Sad state of Tivo

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by klyde, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Fair point.


    Re: the SD 3-tuner Prime... is it “in production” again, or just the limited run based on the found components (that are no longer generally available)?

    And the Channels TVE feature is still considered “beta,” right?
     
  2. osu1991

    osu1991 Well-Known Member

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    FireTV Recast isn’t a streaming device. It’s a network tuner. It’s sole purpose is to tune and decode an over the air signal. It is accessed via a separate fire tv streaming device which provides access to other streaming apps.
     
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  3. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    For a small company like SD, 3,000 units is "production" regardless of how they found the components. I got mine on eBay though, in new-in-box condition. But the company's main focus now is new OTA units, including ATSC 3.0. I'm hoping the next-generation of OTA can pierce through my local rain interference. Then we'd probably be done with cable.

    As for the Channels TVE feature, yes it's still in beta and may always be in beta. It works great for some, but for full WAF as soon as we hit a bug I got a Prime and paired it with the CableCARD (from our buggy old Bolt).
     
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  4. Aaron Malloy

    Aaron Malloy Active Member

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    I think the popularity of streaming has been the last nail in Tivo's coffin. Years ago TiVo made sense, in that when you recorded a show, that was generally the only way to watch it later at your convenience. Nowadays all that content is already there for the viewing, to watch whenever you see fit. And you can pause, rewind and fast forward the program, just like a DVR.

    When I had TiVo, I was on the monthly plan. Sometimes I kicked myself for not getting the lifetime unit. But in actuality, it probably ended up being about the same amount, since I wasn't on TiVo for very long. Lifetime made sense years and years ago. But for somebody recently purchasing a lifetime unit, I don't think it's the best financial move one could make.
     
  5. klyde

    klyde Member

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  6. lujan

    lujan Active Member

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    The last TiVo I purchased with lifetime was 8/1/19 so it's getting close to 2 years. Hopefully soon, I'll be getting to the purchase vs. lease breakeven point. I've had others with lifetime and they're still going strong so it seems those have paid off in getting the lifetime service.
     
  7. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    TiVo still makes sense (conceptually), especially with the ability to seemlessly integrate live, fresh recording and streaming content into a single interface. TiVo just failed to execute; OnePass was a great concept but it fell short on many fronts, and was further crippled by TiVo’s paltry streaming service support.
     
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  8. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I understood what you meant when you referred to headless network-connected DVRs as "streaming boxes" (in that they do stream live and recorded OTA TV to various client devices on the home network). And, yes, the major alternatives to TiVo are that sort of device: Amazon Fire TV Recast, Tablo, HDHomeRun. And while some of those set-ups have some disadvantages compared to a TiVo that connects directly to the TV via HDMI, they have some advantages too, in that they are whole-home solutions that can serve multiple TVs and they work via apps on popular streaming devices (Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku) that everyone is using anyway. I use an HDHomeRun in conjunction with an Apple TV 4K box and love it.

    Now, that said, if you specifically want an HDMI-connected OTA DVR that is NOT a TiVo, Tablo has introduced a couple such models in the past year or so. I honestly don't know enough about them, though, to say whether I'd recommend them over a TiVo. (My hunch is that most consumers who want an HDMI-connected OTA DVR would be better served with the TiVo Edge for Antenna with lifetime service for $300.) Unfortunately, on these new HDMI Tablo units, they chose not to run Google's Android TV on it, just their own Tablo software (atop open-source Linux, probably). So all they can do is OTA TV. You can't install and run apps on it.

    TV-Connected Tablo DVRs & How They Work
     
  9. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    Not true. It's been offered at least once before and the offer was official.

    I transferred lifetime from my TiVo HD to a new Bolt+. The subject line of the email from 2017 was "Finally. Transfer your lifetime service for just $99 with the purchase of any new TiVo BOLT". It was the "once in a lifetime" (as the email put it) offer.
    Yes.
     
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  10. cwoody222

    cwoody222 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you are correct they have made limited time upgrade offers in the past. Probably enough to count on one hand in 20 years.

    But that wasn’t the original claim. Which was that you could transfer lifetime between same models just by asking. They’ve never officially offered that.
    (and yes, I’m aware of the small number of grandfathered people from 1999 who I am discounting for simplicity)
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
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  11. vahighland

    vahighland New Member

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    Do any of these alternatives allow you to download the TV show to a PC...something like Kmttg?
     
  12. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Channels DVR saves shows to .mpg files, which can be easily copied from the server to your PC. You can also copy .mpg, .m4v, etc. shows over to an import directory on the server. No special tools needed, just your operating system and a local player like VLC.
     
  13. vahighland

    vahighland New Member

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    Thanks, good to know. I'll try to hold on to my TiVos until end of life (theirs or mine) :), but this gives me something to research for later.
     
  14. berg0449

    berg0449 Member

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    While they don't directly sell refurbished normally you can refurbished Tivo with Lifetime thru weeknees. Got a refurbished Tivo deal with weeknees. Basically I paid about the price I would have paid for 1 year service for both the Tivo and Lifetime.

    But I was ok getting it with break even point of 1 year but would never trust they would be around to pay full price anymore.
     
  15. klyde

    klyde Member

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    I do not understand what your saying. Weeknees does sell refurbished, on there website refurbished Bolts are $350 on Ebay they sell for $300.

    refurbished Tivo with Lifetime thru weeknees. Please explain.

    Weeknees says my Bolt is unrepairable with a known frailer. I have also seen another post about a Bolt with different problem that Weeknees says in unrepairable.
     
  16. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Just for the record, it's spelled WeaKnees.
     
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  17. TKnight206

    TKnight206 Active Member

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    Sometimes customer reps make mistakes. Sometimes, it's just worth calling back and speaking to someone else. Sometimes, it may be worth spending hours trying and trying again, escalating up higher and higher, until you find someone who cares and is willing to make an exception.

    I think we all miss TiVo Inc. If only one of us were a multibillionaire, then we could try buying the company to return it to its glory days.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TiVo_Inc.

    (By the way, if you don't like something about TiVo, call up over the phone and speak out. If enough people do it, maybe they'll get the hint that something needs fixed.)
     
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  18. bw Squirrel

    bw Squirrel New Member

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    I think you and the OP are expressing the frustration a lot of Legacy users have. Like him, I’ve been on the Tivo train since series one and really think I’ve come to the end of the road.

    One of the things I always liked about Tivo was the fact that I could call and feel like customer service was interested in my experience both with them and the hardware. You didn’t tend to escalate to the next person in the chain because there wasn’t a need as the first person I talked to was usually really interested in helping. Tivo as an entity cared about the product it produced but equally as much about how the customers overall experience with Tivo was. As much as I hate the expression Tivo was a lifestyle change. Remember, they changed watching television far more than being just a digital VCR.

    Customer service couldn’t always help, but damn, I loved that the response was sometimes, “Hmmmmm. That’s really weird, hold on let me ask if anyone else here ever had that problem. Mine never did that”. They were genuinely interested in solving the issue. Or if when you called and they realized you understood the tech, you could cut through to the issue instead of being run through a script. I understand that things change.

    And if service couldn’t help out they were always more than fair about a replacement unit and Lifetime warranty. Over the years I’ve had more than a dozen machines and the overall quality has been in free fall for years. I understand cable format changes wreaked havoc on their infrastructure but the durability of the hardware declined noticeably. Lifetime service on their machines had always made sense to me but not anymore.

    I have a bolt 3T that has drive failure after less than two years, as itself was a replacement for its failed predecessor which lasted only one year. I transferred that lifetime service from the original Bolt which had been transferred from IT’S predecessor for a nominal charge, maybe $100. Over the years I was always extended that courtesy from Tivo and that was as recent as 2019, probably just presale of the company. It’s interesting to hear that not everyone had that experience.

    Maybe it had to do with how long I’d been a Tivo user, maybe it was because I was always a Lifetime subscriber, I don’t know, but things have changed at Tivo. Both customer support and sales have been outsourced to folks clearly reading a script which they cannot deviate from clearly and I feel have little investment in getting a customer actually satisfied as they once had. I asked about extending my lifetime service to a new machine since neither of the bolts lasted very long. The canned responses I got made it clear that the customer service model had radically changed and there wasn’t any real concern to keep me as a user. Again I get it, things change, but the experience left me realizing that now Tivo is nothing special, they’re just another company, which is kind of sad. It may time to find an alternative but it’s like losing an old friend you could always count on. It’s clear by this community that I am not the only one who felt this way.

    I agree, once Tivo was scooped up for their IP, it was the death knell for the company we knew and loved. And I loved Tivo, over the years they proved to be a solid company who I would recommend to anyone who would listen. But now they have a hardware division that is competing in an ever changing streaming market. They’re a Model T at LeMans. And the new owner clearly see the product side as an anchor.

    I’m giving the Edge a try but it’s mostly out of loyalty to what Tivo once was. I got a yearly service plan for the first time. This may be the last purchase of a 20+ year commitment but all things change. RIP Tivo
     
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  19. TKnight206

    TKnight206 Active Member

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    It was a combination of rising cable DVR prices and one of the summer sales going on one year that pushed me to purchase a TiVo. I needed breakout cables for that Roamio, but didn't order them at the time. Ordering them separately would have meant an extra shipping charge if I recall. Customer service was nice. I think they sent me some for free, separately, from the TiVo purchase. Next month rolled around, and the price of the TiVo went down, and I think after like 30 days of the original purchase, I was able to get them to do like a $100 price match or something.
     
  20. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    I started with TiVos with Series 1's (I had two of them). I also had a Series 2 DirecTivo and standalone (mostly loaned out), a TiVo HD and now a Bolt+.

    I had lifetime on all of them (except on DirecTiVo where it wasn't possible by the time I started). Lifetime was transfered from TiVo HD to Bolt+ via the "once in a lifetime" offer,
    I've never ever had to get a warranty or paid replacement of a TiVo. It's not like the warranties were very long. None of my units ever died. Sure, maybe their drives went bad/flaky and I replaced them anyway, Or, I'd already upgraded to my own drive and their drive was no longer in use. The only two where I can think of the drives going bad were the Series 2 standalone I had and the 160 gig drive that came in the TivoHD.

    I'm still on the original 3 TB drive on my Bolt+ that I ordered in mid-April 2017 as part of that "once in a lifetime" offer. I suspect you hadn't taken steps to keep its internal temps down (esp. for the hard drive) due to the terrible hardware design (anemic fan w/insufficient airflow). I used to use laptop cooling pads which would bring the temp way down but switched to two AC Infinity fans (TiVo Bolt vs TiVo edge).

    I've probably called their customer support less than 10 times, maybe not even 5. I didn't have a reason to.
     

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