Is Tivo actually trying to lose customers?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Nak, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Feb 10, 2014 #1 of 128

    Nak Active Member

    Aug 18, 2010


    Is Tivo just trying to piss off long time fans???

    First we had the problem with playing MP3s. Originally they played fine. But then some update screwed it up and now the vast majority of users have problems with MP3s advancing from one song to the next. Tivo is aware of the problem and has never bothered to fix it, even though they still advertise Tivo's ability to play music--including MP3s. And of course, every time I call Tivo support they claim this is the first time Tivo support has ever heard about this--even though I myself have called about it many times as have many people I know.

    Then we had the Stream and Android. Don't get me wrong, it was just good sense to do IOS first. (I'm an Android user...) But the Tivo CEO did an interview shortly after Stream came out and promised Stream for Android very shortly. That was a year and a half ago.

    Now we have Pandora. A lot of us used and loved this app. Now, it's no longer available unless you use HD menus. For many Tivo users who are very happy with the SD menus--and despise the HD menus--this is just a slap in the face. And the new app is nowhere near as good as the old app.

    If you like the HD menus, that's great. Tivo gives you the option to use either HD or SD menus. That's what Tivo should be about, giving the user the best experience possible. With the latest update though, you're stuck with HD menus if you want to use Pandora. For me, and many others, the HD menus are not intuitive and annoying. For everyone, they are a lot slower than SD menus. There is nothing about the HD menus I like, and a lot I don't like. Before, that was fine, I just used the SD menus. Tivo was fast, intuitive, friendly. I would never have bought three Tivos with lifetime service if I knew I would be stuck with these horrible HD menus.

    I've had a Tivo from very near the beginning. I've been a huge fan and recommended Tivo to everyone I know. Now, I tell people to stay away from Tivo. Tivo has lied to me, Tivo has failed to even try to fix MP3 problems, Tivo has continually degraded my experience over the years. Yes, I have HD recording now. So does Comcast. Yes I have Pandora. So does many other devices. In the past Tivo just did everything better than everyone else. Now, they seem determined to do it worse.

    I've been a huge fan for years. I put up with losing MP3 playback and seeing Tivo still advertise it. I was still a fan. I put up with the CEO lying about Android stream support. I was still a fan. Pandora is the last straw. I am no longer a fan. If I didn't have lifetime service, I'd dump Tivo today.

    Tivo, if you want to get back a lot of fans you are losing, fix these problems. If you can't fix MP3 playback, just say so and stop advertising local music file playback. If you can't implement Stream for Android, just say so. Apologize for promising it "shortly" when clearly you could not deliver. And for God's sake, give us back the old Pandora app, or at least let us access Pandora via the SD menus.

    Tivo, try being Tivo again.
  2. Feb 10, 2014 #2 of 128

    lgnad Pantless Mofo

    Feb 14, 2013
    Complain to Pandora, they made the app and shut down the old version, not TiVo. With The new way apps are created, hopefully they will continue to update it and add whatever features/functionality you feel the new version is lacking.

    I thank Tivo for continuing to expand its capabilities so that we have more modern, current versions of apps and the infrastructure for more apps to be able to be hopefully quickly ported over, instead of dying/fading out on the niche/dead adobe flash platform, and rewarded them by purchasing a Roamio.

    It could be argued that getting rid of SD IS giving people the best experience possible. Adding apps/features/functionality and ensuring that they run in both environments greatly increases cost, software overhead, time to build/test and odds of problems/bugs and put huge limits UI design.

    Keeping the SD screens around makes it look not high-tech, up-to-date, sexy, whichever way you want to say it. Just look at the comments from folks about the few remaining SD screens.

    I had forgotten you can play mp3's. I cant even remember how! lol Don't recall it being discussed on here, either. Ok, share it through TiVo desktop. Wow, looks like a dvd player from 10 years ago. I don't doubt its quirky, I only tested it for about 40 minutes. Hopefully they'll replace that with something more functional in HD soon, or maybe with a more functional full blown app at some point.

    Compare TiVo's to say, phones. Premiere platform is almost four years old. A four year old phone is ancient. Full price of a new phone is 500-700 and you have to pay for service, so theres a lot of parallels. Most Android phones get a few (or only one or two) OS updates and then get abandoned. Tivo on the other hand, continues to update the Premiere's software with all of the latest features of the new line.

    Ive had a stream, Ipad and Android phone so I understand your frustration in that area. The android app has always been a step or two behind. Obviously, they bit off more than they can chew and there are tech issues with the protocol being supported by older versions of Android

    The old Pandora should still be on series 3's? Maybe that's your solution. SD menus, old Pandora, no need to worry about anything changing.
  3. Feb 10, 2014 #3 of 128

    PaJo New Member

    Dec 17, 2001
    We had Tivos from the old Dtivo series 1 days and mostly only used them for time shifting TV shows, I did use pytivo for playing local music & videos and still have Galleon running on a Raspberry pi feeding traffic cams to our Tivo that we some time use but for Pandora and all other streaming we now use the Roku, heck we now even have a Roku channel for the same traffic cams as on the Tivo. Tivo and Roku make a very good pair, but Roku keeps getting better for me, unfortunately, Roku can not time shift TV shows yet. With all the channels on Roku, having a dvr service is becoming less important for me, if Comcast would add a Roku channel for it's customers with all the latest shows on demand, I would not even need a dvr. In the early days Tivo was the only way to go, but times change.

    I do keep a set top HD media player and file server for my personal collection of Blu-Ray backups. I am pretty happy with our HD Tivo, but not sure if we will replace it when it dies, whereas every TV in the house has a Roku, and ability to stream our local content. I don't get angry with Tivo, it still does everything I purchased it to do, and having used Tivo for over a decade it may be hard to adjust to not hearing the beeps whenever selecting channels while watching regular tv.

    On edit: I forgot, the Raspbberry Pi that runs galleon server for our Tivo is also a mp3 player that plays music 24/7 and I feed that to my A/V receiver along with the CCTV signal from our security cameras so when we are not watching TV the music plays 24/7 , and if we have the TV on we can see the various video cameras. It plays whatever mp3s are on the USB drive I insert. It's not a pretty setup programming wise but works 24/7 and doesn't crash.
  4. Feb 10, 2014 #4 of 128

    takeshi Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    Citation? I doubt the majority of Tivo users make use of this. Don't just assume that TCF (or any discussion forum on any topic) is a representative sample of the masses.
  5. Feb 10, 2014 #5 of 128

    moonscape Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    SF Bay Area


    I use Pandora a lot, but since I skipped right over the Premiere and use it on my S3, iPad, and now Roamio, I had no idea ... So, there are workarounds. S3s are great!

    I didn't know there was anyone else who doesn't like the current interface, but I'm someone who always prefers choices and simplicity. I hate the Discovery Bar because it takes up so much real estate and isn't something I use at all. If there was a choice to delete that, and have Tivo Central use the space, I'd be really happy. But, I have vision issues which complicate things. I'll be keeping my S3 to more easily see recordings on my Roamio - kludgy, but it's the best workaround for me. The highlight on a program makes the text not readable for me, so I have to scroll up or down away from it to read it. Yeah - I miss the old interface, but what can I do? It works for nearly everyone else.

    Still love Tivo!
  6. Feb 10, 2014 #6 of 128

    Nak Active Member

    Aug 18, 2010
    MP3 Playback. It really doesn't matter if you yourself use it or not. The fact is that Tivo is still advertising that the Tivo will stream the music on your PC. Tivo advertises their box as a home media system, and they specifically include your music collection on your PC. They advertise it, they sell you software they claim will stream music, but the Tivo has been incapable of streaming your own music collection for years. Yes, not many people use this feature anymore, because it is broken. It used to be the best way to play your music collection, now that feature doesn't work. So, why are they still advertising that feature? Hmmm?
    I just copied that quote five minutes ago from the Tivo website.

    Back when Tivo actually streamed music properly, it was a major selling point. I recommended the Tivo with that feature being a major selling point. Lot's of folks bought a lifetime Tivo with personal music playback being a major factor in their decision. Many of those are no longer Tivo users, in large part due to Tivo's inability to stream local music properly. That's business that Tivo has lost for want of a simple fix.

    Like I said, if you like the HD menus that's great. I, and everyone I know, despise them. If you prefer form over function--and there is nothing wrong with that--the HD menus are great. For those of us that just want to get to content simply and intuitively the HD menus are a significant downgrade. There's nothing wrong with the SD menus as far as resolution either. I have a 138" screen and the SD menus look just fine even on that screen size. Even if the HD menus were lightning fast, I still wouldn't like them. I don't need all the extra material on the screen. I much prefer to just get to the content I want with a minimum of fuss. Again, everybody I know prefers the SD menus. I'm not saying that Tivo shouldn't have HD menus, obviously lots of users like them. As long as I--and people like me--can use the SD menus then everyone is happy. What's wrong with that?

    Yes, the Pandora app is written by Pandora. How it is accessed is all Tivo. To suggest that anyone other than Tivo took had a hand in the decision to remove it from the SD menus is ludicrous.

    BTW, my statements are based on personal experience and the experience of dozens of friends and family that are now, or used to be--Tivo users. I may be an advanced user, but most I know aren't. I won't claim my feelings are the majority consensus. However, since dozens of people I know agree with my position--and no one I know doesn't--it's fairly likely that there are many others with similar viewpoints. Even if we are just a substantial minority, the impact on Tivo's bottom line will be significant. There's no reason to irritate any current users over these issues. Fixing the issues wouldn't hurt anyone.

    1. The Stream: Apologize for the CEO's promise from 1-1/2 years ago concerning Android and stream. I wonder how many Android users bought a Stream based on the CEO's promise? More than a few. Allow Android users to return their useless stream for a full refund.

    2. Fix MP3 playback. It used to work fine. There's no reason it can't be fixed. If they can't--or won't--fix it, then STOP advertising this capability.

    3. Pandora. Put access back in the SD menus. Obviously a simple fix.

    I understand being a Tivo fan. I was too just a few weeks ago. But seriously, can anyone really argue that it's smart--or fair--to shrink the pool of Tivo fans by failing to deliver on promises, by false advertising, by degrading the Tivo experience for some users for absolutely no benefit to anyone else?

    I understand that some will be unhappy with change in certain areas, and that many others will appreciate that same change. That's not the point. Taking Pandora out of the SD menus did not help anyone, it only hurt those that prefer the SD menus. Falsely advertising local music streaming helps nobody. It only irritates and offends those that want to use that feature. Making a mistake when promising future upgrades happens. But if it does, then apologize and make it right with those that spent money based on that promise.

    Tivo used to be very user-centric. These issues show a disturbing trend away from that.
  7. Feb 10, 2014 #7 of 128

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

    Aug 2, 2003
    That bug's been there for years and years. They haven't touched the MP3 player code in ages. If you reboot the TiVo, it will fix it. If you can avoid trick play of the MP3s (skipping tracks, etc.), it tends to remain stable. It's also sometimes possible to get it working properly again without rebooting, but I haven't completely figured out what's needed for that.
  8. Feb 10, 2014 #8 of 128

    replaytv gun talk ignore list

    Feb 20, 2011
    Denver ish...
    I love my TiVos but admit there are many problems with them, and TiVo doesn't seem to want to fix them. I just ignore the problems.
  9. Feb 10, 2014 #9 of 128

    Bigg Cord Cutter

    Oct 30, 2003
    Then just switch to a better DVR platform if you don't like TiVo... that's right, there is no better platform. I'd add their disgusting patent psudo-trolling to the list of bad things, even though it's not directly related to the product, it just shows a low level of morality at a corporate level.
  10. Feb 10, 2014 #10 of 128

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    I'm not defending them, but *AS WELL AS* calling them, write up bugs at too.. They seem to be a BIT more responsive there (though I admit I have to add some more info about a few of the issues I'm seeing with the iPad app still happening)..
  11. Feb 11, 2014 #11 of 128

    Nak Active Member

    Aug 18, 2010
    Absolutely it's been years, I was just listing the straws that broke the camel's back. It's been years since Local music playbck has been broken, it's been years since Tivo knew it was broken, and yet they still advertise it as a feature. Agreed, if you don't do anything like fast forward, rewind, skip back, skip forward, then it seems to play OK for a while. But I think that those simple functions are widely regarded as integral to music playback these days.

    It's actually fairly stupid from a business point of view. For years Tivo has known that local music playback is broken, and yet they continue to advertise that feature. It's pretty amazing that one of the class action attorneys hasn't noticed this yet. However, it is inevitable that one will and Tivo has zero legal leg to stand on. It is a certainty that the settlement will be far, far, in excess of the cost to fix the code. Potentially many millions of dollars. I'm not a litigious guy, and I won't be the one starting this, but some Tivo owner will. There are significant financial benefits for both the first person to bring the flaw to an attorney and to the attorneys who start the class action suit.
  12. Feb 11, 2014 #12 of 128

    Grakthis New Member

    Oct 4, 2006
    Claiming the HD menus are "slower" than the SD menus for "all users" is gibberish. They are not, actually, slower in many setups since the hardware has advanced since 2000.
  13. Feb 11, 2014 #13 of 128

    LoPan12 New Member

    Jan 31, 2014
    ...didn't even know I could stream MP3s from my computer...huh...
  14. Feb 11, 2014 #14 of 128

    Nak Active Member

    Aug 18, 2010
    The HD menus are in fact slower on every Tivo made. That's simple fact. More pixels and more data takes time to process. On a Premiere--hardly circa 2000--the HD menus are significantly slower. I have not tried a Roamio, so I have no idea if the HD menus are significantly slower on those. I'm not claiming or suggesting you shouldn't like the HD menus. Personal preference is all that matters with any entertainment. If you like the HD menus that's great. I'm not even hinting that there is anything wrong with that. But the simple fact is that more than a few users do not like the HD menus for several different reasons. I, my friends, my family and my wife despise them. That is our preference as is liking the HD menus yours. You seem offended that I don't share your preferences???

    It is also simple fact that allowing access to Pandora through the SD menus would have zero impact on you using the HD menus. I can understand that you don't care, since you like the HD menus. What you should care about is that negative impact to Tivo's bottom line risks the value of your lifetime subscription. If Tivo is driven out of business by a class action lawsuit, your lifetime subscription will be worthless.
  15. Feb 11, 2014 #15 of 128

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    Feb 28, 2001
    You're misinterpreting the statement (I think). My claim, and I think the other poster's claim, is that the Roamio HDUI is faster than the SDUI on models like the Nightlight Series 2. I recently decommisioned my last of those, and it was slow! Changing channels was slow, communication with other TiVos was ridiculously slow, Season Pass Management was ridiculously slow.
  16. Feb 11, 2014 #16 of 128

    kherr Member

    Aug 1, 2006
    What's an MP3????
  17. Feb 11, 2014 #17 of 128

    Nak Active Member

    Aug 18, 2010
    With current software sure. I just got rid of a Series 2 that had no software updates in many years. (I didn't allow it access to the internet, but because of the lifetime subscription it made an excellent local music streamer. I used the original backup Hard drive to get back to a state that actually streamed correctly. It finally died. :( ) Anyways, it was plenty fast through all the menus. Much, much faster than my premiere is with HD menus. Yes, my Series 2 that got updates slowed way down. I'm sure that Tivo didn't intentionally send updates that would slow the Series 2 down. :rolleyes:
  18. Feb 11, 2014 #18 of 128

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

    Aug 2, 2003
    Please stop with the class action nonsense. The MP3 player is neglected and broken, yes; but nevertheless, it does actually work, even if it doesn't work as well as we'd want it to. There's no false advertising there.
  19. Feb 12, 2014 #19 of 128

    Nak Active Member

    Aug 18, 2010
    I'll respectfully disagree with your assertion that local music playback works, but I completely agree that more than enough has been said on the subject. Rant over.

    BTW, thanks for all of your work for the community. :up: It is much appreciated.
  20. Feb 12, 2014 #20 of 128

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    Feb 4, 2008
    How do you know this? Pandora owns their own app, so they must have had some reason for making it HD only. Have you reached out to them?

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