Instant Cake ripoff

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by funtoupgrade, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    If the hard drive failed after a few years on a lifetime unit and the only remedy was to buy another lifetime unit, I would say that many customers would switch over to a cable or satellite DVR. How many people would even buy a lifetime unit, if they couldn't repair it?
     
  2. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    When the Instantcake software was sold by PTVUpgrade I recall reading several posts indicating that they were licensed by Tivo to sell the software. I can only assume that Weaknees bought the rights and are now sanctioned by Tivo to sell Instantcake just as PTVUpgrade once was.

    I agree about the assessment that Weaknees jacked up the price for their own interests. Although they do serve a niche market, virtually everything they sell is at extortionist prices. It's pretty bad when a replacement power supply from them costs more than a complete Tivo on ebay.
     
  3. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    Try running a co. legally and see what your overhead is, I doubt Weaknees is making a fortune for its owners, they charge for convenience. Today one can beat the price of almost any retail store if you want to use the web and do your own service, as long as Weaknees provides enough values for their customers they will stay in busness, even if most people on this form can do their own repair work and find parts for themselves, I purchased a TP from Amazon at $50 just for the parts for my 4 working TPs.
     
  4. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Is that an apples to apples comparison on the power supplies?

    Both new, same warranty, same chance of being able to track down the seller if you have a warranty claim?
     
  5. jmill

    jmill New Member

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    Neither DVRUpgrade, nor Weakness, nor any other site that they own have a "special right" to distribute TiVo images simply because TiVo software is supposedly free under GPL v2 license.

    Take a look on their websites (dvrupgrade.com, weakness.com, newreleasesvideo.com, etc...) and nowhere they mention any specific license. Why? It doesn't exist!

    Source code to TiVo software can be easily bought for $15 directly from TiVo:

    http://www.tivo.com/linux/index.html

    However, since TiVo software is based on GPL v2 license and not GPL v3 license, TiVo can keep software both free and locked in a specific way by making it run only if the TiVo's digital signature matches those authorized by the manufacturer of the TiVo. In other words, while TiVo software is technically free.... it cannot be modified in any way by anybody. However, software is free for distribution. For those more interested in details, read here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tivoization

    Again, there is no specific "license" for TiVo software. I absolutely agree with the OP that IC is a ripoff. Weakness and DVRUpgraded first lied about the "license" and then charge $40 for simple shell script that is based on the free software to make image run.

    It's really sad to see them charge people for something that they got for free... In my opinion it is far cheaper to buy the preimaged drive from DVR_Dude or others; or simply make one yourself.
     
  6. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    Isn't that source code just the linux kernel and the stuff that they used from other sources? AFAIK the main TiVo application and all of the proprietary stuff that they wrote from scratch has never been released.

    I have no idea if there's actually a license/fee or not.
     
  7. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    The TiVo application software is not GPL and not open source. As ggieseke says, TiVo does make available changes they make to Linux itself, but that does not give you enough to build all the TiVo software.
     
  8. wkearney99

    wkearney99 Bill Kearney

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    I've used IC downloads twice before and they worked with no problems. I seem to recall the price was less though. Maybe $19? $40 does seem a bit much, is that for just a download, or an actual physical disc mailed to you? $40 to download an ISO seems excessive.
     
  9. magnus

    magnus Tivo User

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    I've used IC software more than twice and have never had any problems with it. :D

    However, $40 is just robbery.
     
  10. JoeTaxpayer

    JoeTaxpayer Member

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    Another vendor sells a 1TB drive for $250.
    1TB drives are now $50 or so. So the IC + Drive = $90 + 30min of my time, $50 = $140 total installed vs $250 + $50 = $300.

    I have IC for the 3 model tivos in my house, a series 2, a series 3 HD, and a THX audio series 3. Until I saw this comment, I thought I was saving money, and getting a great deal.

    It's definitely a techie thing. I know otherwise intelligent people who couldn't figure out how to burn an ISO. But their site spells out all the warnings, that imaging a drive this way is a bit different than just downloading MP3s.
     
  11. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    DVR_DUDE sells 1 TB plug-in drives for $110, with a 3-year warranty. Please post where you see 1 TB drives for $50.
     
  12. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    He's talking about bare drives, not drives that have had the Tivo OS installed.
     
  13. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I know. Still would like to see link to $50 price.
     
  14. wkearney99

    wkearney99 Bill Kearney

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    Fwiw, I just picked up a pair of 2TB drives from microcenter... $79 each. And while there noticed they've got Samsung F3 1TB drives for $59.

    There, does that put to rest that angle of the argument? Moving on...
     
  15. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Let me put it this way:
    I think the $50 bare drive price is kind of low ball for a TiVo-compatible 1 TB drive, and was stated that way to bolster an argument that you save big bucks by using a bare drive plus IC instead of buying a plug-in drive from DVR_DUDE.

    I believe a more typical price for a 1 TB bare drive is $70 and when you add the $40 for IC, you are up to $110 -- so you save nothing over the DVR_DUDE offering. Thus I was interested in an actual example of where you could buy a 1 TB TiVo-compatible drive for $50, and then other readers could decide for themselves if this was a reputable source (compared to Amazon for example).

    Even if you get the drive for $50 you save only $20 and if you have a snag using IC, as many seem to do, you probably will wish you spent the $20.
     
  16. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
  17. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Have I missed something in the Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ sticky thread? I find little evidence that Samsung drives are known to be TiVo compatible. See **this** for example, which includes the following statement:
     
  18. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    What are you calling TiVo compatible ? Almost all SATA drives sold now will work with any SATA TiVo, some 5400 drives may have a problem, but the 7200 RPM drives I know about will all work. Some WD drives need tuning to work with some TiVos but even that is now being reported as not being a problem anymore. If anybody has knowledge of a new SATA 7200rpm drive that will NOT work with the Series 3 or Series 4 TiVo let us know. Some people have their favorites in drives for TiVo, that OK, but it does not mean that another drive will not work.
     
  19. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I mean good for internal drive expansion to 1, 1.5 or 2 TB for a Series 3 or 4 TiVo, in the context of the Drive Expansion Sticky Thread, i.e., using WinMFS, JMFS, and also Instant Cake. What you're saying appears to be at odds with the advice in the sticky thread.

    Regarding the Samsung Spinpoint drives in particular (the type on sale for $50 per a previous posted link), AFAIK **this post** summarizes the situation in a way that I tend to give some credibility.
     
  20. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    What happens using one batch of a given mfg drives may not happen with another batch that has newer firmware, any drive can change from batch to batch and you will not know about such a change, so you will have a small risk in any drive you purchase for TiVos use no matter what any post may say. At some point WD drives stopped booting on some TiVos, you had to run a program to change the drive auto park time, nobody new in advance this was a problem, but smart posters on this form found the solution. Drive co. are selling hard drives for the PC market not the TiVo market, if you want to pay more you can purchase the AV type of drive but from what I can see all that drive does is adj the seek time that you could do yourself. Some newer drives are not letting any adj of the seek time, so they may have a little more unacceptable noise when used in a bedroom at night with the TV off.
     

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