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I just checked some recent recordings and can confirm the blue spinning circle, 3 seconds of blank black screen delay, with pause icon in upper right hand corner. So perhaps this is placeholder logic for the ads.
Blue spinning circle is definitely the clue that you will soon see pre-roll ads. Enjoy! (and please do flood Tivo with many many thank you calls and posts)

This is what happens when you hire a CEO that found a way to monetize the friggin' Weather channel.
 

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Not only is the pre-roll completely misguided so is the implementation of it. You can't really tell if the ad will really load or not - sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. So if you try to skip the pre-roll ad and there isn't one loaded up, then with SKIP enabled you'll blow right past actual commercials. I did this with Stephen Colbert Show - I saw the blue spinning circle, hit the skip button thinking I was skipping the pre-roll, and the next thing I knew I was half way through the entire show after my button presses skipped actual commercials! Talk about "intuitive" user interfaces...Tivo seems committed to add more and more clicks and time to this Hydra interface. Pre-rolls are the very worst of the worst to date.
 

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Last straw.

I switched to @getchannels and @HDHomeRun_US because of this. It's a much better experience. Simple UI, better remote viewing experience, fast apps (I use Apple TV), and keeps the parts of DVR I love. TiVo stopped being a better experience many years ago but I refused to notice. Channels rocks!

So sad to leave but also relieved to know my thought that there was no viable options for me was not true.
Do they have 30-second skip and something similar to OnePass? If so, I have to give this alternative a serious look. I don't care about auto-skip. Shoot me a link or PM me with it to any good forums and optimal setups if you don't mind. I'm totally down with throwing in a NAS and two 6-tuner HDHomeruns. I've got Apple TVs, Rokus, smart TVs all over the house. If I can program a Logitech remote to control things similar to the Tivo peanut, I'm good there too.

I've had enough of this **** with this company. Weather-boy clearly thinks the best way to drive up the valuation for the product business to sell it off is to create an advertising and data mining platform.
 

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I think we can question the assumption that TiVo, since it was bought my Rovi even has software engineers. Rovi descriptions have always been questioned. Guide data was assumed to be their strong point. Nothing of the sort has proven to true. No changes to their databases distribution. Expect that lipstick on a pig called, TE4, and I have said before, competent computer engineers don't do computer design graphics, and UI pretty stuff is usually contracted out side a company once every few years. The same has been true with the TiVo itself. No evidence of technology improvements. Therefore, no evidence of computer engineers being present who would be making those technical improvements if TiVo ever had made any over the years. There is evidence over the years that ever since Rovi bought TiVo that TiVo/Rovi has no computer engineers or we would have seen it first with databases description distribution and then with the TiVo itself.
Look no further than the new CEO they hired as proof that they are hell bent on making this an advertising and data mining (sell your data) play.
 

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As to TE3 their is no confirmation nor hint from Tivo it will have it. Read the articles, it's the authors opinion only.

I bet it will not. More likely you would get a forced upgrade instead.
Agreed. They will force us to upgrade from TE3 at some point and claim they can no longer maintain that code base, limited resources need to be focused on the future, customers will love the new experience, blah blah blah. All short for - "upgrade to our advertising and data mining platform or enjoy your Tivo-bricks."
 

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I would image TiVo has to be more worried about lawsuits from the networks and cable channels. If I owned or managed a network, and saw a service that let people watch my shows, skip my ads, but then made money off selling other adds on my content I smell television and cable lawyers getting excited about their billing hours on that.
Who's to say they won't pacify the cable cos and networks with significantly discounted analytics about Tivo customer viewing habits?
 

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Hydra's only going to get worse from here. Pre-rolls, guide ads, pause ads, home screen ads. You're going to feel like you're visiting a virus-ridden song lyrics website.
It's also slow as molasses compared to TE3. Painful. They way over did the whole tile/picture thing so I often sit there waiting for images to load on several menus. The pre-roll ads, guide ads, pause ads, etc. all make the experience slower and slower. Then there are user-clicks - we need more and more of them to do basic stuff like deleting a show. In TE3, if I see a recorded show in My Shows that I want to delete, I hit the Clear button and its gone. TE4 requires another 2 clicks to do the same thing.
 

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Well, we could simply not buy new hardware and not pay to transfer lifetime to a new box.
They've already done the math. Clearly, they've calculated that the potential loss of long-time Tivo-customers via attrition vs. the (perceived) upside of creating an ad-based/data mining business model is well worth that risk.
 

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I wonder why they secretly rolled this out instead of sending out an email to subscribers letting them know this is coming?
Because they knew damn well it would dis-intermediate many of the loyal Tivo customer base. There are rumors from some of the beta testers that nobody liked it in beta either. Yet, they did it anyway. Which is why I think they've done the calculations and decided they'll take the risk. I see it as a Hail Mary to drive the valuation up and finally sell off the product business.

In my opinion, the very best outcome we can all expect here is that TE3 will continue to run well enough that we get a couple of more years out of our boxes. Tivo is going to live to sell or die in hell. And whoever they sell to is more likely to be someone that likes the advert platform and customer data mining platform they've built so I don't see that buyer being our Messiah some day.
 

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They are two legal avenues to go against TiVo, but the argument about ads is the path for a corporation like ad sponsors.

But the easiest one is for the long term/short term TiVo customers in a class action suit to prove Rovi did not act in good faith, misrepresented themselves to the customer and is fact a corporate predator and not a tech company. Rovi couldn't graduate form a 6 grade computer class. This is why they go where real tech companies do not go because they can't go to real tech solutions because they are in reality a corporate predator. Rovi's behavior over the years has not produce any tech solutions to their problems. Why, because they don't know how, being a corporate predator. It is the only explanation that answers all the puzzling questions, the puzzling behavior about them over the years. Class action cases are the most successful when they are clear patterns of contradiction behavior. The bases for class action suits against Rovi going before a judge is not complicated given Rovi's patterns of behavior.
I'm no lawyer but in reviewing the EULA posted here http://tivo.pactsafe.io/legal.html#user-agreement there are two paragraphs that indicate we'll have little chance at a class action lawsuit. The first is:

"TiVo reserves the right to discontinue previously offered features or functionality at its sole discretion and without prior notice. TiVo is not liable to you or to any third party for any modification, suspension, or discontinuance of any feature or component of any TiVo product or service. We reserve the right to determine the timing and content of software updates, which may be automatically downloaded and installed by TiVo products without prior notice to you."

I read this and think it is pretty clear that they can do whatever the hell they want with the software. So those of us that love Live Guide - tough titty. Don't like spinning blue circles? You've got a better chance at suing them for causing dizziness looking at them vs. the fact that they added a feature that causes you to look at spinning blue circles.

Next up:

"With an All-In Plan, you receive those TiVo service features that we make generally available to all customers who have activated a TiVo service subscription for that same TiVo product, except as otherwise noted by TiVo. You may incur separate charges for certain third-party content, services or applications; these items are not considered part of the TiVo service. In addition, TiVo reserves the right to subsequently release, and to charge separate amounts for, new features or functionality which are not made generally available to all customers who have activated TiVo service on a particular TiVo product."

It's not difficult to imagine that Tivo could just easily argue that instead of charging us for "new features and functionality" they reverted to ads so that they didn't have to ask us for more money. What are new features and functionality? Dunno but I suppose Hydra, Auto-skip may be examples.

I could not find the old Lifetime EULA or any earlier EULAs. This one is from last year. It might be interesting to review them.
 

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Has anyone with TE3 seen ads yet?
Rumor has it that it is coming to TE3. I'm guessing we have a few months but that is a total WAG. Curious to see if those who called customer service to "opt out" actually gets rid of the pre-roll ads. The concern I have is that the bloatware designed to support this wonderful ad system is likely still there so who knows if the performance hit, spinning circles, etc. are still there after we opt out.
 

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Sorry for the delay in joining the conversation. I came back from CEDIA with a nasty case of food poisoning that ended up with me in the ER on a drip line for dehydration. No fun.

As you have noticed, we have started to rollout DVR pre-roll ads. This is part of a broader initiative to modernize TiVo's consumer business model.

The ads are served dynamically when playback starts at the beginning of a recording playback. Recordings from certain ad-free networks will not get pre-roll ads and resuming playback on a recording also does not get an ad. Lastly since these are dynamic ads, there are times when ad slots are not purchased in which case ad may not see an ad playback. To ensure the experience remains consistent these ads are skippable using the same buttons you would use for ad-skip (Chan Up, D, SKIP and FF). As part of our commitment to improve the experience, we are measuring each step in the process and will be continually optimizing the ads to reduce latency and improve performance.

We are also investing to bring more content to TiVo users. Our soon to be launched TiVo+ video service will include dozens of channels of free entertainment. We have assembled an amazing set of partners as part of this service and will be evolving it in the coming months with many more channels, on-demand movies and shows and other exciting specialty content coming as well.
Is there any truth to what Tivo Customer Service has told some customers regarding being able to "opt out" and that their boxes won't see the ads within 72 hours of calling? And if its true, does this simply mean the user will see a blue circle waiting for an ad that never appears (because of opting out)?

I won't bother telling you how unhappy we all are. Please pass along a big "thank you" to Weatherboy for this act of brilliant "strategery."
 

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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'm going to go out on a limb here and say that most of us certainly hope that Tivo continues to develop premium solutions with features that trickle down into lower cost mass market models. And if you need ads to lower the cost of the mass market models, so be it. But I've paid $1k+ on average for each of my 5 Tivo's and honestly I'd pay it again if I could get newer hardware with less bloatware and adverts crap. I'm willing to pay for a premium offering and I suspect almost anybody on this forum that has been a Tivo customer fits this mold. It was what drove the growth of the company in the early days and has become the bane of public company these days as we no longer represent new subscribers and new revenue. So the direction Tivo needs to go in to make yourselves more mass-market appealing makes some sense. I just get disconnected on why there appears to be an abandonment of your higher-end premium customers. Product segmentation is still a valid method of offsetting product development costs, gaining knowledge/loyalty and voice-of-customer from your higher end customer base and then costing it down for the masses - to and including advertising subsidization.

So while I'm happy to hear that TE3 will remain pre-roll free it still irks me that the many higher-end customers that brought you all to the dance are now being treated as though we should "get over it" and shoving this new ad-based approach down our throat. Sorry but you guys aren't a $20 HDMI thumbstick - you sell very very expensive DVRs for a very very premium price. Throwing software intended for the masses on our niche high-end DVRs is outrageous to me. Sorry.
 

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Joining this thread late in the game... Just heard about the pre-roll ads, and have actually never heard about the UI/software referred to as TE3 and TE4... So now I am aware... :) Having not had a chance to look through this thread, why is TE3 safe for now? Is there a technical limitation? Don't get me wrong, I am happy that my TE3 box won't have any pre-roll advertisements (at least for now)... But I am curious...

If TiVo could do it for TE3 and TE4, why would they not just go ahead and do it? Rip off the bandaid...

Again...not wishing for this to happen...just curious about the root cause of not doing it on TE3...
The short answer is that the old interface (TE3) is in maintenance mode, which means there are far less software developers working on TE3 any longer. Instead those developers have long ago been reassigned to the "new experience" to accelerate developing new features for the new (TE4) software. TE3 is likely a skeleton team of very few people (at best IMO) writing code for bug-fixes, if and when they are needed.

So when Tivo_Ted says that TE3 in in maintenance mode and Tivo has no known current plans in place to implement pre-roll ads into TE3, we should take him at his word. It is very unlikely they'd want to pull resources off TE4 development to work on the old code-base to attempt to squeeze in some new features. Is there a chance they could change their mind if this new pre-roll ad features generates Brewster's kajillions? Sure, they could assign more developers to develop new features on TE3. But the probability is pretty low (or so we all hope).
 

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maybe they should innovate to get more consumers and make the product more appealing. Instead they'd rather piss off current consumers to make an quick buck.
I don't think its to make a quick buck per se on just selling an ad. I'm convinced they are trying to drive up their valuation by creating a targeted advertisement/analytics platform. Google is not worth billions because they have a great search engine. Facebook is not worth billions because they let your Senior-High Prom date "reconnect" with you. It's about targeted ads and the analytics behind them.

I doubt its lost on them that there will be attrition from their loyal 20-year old customer base - they've done the math and calculated the valuation will be much higher when they finally sell this thing to more than make up for any lost revenue associated with their worst case attrition estimates. Bottom line - Rovi wants its money back and they are going all-in on selling Tivo to the very highest bidder - customers be damned.
 

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OK So TE3 wont get pre-roll ads and those with TE4 can get rid of em with a phone call. Case closed. Everyone got their panties in a bunch over nothing.
Did anyone get "rid of em" yet by calling? I am curious to know what that means once the opt-out takes affect? Do we still see blue spinning wheels or any delay to start playback? Or do they push a firmware drop to us that has pre-roll gutted from it?
 
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