept getting errors, contacted Amazon, and they sent me an email listing the products they now support in HD. Apple Macs are not on the list, although iPads and iPhones are.

So, yes, I understand that not all of my issues are not with Tivo.

Let's face it: We are in an age of "nothing is supposed to last too long." There is always an EOL (End of Life) for every product. For those of a certain age, we remember fondly when a television would last for decades. It was low resolution, gave off a lot of heat, had poor sound, took up many cubic feet and weighted a ton. Nevertheless, it lasted. Partly because the programming didn't change either.

Manufacturers have embraced tech and have realized that new program material in higher resolution and with better audio can help them sell more new products (once the pipelines are in place).

So, I guess getting five or six years on a product like a Tivo is probably the equivalent of a lifetime. I wonder how many cell phones are still in use after six years. By five or six years, many families have probably retired that "old" 42" LCD or plasma to the guest bedroom, replacing it with a fancy new 65" one or larger.

Once again, thank you for your kind responses and pardon my rant.

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Old 11-26-2015, 07:55 PM   #7
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I suppose for this community in particular, we have been discussing the move from the S3 and earlier platform to the S4 and later platform for quite a while.

The S3 will not handle the MPG4 conversion, this isn't a suprise TiVo has been very clear about that. The S3 is developed with the old code base - not something TiVo is going to maintain.

And for the most part S3 TiVos are off the books and not relevant as a subscription for TiVo any longer. There was a sweet spot for selling an S3 TiVo and buying a later version... We discussed it a lot! The warning signs have been out there, at least on this board it has never been a secret.

You have gotten a lot of life out of your S3 TiVos, and they can continue to work just as they are now... But some the these extras will continue use to fall away.

If this is a lifetime TiVo, you really missed the opportunity to sell it and recoup all your lifetime investment - once again, never a secret.

Enjoy the box for what it is, when your cable company completely switches over to mpg4, it will still have value as an OTA box, but it is a legacy box and this all had been very clear.

I went from an S2, to a Premiere, to a Roamio and Mini. I have done really well using my TiVos during the useful life and selling while the units still have value.

Thinking of that, it is about time to sell and upgrade the Premier, I wonder what the Bolt Pro will offer...

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Old 11-26-2015, 08:14 PM   #8
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My understanding is that you can still use the android and ios apps to set up recordings, though I cannot verify this works and i'm too lazy to search for references now.

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Old 11-26-2015, 08:27 PM   #9
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Lyrical1,
I was just kidding around. When I took TiVo's offer to upgrade my S3 to a Premier XL in 2010 it was for a feature my S3 never had, or at least never did well. Specifically, for over 7 times more internal memory after I had a frustrating temporary experience with a WD external add-on drive. It's a good thing I upgraded because my unsubscribed S3 which I still used for manual overflow recordings died less than a year later.

My point is, if you do go ahead and get one of the $400 Roamio Basics with lifetime while you still can (you'll never see a better upgrade offer than that) you won't just be getting your lost functionality back. Nearly all of the value of that $400 is getting additional functionality you never had to begin with, like maybe more tuners, more easily upgradeable hard drive, faster more robust menus...

And you can still get whatever use you can out of your S3 as a secondary unit.

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Old 11-26-2015, 10:12 PM   #10
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I will contact Tivo tomorrow about the $400 Roamio with lifetime service. I did not see that offer on their site, but it may not be updated or something only available when requested. Perhaps the CSR will know about the offer.

Series5orpremier: Your suggestion of getting one with 4 tuners for this price and continuing to use the S3 (as long as it lasts) makes sense. Thanks.

bradleys: Thanks for the info. I probably should have spent some time investigating options here when I first started having problems. In fact, I should have done it sooner.

Oh well. Again, thanks for the thoughtful ideas.

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Old 11-26-2015, 10:25 PM   #11
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I will contact Tivo tomorrow about the $400 Roamio with lifetime service. I did not see that offer on their site, but it may not be updated or something only available when requested. Perhaps the CSR will know about the offer.

Series5orpremier: Your suggestion of getting one with 4 tuners for this price and continuing to use the S3 (as long as it lasts) makes sense. Thanks.

bradleys: Thanks for the info. I probably should have spent some time investigating options here when I first started having problems. In fact, I should have done it sooner.

Oh well. Again, thanks for the thoughtful ideas.
Even if such a deal does exist the questions begs which roamio is it ?

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Old 11-27-2015, 07:48 AM   #12
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Even if such a deal does exist the questions begs which roamio is it ?
The Roamio DVR is a specific DVR, there are 4 DVRs in the Roamio line of DVRs (Roamio OTA, Roamio, Roamio Plus, & Roamio Pro) but as I stated there is only one DVR that is the "Roamio" DVR.

That said TiVo has had great deals on all of the DVRs in the Roamio line on and off all summer and fall through various special offers. Currently the Roamio Pro is $600 with lifetime and the Roamio is $400 with lifetime through several special offers including a Black Friday deal.

If someone is interested in either deal I would call TiVo and see if you qualify for one of their current special offerings.

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Old 11-27-2015, 09:17 AM   #13
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.......
If this is a lifetime TiVo, you really missed the opportunity to sell it and recoup all your lifetime investment - once again, never a secret.
...........
The OP said it was lifetime. You should still be able to recoup at least $100 by selling it on eBay, based on viewing current listings. I sold a lifetime TiVo HD for $150 two months ago and it went in about 2 days -- i.e., I could have asked more.

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Old 11-27-2015, 11:13 AM   #14
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The OP said it was lifetime. You should still be able to recoup at least $100 by selling it on eBay, based on viewing current listings. I sold a lifetime TiVo HD for $150 two months ago and it went in about 2 days -- i.e., I could have asked more.
I got $250 each for an HD and OLED S3 a couple years ago... They still make wonderful OTA boxes, but TiVo kind of undercut that market with the Roamio OTA.

As I said, loosing some of these ancillary utilities isn't the real problem that S3 owners are going to face. The big issue will be mpg4 conversion...

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Old 11-27-2015, 01:53 PM   #15
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The S3 is ancient, and on MPEG-2 systems, still works fine as a DVR. It never worked well for Amazon or Netflix, so get one of the ubiquitous streaming devices for that. If you want the web based stuff, get a semi-modern TiVo. If not, the S3 will keep chugging along as long as your MSO stays with MPEG-2.

Not updating the S3 for MPEG-4 was kind of a dick move, since it would be a simple software update, although TiVo never made any claims that it would support MPEG-4 from the get go.

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Old 12-02-2015, 01:29 AM   #16
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Considering all TiVo has taken away from the S3--some of it not by choice such as Amazon--but most certainly galling is no longer having access to S3's via web, TiVo still spends the time and money to keep those banner ads coming on the S3 along with other "showcase" stuff still recording video from Discovery or ION promoting all the new broadcast TV shows, and most earnestly TiVo's own never ending new ads to get us to dump the S3 and buy a new Bolt.

Let's face it, while some stuff taken away were for technical reasons are one thing, other things like not being able to access the S3 on-line just as before is a cynical even unkind attempt to diminish the S3 experience to the point where TiVo can get us to buy the latest Bolt. I suppose that this indicates TiVo's dire situation at this point. Fine, go the Hail Mary pass with the Bolt--along with its particularly consumer hostile pricing--but don't kill functions that have no good reason to end.

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Old 12-02-2015, 04:23 PM   #17
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Considering all TiVo has taken away from the S3--some of it not by choice such as Amazon--but most certainly galling is no longer having access to S3's via web, TiVo still spends the time and money to keep those banner ads coming on the S3 along with other "showcase" stuff still recording video from Discovery or ION promoting all the new broadcast TV shows, and most earnestly TiVo's own never ending new ads to get us to dump the S3 and buy a new Bolt.

Let's face it, while some stuff taken away were for technical reasons are one thing, other things like not being able to access the S3 on-line just as before is a cynical even unkind attempt to diminish the S3 experience to the point where TiVo can get us to buy the latest Bolt. I suppose that this indicates TiVo's dire situation at this point. Fine, go the Hail Mary pass with the Bolt--along with its particularly consumer hostile pricing--but don't kill functions that have no good reason to end.
It still fundamentally does what it was sold to do. I don't think it has anything to do with TiVo's dire situation (although their business situation isn't great), I think it has more to do with TiVo not wanting to put effort into supporting old stuff.

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Old 12-02-2015, 09:15 PM   #18
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I find the terminology "up grade path" miss leading as it indicates to me a way to trade something in and get a newer product (like trading a car in). As far as I know TiVo has never done that and likely never will.

TiVo has had deals for existing customers that have allowed them to buy a newer product at a lower cost than a new customer could.
You've been here a long time and know this, but I'll point it out anyway for others..

If the 'old' Tivo has lifetime, then you *essentially* can do it like trading a car in -- you buy the new one (possibly at a lower price as mentioned), and sell the old lifetimed Tivo for a significant amount of money.

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Old 12-03-2015, 05:00 PM   #19
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Meh. I doubt Netflix and Amazon downloading existed on the S3 when it came out, did they?

I mean I remember that Netflix didn't even work on the Premiere for a long time and it was "there" from day 1.

Anyway just not worth it for Netflix and Amazon to continue to support the tiny install base of S3 owners even if they still could.


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Old 12-04-2015, 04:28 PM   #20
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Meh. I doubt Netflix and Amazon downloading existed on the S3 when it came out, did they?

I mean I remember that Netflix didn't even work on the Premiere for a long time and it was "there" from day 1.

Anyway just not worth it for Netflix and Amazon to continue to support the tiny install base of S3 owners even if they still could.
People have a bunch of other boxes that can do Netflix anyway. My last HT setup had I think 11 devices that could do Netflix. Sure, that was a little over the top, but pretty much everyone has at least 2 or 3 other devices.

The Mini is tolerable for Netflix and Amazon, I can't imagine how bad the Premiere is, much less the Series 3. I have never used them on my Premiere, as I know the thing is kind of a dog in terms of local performance. It's a great DVR, but that's about it.

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Old 12-06-2015, 01:06 AM   #21
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Meh. I doubt Netflix and Amazon downloading existed on the S3 when it came out, did they?

I mean I remember that Netflix didn't even work on the Premiere for a long time and it was "there" from day 1.

Anyway just not worth it for Netflix and Amazon to continue to support the tiny install base of S3 owners even if they still could.
Netflix is still available on my two S3's. I remember when it first came out on the Tivo HD.

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