Tivo is disappointing!

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by chelman, May 30, 2011.

  1. chelman

    chelman Member

    Oct 26, 2004


    I had my tivo primere for about a week now an I'm very disappointed with its "features." The most attacting feature to me was You Tube: The search in tivo is very limited, since the keyboard is limited, you won't get the same search as in your PC. Netflix only shows only your qeue, you can't search for movies. And some other disappointments are not worthy to list here.

    It seems live Tivo is more concerned with their legal department that with R&D and marketing. Tivo will be remembered as the little company that could but didn't want to and f*%$ up.

    Tivo R&D engineers: You are wasting a great opportunity, getting into mediocrity, and killing your jobs! Amaze us with your imagination and creativity. Perhaps you need some help from the hacker community to get wild and creative, forget about the steady paycheck! Don't limit us to your incapability and lack of imagination, surprise us!
  2. nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

    Nov 17, 1999
    Living in a...
    Use TiVo Search to see the entire Netflix library.
  3. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    If you purchased this TiVo for You Tube use you made an error, the TiVo is a DVR with extras, You Tube, Netflix, etc. are all extras that make this DVR more valuable to some users but I think if your main use is not the DVR function, the other extras you want can be done on other hardware that may have a better interface for the other functions. TiVo was designed as a DVR and I know of no better alternative to this DVR for the DVR functions and the ability to put in a 2Tb drive and have fast MRV between your TiVos (TPs). If for example I just wanted Netflix I would purchase the Apple TV, that does a great job with Netflix, You Tube is best used on a PC, TiVo is not the best answer for all the extra stuff it can now do, but if you want a single box that is a good DVR you have no good alternative. TiVo now does Hulu +, Pandora, Netflix, You Tube, the weather, pictures from you computer, and the list goes on.
  4. aridon

    aridon Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Youtube isn't even on my radar as being important. Netflix on Tivo works pretty well for me and searching on the tivo bringing up netflix results in addition to live tv or amazon is pretty nice. For more in depth searching for just netflix i'll use my pc or android phone while updating my dvd queue.

    Now the HD UI is an abortion. Sure its useable and barely tolerable most of the time but still a wreck of a mess. Especially how it switches in and out of old / new mode and doesn't cache anything. What idiot thought that up?
  5. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY


    Unfortunately this is a great post. It sums up the current situation all too well.
  6. MrJedi

    MrJedi Member

    Apr 13, 2011
    I agree with most of the folks here. I bought my Premier for its DVR capabilities. It is better than any Time Warner or Surewest box I have used. Having the ability to use it for Pandora, Netflix, and YouTube was a nice bonus, but I have other devices that could already access those services. During the Fall/Spring period I had 5 shows I wanted to watch at 7pm on Mondays. TiVo was smart enough to record two of the shows are at a later rebroadcast time. Which left me with one show I had to download to watch it (which was available via Amazon Video). Find me a cable DVR that manages your recordings in that way automatically. The Scientific Atlanta DVRs require you to find those additional recordings, and set it to record in that time slot only. However, if that second time slot you manually picked ever changes the SA DVR won't record it. TiVo will see the change and record accordingly.

    While I realize it is not typically the case now, when I bought my TiVo it was cheaper monthly than a cable DVR. Where I live an HD DVR cost me $17 a month. Had I done a TiVo monthly fee instead of lifetime I would pay only. $15.50 (12.99 + $2.50 CableCard) a month. So for a $1.50 less a month on a $59 Woot Refurb I get a more reliable DVR, plus it has some extra goodies (admittedly most are half-baked). The inability to search Netflix within the app didn't bother me as the other Netflix ready device I have didn't allow it either so I was used to that. Granted, you can work around this by using TiVo's search but I have found it returns false positives (returns results for movies that are DVD/Blu-Ray only).

    My point is that if your focus was on how well a device does streaming media you should have purchased a Roku, AppleTV, or GoogleTV. If your focus was a DVR that can support a CableCard and has more features than any other CableCard DVR you made the right choice. :)
  7. Jun 1, 2011 #7 of 50

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    But the OP is an example of how times are changing and that the new generation, not the Luddites on this forum who comprise a tiny elite, is exactly why I suggested in a thread that TiVO, already having the DVR bit down pretty well, needs to design and market TiVo as primarily a media streamer and DVR an extra with its flexibility of an HDD. I still think it is NOT to late for TiVo to change course just a bit. However, if they continue to view the OTT media streaming (saved on the HDD is an incredibly convenient thing) as secondary, and only concerned with MSO's, then TiVo is truly doomed. There are lots of folks who won't consider TiVo because of how it is marketed as a DVR first and foremost. The DVR should be marketed as a secondary, but key feature in "cutting the cable" (but TiVo is too cozy with some cable cos. to do this, I guess), recording all the OTA "Free" TV along with the primary tool of TiVo the Media Streamer, and the monthly subscription could marketed as ones guarantee of reliable Name Based Recording of all your OTA shows.

    The problem is, people today are no longer seeking the DVR as they once did and are now lured by the media streamer (Netflix and Hulu are often cited as what they want with all its advantages) and cutting out the necessity of a DVR that is usually tied to an MPVD service. TiVo could join this niche with its supreme marketing that has always seemed TiVo's greatest strength, even more than the product itself. But heaven forbid if TiVo does something that is not in line with the cable cos., who they mistakenly see as their savior.

    Time seems to be passing TiVo by. Although if TiVo had just added at least the ability to record just one more channel (for a total of 3), it would have gone a long way to making the Premiere seem worth the upgrade.
  8. Jun 1, 2011 #8 of 50

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2004

    There is a big shakeout coming in streaming devices, data caps are not going away, cable is not going away. Tivo can record and that is strength people don't buy Tivo's because cable co's dvr get the job done well enough ( the same excuse as in the last 5yrs or so). Tivo will survive most of the so called competition won't. And some of the so called Luddites on this forum are way tech savy when it comes to hardware, a lot of the so called new generation can't build and can't program and when you can't do either that is the equivilant of being a 21st century Luddite.
  9. Jun 1, 2011 #9 of 50

    jtreid Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    Reading, PA
    And that is the crux of the matter. For most of us, one company controls the method of delivery for television and broadband. They will not go away because they control the spigot into our homes. One way or another, they will make a profit and we will suffer.

    You over-the-air people need not respond. I did say most of us; not all.
  10. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    Even OTA-only TV viewers (like me) have to get our broadband from somebody. I have DSL, but I know many use cable. I think it will be a while before wireless broadband is really ready for primetime. Sprint may have plans with no regulated caps, but I doubt that their infrastructure is physically capable of handling millions of people each using tens or hundreds of gigabytes per month.

    As an aside, I find it interesting that in an era when everybody seems to want to go wireless (cell phones especially), I keep hearing noises about Congress eventually taking away broadcast TV to give (sell) the spectrum to this or that special interest. Broadcast TV has been efficiently wireless for decades, and today it's better than ever. I suppose it could be replaced by satellite broadcast services that offer basic service free or at nominal cost and with public-interest requirements similar to those of terrestrial broadcasters; but I can't imagine how anyone (except the vested interests) would want to see TV delivery become the exclusive province of cable companies saddled with the inherent inefficiencies of continually fussing with all that obsolete infrastructure. Cable companies are so 20th century.
  11. crxssi

    crxssi Veteran TiVo User

    Apr 5, 2010
    But only in HDUI. It doesn't work in SDUI. That is a huge limitation right there for many of us.
  12. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    Your contribution is appreciated. I would suggest, however, that you post affirms my point: the "Luddites" :) on this forum (I admit to being a bit one, myself :)) have not been able to prevent the massive hemorrhage of subscribers TiVo keeps losing. While adknowleding the bugs of the Premier having soured a fair number of TiVo die-hard lovers into leaving TiVo, I still think the problem is that TiVo is marketing something that is anachronistic to the growing numbers who are buying streaming boxes TODAY. And ones' technical skill or prowess has nothing to do with the money they spend on what product. Marketing and product design determain that, and, like it or not, it is those non-tech savy who TiVo desperately needs (heck, all industries need to reach) to reach to start a net INCREASE of subscribers instead of its current nose-dive. Gee, I thought that TiVo was designed for the NON-tech savy masses, no? The ease of its use and display and functions and menus. The big selling point was that it was EASY to use and and didn't require "tech-savy" folks to operate and enjoy. This is what users and even the "tech-savy" used to trumpet about TiVo.

    So, your statement that TiVo appeals to the "tech-savy" (inferring that it does almost exclusively) just affirms that TiVo is no longer appealing to the mass market and to only the few who like to hack the units. That is a sure way to go out of business, or, at least, lose lots of subscribers, which TiVo has already suffered.

    I would just make the point that if TiVo marketed as a media streamer first (and focus on that as #1 ad far as R&D and access to more internet pods, etc. because they already have the DVR functionality down quite well), they could appeal to the consumers who can turn things around for the better at TiVo. The current roster of "tech-savy" subscribers is putting TiVo close to out of business, hence the attention to the MSO's and just suing anyone who won't talk to them about adding a TiVo service to their MVPD service.
  13. smbaker

    smbaker Well-Known Member

    May 24, 2003
    The problem is, Tivo has positioned itself as a Jack of all Trades, but Master of None. The netflix implementation isn't very good. The amazon implementation is so-so (no amazon prime streaming?). Hulu+ took forever to bring to market. Youtube occasionally crashes my box. Competition is creeping up on the DVR functionality, with others beating Tivo to streaming and whole-home positioning. The HDUI for the DVR itself remains incomplete.

    If I wanted a streaming device, then there are a number of devices I'd choose before the Tivo. One of them is my TV itself which has most of these streaming services built into it. My blu-ray player and PS3 are also better streaming devices than my Tivo, and neither of them takes an eternity to boot if something goes wrong.
  14. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    The reality is if someone doesn't want a DVR there is no reason to buy a TiVo.

    People can blah blah all they want about costs, as long as a TiVo is a DVR it has to cost significantly more than a streaming media device. So even if Tivo was as good as a Ruko at streaming media you still wouldn't buy a TiVo unless you wanted a DVR.

    The streaming media features TiVo has added are to help it still be competitive in the cable DVR market. Due to cable cards TiVo has become more costly and more complicated for the end user. At the same time that cable company DVRs have continued to improve and sometimes are used as loss leaders.

  15. dahacker

    dahacker Member

    Jan 14, 2004
    Tivo is still the best DVR device, but only by a slim margin. Netflix is the only reasonably useful extra service on the device. Hulu+ seriously?

    I'm not sure I really understand how Tivo can lose 2.4 million subscribers over 5 years and still think they can maintain price points well over Cable Service Provider DVRs while performing near ZERO innovation since the Series 3 was introduced. Not to mention the recent price increases for current owners.

    Tivo is losing on cost PERIOD. Yes lifetime service can be more cost effective, but people can't deal with break even cost periods of 3-5 years.
  16. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    Break even at the current prices is 27 months for those eligible for MSD and 25 months for those paying full price. That is not 3-5 years.

    I don't find a Premiere with lifetime at less than $500 with MSD or less than $600 without to be out of line. Tivo has been and continues to lose money selling stand alone DVRs lowering their prices isn't going to fix that.

    There are lots of reasons for TiVos problems, many that were/are out of their control and many they have caused themselves. I would put their pricing at the lower end of their issues.

  17. larrs

    larrs Movie Fan-Addict

    May 2, 2005
    There was no cost increase to current owners to my knowledge. My bills were the same this month as last month and others have said even their annual plans renewed at the current rate.

    I don't get the losing on cost statement. My cableco DVR is $17 a month, for each DVR (I once had two), a total of $34. Tivo is now $20 for one plus $15 for the second= $35. Yes, the cable cards are extra ($1.99 each), but that is not enough to proclaim they are losing on cost- not for what you get for the $75-99 upfront plus $4-5 more per month.
  18. dahacker

    dahacker Member

    Jan 14, 2004
    Sorry its all about money and cost and your example break even months are Tivo vs Tivo. Certainly if you want a Tivo, you should get lifetime. But the decision that everyday people (not us Tivo evangelists) are making is Cable service DVR vs Tivo DVR life costs.

    Verizon FIOS DVR: $15.99/month
    Tivo Premier: $99.99 + $19.99/month + $3.99/month cable card
    Result: Tivo loses on cost

    Lifetime Verizon DVR vs Tivo Premier Example:
    X = months
    15.99 * X = 99.99 + 499.99 + (3.99 * X)
    X = 50
    Break even is 50 months for Tivo over Verizon FIOS. i.e. over 4 years. When I explain that Tivo is cheaper after 50 months, most people rightly go and just get the Cable service DVR despite Tivo's slim superiority.

    Again. Its all about cost. Just ask anyone you know who has a non Tivo DVR. The market decides period.
  19. dahacker

    dahacker Member

    Jan 14, 2004
    Lifetime on new machines was discounted to $200 for prior owners for a long time. Now its $400. I can't recall the delta on initial hardware cost if any.

    From an email:

    "New pricing begins May 19th

    DVR pricing: $99.99 TiVo Premiere OR $299.99 TiVo Premiere XL DVR with purchase of a TiVo service plan
    Service plans*: $19.99/mo. with 1-yr commitment OR $499.99 Product Lifetime service"

    See my example above for why cost delta IS an issue to MOST people.
  20. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    There are 100 million plus homes with TVs most of them with more than one. There are significant problems beyond the current cost of a TiVo that are resulting in TiVos lack of sales.

    Not everyone buys a Chevy or Toyota plenty of people buy Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus cars instead and they are not cheaper. The same is true for electronic equipment, premium equipment should be salable at a premium price (and generally is).

    TiVo is being marketed as a superior/premium product (if it is not a superior/premium DVR there is no reason for it) and should be able to be sold as such. The fact that they have not been successful is a directed result of all the other issues. Higher prices does not prevent sales just ask Apple.


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