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Old 12-11-2012, 05:07 PM   #1
Bulldawg9908
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Arrow Bring Kid Zone back

There's been a pretty good discussion of this in some of the 20.2.2 threads already, but I think it deserves its own thread. Kid Zone was a very important feature for me, and I want it brought back. I have two lifetime Premiers, so the threat of me leaving TiVo carries little weight, but maybe if enough people chime in, TiVo will reconsider.

I've sent an e-mail through TiVo's support portal expressing my dissatisfaction, and I'll share it here below, as it outlines the problems I have with the removal of Kid Zone. Have I missed anything?

If you'd like it back, I suggest you also write to TiVo and maybe send a message to TiVoMargret asking them to reconsider and bring back Kid Zone. Be cordial, no one listens to a jackass.

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I received 20.2.2 for both of my TiVo Premiers. I used the Kid Zone feature previously to this update, and I am writing to express my dissatisfaction at the removal of Kid Zone features from 20.2.2. Kid Zone allowed fine, customized control over which shows my son could watch. Parental controls is a poor substitute for Kid Zone. Below are just a few ways in which parental controls are worse than Kid Zone:

1. Parental controls can't block YouTube or Netflix. There's a lot of inappropriate content on YouTube and Netflix, and the links to them are right at the bottom of My Shows.

2. Parental controls don't allow me to approve shows I deem appropriate even if the rating is higher than I normally allow. I may decide my son can watch Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (PG) but at the same time not want him to see Poltergeist (also PG!).

3. Parental controls don't hide inappropriate shows, channels, or guide listings from my child.

4. (a problem with both Kid Zone and parental controls) There is no quick way to re-enable parental controls. It takes at least five button presses on the remote to re-enable parental controls before the 4 hour timeout. Bypassing parental controls should be on a per-show basis or you should make a quicker way to turn it back on through the user interface.

The official word from "TiVoMargret" on tivocommunity.com was that Kid Zone had very low usage. That may be true, but those of us who used Kid Zone considered it a critical feature and we are very disappointed at its exclusion from the latest release.

Please bring Kid Zone back as soon as possible or fix the items I listed above with parental controls.

Thank you.
edit: Another user (morac) has informed me there is a way to disable the YouTube app, but the method is so hidden that in ten minutes of searching, I couldn't find it, so I'm leaving my comment in the letter. If I needed help from this forum to figure out how to disable YouTube, how many parents out there also won't figure it out on their own?

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Old 12-11-2012, 06:05 PM   #2
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Spread the word!

Flood the TiVo support forum with compaints. TiVo customer service reps monitor that forum.
http://forums.tivo.com/pe/elementDis...entID=10100105

Also, everyone who wants the feature back needs to request it here:
http://advisors.tivo.com/wix5/p2272893819.aspx
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:11 PM   #3
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KidZone isn't going to be back, they've been very very clear about that, part of the reason was that it was too much to redo it for the HDUI.

That being said, there's no reason to think that there won't be additional future enhancements to the Parental Controls.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:13 PM   #4
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The option to remove YouTube isn't hidden. Go to Setting->Channels->My Video Providers. That brings up a list of all the 3rd party video providers and you can uncheck the ones you don't want.

As for the rest... I agree it sucks. I don't actually use it myself, but I played with both options and the current parental controls are a lot more limited then KidZone

Personally I'm hoping that this is a sign that TiVo is moving toward a profile system where each member of the household is presented with their own My Shows, guide, etc... and the current parental controls are simply used to limit access certain users have to inappropriate shows/channels. It would kind of be like KidZone, but for everyone. It would also make having one 4-6 tuner box do all the recording for the whole family be a lot easier for everyone to manage.

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Old 12-11-2012, 06:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dianebrat View Post
KidZone isn't going to be back, they've been very very clear about that, part of the reason was that it was too much to redo it for the HDUI.
Link?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan203 View Post
Personally I'm hoping that this is a sign that TiVo is moving toward a profile system where each member of the household is presented with their own My Shows, guide, etc... and the current parental controls are simply used to limit access certain users have to inappropriate shows/channels. It would kind of be like KidZone, but for everyone. It would also make having one 4-6 tuner box do all the recording for the whole family be a lot easier for everyone to manage.

Dan
I agree.

It could be the KidZone replacement with the parents setting up the kids' profiles.

But who knows if TiVo is even working on this?
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:45 PM   #6
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The only evidence we have is several years ago there was a screen shot of the HDUI posted somewhere where they had multiple users listed on the right when you selected My Shows on the left. That indicates that they were at least considering it at one point. Enough to do a UI mockup at least.

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Old 12-11-2012, 10:28 PM   #7
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Parental controls don't even work right. I have TV-G set as allowed. Frosty the Snowman won't play despite the fact that it is clearly rated in the description and in the show as TV-G. Other shows, mostly on PBS do the same thing. If parental controls actually worked correctly, that would be nicer.

My biggest problem is that if my son wants to watch something that is erroneously blocked, my wife has to type in the PIN. Then, when that show is over, she's in the other room feeding the baby and my son now has unrestricted access to the TiVo. What if he decides to see what Game of Thrones is like? I don't think he would, but that show is brutal, so even the fact he has access to it is pretty scary to me.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dan203 View Post
The option to remove YouTube isn't hidden. Go to Setting->Channels->My Video Providers. That brings up a list of all the 3rd party video providers and you can uncheck the ones you don't want.

Dan
I disagree that this isn't hidden. I see it now, but when I was looking to disable YouTube the other night, I skipped right over channels because that is where you set what channels are available, not what apps are available in the My Shows list. They stuck that setting in this random place because they didn't have a better place to stuff it when they added the option to watch YouTube.

Anyway, I've fixed that now, but the setting could be in a more obvious place.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:33 AM   #9
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Parental controls don't even work right. I have TV-G set as allowed. Frosty the Snowman won't play despite the fact that it is clearly rated in the description and in the show as TV-G. Other shows, mostly on PBS do the same thing. If parental controls actually worked correctly, that would be nicer.

My biggest problem is that if my son wants to watch something that is erroneously blocked, my wife has to type in the PIN. Then, when that show is over, she's in the other room feeding the baby and my son now has unrestricted access to the TiVo. What if he decides to see what Game of Thrones is like? I don't think he would, but that show is brutal, so even the fact he has access to it is pretty scary to me.
I believe that they have to get the actual video stream and not the guide data. So if you pad the show and the one before it has a higher ratting it might pick up that as the rating for the entire recording and block the whole thing.

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Old 12-12-2012, 06:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by dianebrat View Post
KidZone isn't going to be back, they've been very very clear about that, part of the reason was that it was too much to redo it for the HDUI.

That being said, there's no reason to think that there won't be additional future enhancements to the Parental Controls.
Quote:
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Link?
I could swear I've seen it here, and I can't link to the other non-public location, but they were pretty clear it's gone.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:40 AM   #11
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The only evidence we have is several years ago there was a screen shot of the HDUI posted somewhere where they had multiple users listed on the right when you selected My Shows on the left. That indicates that they were at least considering it at one point. Enough to do a UI mockup at least.

Dan
I have to agree that 'personalization' is on the TiVo road map. I would speculate that its a capability that would allow TiVo to stay one step ahead of the competition. I suspect the personalization will first be evident via TiVo's Pique social initiative. TiVo's October 24th acquisition of Zinc.TV for $5.3 million fits into the personalization and discovery realm as well.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:54 AM   #12
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I think I will make controversial statement about Kid Zone and everything else that TiVo should be doing but isn't.
Blame the FCC
They were supposed to foster the creation of a innovative, competitive, secondary market for pay TV set top boxes. Pay TV providers were successful in stopping the FCC and the FCC's failure is the reason we do not and will not have competitive innovative products like what TiVo should be by now.

The FCC should have demanded that any solution work universally for all pay TV providers and that the solution allow third party STBs to be able to seamlessly provide 100% of what the pay TV providers STB provides without any additional hardware or restrictions (beyond the protection of content form theft) from the pay TV provider.

Frankly I think we are lucky TiVo is still around and providing as good a product as they do. I do not expect them to be able to allocate the resources necessary to develop the products we all would like. The current stand alone DVR market is just to small, which is in no small part due to the FCC's failure. Our only real hope is that by providing cable providers with DVRs that that money allows TiVo to continue to provide the stand alone market with DVRs.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:05 AM   #13
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I could swear I've seen it here, and I can't link to the other non-public location, but they were pretty clear it's gone.
It was either here or on Twitter but it was stated VERY clearly Kidzone is NOT coming back
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:23 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by atmuscarella View Post
I think I will make controversial statement about Kid Zone and everything else that TiVo should be doing but isn't.
Blame the FCC
They were supposed to foster the creation of a innovative, competitive, secondary market for pay TV set top boxes. Pay TV providers were successful in stopping the FCC and the FCC's failure is the reason we do not and will not have competitive innovative products like what TiVo should be by now.

The FCC should have demanded that any solution work universally for all pay TV providers and that the solution allow third party STBs to be able to seamlessly provide 100% of what the pay TV providers STB provides without any additional hardware or restrictions (beyond the protection of content form theft) from the pay TV provider.

Frankly I think we are lucky TiVo is still around and providing as good a product as they do. I do not expect them to be able to allocate the resources necessary to develop the products we all would like. The current stand alone DVR market is just to small, which is in no small part due to the FCC's failure. Our only real hope is that by providing cable providers with DVRs that that money allows TiVo to continue to provide the stand alone market with DVRs.
Agreed. You'll see some interesting comments from the AllVid Tech Alliance referenced in this thread --> http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=496898

I'm cautiously optimistic that the FCC will deny Charters integrated security waiver request. I think the recent publication related to the IP Interface on set tops is a step in the right direction. I suspect that we will finally have some progress on this front in the 2014-15 time-frame. The wheels of change move very slowly!
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:18 AM   #15
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I believe that they have to get the actual video stream and not the guide data. So if you pad the show and the one before it has a higher ratting it might pick up that as the rating for the entire recording and block the whole thing.

Dan
If your theory is true, then that explains why parental controls are so broken when it comes to allowing shows that should be allowed, but that doesn't excuse how broken they are. To get around this and allow my son to watch Curious George, we have to enter the pin and unlock the TiVo for watching anything at all for at least 4 hours.

I know we can re-enable parental controls with "only" 5 button presses, but if I'm not home, and my wife is feeding the baby, there is no adult available to reenable parental controls. With Kid Zone, this wouldn't be a problem.

BTW, I don't pad shows, so if your theory is correct, it's blocking the entire 2 hour Frosty the Snowman movie because there are a few seconds of the previous show at the beginning of the recording. Broken. Parental controls are broken and they should be fixed or Kid Zone should be brought back ASAP.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:21 AM   #16
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I do not think it's reasonable to blame the FCC for this. TiVo chose to disable a feature I had come to depend on to ensure my son could safely watch TV for the 30 minutes a day he's allowed to watch TV.

I agree that more competition is better, but excusing TiVo for this one particular decision because of the FCC is ludicrous.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:29 AM   #17
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It was either here or on Twitter but it was stated VERY clearly Kidzone is NOT coming back
Yeah, I remember TiVo Margaret saying something about it (On Twitter I think).

I wonder if Pony leaving had anything to do with it. I remember he seemed super excited about Kidzone when it came out. I haven't used it, but it's a shame it's gone, as it seemed like a logical differentiator for TiVo.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:34 AM   #18
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The only evidence we have is several years ago there was a screen shot of the HDUI posted somewhere where they had multiple users listed on the right when you selected My Shows on the left.
See below.

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Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post
What they need to do is add the feature they showed at CES 2010. Where you could have multiple "my shows" lists to accomodate multiple people.
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Originally Posted by bradleys View Post
I would love to see that as well. This is something we could use.


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Old 12-12-2012, 09:59 AM   #19
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Tivo recently provided a way to prevent kids from accessing Netflix and Youtube: they introduced apps that are so slow and counter-intuitive that nobody can easily access them.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:55 AM   #20
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I do not think it's reasonable to blame the FCC for this. TiVo chose to disable a feature I had come to depend on to ensure my son could safely watch TV for the 30 minutes a day he's allowed to watch TV.

I agree that more competition is better, but excusing TiVo for this one particular decision because of the FCC is ludicrous.
Yes TiVo is directly responsible for the decision to get rid of Kid Zone and not replace it with something acceptable.

TiVo's management has a responsibility to their share holders, all of their decisions are required to be what is believed to be in the best interest of those share holders. So the decision on what to do with a Kid Zone type feature is driven by the expected return on investment needed to retain it as they move forward with their UI development.

When I say blame the FCC I am going to why/how TiVo could decide to do what they are doing. The FCCs failure has caused the potential market for stand alone DVRs/whole home DVR systems to be substantially less than what it could be. That reduction in market size has nearly eliminated competition and substantially reduced TiVos actual and potential revenues. Because of the lack of competition and reduced revenues TiVo is making investment decisions that are completely different than what they would have been making if there were real competition and significantly more potential revenues.

So while I really can not know exactly what features/products the FCC's failure impacted, I am positive it has been a negative for those of us who want an innovative third party stand alone DVR/whole home DVR system.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:53 PM   #21
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When the Premiere was released, TiVo Central, My Shows, Search and Browse... were the only menus in HD. It's taken 2 additional years to convert the Guide, To Do List, History, Season Pass Manager, Manual recording, Multi-Room Viewing and Help screens to HD.

I think that leaves Wish Lists, Web Videos and Showcases, Settings and System Info as the only remaining SD screens. Those would probably take about a year, which likely explains why they aren't bothering with Kid Zone. They don't have the time.

So maybe by 2014 TiVo can start working on implementing a better parental control system or user profiles. Probably just in time for the Series 5 to come out.

TiVo as a company has what can be likenedd to A.D.D. It doesn't seem like they can stay focused on an idea for any length of time. There's a number of features/ideas on TiVo boxes that simply disappeared without a word (Yahoo, Dominos, Blockbuster, FrameChannel, Jaman, TiVo Home Movie Sharing, "My TiVo Gets Me", etc).

Kid Zone wasn't the first feature to disappear and it won't be the last.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:41 PM   #22
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I just noticed how many of you use the parental controls. wow. are you guys nazis or something? I let my kid watch anything she wants to. shes 9 years old so i figure anything she sees on TV is fine. I also let her play any video game she wants, though shes doesnt like video games as much as TV. I just think controlling parents are making a big mistake and setting themselves up for a broken relationship with their kids especially in teenage years.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:30 PM   #23
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I just noticed how many of you use the parental controls. wow. are you guys nazis or something? I let my kid watch anything she wants to. shes 9 years old so i figure anything she sees on TV is fine. I also let her play any video game she wants, though shes doesnt like video games as much as TV. I just think controlling parents are making a big mistake and setting themselves up for a broken relationship with their kids especially in teenage years.
or the opposite where you dont monitor anything like my aunt and uncle did with my two cousins and you have two of the worst children on earth
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:45 PM   #24
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or the opposite where you dont monitor anything like my aunt and uncle did with my two cousins and you have two of the worst children on earth
Yeah. Completely hands off parenting leads to horrific stories like this.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/ne...llinggirl.html
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:15 PM   #25
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/thread is Godwin'd,

/FIN


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Old 12-16-2012, 05:02 AM   #26
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I just noticed how many of you use the parental controls. wow. are you guys nazis or something? I let my kid watch anything she wants to. shes 9 years old so i figure anything she sees on TV is fine. I also let her play any video game she wants, though shes doesnt like video games as much as TV. I just think controlling parents are making a big mistake and setting themselves up for a broken relationship with their kids especially in teenage years.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:40 PM   #27
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I just noticed how many of you use the parental controls. wow. are you guys nazis or something? I let my kid watch anything she wants to. shes 9 years old so i figure anything she sees on TV is fine. I also let her play any video game she wants, though shes doesnt like video games as much as TV. I just think controlling parents are making a big mistake and setting themselves up for a broken relationship with their kids especially in teenage years.
We found that Kids Zone empowered our kids by giving them their own space in the TiVo--they could have all their shows easy to access quickly and not get confused by the clutter of the parents' tv shows. Also it allowed us to designate shows that the program didn't allow for them to watch, but which they enjoy and are appropriate for children, which is the sort of personalized data customization that 21st century IT is all about and our children just lost. Of course, if you like clutter and things taking a long time you'll just love the HD UI and Parental Controls.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:02 PM   #28
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KidZone isn't coming back. It wasn't used by enough folks to justify redevelopment on the new platform.

However, Netflix and Amazon have rolled out similar sandboxes for OTT content and a former colleague of mine runs Zoodles, which is worth checking out is you're looking for age-appropriate games on computers or tablets. So while TiVo has reverted to classic parental controls, I think other providers will continue getting creating with kid-friendly areas and presentation.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:08 AM   #29
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KidZone is an essential feature

The current implementation of Parental Controls is severely lacking. KidZone, I think, was that cutting edge feature that differentiated TiVo from the rest.

Whoever made the decision at TiVo to axe it, should be fired. Plain and simple. It's a huge step back.

KidZone allowed kids to have their own "safe" menu, where everything in that menu was approved by a parent, not a bureaucrat.

With the current parental control, you cannot hide the title names of shows that you don't want your kids to see. Think any Cinemax After Hours show, and their names. Do you really want your kids to see what mommy and daddy are recording? (even though they can't play it?)

Another issue, is that kids too young to read were able to play anything from KidZone, even without being able to read the titles, and it was a show they liked. With the current parental controls, those kids have to go into each show, realize it's blocked, etc.... it's a mess.

It was a huge mistake to get rid of KidZone, and huge step back for TiVo's being a cutting edge company. *There is no excuse* I don't care about how KidZone was a hack and the code is hard to put into HD menus, those are all excuses. Get the resources and get it done.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:39 AM   #30
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It was a huge mistake to get rid of KidZone, and huge step back for TiVo's being a cutting edge company. *There is no excuse* I don't care about how KidZone was a hack and the code is hard to put into HD menus, those are all excuses. Get the resources and get it done.
Prepare to be disappointed, KidZone will not be back as others and myself have stated, Tivo will not put the resources into a feature that requires that much work to rewrite AND had a minimal footprint.

If KidZone is a requirement for you to stay with Tivo then I'm sorry to see you go.
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