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I keep on wondering, ok, TiVo, you want to increase revenue, that's understandable and commendable--then do something positive. I don't see pre-roll ads as a real "positive" (although I'm willing to accept them--but then they should be turn-off-able in the box settings).

On the other hand, improved and more meaningful apps and streaming device/technology/content access (as someone else said here, if Roku won't do it for a TiVo box, why doesn't TiVo do it for Roku?), a Mini Wireless Adapter, TiVo apps for streaming devices, a TiVo streaming device, enhanced TiVo remotes (what happened to the Slide Pro remote entirely at this point?), even a TiVo marketplace accessed through TiVo Central (there used to be one, the Showcases), yes, that's positive.
With my legacy Comcast DVR that I used to have, there was an ad at the bottom of the guide... how annoying and a waste of space. With TiVo, no ad there, but then we have the Discovery Bar at the top... along with Pause ads, Delete ads, Folder ads, and TiVo Central ads sometimes showing up. I hate those.

How about offering an ad-free version? I mean completely ad-free. An ad would be something that would generate TiVo revenue, even if it's for placing a TV show up in the Discovery Bar. There is a monetary value to this. What if we, TiVo users, were willing to match that value so we don't see ads anymore? Would it matter if the revenue is coming from current sponsors or TiVo users? This would be optional on top of any monthly, annual, or lifetime subscriptions. Anyone have thoughts on this idea?

I'm basing my comment on "ok, TiVo, you want to increase revenue" mentioned.
 

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I do agree, This scheme is probably a grand mistake. But again, I'm not going to be a an infant kicking and screaming because someone else is making a mistake. What are you really losing, a few seconds of time each time a show starts. Now if they were to start inserting commercials within shows, that's a serious time for me to start considering some action.
The more people who skip the pre-roll ads, the less they're worth. If too many skip them, wouldn't TiVo have incentive to make them unskippable? Or at the very least, force someone to watch five or ten seconds of them before becoming skippable? Commercials have value because people watch them and go out and buy the product.
 

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We don't know yet but this could be a new revenue stream from TiVo owners who have lifetime, i.e. paying 4.99 per month to be ad free moving forward. It would not surprise me at all if they remove lifetime as an option when buying a new TiVo to keep folks locked in at a smaller monthly rate.
How many of us would be willing to pay an additional monthly fee to switch back to Gracenote? Optional, of course.
 

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Sorry, "Maintenance mode" = "Bug fixes only".

Pre-roll ads are a "feature".
I still submit suggestions for TE3 through the site on how to improve. Are these ignored, or will they possibly add features in the future?

Some things I'd like to see, to name just a few...
1. An automated way to mark which channels I receive. Starting from channel 1, going up to a user-defined limit, would mark which ones are received and which ones aren't along with HD status. Three to five second delay between channeling up.
Then the user would have five choices in which channels are checked in the Channel List: HD only, SD only, HD Preferred, SD Preferred, and All.
SD Preferred: If there is an HD and SD channel, same timezone, then it would remove the HD channel and list SD. SD takes up less space, and space may matter to some. Or they have it hooked up to an old TV.
2. A way to mark favorite shows or PIN them to the top.
3. A mono setting for audio. Oh how I miss this. My legacy DVR from Comcast had so many audio options.
Anyone here watch South Park with headphones? The music is heavy on the right audio channel and it's immensely annoying.

Anyone, good luck. I imagine customer service is going to have an awful time regarding this pre-roll ad issue.
 

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Well, at the risk of continuing to go off-topic, let me explain further. TiVo's consumer business model has not evolved much in the 20+ years we've been selling DVR's. I can go into more detail in another thread, but mechanisms like targeted advertising, content delivery and premium services are all going to be needed in order for us to help bring down the out-of-pocket costs for consumers over time.
I hope I don't regret saying this, but if lifetime subscriptions aren't generating enough revenue, stop offering them. Or increase the price. Or offer a three- or five-year plan (in addition to monthly and annual) for revenue purposes. But please realize why we buy the boxes. My cable provider DVR fees became too expensive. But I also don't like being inudated with ads, whether it's TiVo Central menu ads, Pause ads, Folder ads, Delete ads, or Discovery Bar ads.

Pre-roll ads only make sense when it comes to streaming content. It doesn't make sense whatsoever to add them before something we had recorded. It would be like a bookstore adding ad-based stickers at the beginning of books. Or even worse. (I won't mention the worse idea in a public forum.)

I mentioned this before, and I'll mention it again. Allow us to opt-out of any and all ads. Whether it's the sponsored content in Discovery Bar, Delete ads, Pause ads, etc. TiVo receives revenue for these ads. They have a value. Allow an individual customer to match the value by paying an optional monthly fee to get rid of them.

Edited to add: If you want to bring down the out-of-pocket costs for us consumers, how about letting us pay full cost as normal if we want? A two-tiered approach.
 

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When TiVo_Ted says "mechanisms like targeted advertising, content delivery and premium services are all going to be needed in order for us to help bring down the out-of-pocket costs for consumers over time", what evidence is there for that statement? Is the Edge notably less expensive than the Bolt and Roamio? Did I miss an announcement regarding price reductions for the cost of lifetime or monthly TiVo subscriptions?
I paid for lifetime on all my boxes. Lifetime means for the life of the box. I don't want ads added to my TE3 Roamio boxes because they don't find the revenue sustainable anymore. If they need to raise the cost of monthly and annual, so be it. Or offer a two-tiered approach where there is a slightly-less expensive one that is more ad-supported. Kind of like the Hulu model.
 

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Based on info provided by @TiVo_Ted, I can only throw you this:
  • There will be no pre-roll ads on your TE3 boxes ... ever; and
  • If you have TE4 boxes now or are later forced to go TE3 -> TE4, you can apply for an exemption from these ads based on subscription plan and/or tenure. My hope is that Lifetimes (perhaps with a minimum number of years) will all qualify.
Lifetime is lifetime. It doesn't matter how many years. They got all the money up front. Under no situation would it be fair to subject lifetime subscribers to pre-roll ads. We can't vote with our wallets and walk away like monthly or annual subscribers can.
 

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Fair enough. But in order to do that and add a "feature" they would have to take TE3 out of "Maintenance mode", and I don't know if that's ever been done before.

More likely would be a forced update to TE4?
A forced "update" to TE4 won't go over well. How many people were panicking before over whether or not Hydra would be optional?

Edited to fix grammar/typo.
 

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Do you pay a fee to be here?
I'm going to intrude and say that unlike with TiVo, we have a choice here on TCF. We can either pay to get rid of ads, or we can enjoy the site filled with ads.

If the subscription rates aren't sustainable, TiVo should raise the rates. Offer a cheaper subscription plan that involves ads, but not necessarily pre-roll ads. (For those who paid for lifetime subscriptions already, no more ads than before.)
 

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It's not lifetime, it's all-in.
https://support.tivo.com/articles/Essential_Summary/TiVo-Payment-Plans-and-Policies
The All-In Plan provides service for the life of the TiVo device for which it is purchased, and remains with the device in the event of an ownership transfer.
I'm not going to argue this. My point still stands.

Just a few years ago TiVo defined "lifetime" as something shorter than the life of the box IMPORTANT NOTICE: Your TiVo Series1 DVR will stop recording shows after September 29
Weren't Series 1 boxes killed off because they weren't compatible with Rovi's guide data or something? Am I wrong? I'm not saying it was right to kill off series one.

Edited to add: Here we go: TiVo Series 1 "Lifetime" Service Ceases September 29th
UPDATE: TiVo admits it wasn't cost-effective to retrofit the Series 1 for Rovi guide data, but will work with folks dissatisfied with the $75 buyout (or those excluded entirely?) and have already sweetened the deal.
I don't want ads either. Avoiding them was a big value-add for TiVo. Retail TiVos are where ads make the least sense, because those customers are probably the most sensitive to them and have the most freedom to switch boxes and services. Customers with MSO-branded TiVos presumably care the least about ads and other indecencies heaped upon them by the MSO, otherwise they'd switch. If TiVo's goal is to rid themselves of retail customers this would be an effective way to do it.

A two-tiered approach doesn't exactly scream "bring down the out-of-pocket costs for consumers over time", does it?
I think it all depends upon marketing (for two-tiered pricing.) They could probably spin it a certain way.

Increasing cable DVR rental fees pushed me to TiVo.
 

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If that's all it ever is, sure a single pre-roll ad isn't a big deal.

But it won't be all it ever is, guaranteed. If people take this lying down they won't be just the first time you play something but every time you play it. And eventually more than one. They'll also insert ads in the guide. Before long it will frustrating to look through the guide because there will be so many ads in the way. Next they'll put in ads for "related programming" anytime you hit select on a program to set up a recording. Recording a college football game? Maybe it'll pop up an ad for another game, or an Amazon link for jerseys and mugs for one of the teams featured in that game. And so forth.

I'm sure people back in the 50s when there weren't really "ads" as we know them today but instead shows were sponsored by some cigarette company or whatever and the messages included in the programming weren't too bothered by the first true 30 second commercial break. If they saw some of the cable TV channels today where 10 minute ad breaks aren't completely unheard of (yes, I've had to do as many as twenty 30 second skips before on a movie recorded on Spike or BET!) they'd be horrified they took that first 30 second ad break lying down!
We've had ads in the Discovery Bar (e.g. for McDonald's if I recall), along with TiVo Central menu ads, episode folder ads, pause ads, and ads when deleting an episode. These ads ruin the experience. I'd rather see them up the subscription rates (and future lifetime rates) rather than inundate the interface with ads.

Too frequent commercial breaks is what gets me. What Adult Swim does with a single mid-show commercial break is nice. Once I skip over that, I'm good.

Instead of focusing on adding ads to the interface, I'd rather see them fix the many guide problems they've been having. It's getting much worse. It feels like I'm spending minutes per day on occasion canceling shows that aren't new or just plain wrong. What's annoying is when an episode title differs a little, and they consider it new, even if it's a decade old rerun.

My Comcast legacy DVR had the ability to skip five minutes. This is something I really miss, and would be useful in long commercial break situations that you've mentioned.
 

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Why? I can literally hit the 30 skip button 10 times in a second no problem. The trick isn't hitting it 10 times quickly, it is knowing WHEN you can hit it 10 times quickly without skipping too far. When I record something on COMET I'll often see six or seven minute breaks requiring 12 or 14 skips - but they'll throw in a random short break of two minutes to **** with you, usually at the top of the hour though so I kind of know when to expect it.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a big deal. I can skip most any commercial break of random length in no more than 3-4 seconds and usually more like 1-2, including hitting the 30 skip, seeing the frame for a split second and hitting it again as necessary, then hitting the 8 second back button a few times when I've gone a bit too far. Once in a while I'll mess up and think I've hit the program and it is a commercial, or vice versa, and it takes 15 seconds to find my place, but that's rare. This is why I never really cared all that much about skip mode, it was fixing a problem I don't have. I'll use it if it is there, but I don't care if it isn't.
A five minute skip would require nine less button pushes. It'd be less wear on the buttons. If only we could use the Channel Up and Down buttons when SkipMode isn't available to do five forward and back.
 

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At this point, TiVo have no plans to implement pre-roll ads on TE3. I'm sorry my earlier statement was not clear on this.
Okay, so there are no plans to implement pre-roll ads on TE3, I understand. However, I hear there are ads in Hydra's guide. Namely, for TiVo+ right now.

Is the TE3 guide going to be modified to show ads like the TE4 guide? I would find that so irritating. I just want confirmation as to whether or not guide ads are coming to TE3.
 

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I can't do that. The last time I tried, I got to the second commercial break and couldn't stand it. And ended up purchasing the rest of the season. So now I do it with all the shows on the CW. Since I really hate commercials.

And it still isn't very expensive. I end up paying between 75 cents and $2 per HD episode when I buy the entire season. The most I've paid was $2 an episode. And that was for the Magicians, which is on SyFy. All the CW shows have cost me $1.50 or less per HD episode.
Would it be cheaper to watch the CW shows on Netflix a year later?

The CW is ending its Netflix deal, but that doesn't mean Riverdale is disappearing might be worth a read first.
 

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What would be the downsides to digital purchases?

If purchasing, you're paying a lot for something you may only watch once. Renting would be a nice option, provided it's a practical price.

If purchasing, you're also subject to losing your digital purchase. (E.g., The Simpsons season 3, episode 1, or Roseanne season 10)
Renting would alleviate the bitterness of having paid for something to only have it taken away, even if offered a refund.
 

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I was one of those people who resisted TE4 because I personally liked the old UI and didn't like the sterility and navigation of TE4. I finally gave in and went to TE4, which I had for a long time, but with the discussions about the pre roll ads and Plus being inserted in the guide, I went back to TE3 on my Roamio and 4 Minis. Gave up my recordings in the process but whatever. That said, I'm certain it's only a matter of time before everyone is forced to go to TE4 for one reason or another. The cynical side of me thinks the lure of automatic commercial skip only on 4 was designed to get the most people possible off of 3 and onto 4. But it's not worth it to me. When TE3 is no longer an option or when/if these annoying "features" hit 3, I guess I'll just go back to the cable co DVR.
We still have no plans to require customers to upgrade to TE4. However, I can tell you that more than 50% of our eligible installed base are now running TE4, with fewer than 1,000 downgrades. And before you say it, yes I understand that downgrading is very painful so these 2 stats don't exactly compare. However, we continue to monitor feedback on TE4 and have plans to continually address user concerns. Updates to the mini guide, My Shows, etc. are all examples of this.
It's been almost a year since @TiVo_Ted said that. I still hope that's the case. Just him confirming that would alleviate some of our fears, for those of us who use TE3.

While the option of AutoSkip would be nice, I'm fine with pressing a button. Although, I'd be happy if SkipMode was a bit more accurate. It's annoying how a little bit of the show gets cut off, or the last segment doesn't get marked.

I've also done the email thing twice and gotten the same response. I gave a very explicit explanation of where I wanted to have the ads removed, and twice a totally useless response of, "I think you're talking about Tivo+ and there's nothing we can do." The customer service email reps can't read the English language apparently. When my subscription renewal comes up next year, a cable company DVR may be in my future. I just don't like how TiVo has done this at all.
Have you tried calling and escalating to a supervisor?
 
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