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Goodbye TiVo, it's been fun - brad's life — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Brad Fitzpatrick

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Goodbye TiVo, it's been fun [Sep. 13th, 2005|02:58 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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Ever since February, my TiVo's been unplugged, and I haven't even had cable TV until last month. But I've kept paying the TiVo monthly fee because I figured I'd plug it back in any day now, and I didn't mind supporting the company.

But then this happened. I can no longer support TiVo.

I've been on the phone forever now trying to cancel my service. They keep transferring me, putting me on hold, and offering me tons of deals and new players and money and free months to stay with them.

This is getting annoying.

I gave them dozens of reasons:
-- I don't like them bending over to Hollywood and sacrificing my rights
-- I want to be in control of my recordings, not an "every-changing policy outside of my control"
-- my unit's hard drive is bad and it always skips when I used it last
-- I don't use it anymore
-- I have a MythTV box with a bunch of high-def cards

But now I'm back on hold, waiting for some "paperwork" to be done.


I don't even care if this DRM thing is a "bug" or not, because the feature exists, and I've been on hold forever now.

Fuck TiVo. It's over.

Update: Finally got off hold and got a confirmation number. But they gave me "one last offer before we make this official" (after a dozen other offers), which is a permanent monthly price of $6.95 instead of $12.95. So if you still like Tivo and want a discount..... there's your opportunity.

(In reciprocal blogging style: jwz's post)

[User Picture]From: popcultureicon
2005-09-13 10:04 pm (UTC)
i knew doing a lifetime subscription was a bad idea.

oh well, i can always kick it to my grandparents so they can tivo football.
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[User Picture]From: phil
2005-09-13 10:06 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: disheveledblond
2005-09-13 10:20 pm (UTC)
my mom always says that when you want something done over the phone, always ask for "the manager".
or, more specifically, "your manager".

of course, that's no help at all if you're dealing with fully automated services.
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[User Picture]From: film_girl
2005-09-13 10:25 pm (UTC)
This sucks - it sucked when Macrovision was announced last year -- it sucks that some network "outted" the error by mistake...it just sucks all around. While I totally think Tivo should have fought harder against Hollywood/the NFL -- I understand why they made the choice to add (if not implement) the Macrovision feature in the first place. When faced with pissing off savvy subscribers or losing your ability to function as a core business -- the business is going to win out. I don't agree with it, but since it hasn't affected me yet -- I'll deal.

Since your Tivo isn't even plugged in, it more than makes sense to cancel -- why pay if you aren't using it -- and you disapprove of the company policies. As for me, despite my aggrevation/fear over Macrovision, I'm simply too addicted/relient to Tivo now to spring out MORE money to build my own MythTV box. Plus, I'm a Tivo Beta-Tester and that has its own set of perks.
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[User Picture]From: taral
2005-09-13 10:45 pm (UTC)
$6.95? Tempting...
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[User Picture]From: taral
2005-09-13 10:45 pm (UTC)
How does the MythTV box compare to TiVo?
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[User Picture]From: mahlon
2005-09-13 11:18 pm (UTC)
I've just recently finished my MythTV. Lots of hoops to jump through to get it 'just right', but afterwards, it's the bomb.

And no monthlies. ;)
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From: cjensen
2005-09-14 03:51 am (UTC)
MythTV is a pain in the neck to set up. A serious pain. Stock up on the pain-reliever of your choice before attempting. It also costs more than a tivo.

Once set up, its UI is mildly more difficult to use than Tivo's.

But it's vastly more powerful. Some examples:

  • If you have two conflicting shows but one of them shows again later, it will do the Right Thing (unlike Tivo, which will always choose the highest-priority show).
  • If you want a Simpsons episode or two to be stored for when you've run out of other stuff, you can tell it record four Simpsons shows and then wait for me to delete one (after watching it) before bothering to record more
  • You can transfer HDTV to a DVD with no recompression
  • And of course you can have multiple tuners, multiple playout machines, and watch from your PC or Mac if it's networked.

I decided to go the MythTV route instead of upgrading the Tivo when they announced they would show advertising during fast-forward. It just drove home the whole "you've paid actual money for a box that can be anti-upgraded whenever it suits the whims of tivo, and they appear to have no clue." I'm happy with the decision: since making it, Tivo have agreed to expire old shows upon content-provider demand, have added transfer-and-burn with DRM, and have chosen not to support my Mac for transfer-and-burn even though the Mac was an advertised feature when I bought the thing. I'm not ready to cancel like Brad yet, but there's no way I'd replace the box if it broke.

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[User Picture]From: grahams
2005-09-14 02:04 pm (UTC)
If you want a Simpsons episode or two to be stored for when you've run out of other stuff, you can tell it record four Simpsons shows and then wait for me to delete one (after watching it) before bothering to record more

TiVo does this as well... If you set a season pass to "Save Until I Delete" and limit to x recordings....

MythTV still rules, though...
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[User Picture]From: zonereyrie
2005-09-14 09:41 pm (UTC)
If you want a Simpsons episode or two to be stored for when you've run out of other stuff, you can tell it record four Simpsons shows and then wait for me to delete one (after watching it) before bothering to record more

Just to note, you can do this with TiVo too.

Tell it to record The Simpsons, tell it Keep At Most 4 Episodes and Keep Until I Delete. It records 4, can't keep any more, can't delete one of the 4, done.
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[User Picture]From: andrewducker
2005-09-13 10:45 pm (UTC)
Jesus! I _love_ my Tivo. I can't see me going to anything else until there's a decent competitor in the UK. But this shit is just ridiculous - what the hell do they lose by you saving the odd episode of King of the Hill???
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[User Picture]From: dabroots
2005-09-13 10:46 pm (UTC)
You're a smart dude, but still it took all that effort to deal with Tivo.

I should send you my resume' or somethin'.
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[User Picture]From: shmivejournal
2005-09-14 01:56 am (UTC)
I agree in your assessment that we are all doomed -- I don't know how long it will take, though. That's why being a fatalist sucks -- and it will never stop sucking.
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[User Picture]From: jc
2005-09-13 11:16 pm (UTC)


...so the industry decides you can no longer keep a copy of your favourite TV show on your TiVo for as long as you want. At the same time, it wonders why BitTorrent trackers offering up TV episodes are so God damned popular...
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[User Picture]From: ydna
2005-09-13 11:34 pm (UTC)
I just got off the phone with sales. I told them (quite truthfully) that I've been doing to research this last week to buy the right Tivo for myself. But now with this news, there's no way that'll happen. He took a moment to consult with someone nearby and came back and said it's a software bug that'll be fixed shortly.

God Damn! It's Lotus 1-2-3 copy-protected floppies all over again. When will they learn!
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[User Picture]From: dakus
2005-09-13 11:42 pm (UTC)
A "bug" typed out the words on the screen..."this could be deleted anytime...policy of copyright holder..."???

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From: divelog
2005-09-14 12:04 am (UTC)

It's a bug....

This is a bug. The forementioned flag is only supposed to be allowed on on-demand and PPV shows. See:
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-09-14 12:06 am (UTC)

Re: It's a bug....

Don't care. Tivo didn't have to implement that feature, but they bent over.

Tivo may be Macrovision's bitch, but I'm not going to be Tivo's.
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From: divelog
2005-09-14 04:54 pm (UTC)

Re: It's a bug....

I empathize; this really is lame. But my DVD player and VCR both use macrovision too; I'm not about to throw them out. Read the wired article with the tivo CE0; the macrovision stuff was only supposed to be implemented for PPV shows; not broadcast tv.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-09-14 05:04 pm (UTC)

Re: It's a bug....

Yeah, still don't care. The point is it's a slippery slope and now that Tivo's bent over, there's nothing to stop them from bending over more. The analogy with the DVD and VCR fails because they do the same thing every day and I knew about the Macrovision when I bought them. I didn't buy the Tivo thinking it'd do this.
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[User Picture]From: idonotlikepeas
2005-09-14 12:32 am (UTC)
Just in case you hadn't seen this before, http://freevo.sourceforge.net/about.html
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From: jamesd
2005-09-14 01:46 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: rivulet
2005-09-22 10:10 pm (UTC)
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