Is the TiVO Edge their last DVR hardware model?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by buscuitboy, Feb 2, 2021.

Tags:
  1. Feb 2, 2021 #1 of 49
    buscuitboy

    buscuitboy Member

    767
    2
    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area

    Advertisements

    I currently have 2 lifetime Roamios and honestly BARELY use them. They are used to record some local cable access channels a few times per month for a project & that is it. I plug/unplug when needed.

    otherwise, I just use my Nvidia shield, FireTV and Roku for my daily TV watching needs. The Roamios have been rock solid in performance & I have no plans to upgrade. Plus, cable card requirement has come to an end so I'm not interested in sinking money into a potentially dying piece of hardware.

    I also see how others are using streaming devices more and more. It makes me wonder if the TiVO Edge will be their last traditional DVR. Hell, even TiVo introduced their own Google TV based dongle. And haven't they been bought out several times as well (I could be wrong on this)

    What are the chances TiVO will have another traditional DVR?
     
  2. Feb 3, 2021 #2 of 49
    mrsean

    mrsean Active Member

    352
    80
    May 15, 2006
    New Jersey
  3. Feb 4, 2021 #3 of 49
    Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    1,526
    141
    Mar 14, 2010
    Yeah, but TiVo has moved on to the TiVo Stream, their version of a streaming device like a Roku type device, but with NO ability to view content from your TiVo DVR. IMHO, I sincerely doubt TiVo will ever produce another true DVR product, especially with the death of the Cable Card requirement, there just does not seem to be a market for future TiVo DVR's outside of cable TV. The TiVo management seems to be going all-in, hail-Mary for the lousy TiVo Stream.

    What's a bit bitter to me is that TiVo was developing Maverick (did I spell it right?), which seemed to a hybrid of traditional DVR with Cloud DVR, and that device may have been more successful than continuing with just the local DVR tech, but the new owners of TiVo killed that project, and instead brought us the ad shoving down your throat Edge. Truly, the Series 5 Roamios were the last really good DVR's TiVo ever produced.

    So, my opinion is yes, I really do think that Edge is the last DVR of ANY kind TiVo will ever produce. It is sad to see such a good product to down the drain. I'm certain others will comment.
     
  4. Feb 4, 2021 #4 of 49
    CommunityMember

    CommunityMember Active Member

    202
    95
    May 22, 2020
    It is possible, but it depends on a number of factors.

    TiVo, themselves, are basically out of the hardware design business. That is now done by 3rd parties based on specifications from the (typically small/medium) cable operators that are using TiVo as their customer STB (typically with a UI that brings the operator's name front and center rather than TiVo, but that is primarily just skinning of the UI), and based on what the cable operators want (how many tuners, how much capability, etc.). The consumer Edge primarily exists because the cable operators wanted/needed a next gen box, Arris did the design/manufacturer based on those requirements, and TiVo was able to take advantage of the hardware to release a consumer device based on that work. It should be noted that TiVo currently offers two different OS variants to cable operators, the "classic" TiVo (which is basically the consumer OS), and a newer one based on Android TV which brings the operator (and the TiVo) experience front and center (which can not be released to consumers) and can run Android TV apps that the operator allows. Some operators will remain in the classic variant for quite some time, so the classic variant was ported to the next gen hardware, and TiVo essentially got a consumer device (the Edge) without substantial investment (very minimal additional work to create different plastic and consumer boxing along with their TiVo UI).

    At some point, the cable operators, should they continue to offer video services, may want a next next gen box (newer, faster, bigger, cheaper???), and will work with TiVo and a hardware partner (perhaps Arris). And when that happens, and if TiVo still sees a potential consumer market, TiVo may release that new box (the Sharper Edge?)

    That is a lot of maybes and possibilities. Some cable operators have, or are considering, exiting the video services offerings (telling people to just subscribe to an OTT). Some cable operators are moving to a pure IPTV play rather than linear QAM which the consumer TiVo can not support due to licensing (the operator units can support IPTV for the operators if the operator requests it). And the sales of consumer DVRs has plummeted (a combination of individuals shaving the cord due to pricing and other options, and the operator STB arguably being somewhat equivalent and typically adequate in functionality and pricing to a consumer TiVo, and as mentioned the future move to IPTV) making potential market numbers smaller and smaller.
     
    NashGuy and chiguy50 like this.
  5. Feb 4, 2021 #5 of 49
    ashipkowski

    ashipkowski Member

    50
    24
    Oct 7, 2008

    Advertisements

    Worth explicitly noting that the article immediately focuses on Tivo doing OTT offerings rather than DVRs after indicating new HW will launch this feature:

    The new feature isn't launching into existing TiVo products just yet, and instead will be woven into new devices that the company says will launch in the coming months.

    "We believe that with our state-of-the-art voice authentication technology combined with TiVo's expertise in the OTT video space [...]"​
     
  6. Feb 4, 2021 #6 of 49
    CommunityMember

    CommunityMember Active Member

    202
    95
    May 22, 2020
    One of the issues about the maverick was that it was designed to upload your recordings to the cloud. Which may have worked adequately for those with a higher upload speeds, but otherwise not so much. What (sounded) like the initial plan (at least according to some patent applications) was that if there were sufficient numbers of consumers in the same locality the device could upload your "share" of the recording (if 10 people recorded Survivor in your location you only would need to upload 1/10th of the show and somehow meld the pieces together). However, without large sales of the device such sharing was not going to work well in all locations, and there were some additional issues about whether one can (legally) share parts of recordings with others, or whether everyone needed to have their own unique recording for someone like TiVo without explicit contracts with the content providers (for the cable operators, or the OTTs, with a direct contract with the content providers, those things could be negotiated).

    In any case, TiVo by that point, had pivoted to primarily being a cable operator solution provider, not a consumer device provider. The maverick had no future in the operator market.
     
  7. Feb 4, 2021 #7 of 49
    eherberg

    eherberg Active Member

    391
    224
    Feb 16, 2011
    Yeah - the statement was that new devices are launching. That doesn't mean TiVo is launching them. Devices can, I'm sure, license the feature just as they can license the metadata and other IP offerings.

    As mentioned above - TiVo is already out of the hardware game. That was well documented on these very forums. A hardware company (likely Arris) can manufacture and use the TiVo UI and there is always a chance one of those models could get TiVo's name slapped on it - but there is no TiVo hardware division anymore. It's tough to justify a continued investment for any company in a retail offering that has fewer and fewer users each year -- and that trend isn't going to reverse-course (just like cable/satellite subs aren't going to reverse their trend).

    Companies that focus on hardware are best represented now by small niche companies like Tablo and Silicon Dust that appeal to a small, niche group of users. No company that has stockholders is going to put anymore resources into a hardware DVR with a shrinking userbase.
     
    NashGuy likes this.
  8. Feb 6, 2021 #8 of 49
    Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    1,526
    141
    Mar 14, 2010
    Thanks for the info. I never got much info into the particulars of the challenges of Mavrik, although I had heard that limited internet access speed was a big concern.

    However, I am quite confident that in regards to the "sharing" of any of the COPYRIGHT video (even OTA because it too is copyright content--we just don't pay a subscription fee to view it) for ANY purpose (even for efficiency sake) is absolutely illegal--without an explicit agreement allowing it, and copyright holders of the programming content have NEVER agreed to such use. Courts have ruled time and again, and often citing the landmark Sony vs. Universal Studios SCOTUS decision that "Personal" and "Private" are key. This includes a number of things such as USER initiation of recording content; USER initiation on almost every level; and such recordings used by ONLY the individual(s) who initiated such recordings for their own PERSONAL and PRIVATE use, and even PLACE shifting is allowed, so long as the copyright content being placed shifted is not "In The Clear" and ONLY to the individual who recorded it or LIVE content place shifting from their OWN access to that content (from their own home via legal access to the content either no restrictions OTA or cable or sat subscription for "pay TV" content).

    You might be thinking that Areo fit these requirements PERFECTLY, and it did! The majority of SCOTUS abandoned logic and jumped many spaces over to the "Areo did not PAY for this content" view, and the law does allow for OTA's to negotiate for retransmission's rights or Must Carry. But that law never, in any form cited, not even mentioned anything close to an Areo-like service: one where user initiation is remote (the antennas were remote controlled by viewers many miles away and even turend in such a direction that reception was impossible when viewier ended their session among other USER INITATED and conrolled steps) and passes all the "tests".

    The correct ruling--IMHO--would have been the minority's--including the late Justice Anton Scalia--who stated that although Areo is a "rubes-Goldberg" scheme, and the justice did NOT like Areo's clever way of avoiding paying for the content, it was nonetheless LEGAL because it passed every test applied--and EVERY LOWER COURT also found Areo to pass every test applied. The solution was for Congress to settle. In other words, the broadcasters need to go to Congress to make Areo illegal. That would have been the correct decision and I have every confidence that NAB would have quickly gotten Congress to pass such a law that would have resulted Areo shutting down, anyway. But the point here is that the SCOTUS ruling was bad and presumptuous.

    Back on the matter of "shared" recordings: One case decision was a cable company (I think it was Cable Vision) and its planned cloud DVR concept wanted to use just ONE recording of content (TV show, etc.) and have it accessible by many different subscribers who had previously initiated the request for the recording of content to be kept on the server for the sake of efficiency. The viewers would still have to go through all the hopes of initiation to "request" the recording, but would only have to access the single recorded content used by all for playback.

    While this was a certainly reasonable solution, a ruling was handed down explicitly forbidding such a scheme, even though its purpose was to allow efficiency and nothing more (and in no way harm nor cause loss to the copyright holders) because such sharing eliminates the Personal and Private PHYSICAL recording that can then be accessed by ONLY by that subscriber who initiated the recording. Therefore, the cable company would have to provide each subscriber its very own secure space on the server that only that subscriber can access, and the cable company would have to deposit multiple copies of the requested recordings of TV shows--in other words hundreds or thousands of recordings of the exact same TV show into each individual portion of the server accessed only by that subscriber. I believe this is how the vMVPD's like YTTV, SlingTV, etc. provide for their cloud DVR service.

    It seems silly to have to have all those duplicate recordings taking up room on the server even if access is ONLY granted by those who requested the recording be made, but the LAW--or how it is interpreted--seems to demand that for Fair Use to prevail, the actions and copies MUST be on an entirely individual, Personal and Private basis, even in HOW and WHERE that recording is to be stored and forbidding any notion of "sharing" even securely for efficiency sake. Of course, at some point, I would think that Congress can make such limited and secure "sharing" of copyright content that otherwise meets all the requirements of Fair Use legal, and courts would likely approve such a law if it were challenged, but nobody seems interested in a fight for such a law until the copyright owners are willing to go along with it, and in the future, they may be willing to.

    Oh, well, I guess TiVo's business model was just not for the long-run. I will say that part of the problem as I've heard from people inside the MVPD business is that TiVo always required MVPD's to PAY ALL COSTS AND R&D and REQUIRED AMOUNT OF PROMOTION on top of a monthly licensing fee for each TiVo, and this is why TiVo was very rarely adopted as MVPD's DVR of choice, more so than any challenges posed by cable tech companies like Scientific Atlanta, Motorola, etc. because TiVo was just too damn expensive, and TiVo refused to share any of the costs.

    Sorry for the long post, it is just that a lot of people I've talked to can't quite accept or wrap their heads around the fact that the law requires multiple copies of the exact same aired TV show in hundreds, thousands, or millions of separate and PRIVATE portions of the servers, and that is how copyright holders WANT IT, apparently.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
  9. Feb 8, 2021 #9 of 49
    mrsean

    mrsean Active Member

    352
    80
    May 15, 2006
    New Jersey
    I wonder if Tivo/Arris would do a refresh of the Edge and add a 3.5" internal drive. This would be a good way to increase sales by getting people to move away from Roamio.
     
  10. CommunityMember

    CommunityMember Active Member

    202
    95
    May 22, 2020
    (Physically) large HDDs are a pretty much dead product space except for the hyperscaler nearline and cold storage market space. And the 2.5" HDD space is collapsing (the price (and improved endurance) of various forms of flash have practically eliminated the market).

    I would not be surprised that if there is a next generation device refresh (with local DVR storage(*)) it will use flash storage, as that eliminates one of the most common failure points(**) (and having DVRs fail in the home is a large cost for the cable operator (not only is it a customer satisfaction issue, there is the entire exchange process, which can easily cost a few hundred dollars after all the process and overheads are included)).

    However, perhaps that guess is all wrong. If you are confident about the sales volume of a 3.5" drive alternative, and you are willing to purchase some tens of thousands of units, and then try to sell and support them into the market (i.e. it is your money on the line), you should probably talk to TiVo (and Arris). While individual onsies and twosies of roamio's are just not going to get anyone interested (which is almost certainly why you don't see TiVo (Arris) rushing into the market), if there is a real market (your money) involved, it could happen.


    (*) Remember that the design/market is about the cable operator, and consumers will see something only if operators want it built and then TiVo can throw their plastic and UI on it. Some cable operators are looking at the major player (Comcast/Cox/Charter) models of a small amount of local storage to handle live pause, and a few shows time shifted by a few hours, and the rest being cloud based content delivery, or even pure cloud based content delivery, meaning such devices might not even need local storage at all.

    (**) While everything fails eventually, the HDD is often the first to go, followed by the fan, another mechanical device. And if you eliminate the HDD and the heat load you may even be able to use a fan-less case which allows the cable operator to offer a smaller box, or puck, or dongle, which is differently appealing.
     
  11. spiderpumpkin

    spiderpumpkin Say no to Hydra!

    323
    188
    Dec 1, 2017
    The Roamio Plus/Pro design is near perfect. They should go back to that box and just update the internals.
     
  12. kdmorse

    kdmorse Well-Known Member TCF Club

    8,345
    2,167
    Jan 29, 2001
    Germantown, MD
    Which is an absurdity which leads to an even greater absurdity if you play the tape all the way to the end.

    If done right, all of those individual personalized recordings would be bit for bit identical. You store them on a storage platform that has built in deduplication completely transparent to the user (in this case the 'user' being the cable company), all they know is *wow, I'm getting an amazing space savings ratio on my stored data!*. And now you have the exact same result as was originally denied, one physical copy. 20 personal copies in all the ways that matter, but only one copy's worth of bits on the disk. Which way would the courts rule in that case? - I have absolutely no idea....

    I would bet good money that the answer would be that each persons personal copy would have to be in some way tainted with their identity, to prevent that from happening, possibly encrypted on a per 'personal recording' basis. And that just makes baby I/T Jesus cry.
     
  13. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    4,107
    2,048
    May 2, 2015
    Yeah. A few years ago, I predicted that the Bolt would be the final model retail CableCARD DVR that TiVo ever released but they proved me wrong with the Edge. But, as you say, the Edge likely was only released because Arris wanted an updated (or simply cheaper to produce) hardware platform to sell to cable operators, and that new platform got repurposed on the retail side as the Edge.

    But at this point, it's really hard to see TiVo and Arris bothering with a future model CableCARD DVR for either cable TV operators or the retail market. The small-to-mid-sized operators that issue TiVos to their customers are pretty much all now shifting to managed IPTV to replace their traditional QAM-based cable TV service and/or they're nudging customers toward pairing third-party OTT cable TV services like YouTube TV and Sling with their broadband service. There just can't be many potential sales to be made any more among cable TV operators, I'd think.
     
  14. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    4,107
    2,048
    May 2, 2015
    IMO, the most important defining feature of the Maverik wasn't the option to store recordings in the cloud but rather the fact that it was a headless network-connected DVR that would be accessed via a TiVo app on popular streaming devices like Apple TV, Fire TV and Android TV. In other words, a direct competitor to Tablo, which I think has surpassed TiVo as the most popular, easy-to-use OTA DVR solution in today's streaming era.

    I guess it's possible (though unlikely) that if the TiVo Stream 4K sold well enough they might follow it up with something similar to Maverik/Tablo. It would integrate directly into the TiVo Stream app on their streaming dongle. They could even release that app for Fire TV (since that platform is also Android-based), which would greatly increase the number of potential buyers for their headless DVR accessory.

    But as I say, that's doubtful. The streamer-connected OTA DVR market is small, and TiVo would be competing against the already-established leaders: Tablo, Fire TV Recast and HDHomeRun/Channels. Just doesn't seem like a big enough potential market for a publicly-traded corporation like Xperi/TiVo to even bother with.
     
  15. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    1,526
    141
    Mar 14, 2010
    Yeah, Maverik having the Fire TV Recast sort of feature would have been great, and I like the idea of the FireTV Recast functioning that way, it is just too bad that there are a few things that Amazon would really need to improve for me to buy one. However, it really is the ONLY option to TiVo if one wants to record OTA-- I mean without the larger investment in the other alternatives like Tablo, etc. Recast TV's ONE PRICE, no other costs, even for EPG, is the pricing model I really care about, and I already have FireTV's as our preferred connected device, so $0 in additional costs there.
     
  16. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    1,526
    141
    Mar 14, 2010
    Well, there is the flip side of that coin: HDD's still cheaper, and likely really cheaper in bulk. Many MSO's these days have you bring in the DVR for an exchange, so no cost of a truck-roll--billed to the subscriber, unless a subscriber insists. Sometimes you can get the truck roll fee credited, if you yell loud enough.

    As far as failure, considering the almost never ending work as a DVR, SSD's would indeed likely fail sooner, and without warning--unlike HDD's, along with SSD's being more prone to errors on the read, and unless one invests in the Samsung EVO (or PRO, but not the cheap QVO), one will find a many pages or cells marked as unusable over time, and then, even, failure. That SSD can be resurrected wit the right tools, but that trick of revival aint helping reduce problems with the the subscriber's DVR. HDD's still have their appeal and even preference in many applications, but are rather ill-suited for DVR use. SSD's can be a value in the limited use as a boot drive, where frequent write and re-write of the HDD data drive is relatively rare, or, at least, minimal in comparison to the data drive.

    Of course, Flash memory is used for a great many DVR's and other devices for the Firmware to be stored because these are re-written very infrequently, but even the memory for these is not very much (at some point it is the limit of the Flash memory that can dictate number of features on a DVR and sufficient memory left-over for updates) mostly because of the COST, even at bulk, but multiplied by hundreds of thousands for example, while some additional software can be subsequently loaded on the HDD (especially the EPG data), but the Firmware residing on the Flash is key to DVR.

    While I like SSD's (and use a few), their flaws are still too much to invest as a data drive and certainly too much as a drive for a DVR, even before we get to the whole limited writes and rewrites, and DVR's are designed to write and rewrite--constantly. Also the QUALITY of a branded SSD is often too low, with the exception of Samsung's EVO and Pro SSD's. I think MSO's would have far more failures deploying SSD's in subscribers' DVR's than they would HDD's. However, I have confidence that the current limitations of SSD's will be overcome not too long from now, or an even better storage technology than either HDD's or SSD's will be developed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2021
  17. southerndoc

    southerndoc TiVo Fanatic

    733
    64
    Apr 4, 2003
    Atlanta, GA USA
    I'm sure TiVo will partner with Xfinity to offer IPTV services. If Channels can do it (albeit not the same way), I'm sure they can develop it.
     
  18. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    4,107
    2,048
    May 2, 2015
    Well, there's Tablo, but yes, it's more expensive than Fire TV Recast. The Tablo Dual Lite costs $150, lifetime guide subscription (which stays with the person, not the device, BTW) is another $150. Then you're gonna spend close to $50 on a 1 TB USB hard drive. So that's about $350. Meanwhile the 2-tuner Recast with 500 GB hard drive costs $230.

    Channels DVR with an HDHomeRun tuner is probably the most polished, overall highest-quality OTA DVR experience available now. But they don't offer lifetime service. Cheapest you're gonna get is buying it at $80 per year.
     
  19. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    1,526
    141
    Mar 14, 2010
    Thanks for the details, pretty much what I had researched a few years ago. I'll take the FireTV Recast for its lower overall price and adequate capabilities (I don't care about recoding to 720P nor it few glitches), and Amazon aint going out of business for at least a few years :). Bezos can afford to pay for the EPG data as he makes almost all of his money from sales of real "things" on his web store and just as much--if not more--with his AWS side of the business. Auto commercial skip is nice, but I'm not too lazy that I can't press the skip button a few times--forth and back. Recast is the only device I would consider if they pull the rug from under us and no longer support retail TiVo's. I don't think that would happen for a little while, anyway.
     
  20. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    4,107
    2,048
    May 2, 2015
    Your retail TiVo will continue to receive guide data and be functional for years to come. I mean, sure, TiVo might stop selling retail DVRs any day now (seriously, who knows) but they create the guide data themselves and will continue to run their servers to give it to their cable operator partners, so there's no reason they would invite a huge class action lawsuit from retail owners with "lifetime" service by suddenly refusing to serve them guide data too.

    Now, all that said, it's possible (though I wouldn't say probable) that we see the quality of the TiVo DVR experience degrade over time. Pre-roll ads and ads in the TiVo UI might eventually become unavoidable on all retail DVRs with lifetime service -- they already have your money, right? How else are they going to continue to monetize you?
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements