Remember Macrovision from the days of VHS? Apparently, they now own TiVo

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by marlond, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. marlond

    marlond New Member

    Dec 23, 2004
    New York City


    I’ll admit I haven’t visited the forum in quite a while. My TiVo Premiere with lifetime subscription is still chugging away in my media closet. I’ve definitely gotten every dollar’s worth from my purchase. I actually upgraded from a TiVo series 2. I first experienced a TiVo at a dinner party. A friend who worked at Yahoo! had received one as a holiday gift from the company. I knew instantly That TV was changing forever. I went out and bought the latest series 2 the one with the cheap plastic light on the front that looked like the dome light in a 1980’s Chevy Malibu. I liked the look of the original so much I tried to by a spare faceplate from pretty much the only vendor of aftermarket anything for the TiVo, but they declined. Two weeks later they suddenly got the idea they could sell the faceplates from the DirectTV TiVo boxes with functional front buttons as an ‘upgrade’ to their customers. But I’m not bitter. I bought a broken series 1 on eBay and scavenged the faceplate.

    I loved the UI. Thumbs up and thumbs down, Season Pass and Now Showing were like adding an OS to your TV. Being a bit of a hacker I loved the easter egg of punching in the commercial skip code. You could tell that the engineers who built this loved what they were doing and had really thought about optimizing the experience of watching television.

    I was a Second class citizen as a Mac owner waiting for the software support to catch up to the Windows side. I did enjoy the ability to locally stream music and photos and the easter egg that opened the hidden (but limited) videos tab was some consolation. Buying a WiFi adapter for the series 2 was kind of a quirk. It was standard on most computers by then. But once we had an HD TV and finally upgraded to a Premiere (skipping the series 3 entirely) I resented buying another WiFi adapter. We liked the new features of the HD interface but it seemed a lot less inspired than the first UI. They began stretching the analogy a little too thin. They also started loading ads into the interface. But we had video streaming in our living room finally! Eventually a mobile app appeared and it was bliss. I could schedule, recorded and delete shows while I was on the go. I could even download shows to watch on my iPhone - but then suddenly I couldn’t.

    TiVo upgraded their iOS app and dropped support for streaming video from the Premiere. It worked and then it didn’t. C’mon, seriously? Well whatever, I wasn’t promised to me on the box my Premiere came in so I can’t really complain about it. First of all who would I complain to?

    I had been a TiVo owner for over a decade. I had told everyone I knew how awesome it was. I’d joined the TiVo evangelists or whatever they were called. I even got a call from a dj at a radio station wanting me to talk about my love of TiVo on the air. In twenty years I convinced to my knowledge exactly zero people to buy a TiVo. Still I loved the TiVo and used it happily until last year.

    What changed? I bought an Apple TV and it handles streaming media an order of magnitude better than my TiVo did on it’s best day. Admittedly I didn’t buy the TiVo for that so any performance I got was really a bonus. The UI on the Apple TV is modern in a way that just shatters the entire concept of ‘watching tv’ everything you want is front and center. If you don’t like an icon you can just drag it or delete it. It even had games! Did anyone ever try playing the meager selection of java games that could be side-loaded onto the TiVo? That was definitely not a feature I would tout to anyone considering a TiVo purchase.

    The TiVo is still running quietly in the back of the media closet dutifully waiting for the rare broadcast show that we watch that doesn’t have an app and hasn’t been cancelled. The mobile app never seems to remember who I am, like a senile old neighbor, but once it recognizes me it eagerly asks ‘Have you seen the latest "This Old House?” "Are you caught up on Bob’s Burger’s?” “Remember that old movie that isn’t streaming anywhere? Well, I founded last week on a local channel! It’s in SD so it’s pillarboxed and it’s been edited for television but we could watch it together! if you want we can Even skip the commercials." Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

    As promised, here’s the link to where I learned that the company that invented VHS copy-protection now owns the device that changed television forever.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
    kpeters59 likes this.
  2. wizwor

    wizwor Guest

    Dec 17, 2013
    Glad you are enjoying your new toy. I had two. Gave one to my son (an Apple fanboy) who does not use it and packed the other one in a box. Both were steeply discounted as part of promotions, so I do not feel too bad about that. I could never get used to the remote.

    Rovi's crimes against humanity are well known in these parts -- from macrovision to their OTA guide service to their crappy EPG to their gutting of TiVo. I might have missed a few. I am a little surprised TiVo still exists, to be honest. I figured Rovi would part it up, cash in on the IP and let a TiVo spinoff wither. With the launch of the TiVo branded streamer, we may be entering that process. Like you, I have gotten sufficient value out of my TiVos to be OK with this.
    cwerdna and mdavej like this.
  3. ajwees41

    ajwees41 Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2006
    your a little late this is old news
    SullyND, cwerdna and jrtroo like this.
  4. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
    So from the very beginning, Rovi's core business has been to ruin things - VHS tapes, DVDs, guide data, DVR companies. I have to say, they've succeeded spectacularly.
  5. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...


    You left out TVGOS.
    cwerdna and mdavej like this.
  6. Jed1

    Jed1 Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2013
    Frackville, PA.
    A FYI for this thread is Rovi was created when Gemstar TV Guide International let Macrovision buy them and then they changed their name to Rovi. Eventually Rovi acquired TiVo and then took on the TiVo name. They recently merged with Xperi which owns DTS audio.

    Gemstar created and owns the rights to TVGOS and the iGuide which is used in a lot of cable company set top boxes. They acquired PassPort Echo back in 2005 and that is also used by a number of cable systems in the US. They also owned the original TV Guide magazine which was sold weekly at most supermarkets. They also created and owns the rights to the VCR plus codes. They also own the massive TV Guide database which dates back to the 1950's. The database was used for the magazine and then they started to use it digitally in the 1990''s when the started to embed TV Guide On Screen in high end televisions starting in 1997. I had a number of TVs that had the guide embedded and I currently have to 8 gen Kuros that have version 9 of TVGOS. Also the Sony DHG used the guide when they released their DVR in 2004. The TVGOS service was ended in the spring of 2013.
    cwerdna and ajwees41 like this.
  7. ajwees41

    ajwees41 Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2006
  8. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA

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