How Long Before TiVo Drops Flash?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by atmuscarella, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. jonja

    jonja New Member

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    Interesting discussion about merits of HTML5 v. Flash, though not all of it very convincing. Some useful isolated facts, so thanks for those.

    First, not sure how relevant the h.264 patent battles are here (note: Apple is a big force supporting H.264; Steve tends to get what he wants.) That is not a pertinent use of HTML5 on the TiVo which has dedicated chips for video decoding. If HTML5 were used, it'd be for menus. And that shouldn't be too daunting a task.

    Second, while Flash is by far better supported than HTML5, this doesn't matter either; for this conversation, all that matters is what the TiVo supports. It seems obvious to conclude that Flash is the clear winner here because of the presumed existence of Flash acceleration hardware on the Premiere, but then again, we all know how sluggish that HD interface is using that acceleration. It doesn't appear to be adequate.

    Third, HTML5 support on TiVo is up to TiVo. I have heard no confirmation that they support any kind of HTML5 rendering. Could it? Don't know, do we?

    Fourth, performance. TiVo aside, Apple would have us believe that Flash is resource intensive and HTML5 is vastly superior, so good they find it suitable for handheld mobile devices with small batteries. iOS devices indeed have great stability and battery life, and some of their new HTML5 apps are really amazing---they feel as full functioning as native Objective C-coded apps. Compare that to Android which retains Flash, and find many more complaints about stability, poorer performance and battery life. Adobe is fighting back to keep dominance but the tide is turning. Right or wrong, Steve tends to get what he wants, and this time, he appears to be right.

    Fifth, will TiVo move away from Flash? It is hard to say because it is hard to argue they have even fully embraced Flash in the first place. Really they have only built a handful of menus with Flash and left the rest unfinished. Flash development isn't terribly difficult. In fact, this is where Flash is the clear winner. No open source technology is as easy to create apps as what Adobe has created for its Flash/Flex family of technologies.

    It is so easy I think it is safe believe all of the menus have long been designed and coded in TiVo labs, probably a year ago, though not yet released, I am sure they continue to tweak them. The problem is no doubt performance related although there could be a few other complications, perhaps due to some spaghetti code in a core system. Who knows. But I think it has been designed/coded but is sadly still terrible. A great UI with terrible performance is still bad for usability. They may even be waiting for optimization tweaks from Adobe, which has far bigger battles to fight in the web space. And TiVo itself appears to be distracted. End user customers are no longer their priority.

    I think they now feel Flash was a terrible mistake for this reference platform, promising fast and easy development turnaround, but alas running too poorly. But they aren't going back. They may switch gears for the next series or whatever they do next with MSOs, or they may go back to Flash once they have hardware up to the task of running Flash. My iPod Touch 2nd gen is old but gets betters cpu scores than my much newer Premiere, and the Premiere's alleged Flash acceleration silicon clearly can't overcome its other deficiencies, such as limited memory and bandwidth, hey whatever.
     
  2. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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  3. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    There's no such thing as HTML5 "content". HTML5 doesn't define what video formats are supported. I believe people are too caught up in the Flash vs HTML5. None of that has any affect on TiVo as they aren't using it as a web technology but as a UI engine. At the end of the day, it will never really matter to users what they use to power the UI.
     
  4. Fofer

    Fofer Bo55man69

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    Yeah, I agree with rainwater. What's on the Premiere now and in the future has nothing to do with Adobe's announcements (today or in the future) about Flash.
     
  5. WizarDru

    WizarDru New Member

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    More importantly, Adobe isn't abandoning Flash, they're abandoning it on Mobile Devices. They're clearly still trying to leverage it for PCs and gaming platforms...which probably has more of an effect on TiVo than HTML5 will.

    The better question is will TiVo absorb all of Flash Player 12's improvements?
     
  6. Fofer

    Fofer Bo55man69

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    TiVo ain't changing. It's barely staying alive. Playlists in the YouTube app have been broken for two years. The HDUI is still embarrassingly incomplete (and buggy.)

    If anyone expects TiVo to make any Flash adjustments to their core OS now, they are either not paying attention to the writing on the wall, or seriously deluding themselves.
     
  7. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

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    They are also abandoning it on TV

    http://gigaom.com/video/flash-tv-future/

    They are still working on Air it sounds like which TiVo has said they are working on.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/adobe-advances-entertainment-apps-for-tvs-2011-10-03
     
  8. solutionsetc

    solutionsetc Member

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    Question… how many here (at any point in time) actually thought building the new interface on top of Flash was a good idea?

    For the record… I didn't. Building your home on someone else's trailer is never a good idea. TiVo did it because they were lazy or incompetent… guessing it is a little of both.

    I am still happy with my buggy TiVo HDs. When they die I am not sure what I'll do, but I am pretty sure it won't be TiVo anymore.
     
  9. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    Happy with my TiVo S3's and HDXL and NOT buggy at all. We may get a (buggy) Premier only because of the Antenna promotional monthly $9.99 rate.
     
  10. WizarDru

    WizarDru New Member

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    Yeah, forget what I said. Tivo's got themselves a serious problem. I wonder why Adobe even made a pretense of maintaining Flash. It's just gone to something a handful of people might write some browser games in.
     
  11. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    Again, that has nothing to do with TiVo. They are not using the Flash Porting Kit which is being expired.
     
  12. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    http://www.techofthehub.com/2011/11/adobe-flash-and-connected-devices.html

    And what does the announcement mean for TiVo? The Premiere platform has an HD user interface that is built in Flash (albeit not complete yet). However, it's not what Adobe is removing support for. TiVo PR provided the following comment when asked about the impact of the Adobe announcement:

    "Adobe’s recent announcement is focused on Flash as a browser plug-in for mobile devices. TiVo Premiere utilizes Adobe AIR to deliver Flash based apps to connected TVs and is not affected by the news. After consulting with Adobe, we anticipate no change to our current plans in our use of Adobe products within TiVo products. [TiVo also then references the Adobe clarification]"


    This statement gives credence to our theory that the new TiVo Netflix app will be Flash-based. So, TiVo fans don't fret. The Adobe announcement does not mean that TiVo (or Google TV) has hit an architectural dead-end. In fact, it sounds like Adobe is doubling down on AIR (as is TiVo).
     
  13. tomhorsley

    tomhorsley Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I'd say it confirms TiVo is all-in on what was an obviously dead-end technology even before Adobe admitted it.
     
  14. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    What was their alternative to Adobe?
     
  15. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    AIR is a dead-end technology?
     
  16. Fofer

    Fofer Bo55man69

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    Are you suggesting that only Adobe presented viable options upon which TiVo could have built their "next generation" UI?
     
  17. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    Yes. Moving to an alternate user interface technology would have required a significantly more advanced hardware platform.

    Flash is probably one of two technologies currently embraced by the content providers. The other being Microsoft Silverlight.

    http://www.adobe.com/products/flashaccess/
     
  18. Scyber

    Scyber Former ReplayTV User

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    That is really only true for "open" systems such as personal computers or mobile platforms. Content providers have embraced numerous methods of content delivery for "closed" platforms. Just look at all of the OTT boxes on the market (like roku), very few of them run flash or silverlight, yet many of them have the content providers blessing.
     
  19. sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    You are correct. A number of OTT devices use a proprietary closed platform. In my view the selection of Adobe Air going forward is more positive than negative for TiVo. It will be easier for developers to create a TiVo Adobe Air application than a proprietary Roku or Bokee app. It comes down to where do the developers feel they will get the most bang for the buck. It will be easier for content providers or TiVo to deploy apps that are written around an environment like Adobe Air.

    https://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2011/11/focusing.html
     
  20. WizarDru

    WizarDru New Member

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    Has there actually been some discussion that a new Netflix app is under development for TiVo?
     

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