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TiVo Staffing Changes

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by davezatz, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    The "safer" way to proceed, it seems to me; albeit, at a cost until the dying-off completes.
    And certainly, the "more dangerous" means by which to proceed, it seems to me, likely resulting in consumer lawsuits, variously asserting breach of contract (based on TiVo's own express definition and explanation of "lifetime") and/or unconscionability, fraud and otherwise, as repeatedly has been discussed elsewhere and any of which could be successful (or not--but all at a cost to TiVo regardless).
     
  2. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    That definitely works fine, as well as commercial skip, even after reboot.

    The OnePass would need to change back to Season Pass if TiVo wanted to go back to "Lite" mode. Minis wouldn't be bricks because presumably if TiVo wanted to go "Lite" mode, they have access to source and can be more surgical in disabling the real-time connections.

    It is a quick a dirty way to figure out how integral the online connection is to functionality. If it functions without BSC, you know it can't be THAT tied to the real-time connections. If it doesn't function at all, then it doesn't really tell you if they could or couldn't untie it, but you have some idea it would be at a minimum more involved to make the change.

    The question we should ask is NOT if there are real time connections CURRENTLY but how critical they are to functionality. Are they basically marketing/click tracking connections that are not critical, in the way that ads are not critical to your website viewing, where if you change the DNS to 127.0.0.1 for those servers, things continue to work or can the system just not work without the real-time connections without major redesign.

    I think this would actually be a good test. Capture the network data for the real time connections and change your DNS server to map these to 127.0.0.1 and see how the system works. If it mostly works ok, then TiVo doesn't really require keeping a real-time server infrastructure around. They'll need to balance defending many complaints and bad press and possibly government fines for deceptive practices vs spending the money for an engineer to untie things. If the same servers do the guide data and the real-time connections then the test wouldn't be useful.

    This would (if you find the system works mostly fine) give you an idea how much work it would be for TiVo to go Lite/minimum. Presumably TiVo has access to the source code and could just change the functions doing the real-time connection to return a failed error code same as a NIC down, but more surgical in nature. Given how much lawyers and PR damage control costs, the engineer would probably be cheaper.

    We used to do this analysis for ReplayTV when we were worried about the systems getting shutdown. We were able to even duplicate many of the services ReplayTV was running for show sharing and provide our own servers. The guy who ran Poopli actually made show sharing way better than Replay's implementation.
     
  3. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I quoted the wrong one
     
  4. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Ha, OK! I'm pretty sure I know which one you meant.
     
  5. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Well I thought I would do some testing so I pulled my LAN off the Internet (disconnected DLS line) and then did some testing with my Bolt:
    1. No problem playing back some of a record show.
    2. No problem streaming some of a show from my Roamio
    3. No problem doing a manual recording and then deleting the partial record.
    4. No problem creating, editing, & deleting various one passes
    5. No problem pulling a show back off my computer via TiVo Desktop and then playing some of it it and deleting it.
    Basically I had my LAN off line for about 20 minutes and did not see any issues. The Bolt has the 20.7.1 software and the Roamio has the 20.7.2 software.

    I would also like to point out that there is a reason that TiVo does monitor these system like it does. The data has value add to that what ever revenue they generate via advertising and from the apps it becomes clear that saying modern TiVo's (series 4-6) with lifetime don't generate revenue is incorrect.

    Also saying that TiVo's DVR business costs them money isn't exactly correct either, they have quarters where the DVR business was profitable. Also if they were to get out of the DVR sales business, it is an unknown if the existing user base would cost money or generate profit without any marketing or development costs (and minimum support, if any) - my pure 100% guess is it would be profitable for several years at least.

    In the end worrying about TiVo pulling the plug on our DVRs and making them non-functional at this point in time is just a waist of time. We can make up all the sh** we want about that possibility - but it is still just making sh** up.

    If someone really needs to stress themselves out about things they have ZERO control over - I can give you a long list of things that are much bigger deals than this and allot more likely to negatively impact people.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  6. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    And so, the core TiVo functionality is there. Of course, at the same time, some things also are affected. For example, the TiVo Central top banner of suggestions depends on the Internet connection; mine will grey-out without a connection. Also, due to a programming glitch, it can be impossible to delete a show under one of the normal, main methods without a connection (been there and spoke to TiVo about it--apparently, this particular delete function code unnecessarily ties into the TiVo network connection code). And SkipMode disappears for me when my network/Internet connection is lost--you then realize how much you really like SkipMode!
    Good revenue point.
    Related to this, I know that people have said that TiVo only has been profitable due to its lawsuits on its patents, as opposed to its "DVR business." But TiVo's lawsuits, and the resulting damages/payments, are to compensate TiVo for others' unlawful use of its "DVR business"--arguably, but for that unlawful use, TiVo would have had more "DVR business." And so, in that sense, it seems that those damages/payments indeed should be considered in considering whether TiVo's "DVR business" has been profitable. (I'm probably not explaining this well and the thought is a bit cloudy in my mind and perhaps not yet fully formed, but I think that this is a point of consideration.)
     
  7. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry, but you can't just drop the ethernet connection to test this accurately. I'm not aware that we truly have confidence in knowing whether the Tivo SW even attempts to negotiate interaction with hosted services if it detects zero connectivity. One would have to actually maintain an ethernet connection but prohibit connectivity to Tivo hosted solutions for the test to be viable. As to what features/functions are affected by the loss of Tivo hosted services - the jury is still out. That's the only fact at this point.

    In terms of all the debate about whether in some theoretical world, the "data they're collecting is valuable" - who cares? And it's not only highly debatable - but frankly outright ridiculous - to believe that the patent defenses are because had they not existed, the consumers would be using a Tivo branded box. That's preposterous.

    Furthermore, "some" people still seem to have a difficult time comprehending the difference between generating "revenue" and generating "profit". And remember, as a publicly held company, profits need to exceed the cost of cash, and at a minimum meet or exceed the profits that could be made were that money invested elsewhere. You can have billions of dollars in revenue - but lose money hand over fist. You can have only a million in revenue, but be very profitable. According to both annual and quarterly reports, the retail segment of Tivo has not been profitable on an annual basis. I'm more than willing to reassess that opinion if somebody can show actual numbers as depicted by public financial documents - as those reports currently show nothing of the kind. Nobody has ever said that current Tivos don't generate revenue. However, current Tivos with lifetime DO NOT generate revenue. At least not in any meaningful way. If somebody has direct facts to the contrary, please publish them. Please publish what kind of revenue, and from whom, Tivo gets. If it were there, it would be in their quarterly reports. Have you seen it? I have not seen evidence of such revenue.

    Finally, as to the "minimal cost" associated with just support - this is a statement coming from people having no experience whatsoever in this market. Even maintenance support costs a lot of money. A lot. There is not a week that goes by that there are not patches and updates that have to be applied to both core, and supporting systems to start with. And, anybody who has been in this business (which is about as different as maintaining your PC as you could possibly imagine) knows that in particular externally facing proprietary software has to have integration and regression testing run - and that such testing often reveals that changes need to be made to your own software. Given the increasing pace at which vulnerabilities are discovered and addressed even with stuff as intrusive is the IP stack itself, encryption, authentication, this is a very common problem. It is why most hosted services prefer to run only one official "SW Version" (reduced cost and complexity). Also remember, that Tivo is a networked device on your network, capable of running apps on it. This should not be taken lightly.
     
  8. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Of course it's relevant to revenue and the DVR line (and not just in some theoretical world). But, that's you opinion.
     
  9. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    Skipmode worked for me after reboot with no network cable connected.

    Discovery bar was not populated as your previous experience.
     
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  10. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. That's way interesting as to SkipMode--perhaps it's been totally coincidental for me that the only time I've noticed that it hasn't worked for me has been when my network connection has been down. And this has been with multiple shows.
     
  11. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    It needs network connection initially to download the skip data, but once the green SKIP icon shows up next to the show it means the skip data has been downloaded locally so no need for network connection to use it.
     
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  12. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Everything any of us are posting on what TiVo might do if x happens or what TiVo's revenue might be if X happens is just pure speculation. Or more simple put just Bull sh**.

    I will take just one simple topic: "However, current Tivos with lifetime DO NOT generate revenue." Now prove what you said is correct - don't bother really - because all you can do is ramble on without proving anything. Same for me, I can not prove your statement is wrong either. All either of us can do is ramble on with half facts we have seen someplace. So in the end I think lifetime TiVos do generate revenue and you don't - so what?
     
  13. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    So unfortunately, the Tivo quarterly reports do not support your opinion. Lifetime units only generate revenue at the time of purchase of the unit and lifetime. Period. There is absolutely no data, no facts, no information of any possible type that suggests otherwise.

    Of course, you could also claim that Tivo Lifetime units extend the typical persons lifespan. Or that Lifetime units will increase the fuel economy of your vehicle. Each of those statements have the same amount of information supporting such a premise.
     
  14. wmhjr

    wmhjr Well-Known Member

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    Please explain how. Exactly how is it relevant in terms of revenue?
     
  15. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    The numbers in the quarterly reports simply reflect the way that TiVo's accountants are choosing to categorize that specific revenue (the up-front price paid for hardware and lifetime service). But TiVo definitely has ongoing B2B revenue from their analytics and advertising services, which are based on data gleaned from all those TiVo boxes in use across the country, including retail boxes with lifetime service. See here:

    Analytics & Advertising | TiVo
     
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  16. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Sorry there is no data to support your positon either. There is no way to tell from a quarterly report:
    1. What add revenue TiVo gets from the adds on a lifetime unit and yes there are adds and always have been and no TiVo does not put them there for free.
    2. What value the data TiVo collects is to TiVo and how that translates into revenue.
    3. If/how TiVo monetizes the apps in some way - which is what Roku does.
    Plus there is likely indirect revenue via people with lifetime units being more locked in thus continuing to buy more stuff form TiVo especially like the recent deal TiVo gave people to allow them to pay to transfer the lifetime service to a new unit all revenue not likely to have been generated if not for those lifetime units.

    You have an opinion, that is all it is get over it.
     
  17. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    sweet home, al
    another explanation that supports the deduction tivo is ending retail support from conclusions based on staffing changes following a merger:

    upload_2017-8-13_10-2-35.png
     
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  18. ajwees41

    ajwees41 Active Member

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    maybe thereis someone at Rovi/New Tivo that will do these jobs cheaper
     
  19. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    Sure, the next Margret will be based in Namibia.
     
  20. dsga1

    dsga1 Random_Guy

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    Margret likely getting out at good time...

    Of my three Tivo Roamios, one has received new 20.7.2 (.RC24.xxx) as of today (Aug13). It's not Earth shattering but does include significant rearrangement of sub-menu options (example: system information now under HELP). Overall a more "refined" look /feel with various grayscale shading (primary colors removed from UI). streaming providers rearranged. I like it...

    Was disturbed to recently read that changes to FCC (as part of new presidential appointees) could lead to easing the CARDcard requirement for 3rd support currently enforced on Comcast/Xfiniit, etc.
    I suggest if this requirement disappears, then Tivo DVR's will soon follow. roku has a nice patent portfolio and can milk current/future cable/etc content providers across the nation. that's not a bad gig for basically doing nothing...
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 6:24 PM

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