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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'll admit I haven't visited the forum in quite a while. My TiVo Premiere with lifetime subscription is still chugging away in my media closet. I've definitely gotten every dollar's worth from my purchase. I actually upgraded from a TiVo series 2. I first experienced a TiVo at a dinner party. A friend who worked at Yahoo! had received one as a holiday gift from the company. I knew instantly That TV was changing forever. I went out and bought the latest series 2 the one with the cheap plastic light on the front that looked like the dome light in a 1980's Chevy Malibu. I liked the look of the original so much I tried to by a spare faceplate from Weaknees.com pretty much the only vendor of aftermarket anything for the TiVo, but they declined. Two weeks later they suddenly got the idea they could sell the faceplates from the DirectTV TiVo boxes with functional front buttons as an 'upgrade' to their customers. But I'm not bitter. I bought a broken series 1 on eBay and scavenged the faceplate.

I loved the UI. Thumbs up and thumbs down, Season Pass and Now Showing were like adding an OS to your TV. Being a bit of a hacker I loved the easter egg of punching in the commercial skip code. You could tell that the engineers who built this loved what they were doing and had really thought about optimizing the experience of watching television.

I was a Second class citizen as a Mac owner waiting for the software support to catch up to the Windows side. I did enjoy the ability to locally stream music and photos and the easter egg that opened the hidden (but limited) videos tab was some consolation. Buying a WiFi adapter for the series 2 was kind of a quirk. It was standard on most computers by then. But once we had an HD TV and finally upgraded to a Premiere (skipping the series 3 entirely) I resented buying another WiFi adapter. We liked the new features of the HD interface but it seemed a lot less inspired than the first UI. They began stretching the analogy a little too thin. They also started loading ads into the interface. But we had video streaming in our living room finally! Eventually a mobile app appeared and it was bliss. I could schedule, recorded and delete shows while I was on the go. I could even download shows to watch on my iPhone - but then suddenly I couldn't.

TiVo upgraded their iOS app and dropped support for streaming video from the Premiere. It worked and then it didn't. C'mon, seriously? Well whatever, I wasn't promised to me on the box my Premiere came in so I can't really complain about it. First of all who would I complain to?

I had been a TiVo owner for over a decade. I had told everyone I knew how awesome it was. I'd joined the TiVo evangelists or whatever they were called. I even got a call from a dj at a radio station wanting me to talk about my love of TiVo on the air. In twenty years I convinced to my knowledge exactly zero people to buy a TiVo. Still I loved the TiVo and used it happily until last year.

What changed? I bought an Apple TV and it handles streaming media an order of magnitude better than my TiVo did on it's best day. Admittedly I didn't buy the TiVo for that so any performance I got was really a bonus. The UI on the Apple TV is modern in a way that just shatters the entire concept of 'watching tv' everything you want is front and center. If you don't like an icon you can just drag it or delete it. It even had games! Did anyone ever try playing the meager selection of java games that could be side-loaded onto the TiVo? That was definitely not a feature I would tout to anyone considering a TiVo purchase.

The TiVo is still running quietly in the back of the media closet dutifully waiting for the rare broadcast show that we watch that doesn't have an app and hasn't been cancelled. The mobile app never seems to remember who I am, like a senile old neighbor, but once it recognizes me it eagerly asks 'Have you seen the latest "This Old House?" "Are you caught up on Bob's Burger's?" "Remember that old movie that isn't streaming anywhere? Well, I founded last week on a local channel! It's in SD so it's pillarboxed and it's been edited for television but we could watch it together! if you want we can Even skip the commercials." Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

As promised, here's the link to where I learned that the company that invented VHS copy-protection now owns the device that changed television forever.
 
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