NY Times Gives Tivo Thumbs Down

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Emacee, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. Jul 18, 2011 #1 of 106
    Emacee

    Emacee Member

    227
    8
    Dec 15, 2000
    Philadelphia...
    In the Personal Tech column of this morning's New York Times Business section, columnist Joshua Brushstein tries a Tivo Premiere and basically concludes it's more trouble (and money) than it's worth. Most of the trouble, it turns out, comes not from Tivo but from his cable company (Time-Warner) who either have bunch of people clueless about cable cards or are actively trying to discourage anybody from breaking away from their own DVRs. Still, it's a sign that the Tivo company is also clueless about how to market itself effectively, how to work with cable companies and to distinguish Tivo from cable-default DVRs.

     
  2. Jul 18, 2011 #2 of 106
    daxem

    daxem New Member

    32
    0
    Jul 21, 2002
    NC
    It seems more like an indictment of TWC than the TiVo.
     
  3. Jul 18, 2011 #3 of 106
    SpiritualPoet

    SpiritualPoet New Member

    568
    0
    Jan 13, 2007
    Texas
    The cable companies don't want to work with TiVo. They couldn't care less whether or not they are able to configure their service with TiVo DVRs. It's because they make far more $$$ renting their own DVRs, naturally.
     
  4. Jul 18, 2011 #4 of 106
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    8,748
    631
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    First a couple of very minor things:
    1. The link provided has "blog" in it -- thus it isn't quite accurate to say this is the NY Times saying this.
    2. The TiVo HD has been on software version 11.0k for months now -- perhaps your signature needs updating?

    Now my reaction to the blog content:
    The user's experience could have been one of hundreds, if not thousands, of posts on this forum, in particular the Time Warner threads in the Series 3 forum. And apparently he didn't even have to deal with a Tuning Adapter! (I wonder if he actually needs one but just didn't go far enough to realize he wasn't getting all his channels?)

    He dings TiVo for not working better with cable cos but I doubt that is a valid criticism. The cable cos are clearly dragging their feet in supporting TiVo for obvious business reasons plus the fact that TiVo users are way less than 1% of their customers -- i.e., have no clout. I believe a majority of problems are caused by cable cos not setting up their systems to interact correctly with CableCARDs and Tuning Adapters, and how can you expect TiVo to fix that?

    This situation is not surprising at all. The equipment needed to support TiVos (CableCARD and Tuning Adapter) was forced on the cable cos by the FCC and this is an example of what happens when you try to impose a solution that goes against basic business interests and don't have (or won't apply) the resources to enforce it -- worsened by the fact that the problems are frequently very technical in nature and can only be fixed by the cable co technical staff.
     
  5. Jul 18, 2011 #5 of 106
    nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

    2,481
    25
    Nov 17, 1999
    Living in a...
    It also sounds like he's being over-charged for his cable card. If anyone is registered to post comments there they should tell him that he should complain to the FCC about the charges and the trouble getting his CC installed.
     
  6. Jul 18, 2011 #6 of 106
    lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    7,954
    89
    Jan 23, 2005
    CT
    complain to the FCC !! The average cable customer that wants a DVR does not want to go through this trouble no matter who fault it is, TiVos is the one that should be doing the complaining as they are having the loss of business as a result of these type of cable co problems. Most of my friends now just take the cable co DVR and have no problems that the cable co can't solve, and they don't call me.
     
  7. Jul 18, 2011 #7 of 106
    Emacee

    Emacee Member

    227
    8
    Dec 15, 2000
    Philadelphia...
    dlfl: The link is to nytimes.com, the New York Times website. Nowhere on the webpage does the word blog appear. The writer is a New York Times columnist.

    The reality is Tivo does not work alone. Tivo does not provide content. Cable does not need Tivo. Tivo needs cable, satellite or OTA. If Tivo wants to sell their product to cable customers, they need at least some cooperation from cable companies. Their DirecTV, Cox and Comcast deals suggest they are starting to realize it. The potential end-user doesn't care about Tivo's problems with cable companies and most will not go out of their way to get around them.

    Tivo: Good product, poor marketing and bad management. I've enjoyed the product since 1999 but the way they yank customers around on deals and pricing, I feel no loyalty to the company at all.
     
  8. Jul 18, 2011 #8 of 106
    DeWitt

    DeWitt Member

    424
    0
    Jun 30, 2004
    Summit, NJ
    Gadgetwise is a regular blog of the NY Times.

    To find it go to the homepage, click the all blogs link....
     
  9. Jul 18, 2011 #9 of 106
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    8,748
    631
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    I agree with nrc in principle that consumers should always complain to the appropriate government entity when regulations or laws are violated. However, in this case I have to agree with lessd, although note that TiVo has complained to the FCC, numerous times. I think it's way too late for complaints about cable cos poor support for CableCARD and Tuning Adapter to have any effect beyond those that have already been filed. Also, from the way the linked blog reads, it sound's like he has already given up on TiVo, so complaining about CableCARD charges won't do him any good.

    It is the nature of our government that complaining to an agency frequently is a very unrewarding process with very delayed results, if any, although I agree it should be done. However there is no better government. You might be able to get immediate results under Sharia law by complaining to your local government council of elders (whatever they call it). But let's not go there!
     
  10. Jul 18, 2011 #10 of 106
    atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    6,933
    605
    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    Nothing that we didn't already know.

    I and many others have stated that cable cards while they are only thing that saved TiVo from folding. They are also the main reason TiVo can not maintain or expand the number of Stand Alone users.

    It is also the reason that the big boys (Google, Microsoft, & Apple) have not entered the consumer DVR business as they push into peoples living rooms.

    Without a true "plug & play" solution that covers all forms of "pay TV services" (cable, sat, IP) third party STBs/DVRs are never going to be anything but a niche market.

    Thanks,
     
  11. Jul 18, 2011 #11 of 106
    aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

    7,112
    12
    Jul 14, 2002
    Massachusetts
    You can blame the CC all you want. It is still Tivo's problem in the end. It's driving people away.
     
  12. Jul 18, 2011 #12 of 106
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    8,748
    631
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    What I said was
    , here is the link:
    Where I've highlighted "blogs".
    When you say the NYTimes says this or that, the normal meaning is either it's an editorial position or was stated by a corporate spokesman. As I said, it's a minor point.
     
  13. Jul 18, 2011 #13 of 106
    atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    6,933
    605
    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    So do you complain to the air line you are flying on when the TSA makes you wait in a long line, feels you up, and makes your flying experience suck?

    The bottom line is TiVo has no control over cable cards, all they can do is help a user complain to either the cable company or the FCC.

    I am sure this causes TiVo to loose business and if that is what you mean by it is TiVo's problem in the end, than I guess I agree with that.

    Thanks,
     
  14. Jul 18, 2011 #14 of 106
    aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

    7,112
    12
    Jul 14, 2002
    Massachusetts
    Yes. People look for other forms of transportation.
     
  15. Jul 18, 2011 #15 of 106
    Beryl

    Beryl Well-Known Member TCF Club

    8,025
    1,697
    Feb 22, 2009
    Texas
    Never being an apologist for any corporation, I realize that TiVo is complaining to the FCC and their complaints have produced fruit. The CCs are not going to give up, however. Therefore, consumers need to complain to the FCC also. Consumers who have no financial skin in the game have more power than they realize.

    While we are at it, we should complain to the CCs.
     
  16. Jul 18, 2011 #16 of 106
    Stoystown

    Stoystown New Member

    106
    0
    Jun 13, 2002
    I read this story on the NY Times web site today, and came here to comment on it.

    My comment: Ouch. This story, whether it is the fault of Time Warner, or Tivo, smacks Tivo in the face.

    It points out that Tivo markets itself as a premium (and expensive) service, but then discusses how the service is difficult, and time consuming, to activate. So, the message (to me) is that you can get Tivo, but you have to pay a lot for it, and you have to deal with a bunch of hassle.

    Not good.

    I know the cable companies have made it tough for Tivo to do what it wants to do. I suspect that Direct TV is doing similar things. But that does not excuse Tivo. I not going to buy a product that portrays itself as a victim of circumstances. They need to overcome these cable company issues if they want to close the sale.

    I had a Series 2 until I switched to Direct Tv in 2004, and had a Direct Tivo SD until last fall when the hard drive died. Now I have an SD Direct Tv DVR and have been waiting (very patiently) for the new HD Direct Tivo to come out. But my patience is pretty much at an end.

    And this article doesn't help. Even though it's unrelated to Direct Tivos, I'm just getting tired of waiting for a company that constantly makes it difficult to buy or use its products (even if they have a great product). I don't need a badge of honor. I just want a very good DVR. The Direct Tv HD DVR may be good enough.
     
  17. Jul 18, 2011 #17 of 106
    aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

    7,112
    12
    Jul 14, 2002
    Massachusetts
    I don't think Tivo was forced into cable cards. The old series 2 units used the cable box and an IR blaster just fine. I realize it's not the most elegant solution but neither is a cable card that doesn't work.
     
  18. Jul 18, 2011 #18 of 106
    atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    6,933
    605
    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    At the time of the SD to HD conversion there was no viable hardware solution to recording a HD stream. So if they were going to provide a HD solution they had to go with cable cards. At this point in time it might be viable to record an analog HD stream (component outputs) but the digital stream (HDMI) is not recordable due to licensing restrictions.

    Thanks,
     
  19. Jul 18, 2011 #19 of 106
    That Don Guy

    That Don Guy Now with more GB

    3,370
    90
    Mar 13, 2003
    Benicia, CA
    The article doesn't mention whether or not he was replacing his only cable box with TiVo, which could be a dangerous thing as (a) you don't get messages from the company (okay, most of them are ads for upcoming MMA or Wrestling PPVs, but occasionally they do tell you about things like free previews or new channels), and (b) you can't access PPVs.

    (Now there's an idea...have some Netflix-style streaming ability for InDemand's main channel available to TiVo boxes.)
     
  20. Jul 18, 2011 #20 of 106
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    8,748
    631
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    TiVo users have complained to the FCC but too few and too late -- this has been going on for over three years. Consumers mostly don't bother complaining to government agencies because it's rarely going to get them any immediate satisfaction. Even worse it may never get anyone any satisfaction. I don't know if the culture on this is different in Europe and, if it is, I wonder if the net result is any better?

    As for complaining to the Cable Cos, Good luck with that. The only complaint that would really get their attention is one that threatens their revenue, and TiVo users are too few (well under 1%) to have impact. And a lot of them will stay with cable (and likely provide more revenue) even if they give up on TiVo.
     

Share This Page