An open letter from an 11-year TiVo customer: The Premiere is the final straw.

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by agitprop, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. agitprop

    agitprop New Member

    8
    0
    Oct 28, 2003
    San Francisco
    [Posted this in Premiere section, but just realized that it is probably better here.]

    I bought my first TiVo 11 years ago, and I loved it. Since then, I have bought something like 9 of them. I have even encouraged family, friends, employees, and co-workers to buy tens of them. But. . .

    . . .after a year of using it, I can say categorically that the Premiere is an absolutely dreadful step back from the wonderful consumer experience that we enjoyed with the first TiVo generation. Others have spoken eloquently to the Premiere's failures; I won't bother to repeat the laundry list here.

    However, what I would like to say is that TiVo the company is the most shockingly tone-deaf technology producer today. TiVo has not rolled out a significant improvement to my experience since the dual-tuner, and I am frankly stunned that they have the balls to release marketing-product update after marketing-product update to the service--while not updating and/or fixing the core service's issues. In fact, the core service is slower, harder to use, and definitely less fun than on that first TiVo I bought many years ago.

    So, I am done. As soon as this Premiere is dead, I will be jumping ship to something--anything--else. I also have cable DVRs; I know they are bad, but they are getting better--which is something I can't say about the TiVo service. And, even though the cable companies are appallingly bad at customer service, I have found TiVo's customer service is just as bad in the past year. I frankly don't see any indication that TiVo cares about my business or about honoring either the implicit or explicit commitments that TiVo's management has made to Premiere customers.

    Finally, I should say that I have loved dealing with Weaknees. They have been nothing but awesome. God help TiVo, if Weaknees ever decides to walk away and focus on another technology. . .
     
  2. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    8,887
    702
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    I'm surprised you are just now posting on this forum after 11 years. Did you have any Series 3 (S3 or TiVo HD) models? They have had quite a few problems too so I am surprised you haven't posted about those before now (if you had those models).

    What issues with the Premiere bother you the most? Do you use a Tuning Adapter? Those, combined with Cable Co signaling screw ups can cause a lot of grief for Series 3 or Premiere units. I've had a THD for two years now and by far the most problems I've experienced are related to the TA.

    Kudos for the tone of your post, which didn't have the over-the-top ranting that is so common here.
     
  3. aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

    7,114
    12
    Jul 14, 2002
    Massachusetts
    I think this pretty much sums it up. At some point, cable co DVR's will surpass Tivo. Tivo is going to have to come up with something truly spectacular to compete.
     
  4. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

    39,621
    2,564
    Jul 24, 2001
    Milwaukee, WI
    I hope and pray for a day when a Time Warner DVR would come close to, let alone surpass, a TiVo. Alas, I'm convinced that day is a long way off, if ever.

    Any time someone complains about a TiVo of any type, I just point to Time Warner's Navigator as evidence that it could be much, much worse.
     
  5. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

    1,973
    39
    Dec 21, 2003
    Also, don't forget the Series 2's. Their interface was slow as molasses with its remote delayed responses. I was so relieved when I first got my Series 3 and then a TivoHD, as they were much faster.
     
  6. samo

    samo New Member

    1,793
    0
    Oct 7, 1999
    Littleton,...
    IMHO both satellite providers have surpassed TiVo in core and user friendly features and reliability. There is no reason to believe that cable companies can not or will not do the same in not so distant future.
     
  7. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    1,465
    121
    Mar 14, 2010
    I think what really make people irate is that they have the problems while having the upfront cost and the monthly fee (even getting a Premiere at $0 upfront, but only at the full $19.99 per month), and the PAIN expressed by those who've invested in Lifetime with the up front cost! One can then understand the level of frustration, anger, disappointment, and despair for people with similar of the OP's experience. At least the crappy cable co DVR doesn't come with a $99 to $400 up front cost.

    Don't forget that it isn't all cable's fault. The Premiere has countless posts regarding the poorly performing OTA function compared to the S3 and THD with many of those folks upset or trying to get older TiVo's so they can get the OTA, as well, so it isn't always about SDV.

    The S3 and THD problems were in the early days of the release, but certainly a worse experience to many compared to their S1 and S2 experience. It seems that, for the most part, TiVo has had the S3 and THD working well for quite some time now. I have to say my S3 is doing well and I enjoy it.

    The problem is TiVo, to far too many users, seems to be getting worse, not better, and the Premiere represents even WORSE horror stories for a LONGER period than the previous generation of S3 and THD, and it does NOT seem to be getting much better fast enough.

    One future option for me is to add another TiVo (although the MSD value STINKS!). However, I have already made up my mind a long time ago that if I do add another TiVo it will be a Series 3 and most definitely NOT a Premiere as reports on this forum is that it pretty much sucks at OTA. And as for the OTT options: The TiVo interface for those on line services is consistently reported on this forum as inferior to a good streaming box. So, I would have to get one of those anyway if I got a Premiere.

    The irony is that I don't consider the original S3 to be inferior to the Premiere. Or should I say the Premier seems NOT superior to the original S3 :)? With a superior streaming OTT box for that content, the TiVo is for the DVR features and the S3 positive experience and OLED, and I would say the S3 has a better build quality than the Premiere.

    We can only hope that a Quad comes to the retail side ASAP. Now that would be a possible old TiVo killer, but until then, the original S3 is still the Caddi and King of TiVo's.
     
  8. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    1,465
    121
    Mar 14, 2010
    I like the TiVo product, and it is a good product, but I agree with your about the sat DVR's. They have been superior for quite a while I have to say that Dish Network's DVR's are the best out there, both the older SD 2 tuner models and the most recent ViPs' (HD) DVR's. They lack TiVo's tremendous search features, but that's pretty much it. On the other hand, the ViP's have several features that many posters wish TiVo had, and is more efficient to use and, IMHO, more user friendly, as you stated.

    Now the Dish ViP 922 is still a buggy bird, but it still leapfrogs over TiVo. And the forthcoming XiP 813 (built on the lessons learned of the 922) will blow everyone else away if they can keep the bugs to a minimum.

    The problem is that TiVo seems to still be stuck in 1999 while satellite passed them up and cable finally getting around to doing that. I know people who like the Uverse functionality, who like the latest FiOS product, who like the latest DirecTV HR24, and none of them seems dissatisfied nor hears the TiVo siren's call, and Comcast's Xfinity looks to be a TiVo killer on that cable co system, not to mention what other cable co's are developing. Now, there are those I know who don't like their cable co DVR, but find TiVo's costs too rich for their blood and stick with the crap they can afford. It's time TiVo entered the 21st century with the rest of us.

    The TiVo Quad looks to be very interesting, but it may never really get to the retail end (and the FCC waiver is NOT assured), which is most of us. I would prefer a world with a really competitive TiVo product, not what Mr. Rogers has given with the Premiere.
     
  9. I WANT MORE

    I WANT MORE Member

    114
    2
    Oct 13, 2009
    "Middle of...
    Regarding the Sat DVRs. I am a D* subscriber and other than the HR24 the D* DVRs suck. I much prefer my series 3 and Premier.
     
  10. SpiritualPoet

    SpiritualPoet Member

    569
    0
    Jan 13, 2007
    Texas
    I do not own a Premiere. I had the original series 1 by Philips. Then I purchased three series 2 dual tuner machines. Now I have the HD units with large internal drives. I have nothing but praise for TiVo as a company, for the hardware, and for the service generally speaking. I'm glad to be away from dial up updates. Granted, the graphics of on-screen navigation could be a bit enhanced. My newer machines work with Amazon, Netflix, etc. I may not have all the bells and whistles offered with the Premiere units, but I am content.

    What everyone needs to know is that TiVo revolutionized the DVR and that with the season pass and wish lists and such TiVo is unsurpassed by all competitors. My TiVo machines do what I wanted them to do from the outset, 11 years ago: they timeshift for me and give me back valuable time so I can watch what I want when I want and zoom through the commercial breaks. If I want to keep a program on the drive, I do. If I want to dub it, I do that, too. All I can say is Bravo, TiVo! I hope you're here for years to come. If you don't change anything or bring anything else out, I'll be here using my equipment as it is intended, with occasional fixes by WeaKnees as may be necessary.

    I realize you can't be all things to all people. But for the majority of consumers, TiVo, you are exactly what they need - and unfortunately most don't realize it. I will recommend you to others all the time. After all, your only falacy is failure to advertise heavily by any means: print, radio, and of course television commercials.:):):)
     
  11. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

    39,621
    2,564
    Jul 24, 2001
    Milwaukee, WI
    Except for the fact that Time Warner, at least in this area, went from a relatively usable set-top box software (Passport) to a uniformly awful one (Navigator). It has stagnated at that uniformly awful state for years now with no evidence that state will change anytime soon.

    About the only STB software that is worse than Navigator is Scientific-Atlanta's old SARA software, which I doubt is even in widespread use anymore.
     
  12. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    4,792
    164
    Feb 2, 2006
    Ellicott...
    I've had two S3's since they first came out and never had a problem with either one of them. I've still got one with lifetime that I tasked as an HD tuner for my 42" Sony monitor in the family room that's been going strong for over four years and counting.

    Tivo problems are on a par with most consumer electronic devices. It either works as advertised or it doesn't. The OP probably never had cause to post here before because he never had problems with his Tivo. Most people only post here when they have issues. It's rare to see posts here indicating how well someone's Tivo is doing.

    My good fortune probably has something to do with the fact that I swap out the hard drives on every one of my Tivos as soon as I get my hands on it. The Tivo warranty is crap anyway and since about 95% of all Tivo problems are drive related, voiding the warranty has always been a non-issue for me. I've also been a long-time Tivo owner and I've owned more than two dozen of the beasts since they were first introduced, many of which I upgraded and modified for family and friends. I've only had to deal with warranty issues with two DirecTV models, both of which were installed by their "experts" who literally screwed the pooch on both of them.
     
  13. agitprop

    agitprop New Member

    8
    0
    Oct 28, 2003
    San Francisco
    I hope the cross-posting wasn't too annoying. If you are interested, I just posted a reply to many of the responses I got, over in the Premiere section.
     
  14. agitprop

    agitprop New Member

    8
    0
    Oct 28, 2003
    San Francisco
    Hi, dlfl.

    I do have two Series 3 boxes downstairs in my house. They are not perfect, but they are much better machines than the Premiere XL. I haven't had any signal issues or cable system issues with the Premiere--other than some brutal setup issues at the release.

    I have expanded on a few of the issues in a follow-up post. You can find that second posting over the Premiere section: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=8612988#post8612988

    Frankly, I am just shocked at how shabbily TiVo has treated much of its customer base over the past couple of years. Each of you has your own experience, but it is inarguable that the Premiere represents a categorical failure by TiVo to honor the promises made to its purchasers. If you have been lucky enough to own a box that didn't fail in some way, or you are a new TiVo consumer who doesn't know that you previously didn't have to sit through constant advertising around your TiVo experience, or you never owned an earlier series TiVo box that didn't move glacially through interface menus, I can understand why my post may sound like sour grapes. But, if you fall into the latter group, you know exactly what I am talking about, and TiVo needs to hear as many of our voices as possible.

    Finally, it wasn't easy to write that post--the frustration wells up when you have been committed to supporting a company and its products, only to have that company effectively tell you that it isn't interested in honoring its own marketing--or in keeping your business.


     
  15. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    1,465
    121
    Mar 14, 2010
    Right. I'm well aware of DTV's crappy DVR and only mentioned the HR24 that is now pleasing people and not pining for the competition.

    Meanwhile Dish has been putting our the best DVR's for several years. I can't list all the features that are superior to TiVo because it would be a very long list and many of those features are still sitting on the TiVo list of requested features.

    The search feature on DISH is easily rudimentary and inferior to TiVo, but it gets the job done and DISH PASS is powerful enough, but TiVo's superior, sophisticated search and filter options is cumbersome and sometimes I have to say not worth all the trouble, but that is more because TiVo has not really changed the UI much since 1999, requiring us to have to step through menu layer after menu layer and using the directional keys for letter selection (on DISH one can use number to quickly access menus very deep and use the remotes number keypad like a cell phone to enter text and that is much speedier) . . . you get the idea. The problem is that TiVo hasn't been revolutionary for a very long time and Tom Rogers is sucking up to the MSO's at the retail end's expense.

    Please Tom, give us the next truly revolutionary TiVo, and I just may buy it.
     
  16. agitprop

    agitprop New Member

    8
    0
    Oct 28, 2003
    San Francisco
    Thanks for the info on the DishTV DVRs--my parents have an older one, which is fairly dreadful, but I am interested to see what the current state of the art is. I hadn't considered going back to satellite, but the current combo of Comcast and TiVo is just not working for me.

    Anybody have opinions on the best place for reviews of the latest DVRs, other than TiVo's?


     
  17. hawkinsb

    hawkinsb New Member

    9
    0
    Nov 14, 2007
    I've been a big TiVo fan for a long time as well, and I only use it OTA at this point. The cable company DVR would have to be awful...I mean AWFUL...to make using a TA and CC on a TiVo a good alternative to the cable company DVR. We recently had the cable company box, and while it lacked some of the TiVo's polish, I would have easily picked it over messing with a TA.

    I too have been irritated with new features coming out only on the newer TiVo boxes. I realize this is a somewhat common practice for consumer electronics companies. But right now, I would think TiVo would be choosing to try and keep old customers as happy as possible...
     
  18. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    4,792
    164
    Feb 2, 2006
    Ellicott...
    Adding new features sometimes requires more than a simple software update. Many Tivo features that are introduced on newer models can't be retrofitted into older models because they don't have the hardware to support them. It's the primary reason why Tivo keeps introducing newer platforms.
     
  19. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    25,527
    2
    Jan 2, 2004
    and yet this is exactly why cross posting is annoying and decidedly frowned upon.
     
  20. jcondon

    jcondon Well-Known Member

    32,776
    1,703
    Jul 9, 2003
    I am 99% sure that is what Cablevision uses on their SA8300HD. Probably a million or more of them in service. And why I put switched to a Tivo Premier in January. I couldn't take that POS anymore. :)
     

Share This Page