Paranoid fear: can TiVo mess up one's unit?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Papageno, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. Papageno

    Papageno Member

    Jan 30, 2005


    I know the question in the subject line sounds a bit silly, but what about in the case of us folks with lifetime service that started years ago? Wouldn't it be in TiVo's interest to mess up our machines somehow in order to get us off the ever-diminishing-price lifetime service and back on a pay as you go basis with a newer unit?

    Doe anyone know whether this is possible? After all, it's not like our units have anti-virus software installed or anything, and we're downloading software updates all the time from TiVo.
  2. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

    Oct 14, 2004
    It sounds like you have been using Microsoft products for too long...

    TiVo Inc. is not evil.
  3. JimSpence

    JimSpence Just hangin'

    Sep 19, 2001
    Binghamton, NY
    I think TiVo is willing to just wait out the lifetime of the unit. ;)
  4. funtoupgrade

    funtoupgrade New Member

    Mar 15, 2005
    You're worrying about something that will not happen intentionally. Lifetime status is preserved in an eeprom on the motherboard, not in TiVo software. Theoretically some malcontent TiVo programmer could introduce a virus, but most of us have backups of our TiVo operating sytems and could do a quick restore to get back in business should that ever happen. TiVo is having enough problems with its customer service without introducing a credibility issue that would sink the company into oblivion.
  5. Papageno

    Papageno Member

    Jan 30, 2005


    I know about the lifetime status is in the chip on the motherboard--thank goodness because my TiVo is on its third hard drive (standalone Series 2 bought in Oct. 2002). Theoretically, then, as long as Weaknees or some other company keeps making TiVo-software-preloaded replacement drives (I've got nowhere near the tech proficiency to replace my drive any other way) I'm in business? Until of course the motherboard dies or its battery runs out, I suppose.
  6. ashu

    ashu User title defunct

    Nov 8, 2002
    I know this place that has a great deal on tin-foil hats ...
  7. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.

    As the recent DST fix for Series 1 TiVos shows (initially it was an OWNER, not TiVo, that came up with it after TiVo said it was impossible), there are far too many computer saavy TiVo owners who'd pick up on an attempt to sabotage the boxes.

    TiVo wouldn't dare. They'd be found out in very short time.

    Not that they'd do it anyway, but I'm just saying... :rolleyes:
  8. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    uummmmmmmmmmmm....................... no. It would just be stupid.
  9. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    Lifetime status is kept on a server at TiVo Inc, tied to the TSN.

    They couldn't do much to the DVR itself that wouldn't alienate monthly paying customers also.

    It would be in TiVos interest in a purely accounting sense to eliminate long living Lifetime boxes, but would be a poor move legally perhaps, of not simple corporate good will.
  10. jtown0620

    jtown0620 TIMELORD with TiVo

    Jun 17, 2004
    Trinity, Fl.
    Well it depends if you TiVo a bunch of sexy shows it may actually help your unit but if you record "The View" or anything else with Rosie O'Donnell it will definitely cause your unit to malfunction!
  11. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX

    Let's hope that Tivo is nice enough to "unlock" our series 2 lifetime units, should they ever go under.
  12. CraigHB

    CraigHB __________

    Dec 24, 2003
    Reno, NV
    I don't think TiVo will ever "go under". If they throw in the towel, they'll likely sell out to another corporation. I'm sure there's a good number that would chomp at the bit to get their hands on TiVo.
  13. Ruth

    Ruth Well-Known Member

    Jul 31, 2001
    What!? Are you nuts?! You can't buy your tin-foil hats commercially! That is how they find you! Rookie mistake.

    Always manufacture your tin-foil hats personally!
  14. wolflord11

    wolflord11 Lord of Darkness

    Jan 16, 2007
    We must not talk about Tin Foil Hats here...... they will see us!
  15. jlb

    jlb Go Pats!

    Dec 13, 2001
    Burlington, VT
    Ok, it has to be said......

    If you put your unit into your TiVo, you are asking for trouble.......
  16. Papageno

    Papageno Member

    Jan 30, 2005

    I can assure you, my "unit" goes nowhere near my TiVo, but thanks for putting that image in my head. :(

    Anyway, I'm glad to hear that the consensus is that TiVo wouldn't try anything like that in order to ditch the lifetime subscribers.
  17. epshih

    epshih New Member

    Aug 26, 2002
    There is nothing they can do to the hardware even if they were dumb enough to try. And like someone said, most of us have our drive images stored offline so no biggie. If Tivo really wanted to get rid of S1 users, all they need to is prevent all S1 TSN's on the server side from downloading the data stream. Tivo Inc doesn't need to "brick" your H/W in order to "brick" your hardware.
  18. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    and be sure to use somebody else's cash money to buy the supplies. ;)
  19. shelbel

    shelbel Member

    Mar 11, 2004
    ;) This theory has been floated before. Just a couple of months ago our 4-year-old S2 died, and I was really worried about the liftime sub. We called TiVo to ask about repairing it, and they sold us a new box and transferred the liftime sub to the new one. Doesn't sound like they're actively trying to reduce the number of lifetime subs out there.

    But TiVo doesn't really have any motivation to torpedo lifetime-subbed machines.

    1) There will be a natural migration to the S3s, the majority of which won't have lifetime subs.

    2) TiVo is still making money off of us, even if we're not paying that extra fee each month. Each TiVo box counts as at least one viewer that TiVo can re-sell to advertisers. Additionally, TiVo viewing data is, I believe, sold to interested tv execs much as Nielsen data is, to enable them to evaluate who is watching what and how they are watching it. (But never fear, tin-foil enthusiasts: it's not like they're telling the producers of Fear Factor that you record it faithfully--there's just a record generated that a household with 2 adults and a goldfish records it weekly, and that's only if you give TiVo permission. You can easily tell them not to.)

    I thought maybe he suspected radiation of some sort emanating from the TiVo box. ;)
  20. ewilts

    ewilts Who, me?

    Feb 26, 2002
    Mounds View, MN
    Possible: Yes. Probable: No.

    As long as you trust the software updates from a vendor, they can do whatever they think they can get away with. Microsoft could hide something in a Windows update and "mess up" tens of millions of machines in the hope that the customers would buy new machines with a newly licensed copy of Windows. Would they? Of course not. This also applies for auto-updates from Adobe, HP, Red Hat, Canon, nVidia, and a *lot* of other companies. I probably trust updates from at least a dozen vendors on my system. We all trusted that the DST changes we applied would work on March 11 at 2am. What if the changes all messed up our systems at 2am instead?


Share This Page

spam firewall