TiVo alternatives for the blind or visually impaired

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Tipperton, May 29, 2020.

  1. Tipperton

    Tipperton Member

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    My TiVo account renews at the end of February so I have nine months to make a decision.

    I have two TiVo 1TB Bolt DVRs. One of them is my primary DVR and is running e3, the other is one I bought so I'd have something to experiment with so that I wouldn't have to jeopardize my primary DVR, it currently has e4. E4 is turning out to be such a turd that I will be downgrading my second Bolt back to e3. As bad as e4 is, it's even worse if you are blind or visually impaired and need to use the built in screen reader as I do.

    I am so fed up with TiVo's really toxic attitude towards the blind and visually impaired that I have decided that I am going to try to find an alternative to TiVo from a company that will at least make an effort to make sure that their products are in compliance with the CVAA and its requirement that video product vendors provide accessibility features that provide the same level of accessibility to their products that sighted users have and switch to them so I can cancel my TiVo subscription before I am billed again.

    Does anyone know of any alternatives to TiVo that I could look into?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    If you're a cable user then TiVo is pretty much your only option. If you're OTA then there are a few alternatives but I'm not sure if they're any better for the visually impaired.

    To be honest DVRs in general are kind of on a slow death march. With streaming services like YouTube TV, Sling, etc... and all the other commercial free subscription streaming services like Netflix, Prime, etc... recording linear broadcasts is going to go the way of the dodo in the not to distant future.
     
  3. Tipperton

    Tipperton Member

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    While that may be true, there are some problems that I can see with streaming services right off the bat.

    1. Most, if not all, streaming services require an app or a streaming player like RoKu, and most of those are not blind accessible.

    2. Most of them do not support alternate audio channels, so audio description for those shows and movies that have it would not be available.

    3. None of them provide access to the local channels.
     
  4. powrcow

    powrcow Active Member

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    I'd start with what's known first and then work back.

    Netflix has Audio Descriptive programming, available via this link: Netflix. Most of the devices Netflix supports allows selecting alternate audio channels. Devices like browsers, Roku, PS3/4, Apple TV, etc. It's not on all of their programs, but I believe they make it available for most of their Netflix originals.

    AppleTV has VoiceOver (built-in screen reader), color filter, bold text, and zoom. So that can possibly get you into the Netflix app.

    This doesn't solve TiVo or the local channel problem, but at the very least gets your foot in the door in one of the most popular streaming platforms.
     
  5. Tipperton

    Tipperton Member

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    However unlikely, if I decide to go with a streaming player, I'd go with Roku over Apple TV. Years ago, before I lost my vision, I used to have one of their original N1000 players and thought it was a great product. And although their players did not have a screen reader back then, they do now.

    On the other hand, I would never buy any Apple product because I do not agree with many of Apple's policies or politics. They do make nice products, but their policies and politics that I do not agree with far outweigh any benefits their products might give me.

    And now, as far as I'm concerned, TiVo is turning out to be even worse than Apple.
     
  6. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    My point is that there isn’t really an alternative because there isn’t really a market for DVRs any more. Your best hope is that the government steps in and forces these streaming devices and services to be more accessible to those with disabilities. They did that a few years back with captions for the deaf, so it's not too far fetched to think they'd do something for the blind at some point.
     
  7. Tipperton

    Tipperton Member

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    At this point I agree with you that it will take government intervention against companies who refuse to make appropriate accomodations for the blind and visually impaired. Unfortunately I have already reported TiVo for non compliance with the CVAA and they basically did nothing about it. I even told them that TiVo themselves told me that they do not care about accessibility and that the only reason there is a screen reader at all is so they could look like they are in compliance and that they do not test the screen reader to make sure that new features don't break it, nor do they bother to fix reported bugs with it. In short, as they told me, they simply don't care, and still the government apparently didn't think that there was a problem that needed correcting.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  8. EWiser

    EWiser Active Member

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  9. wizwor

    wizwor Active Member

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    radio?
     
  10. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    If you want to escalate and push matters with TiVo:

    You may file a dispute with TiVo under its dispute resolution process. It escalates the issue beyond the frontline customer service reps., presumably to supervisors and/or the legal dept. First up under the policy is TiVo's obligation to discuss the issue with you and try to resolve it before moving forward. If that doesn't resolve matters, the matter goes to formal arbitration. Although it is beneficial to have an attorney represent you especially in an arbitration,* that is not required and you may represent yourself.

    TiVo's dispute resolution policy, from its User Agreement (about 2/3rds of the way down in the User Agreement--warning, it's a long document), can be found at https://tivo.pactsafe.io/legal.html#user-agreement. For ease of reference, I quote the dispute resolution provision below (warning: it's long . . .).
    * Given the importance of the issues here, you might even be able to get an attorney to take the dispute on as a pro bono (free) matter.
     
  11. Tipperton

    Tipperton Member

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    Correction:

    True, Apple always says they support accessibility, but the truth is that Apple, along with many other companies, is using accessibility as a marketing strategy. If Apple was truely serious about accessibility as they'd like you to believe, then they'd be more responsive towards fixing the many accessibility bugs that are in iOS, but they never seem to get around to really fixing them. iOS 13, for example, introduced quite a few new accessibility bugs, Six months and numerous patches later those bugs are still waiting to be fixed, as are most of the accessibility bugs from previous versions of the operating system.
     
  12. EWiser

    EWiser Active Member

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    Good luck with other companies fixing all bugs. Bugs are part of software development. There was and never will be a big free software. Not possible to do it.
     
  13. Tipperton

    Tipperton Member

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    As a former software developer I know that. What I also know is that most software developers make at least some kind of effort to fix those bugs, but Apple appears to be focusing on bugs that effect mainstream users and ignoring accessibility bugs.
     

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