Netflix on Series 3/TiVoHD and software support

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by lentiman, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. lentiman

    lentiman Ocassional User

    Dec 31, 2004
    Seattle, WA


    Many questions, hoping for many answers.

    1) Will TiVo be rolling out new Netflix clients to Series 3 and TiVoHD owners? I just read that Netflix should be supporting Dolby Digital Plus, but I only see 2 channel audio coming from the Netflix streams on my Series 3 and TiVo HD. I have an Xbox 360 and new Panny Blu-ray player that I can check audio streams with but haven't done so yet. The Netflix client on these is very old and clunky. My iPhone Netflix app has more functionality than my TiVo.

    2) Will TiVo be pushing any more software updates to the Series 3 and TiVo HD? I can't recall the last time I saw a system software update for these guys, but it's been awhile. If these are now dead platforms that would be sad.
  2. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    I have no way of knowing, but I'm optimistic that they aren't ready to abandon the Series 3 (including HD) units yet. For one thing, there are still many of them out there with ongoing subscriptions. Of course TiVo has been preoccupied lately with the big push to update the Series 4 units.
  3. Soapm

    Soapm Active Member

    May 9, 2007
    Aurora, CO
    How will they sell the premiers if they upgrade features in the old units? Now I can see them adding these things to the premier with hopes you'll upgrade...
  4. rjspring

    rjspring Member

    Jul 16, 2008
  5. westside_guy

    westside_guy Annoyingly ephemeral

    Mar 13, 2005
    The soggy...


    I've been a Tivo customer from the mid-to-late Series 1 days. It has seemed to me that they've usually terminated support for any given generation pretty quickly after the next generation comes out.

    Basically, I wouldn't recommend waiting for any functionality improvements on the Series 3 boxes because I think you'll be waiting indefinitely. That said, I'm not convinced the Series 4 adds much of anything particularly substantial over the Series 3 - so I wouldn't recommend rushing to upgrade either, unless there's a specific feature the Premiere/Elite has that you know you want. :D
  6. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    Are you kidding? TiVo wants everyone to upgrade to a Premiere. The S3 is pretty much what it is and always will be. From TiVo's point of view, if you want all the eye candy and extras and benefits of the Premiere, then they want you to BUY a Premiere. Keeping the S3's up to date doesn't make sense with TiVo's model. Now, if it were an MVPD, then upgrading the UI and features of the previous generation box makes some sense, but not for a company that has only a few streams of revenue, and retail sales of new boxes is one of them. Also keep in mind that some of the S3's don't have the tech to support some of the upgraded Premiere features. Frankly, I don't think TiVo cares much for us S3'rs, and it is all about Premiere, now. S3 updates will only be technical necessary ones. Hey, this is Tom Rogers you're talking about.
  7. Emacee

    Emacee Member

    Dec 15, 2000
    I'd go even further: I'd say performance on my Series3 has degraded since the last update. Tivo wants people to be dissatisfied with Series3/HD so they will upgrade. There's really not anything in Premiere that's worth 500 bucks (or more). So, if you've got a Series3/HD with a lifetime contract, it's worth staying with it as long as it works. I wouldn't be surprised if the Tivo suits figure that if a Series3/HD dies or performs poorly, people will figure, what the heck, I got my money's worth already. And besides there is no real competition (the Motorola cable DVRs are not in the same league). Tivo figures it has got us. Maybe they do. I really don't like the company or how they do business but I don't want to do without the product.
  8. turbobuick86

    turbobuick86 Member

    May 2, 2002
    Two series 3's here. We are OTA only and the OTA tuner in the new models were considered weak. Are they still questionable?
  9. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    Be careful what you ask for! The Netflix client on the Logitech Revue (Google TV) recently was updated. There may be improvements regarding video and audio quality. Now, however, instead of re-buffering pauses, you get a complete stop and a message box saying "We are having trouble playing this title" and advising you to try again later or select a different title. Usually you can click the "OK" button then click "Resume" and it will immediately re-buffer and continue playing. So now you have to click twice when it rebuffers instead of just waiting.

    The lack of diagnostic info, such as what bit rate is it streaming at and why exactly did it have to re-buffer, is frustrating in both the TiVo and Revue clients. And Netflix support doesn't give you much help either. They can always fall back on blaming the Internet or your local network. I find it very disappointing that digital video delivery services and equipment generally provide lower reliability than analog versions did, and they usually leave the consumer stuck in the middle between two or more vendors pointing fingers at each other when there's a problem.

    Since a broadband network-connected PC can download large files at high average bit rates (well above what Netflix requires even for HD 5.1) then obviously it is technically possible to design a streaming Netflix client that will not have to re-buffer except in extreme circumstances. All you need is a large enough buffer. I suspect both TiVo and the Revue suffer from too little buffer capacity. There certainly isn't any major cost impediment to using whatever memory and/or hard drive capacity is needed for an adequate buffer, so hopefully we will eventually see Internet video streaming devices on the market that don't have re-buffering problems. But probably not on the Revue or the Series 3 TiVo's.
  10. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Member

    Jan 15, 2012
    I just signed up for Netflix so I can view the old episodes of "Top Gear" that aren't carried by Amazon. True, the Netflix streaming player is a let-down compared to the TiVo true DVR. With Netflix currently being responsible for something like 70% of all Internet traffic (!!!) I'd think that they would have a financial incentive to use local disk storage for buffering, like the Flash player does. But Netflix isn't really known for making good business decisions... ;)
  11. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

    Sep 20, 2006
    New Jersey
    That's a really nice tinfoil hat you have there.
  12. zalusky

    zalusky Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Apr 5, 2002
    Cupertino, CA
    I consider MRS a substantial feature. I can now watch stuff faster without having to transfer as well as my HBO recordings in another room.
  13. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Member

    Jan 15, 2012
    I'm inclined to agree with Emacee about this. Over the last 12 years that I've been using a TiVo of one kind or another, TiVo has pushed new software that's more resource-intensive on a regular basis. Of course the official excuse is that they're adding features, but IMHO it would be awfully naive to think that TiVo was so naive that they never thought about how the new features affect product obsolescence.

    I can believe in innocent coincidence once, maybe twice if the explanation is really solid. But three times? Nope. I think it's more than a coincidence that my Series x boxes always get more sluggish around the time that the Series x + 1 models come out. By the time I retired them, my S1 boxes were running right on the verge of maxing out their resources. And that's with twice the system RAM, faster disks and a 512MiB cache card to keep the database in fast RAM. I can only imagine how it would have been without all those performance tweaks.
  14. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    We had 2 Series 1 TiVo's that were in use from 2000-2007 and 2002-2007 - one with the original 30GB hard drive and the second was upgraded to a 120GB hard drive almost immediately in 2002. I don't recall any changes in performance with the upgrades from the original version to through the final version due to software updates. The upgraded unit was slower to bring up the Now Playing list due to the larger hard drive but not enough that we felt any need to invest in the cache card.

    We upgraded to 2 Series3 models in January of 2007 and upgraded both to 1TB drives in 2008. I haven't seen any performance changes with software updates there either and compared to the Series 1, little difference with the hard drive upgrade.

  15. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Member

    Jan 15, 2012
    Hi Scott! My S1 boxes are almost exactly the same vintage, and had roughly the same service life as yours. I also left my first intact until the warranty expired. I replaced the original 30GB HDs with a pair of Maxtor 160GB 5400RPM A/V drives in each. The newer drives performed better than the old Quantum, even though they were low RPM due to overheating concerns. I'm not sure how yours could get slower; usually larger capacity drives are newer and faster. Strange.

    The Cachecard was a continuation of my need for Ethernet networking. When SBC came to town, POTS service became way too expensive and way too unreliable. During the six months it took to get reasonable phone service I got tired of bugging friends and neighbors to use their phone and TV to update my TiVo. So when the TiVoNet kit came out I was the first in line. Unfortunately the TiVoNet adapter had a habit of slipping off the edge connector, causing bad things to happen. When the vastly improved TurboNet came out, it seemed a good idea to upgrade. There was the plain TurboNet and the Cachecard which was a TurboNet with the database in RAM option. It's pretty standard practice to load large SQL databases into RAM for better performance, so the Cachecard was an obvious choice to an IT professional who had been forced to assume all corporate DBA duties at work.

    My TiVo HD units got a single 1TB 7200RPM Seagate A/V drive each.

    All I can say is that for as long as I've been monitoring the performance of my TiVos, each and every software update has resulted in more RAM use and more CPU usage. The numbers don't lie. Some updates were porkier than others, but none ever made the system smaller or faster. The most unacceptable side effect of the system bloat was a marked (sometimes several seconds) delay between pressing a remote button and having it take effect. Annoying in the extreme!

    Most people today know about Moore's Law ("the number of transistors incorporated in a chip will approximately double every 24 months"), and older people may still remember the Peter Principle ("in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence"). Well, Gates' Law states "the speed of software halves every 18 months.” So it would be foolish to believe yet again that the new, faster hardware will resist the inevitable pull of software bloat for long.

    Bullwinkle: "THIS TIME FOR SURE!" Rocky: "Oh, that trick never works."
  16. Videodrome

    Videodrome tivo - please wait..

    Jun 20, 2008
    It doesnt surprise me that Tivo, wants you to spend the price of new unit, just to add a few features. If i do buy a new tivo, it better record 6 channels, and have extenders with no guide sub, or i can transfer one of the 4 i own , for free.
  17. joe warner

    joe warner New Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Granbury, TX
    I have a ROKU 2xs ($99) that supports 5.1 channel processing on Netflix programs that have 5.1 channel data available.
  18. lorddarthpaul

    lorddarthpaul New Member

    Aug 15, 2009
    Same here, just got tired of waiting for any upgrade (and maybe there won't be one) and got the same Roku 2 XS; inexpensive compared to a Tivo (and provides access to a wide range of streaming material), but you need an HDMI set up to take advantage of it. Roku is small enough I can drag it around between the TVs (unlike the Tivos, and I'm up to four of those: 2 Series 2s w/320GB drives [& direct serial control of ancient Motorola DCT2000 cable boxes!] and 2 Tivo HDs w/1TB drives -- all aftermarket, although the new Premiere Elite finally seems to address the high end and/or high capacity users -- certainly took them long enough).
  19. ChileHead

    ChileHead TiVo Addict

    Feb 10, 2002
    I'm very happy with my HD tivo, but it hasn't gotten any updates in a while. The netflix app is pretty lousy compared to what is available on pretty much every other device. I wanted to be able to view Amazon prime video, as well as hulu plus.

    Since that wasn't coming for my TiVo anytime soon, if ever, I decided to go with Roku instead. I now use Roku for all my streaming needs (amazone instant, amazon prime, netflix, hulu plus, ....) and the TiVo only for my OTA recording.

    I would have rather had a single device, but it wasn't worth the cost of an upgrade.
  20. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    I have two Tivo HDs, each several years old, and I only see this when going into Season Pass Manager (which has about 70 SPs now). Everything else, no delay or just a slight one. Not sure why yours are having problems but I don't think the updates are causing this.

    I don't believe we'll be seeing any more updates for the S3s (including a new Netflix, Youtube, or Amazon client) - Pandora was probably the last thing we'll ever get.

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