TiVo inserting short advert before playing a recording

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by andyf, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. BillBB

    BillBB New Member

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    Dec 10, 2019
    I saw these ads showing up last week for me. Mentioned to my wife that something funny was going on. Finally did a Google search tonight and discovered my worst fear. Tivo is now screwing us.

    I've bought TIVO recorders for myself for over 20 years. Even bought one for three daughters and two for another one. But NEVER AGAIN. I just purchased a new BOLT earlier this summer. If I had know that they were including these obnoxious ads with it, I would have not done so.

    One of the earliest pillars of strengths of TIVO was that they offered a fantastic feature for users to SKIP advertising!!!! Such a cool idea and so far ahead of it's time. But now, it appears that they have gone back on their respect for their customers. (Remember another HiTech company saying "do no harm"?).... I will begin researching how to replace my TIVO box tonight. I will NOT stand for this blatant switch-and-bait tactic.
     
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  2. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    If of interest: sidegrading to the TE3 user interface (the one that you were used to for years) automatically deletes the advertising (both the pre-roll ads and the Guide listing). Also, as you may have seen, you can telephone TiVo customer support and request to have the pre-roll ads dropped from your boxes.
     
  3. Chuck_IV

    Chuck_IV Active Member

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    I haven’t had issues downloading as all recordings show as unprotected when they are supposed to. However, keeping mm1.tivoservice.com blocked prevents search from working. So I removed it from the block list after rebooting.

    As for the ads showing up, I had issues blocking the sites via my router. The only way I was able to remove them was to run PiHole. Others have said they can do it with OpenDNS. I think it’s because PiHole and OpenDNS don’t actually block it but just don’t resolve the DNS.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. jcliff

    jcliff Member TCF Club

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    I was using OpenDNS. Leaving the domains mentioned earlier in the thread blocked (even though I unblocked mm1 after rebooting) resulted in the TiVo settings for sharing/downloading on my account being toggled off.

    To be clear, I'm referring to this:

    Screenshot 2019-12-11 at 00.32.36.png
    Through no action (via my account settings) on my part, after setting up the domain blocking via OpenDNS every single checkbox on the device preferences page was unchecked. Which is why it took me so long to troubleshoot. It didn't occur to me that they would automatically change your account preferences under the right circumstances.

    If those settings aren't enabled, it can result in kmttg thinking all your recordings are copy protected. So I had to disable blocking those domains to get that functionality back. That's what I mean when I said I think if it can't contact the mothership, TiVo seems to be able to disrupt other parts of the service like TTG.

    For me, it's just not worth doing the dance of blocking/unblocking a domain at random times.

    However, I also think there may be a lot of correlation not causation happening as we all try and find ways to block TiVo+.

    Currently I have nothing blocked. After my last call to TiVo earlier today, the ribbons in the guide AND preroll ads are now gone. So for those of us who have made calls to TiVo support the pre-roll+guide ribbons disappearing may just be a coincidence and not related to whatever we did.

    Blocking some combination of:
    1. adgwy.tivo.com
    2. segment.com
    3. spotxchange.com
    4. xumo.com
    Does seem to disable the pre-roll ads and TiVo+ itself. BUT, for me, it never blocked the ribbons in the guide.

    There's a random cloudfront address that displays the redirect "arrow" you see before a recording (don't block it, you'll end up in a weird situation where you don't see a commercial, but you also can't advance to your recording. You have to TiVo button out of the screen.)

    The TiVo+ content itself seems to be provided via xumo.com.

    mm1.tivoservice.com can block the ribbons in the guide, but if you're not careful it blocks other more useful services too.

    Then there's adgwy.tivo.com, segment.com, and spotxchange.com, which together seem to provide the actual ads & analytics for the pre-roll.

    Interestingly, if you're blocking the pre-roll ads but not xumo.com, TiVo+ can still be launched, and the ads within that content display fine. I guess they must be served via xumo.com itself.

    If I were to give someone advice who hadn't tried any of the steps, it would be:

    1. Call TiVo support and ask to have the pre-roll ads and TiVo+ ribbons disabled. TiVo+ is a mess. The ads are annoying, and it really does seem to make the entire device more unstable. I've had no random lockups/resets since the pre-roll and guide ribbons were disabled. Before, accidentally launching TiVo+ via the guide was frequently causing my device to hard reboot.

    2. If TiVo customer support tells you they'll disable the pre-roll, they might say 2-3 days. But for me it took three calls and a week. So if you're the patient type, wait at least that long.

    3. If you have the patience/knowledge for it, try blocking domains via pi-hole or OpenDNS. But pay attention to what Chuck said about unblocking mm1 after reboots. That didn't work for me, but it seems to be working for Chuck/other folks. Otherwise...

    4. Downgrade to TE3. Who knows, maybe in six months TiVo+ will still be annoying, but at least not unstable, and you can try TE4 again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
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  5. Salacious Crumb

    Salacious Crumb Member

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    Pequannock, NJ
    I get ads about 70% of the time -- dont get every time.
     
  6. Chuck_IV

    Chuck_IV Active Member

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    The only thing that has really worked for me is PiHole. I tried OpenDNS at one point but I couldn’t get it to really work, but others have.

    If you can, I would try PiHole and see how it goes. Besides TiVo, I am amazed at how much other junk queries are blocked from various other apps/sites.

    It will be a permanent part of our network, even when TiVo is long gone.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. Charles R

    Charles R Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Worse case for $50 (or so) for a Raspberry Pi you get to stop 10-40% of your Internet traffic and speed up your devices accordingly. Based on my surfing I average around 25% and it runs on my ODROID file server as another app... along with a half dozen or so others.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    I second the suggestion of TE3. Lucky you last bought a Bolt, and not an Edge which can't be down/sidegraded. The process unfortunately deletes saved shows, but is otherwise straightforward. The instructions in this thread work for your Bolt too, not just a Roamio: How to Rollback Hydra from Roamio and Mini's v1

    But maybe it's time to move on, yes? You're not the only one seeking alternatives. We're still on TE3 here, but in parallel we're testing Channels DVR with OTA and TVE now, probably cable soon, and maybe YouTube TV or Hulu Live TV. You'll find discussion of all that and more here: TiVo Alternatives?

    If you stay with TE4 you can roll the dice on opting out of the pre-rolls, though even if that works you'd still have the Guide ads. The more deeply techie options described here would probably be too difficult to deploy for your entire family. They'd find it far easier to switch to something like Channels DVR.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
    Rey likes this.
  9. Charles R

    Charles R Well-Known Member

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    In reality (blocking ads) the "family" would do/see nothing different. They wouldn't even know something had changed outside of not seeing x number of ads. Nothing to configure per user... simply update your router's DNS and you're done.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  10. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    I believe his daughters are living on their own now. If I misunderstood we should revisit. But even then, hey I do this stuff all the time, but most people's eyes glaze over if I even mention "router" or "DNS" in a sentence. :)
     
  11. Charles R

    Charles R Well-Known Member

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    That's the point... you configure it and you never have to touch their devices or mention router, DNS or anything else to them. Sure an ad blocker isn't for everyone... but being "complex" in most cases isn't a reason to pass.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  12. Huzordaddy

    Huzordaddy New Member

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    I called twice to Tivo support to get the pre-roll ads removed. The first time the CSR said I'm not even receiving them yet but she would note it in my account that I wanted them removed. Of course I was already receiving the ads and nothing stopped.
    The second time they said they could see the note from the first call and would take care of it to remove the ads.
    Weeks later I still have the pre-roll ads.

    And Tivo+ is just awful too.
     
  13. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Until TiVo changes something and one of those needs to be unblocked at least temporarily, and/or another needs to be blocked, but he can't get over to their houses to do it and their TiVo doesn't work right that weekend... Personally I might still do it, but just saying.
     
  14. Beryl

    Beryl Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Gotta ask — did you connect to their service and reboot? That is why my fix was delayed.
     
  15. Charles R

    Charles R Well-Known Member

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    Ever hear of remote access... worse case one click of the mouse locally/remotely and it's disabled. Again the point is it's not difficult for those following along. I never actually addressed one use case... I'm sure they know what's better suited for themselves than I ever would.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  16. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Silicon Valley
    Yup, I have heard of it and might do it, if we were on TE4. But you and I are not typical, and my impression is that needing to do anything of the sort will further infuriate the OP. A consumer ought to be able to just plug a box in and have it work. And when that box is sold based on a longstanding reputation for enabling easy control of home entertainment including commercial FF or skip, well then that ought to just work too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  17. ManeJon

    ManeJon Active Member

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    Apparently DirecTV is now putting ads on when you pause a show that plays until you un-pause. So another vendor is adding ways to irritate their customers.
     
  18. Fofer

    Fofer Bo55man69

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    Yeah, DirecTV is the worst on this front, they also have ads on their home screen, their guide, and their screensaver!
     
  19. jcliff

    jcliff Member TCF Club

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    May 23, 2017
    That sounds awful. I remember having to sell DirecTV in an area that rained a lot. The demo unit was static half the time. Long time ago though, so maybe the tech has improved.


    Finally setup PiHole, we'll see how it goes! I'm definitely amazed at how much traffic ad servers and tracking servers take up.
     
  20. Adam C.

    Adam C. Active Member

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    I never got the pre-roll ads on my Roamio OTA. But I called support yesterday to complain about the Tivo+ banner ads in the guide. They told me it would be no problem removing the banner ads from the guide but also mentioned pre-roll ads which I don't even have. Has anyone had the banner ads removed by Tivo?
     

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