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Old 08-17-2012, 03:41 PM   #1
zjoe
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Disappointed in TiVo - Lack of Support for Series 3

I'm not sure where to address this or if I'm the only one who feels this way, but I figured I'd start here.

First and foremost - I love TiVo. Back in the day when it was between ReplayTV and TiVo...I chose TiVo (even waiting until Sony released their TiVo branded box to get in on the action...then had 2 of those boxes!). I was also one of the first people to buy the Series3 when it came out. It had everything I wanted and at the time, TiVo also gave me the option to transfer my lifetime subscription to that box. I was more than happy to make the switch!

But after paying a very high price to get in on the Series3, I feel TiVo stopped supporting it and instead, focused on the lesser TiVo products that came next (at much cheaper price points). I think in the (however many years - 6 maybe?) I've owned my TiVo Series3, there has been 1 (maybe 2) software upgrades I can think of for it while I've sat by watching new rollouts happen for the other boxes and bringing with it more technological advancements such as the compatibility of the TiVo app with those boxes, on demand (in certain areas), vastly more storage space, HD menus, etc.

I wish TiVo would help those who have supported the company for such a long time (including early adopters) by supporting these devices more instead of leaving them behind. Technology changes all the time and I'm sure there must be a reason a Series3 can't have HD menus for instance, but it would be great to feel supported.

Maybe I'll get the new XL4, but I'm definitely wary of purchasing something that's not more for the masses (at a lower price point) that I know will receive more updates than something that's more expensive and for a niche audience.

Just wondering if any other Series3 owners out there feel the same way (which is why I'm putting it in this forum). If I'm off base, please let me know

Signed - current and loyal TiVo customer -

Zak
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:49 PM   #2
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Have you not been here is a while? The horse has been dead for several years now, ever since the premiere first came out. Most have understood the reality of it, but I'm sure you'll find an ear as its been a while since someone has started a new topic about it.

The S3 had lots of updates, though most recently it was for Pandora, I believe. It still gets guide data, so it is clearly still supported.

You know that that old hardware cannot run the new software, right? Just like smartphones, PCs, or anything. Its processor is from 2006. If you had HD menus on that box, it would truly blow. Did you ever checked out the HD search on it? OUCH.

You can install a bigger HD on your own, what complaint could you have there? DIY, off the shelf, or third party.

You qualify for MSD, so there is that. Hopefully you have lifetime service, and if you upgrade you can sell the S3 and make something of the older technology.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:55 PM   #3
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Series 3's are old tech. It makes no sense for Tivo to upgrade them with the same features as the newer boxes. If they did, there would be no reason for anyone to upgrade. As for the cost, in case you haven't noticed, with the lower cost of the Tivo has come higher subscription costs. The cheapest Tivo is the Premier at $150. I'm not sure what you mean by "lesser Tivo products" because you then say how much better the new boxes are with added features. You want to talk about not being supported? Go chat with the Series 1 owners in the UK who had their service terminated altogether this year.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:45 PM   #4
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As A TiVo HD owner I can sypathize with you but I think your expectations are unrealistic. I've heard that Apple isn't supporting 3 or 4 year old iPhones very well either, and they cost as much as TiVo's. TiVo sales volume is probably about 1/100th of Apple's. They can't absorb the cost of updating old product lines, especially considering they don't make a significant (or any?) profit on the boxes.

I do wish TiVo had a policy of automatically granting lifetime subscriptions on any box that had paid monthly or yearly for say four years. In a de facto way they do have that. After I had paid yearly for my HD for three years (this June) they let me pay just $99 for lifetime -- but I had to play a game of threatening to cancel my subscription and wait while the rep went to talk to his manager to get it. (The old car salesman schtick.)
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:59 PM   #5
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I do wish TiVo had a policy of automatically granting lifetime subscriptions on any box that had paid monthly or yearly for say four years. In a de facto way they do have that. After I had paid yearly for my HD for three years (this June) they let me pay just $99 for lifetime -- but I had to play a game of threatening to cancel my subscription and wait while the rep went to talk to his manager to get it. (The old car salesman schtick.)
So you basically want a 4 year interest free loan. Yea, not gonna happen.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:26 PM   #6
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So you basically want a 4 year interest free loan. Yea, not gonna happen.
Nah, let's not quibble about the interest. Four years of $129 subscriptions would be $516. That's reasonable enough for lifetime plus some interest.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:38 PM   #7
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Umm, pay lifetime in the first place, and if the Tivo lasts 4 years, you 'won'.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:13 PM   #8
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I think in the (however many years - 6 maybe?) I've owned my TiVo Series3, there has been 1 (maybe 2) software upgrades I can think of for it<snip>
For the first few years of the S3 units (S3 & HD), they had at least two updates a year, if not more. It was supported as long as it was the lead dog. Once they came out with a newer product (S4), they basically only sent updates that were either mission-critical or easy to do across the product line. All their effort was on the newer units.

As it should be. This is a de facto way of life in technology.

How long has your cell phone provider updated your cell phone? One is lucky if you get a single upgrade during the two year typical lifespan. Kindle? I think I've had one or two updates in 3+ years.

Want newer features? Buy a newer TiVo.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:33 PM   #9
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I have my day one S3 with PLS and it runs fine, it's easily expandable, and the best machine I've ever owned with my Elite being #2, I don't see any "lack of support" with it.
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:42 PM   #10
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Zak,

I've had my Series 3's since December 2006 and January 2007 when I took advantage of upgrading from my original S1's and transferring lifetime service from each for $199. I'm afraid that I disagree with you on the support side as I certainly have received a number of upgrades/new features in the past 5 1/2 years. The ones that I use the most often have been the following:

- Ability to download HD content to our PCs (was not in the original feature set)
- Netflix
- Pandora

I for one do not have the expectation of new updates after newer models are released as is the case with most technology. The same thing occurred when the S2's were released and my S1's stopped getting updates, but they kept doing what I originally purchased them for and kept on working fine for almost 7 years before we upgraded to the S3's (and I still had one in my son's game room recording in manual mode until a couple months ago when Comcast went all digital so 10 years on that one).

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Old 08-19-2012, 05:31 AM   #11
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But after paying a very high price to get in on the Series3, I feel TiVo stopped supporting it and instead, focused on the lesser TiVo products that came next (at much cheaper price points).
If any of that focus had produced anything of real note in the way of new features, you might have something of a point, albeit not much. As it is, I fail to discern one.

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I think in the (however many years - 6 maybe?)
Not yet. If you received one of the very first ones off the line, it will be six years in a few weeks.

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I've owned my TiVo Series3, there has been 1 (maybe 2) software upgrades I can think of for it
Try at least 14, and more if you include minor transient upgrades, from release 8.0.1a to the current release 11.0k. They have added native support for numerous USB devices, as well as adding support for MRV, TTG, external hard drives, and a number of HME enhancements. (I don't recall at the moment whether the original S3 initially had GoBack enabled, or not. If not, then add GoBack to the list, as well.) They have expanded the seach functions greatly, introducing Boolean functions and other capabilities. They have fixed numerous bugs ranging from playback issues of videos sent to the TiVo from a PC to issues with some FIOS customers.

In short, your perception just does not match reality.

Do you have any PCs running Windows? Did Microsoft offer a free upgrade from 2000 to XP to Vista to Win 7 on any of your machines?

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while I've sat by watching new rollouts happen for the other boxes and bringing with it more technological advancements such as the compatibility of the TiVo app with those boxes
What boxes?

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vastly more storage space
Not so much. It's true the 32 bit structure of the S3 limits the partition size to about 1.2 TB, but updating that structure to 64 bits (like the THD) would present a monumental support headache. More to the point, it just really is not wise to load the S3 (or any DVR, really) with much more than 2T of storage. In the case of the S3, merely managing that many shows is tedious and excessively time consuming, especially given the speed of its processor. In any DVR, loading up the machine with too many shows is a poor idea. Use an external server with RAID and backup capabilities, unless you want to eventually suddenly lose 300 or so recordings with no way to recover.

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HD menus, etc.
<Yawn>

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I wish TiVo would help those who have supported the company for such a long time (including early adopters) by supporting these devices more instead of leaving them behind.
So your machines are all on month-month plans? If not, you haven't supported diddly. If you have PLS, then you paid them once, some six years ago, for a device they provided you and upgraded regualrly throughout its expected life. In the mean time, you've done nothing for them.

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Signed - current and loyal TiVo customer -
Loyal in what way? How much revenue have you sent TiVo's way in tyhe last five years or so? Technically, how do you even rate as a customer? A customer is someone who purchases a current product from a company. Again, unless you are still paying MTM, or have bought a TiVo product from TiVo or a reseller lately, then in reality you aren't even a customer, the fact TiVo chooses to continue to treat you like one notwithstanding.

You paid a premium to be an early adopter of an admittedly wonderful technology. You have gotten more use of that product than the manufacturer expected, and continue to rely on resources they provide on an obsolete - if nonetheless superior - product. So what's your beef?

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Old 08-19-2012, 03:26 PM   #12
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Loyal in what way? How much revenue have you sent TiVo's way in tyhe last five years or so? Technically, how do you even rate as a customer? A customer is someone who purchases a current product from a company. Again, unless you are still paying MTM, or have bought a TiVo product from TiVo or a reseller lately, then in reality you aren't even a customer, the fact TiVo chooses to continue to treat you like one notwithstanding.
I agree with much of your post, but not this last point. If TiVo doesn't consider product-lifetime subscribers to be customers, then they shouldn't be offering lifetime service. I paid big bucks to TiVo in advance for PLS, trusting that they would stay in business and continue to support the product. They've had the use of my money for all that time. So don't try to accuse product-lifetime customers of being some kind of freeloaders. If TiVo decides that old customers aren't worth supporting, they may have trouble finding new customers.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:25 PM   #13
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I agree with much of your post, but not this last point. If TiVo doesn't consider product-lifetime subscribers to be customers, then they shouldn't be offering lifetime service. I paid big bucks to TiVo in advance for PLS, trusting that they would stay in business and continue to support the product. They've had the use of my money for all that time. So don't try to accuse product-lifetime customers of being some kind of freeloaders. If TiVo decides that old customers aren't worth supporting, they may have trouble finding new customers.
But the point is made and seconded, many features were added to the S3 and it's still supported, it still operates, and does far more than when you bought it, there's no question that it's "supported"

It's long been known that break even for an end user on PLS being a better deal than monthly or yearly is the 3 year mark, most of us are long past that. PLS is not the money maker for Tivo, and since they're still not in the black it's a show of faith on our side that they'll stay in business, but we want them to be profitable, and they do not make money on us after year 3.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:16 PM   #14
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A true loyal customer would buy each new Tivo as it is released along with all the accessories (TiVo wireless adapter, TiVo Preview, the streaming box, etc.).
Just like some people do with iPhones.
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:39 AM   #15
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It is indeed disappointing. There are many Premiere features that couldn't be ported to the Series 3, but many others that could (and some I'm not sure about).
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:47 AM   #16
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But the point is made and seconded, many features were added to the S3 and it's still supported, it still operates, and does far more than when you bought it, there's no question that it's "supported"

It's long been known that break even for an end user on PLS being a better deal than monthly or yearly is the 3 year mark, most of us are long past that. PLS is not the money maker for Tivo, and since they're still not in the black it's a show of faith on our side that they'll stay in business, but we want them to be profitable, and they do not make money on us after year 3.
Actually I was just disagreeing with the assertion that PLS owners are not really customers. I think TiVo does consider us customers, and they generally give us about as much support as we can reasonably expect.
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:32 PM   #17
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Thanks to all who responded to the thread (even those who vehemently disagreed with my post)

It's hard to believe the S3 came out nearly 6 years ago (and yes, I got one of the first ones - which I then had to replace early on as there was an issue with the hard drive). The points in all the replies have been noted and I do consider myself a TiVo customer even though I purchased the lifetime subscription ages ago (and then took advantage of their promotion to port - for a fee - my lifetime subscription from the Sony SVR-2000 to the S3. Yes, I keep my technology for a long time when I consider it good - which is why I continue to keep and love the S3).

I hope TiVo has a promotion to port (yes, for a fee [lest anyone get upset thinking I'm complaining too much]) the lifetime subscription again soon to a newer box, but it's been harder and harder to sell the purchase of a TiVo box to others when there are other, cheaper, solutions out there.

I continue to maintain my love for TiVo as a company and product and thank those who have taken an interest in this thread.

And sorry this topic had already been brought up (as was pointed out to me at first). I didn't search the archive and yes, it has been a very long time since I've visited this forum.

Thanks
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:02 PM   #18
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I've never had any problem selling a TiVo box with lifetime service. A TiVo with lifetime service has a high resale value. The original S3 boxes with lifetime service are still selliing for $300. Even more if the hard drive has been upgraded. That is a good deal for a box that is almost six years aold.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:04 PM   #19
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I agree with much of your post, but not this last point. If TiVo doesn't consider product-lifetime subscribers to be customers, then they shouldn't be offering lifetime service.
Why not? Their business plan offers the consumer two options: pay up front for the cost of the unit or defer a part of the purchase price by paying it off monthly. A customer obtains full value for his outlay of cash for PLS after somewhere between 2 - 3 years. Anything beyond that and he is extracting greater value than for which he paid. He is not doing so illegally, immorally, or unethically, but he still is getting better value than which he could otherwise expect.

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I paid big bucks to TiVo in advance for PLS, trusting that they would stay in business and continue to support the product.
For how long? 10 years? 100 years? 1000 years? There has to be a point where one reasonably accepts they have gotten their money's worth, and more. I have a friend who owns a working TV (after being restored) built in the early 1930s. Should anyone else who bught a TV later than that and had to replace it in a mere 40 or 50 years feel cheated?

Perhaps more to the point, virtually every person - including probably you - who purchases PLS does so because they feel it will cost them less in the long run than MTM. Most people who went with MTM on an S3 and are still paying that have dumped a whole heck of a lot more money into their S3 than one who bellied up for PLS. Why would those people be less deserving of upgrades?

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They've had the use of my money for all that time.
That is irrelevant. First of all, they have not had use of most of that money for any time whatsoever. After accounting for the cost of producing and shipping the unit, and after discounting any profit by a retail outlet, if any, TiVo only made a small profit from you. Yet now they continue to absorb the cost of providing the guide and software updates without any additional renumeration. It's a fairly safe bet you probably purchased an automobile within a year or two of buying your TiVo, and payed a great deal more for it, to boot. How many free upgrades have you received on that vehicle in the same time period? What maintenance items (gas, oil, lube, washer fluid, brake fluid, etc.) does the manufacturer continue to prrovide free of charge?

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So don't try to accuse product-lifetime customers of being some kind of freeloaders.
I never did. There is a big difference between being a freeloader and having unrealistic expectations. Paying for something, even an extravagant amount, only entitles the individual to a certain amount of exchanged value. Feeling entitled does not mean one actually is.

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If TiVo decides that old customers aren't worth supporting, they may have trouble finding new customers.
Increasing the number of customers upon which a company loses money is the worst thing any company can do.

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But the point is made and seconded, many features were added to the S3 and it's still supported, it still operates, and does far more than when you bought it, there's no question that it's "supported"
Yeah, exactly. How many other consumer devices can one purchase whose capabilities are upgraded over time free of charge? Bug fixes, sometimes, but actual, incremental positive changes in functionality? I can't think of any. I challenge anyone here to list three of them.

Last edited by lrhorer : 08-20-2012 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:15 PM   #20
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Actually I was just disagreeing with the assertion that PLS owners are not really customers.
By any reasonable definition, a customer is someone who offers renumeration - usually money - to a company in exchange for items sold by the company. Certainly the connotation would normally be considered to extend a little while beyond the moment of purchase - perhaps to the end of the warranty, but generally speaking calling anyone who hasn't paid a cent to a company in almost six years a "customer" is stretching it, especially if the company has come out with some number of newer models of significantly different design in the interim. Again, if you walked up to a car dealer who sold you a car six years ago and said, "I bought this car six years ago, and I don't intend to buy a new one any time soon, but I demand you upgrade the vehicle with all the new standard feeatures without charging me a penny", the dealer would toss you out on your ear.

Consider this: Suppose every single person who owns a Series III or above TiVo today had purchassed that TiVo with PLS the day the S3 was introduced, and not one had purchased a single TiVo since. Obvously, TiVo would have had a terrific 2006 profit, but do you think they would still be in business after six years without a single cent of revenue since then?

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I think TiVo does consider us customers, and they generally give us about as much support as we can reasonably expect.
And I said precisely that:

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then in reality you aren't even a customer, the fact TiVo chooses to continue to treat you like one notwithstanding.


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Old 08-20-2012, 05:27 PM   #21
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It is indeed disappointing.
Well, of course it is.* It is also disappointing that despite paying a rather high price for dinner out at a restaurant last night, I am going to have to pay for dinner again tonight. The realization I am going to have to cook it myself tonight makes it even more disappointing, the fact it will actually cost less than I paid last night notwithstanding.

* - actually, not so much. I have a Premier, provided in the bundle I am getting from my CATV company. It's a hunk of junk. It is missing a number of important key features the S3 has, and has little or nothing of any interest over and above the S3s features, other than network speed. The S3s and even the THD get a lot more use, and I certainly would not pay $100 for a Premier as long as I can get an S3 or THD for $200. (Service excluded on both.)

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Old 08-20-2012, 05:48 PM   #22
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Once they came out with a newer product (S4), they basically only sent updates that were either mission-critical or easy to do across the product line.
Yes, but they DID send them, didn't they? The most notable is probably the slide remote. That was released with the S4, but works fine with the S3. They could just as easily have coded the slide remote drivers in such a way the S3 could not use it, as an incentive to upgrade to a Premier. They chose not to do so.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:57 PM   #23
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I hope TiVo has a promotion to port (yes, for a fee [lest anyone get upset thinking I'm complaining too much]) the lifetime subscription again soon to a newer box...
I'm with you right there. I have an unactivated Premiere just waiting for an S2 PLS transfer promotion.
If it never happens, oh well. I'll just continue to use my 2 TivoHDs.
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:57 PM   #24
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Perhaps more to the point, virtually every person - including probably you - who purchases PLS does so because they feel it will cost them less in the long run than MTM. Most people who went with MTM on an S3 and are still paying that have dumped a whole heck of a lot more money into their S3 than one who bellied up for PLS. Why would those people be less deserving of upgrades?
Of course I purchased PLS because I believed that the TiVo would have a long enough useful life for it to be the better deal. Maybe people who went with MTM payments didn't believe that, or maybe they just didn't want to pay in advance. TiVo offers various contract options, and anyone who accepts their terms is equally deserving of continuing support and maybe occasional upgrades. I deserve support, and so does every MTM customer. And TiVo understands that, which is the point I was trying to make. We're all customers.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:09 PM   #25
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Tivo is nothing more than a computer and how long do computers last people these such that they stop getting upgrades or if they can get the upgrade the software grinds to a halt. I would guess about 4 years.

It's not a dishwasher or a TV that might go 10 years.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:38 AM   #26
astrohip
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Yes, but they DID send them, didn't they? The most notable is probably the slide remote. That was released with the S4, but works fine with the S3. They could just as easily have coded the slide remote drivers in such a way the S3 could not use it, as an incentive to upgrade to a Premier. They chose not to do so.
If you are going to quote me, then at least take a minute to understand my point, and not twist it. My very next line was "As it should be".

We are both making the same point. Yes, rare that we agree, but we both are posting about our satisfaction and understanding of TiVo and its upgrade process. Yet the way you took my post out of context makes it seem like you are debating against me.

Not appreciated.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:58 AM   #27
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If you are going to quote me, then at least take a minute to understand my point, and not twist it. My very next line was "As it should be".
..........
You just don't get it. When you and lrhorer say essentially the same thing, he is the one that is correct.
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Old 08-21-2012, 04:44 PM   #28
scandia101
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Yes, but they DID send them, didn't they?
That was clearly his point.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:50 PM   #29
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[The Premiere] is missing a number of important key features the S3 has
Nonsense.

- Hackability (your fixation) is accidental, not a feature.
- The OLED display is a minor feature, not key.
- S-video is also minor.

There are no other differences between the units that break in the S3's favor. And don't say solid construction, that's BS -- it just means the S3 is bigger and heavier.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:15 PM   #30
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....- Hackability (your fixation) is accidental, not a feature.
.........
"Fixation" -- Finally, the perfect adjective for lrhorer's state of mind on hacking! (I'm just envious, of course.)
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