TiVo Premiere To Receive Software Update

Dave Zatz —  July 2, 2010

The TiVo Premiere is primed for its third software update since launch, according to tweets from the VP of User experience (here and here). TiVo PR confirmed that a new release is on tap, and as with the prior two pushes, the focus is on enhancing Premiere “stability and performance.” I also asked where the Pandora app, announced at launch, is. And while my contact couldn’t provide a specific date, it sounds like the wait won’t be much longer.

Of course, with the cable-cos like Cox and Comcast now offering whole home DVR functionality and the introduction of Hulu Plus, more than ever TiVo needs to step up their game. It’s a sad day indeed when my cable company provides a more compelling DVR experience or a $99 box streams a wider array of Internet content from a significantly faster UI.

22 responses to TiVo Premiere To Receive Software Update

  1. It’s summertime….why are you indoors watching tv! ;-)

    Read Comcast’s announcement yesterday about the whole home DVR. Tivo really does need a kick in the pants to get moving.

  2. Doubtful, honestly they have blown such a huge lead it makes me sad. I totally agree with Dave on this one, I too am jealous of the cable DVR box. Heck after my last “update” my box is crashing more often and lag times between screens is much worse. In fact perhaps they can just leave well enough alone, roll me back and just leave me with what seemed to work ok… Sigh TiVo, you are killing me, hopefully you just pay your employees really well and they work just a little bit and everyone is having a good time, but if they are worked to the bone and you have produced, well nothing special in a long time, then that would truly make me sad for you…

  3. I’ve had two lockups that I’m aware of since the latest software arrived. Both resulted in a complete black screen and no response from the unit. One time, I unplugged it. The other time, I was too tired and just went to bed. When we got up in the AM, the TiVo was working again – so either it unlocked itself, or it rebooted itself.

  4. ARe their technical reasons why Tivo can’t offer Hulu PLus, or it just stupidity?

  5. I don’t imagine there would be a technical limitation, at least on this newer hardware. But Hulu is obviously working partnerships. Hopefully TiVo can do a deal. And, if so, they can execute at a more rapid pace than they have been lately.

  6. One of the reasons I have noticed the lock ups is that my wife just set up on Season Pass for Criminal Minds on A&E (which seems like it is the new L&O) and it is on like 5 times a day, when she went to watch them all of them were sub-30 minute partials, where the tivo must have crashed on each recording… It has crashed on me personally 4-5 times in the last 2-3 weeks.. very frustrating…

  7. This is really just a sign of poor management. The only way to save the company is to get rid or the current CEO and CTO and replace them with vision focus engineers. They need to really start inovating again, tighten up the internet content interation. Allow the end cusotmer more choices of way to pull video from the web, maybe even do a deal with opera and put the browser on their device that would help give them some leverage to get a deal with hulu, for officail support.

    and stop wasting money on publicity, get publicity the best way thru controversy which is FREE

    IE do something radical like finally support automatic comercial skippping, sure they will get sued but they will get alot or PR that will make it worth it.

    How about building in the place shifting and supporting more devices like iphone and ipad and under cut the competition, IE give your client away for free, for the intention to sell more boxes etc

    that would also cause quite a stir to have it built in as well

  8. TiVo had whole house DVRs way before anyone else with Multi-Room Viewing. It is not TiVo’s fault that CableCARD and Cable Providers screwed up that feature.

  9. rich, TiVo’s multi-room viewing (copying versus streaming) and without a unified playlist is a much different experience from what the others are offering. It’s not something I’d call ‘whole home DVR’. Sticking with copying over streaming allowed Cable to gunk up MRV with the copy-once restriction. But regardless of who contributed to or created the situation, TiVo customers such as myself are impacted.

    Having said that, being able to start watching partial downloads is a plus and the improved Premiere transfer speeds should be a big help to those not hit with the CCI Byte (as I am). Regardless, and hopefully, with the more powerful Premiere platform TiVo’s got a streaming solution in the works. They’ve sort of alluded to that. Or maybe I’m overly optimistic and misinterpreting.

  10. 30 second skip is really not a painful way to get around commercials, I would think that TiVo needs to really innovate:

    1 – Central Tivo recording set up, that distribute the actual recording to all the TiVo’s around the house to avoid conflicts. I have only two tivos, the one in the living room has many conflicts because that is where we normally set up season passes, the one in the guest room never has conflicts because we are rarely in there to record. This is a no brainer, software solution, plus it would encourage people to get extra TiVo’s for the Fall when every nimrod TV exec decides it is a good idea to put really good shows against each other versus spreading out good shows to dominate the weak offerings of other networks (Plus my TiVo only can record 2 shows at the same time!!!)

    2 – Why can’t I basically look at my Tivo’s upcoming recording, and schedule new ones on the web like I as sitting at home? Seriously my internet speed is 35 up/down. It is dumb I have to wait until I get home to set up a recording because there might be a conflict that I won’t be able to resolve.

    3 – Why don’t you have a BluRay intergrated TiVo? I really don’t want 26 boxes hooked up to my TV, and honestly BluRay players looks like they are eating TiVos lunch with internet capabilities, if they can do it, why not TiVo?

    4 – Stop focusing on slow HD search features. Do people really search for new Tivo shows using Swivel? Seriously I tired it once, it was so slow I died, I never used it again. How much money did that awesome feature cost?

    5 – Recording Priorities, seriously the list approach really sucks. God forbid someone sets up L&O season pass and then you try to set up a Season pass for anything else after that. L&O is on every hour on at least one channel, so now I have to play list juggle every time we record a new show since I can only put it on the top of the list or the bottom. Here is step 1, if a new show for the week is shown 30 times (almost any show on cable) versus a show that is only shown once (almost any show on a network) then why not be smart and always choose the show that is only on once and just get the repeat one hour later instead of making me find it on a torrent and curse out my TiVo (and go back into list juggling)

    6 External Hard drive – seriously my 15 month son breaths on the external hard drive the wrong way and it breaks the connection, crashes the hard drive and when it reboots (when I am at work) my wife calls me in a panic, there are no shows here!!! Because for some reason Tivo decides to split the shows across both the internal and external hard drive, so if one goes down you have nothing…

    I have 10 more idea on things that would make this better, but I want to punch the TiVo survey people square in the head when they survey me about my next home purchase… stop asking me about my life and make my TiVo (the company you work for) useful again!!!

    -Bitter tivo user…

  11. I was alluding to that the Premiere is “flash based” (whatever that means) and doesn’t flash video use h.264 — which tivo doesn’t support? And isn’t hulu also h.264? I am the first to admit that could be wrong about this.

  12. Charlie, TiVo’s HD hardware is capable of H.264 playback. We first saw it implemented with YouTube in 2008:


  13. Everyone hates on TiVo, but it’s still the world’s best DVR, at least if you’re on FIOS.

    Just avoid the new interface for another six months until they get it actually working. The old interface gets the job done quite nicely.

  14. So many basic features that don’t require huge processors:

    If I want to record something in syndication and keep 10 episodes, instead of always grabbing the latest 10 episodes, give me an option so that it will only refill the bucket after I’ve watched some. Make a Law & Order wishlist and tell it to grab 10. As soon as it finds the 11th, it drops the 1st and records that one instead of finding interested content for suggested viewing. (If you do first run and repeats then it should always bump out a rerun for an unwatched new show)

    Combine the Wishlist and SeasonPass. I shouldn’t have to manually type in the name of a show to make a WishlIst so it will be grabbed across multiple channels.

    Folders should not be limited to shows I explicitly say to record or keep. Inside suggestions there should be an option for folders there.

    Sort by episode date. Record by episode. If you’ve got a lot of Star Trek episodes, you are likely to want to watch them chronologically.

    Show me the suggested thumbs so I can fine tune suggestions.

    Add icons in the grid view for items that will be recorded.

    In the To Do List, let me go back in time to see what it recorded instead of having to dig through another list.

    And for the love of God, please get some better guide data for the populate daily shows – and start with The Daily Show so it will stop recording 3 a day when I only want the new one.

  15. I’ve been a TiVo customer since the beginning, but they need a cheaper multi-room/whole-house solution. I love my TiVo in my living room, but both the upfront ($300) and monthly cost ($10 a month) are way too high for me to be able to watch my same recordings my bedroom.

  16. There have been some very nice suggestions for feature adds/improvements in the comments. Maybe I’m not understanding, but these two seem to be doable today:

    “Here is step 1, if a new show for the week is shown 30 times (almost any show on cable) versus a show that is only shown once (almost any show on a network) then why not be smart and always choose the show that is only on once and just get the repeat one hour later instead of making me find it on a torrent and curse out my TiVo (and go back into list juggling)”

    Just put major network shows at the top and cable shows at the bottom as a group and prioritize the two groups within the individual group.

    “If I want to record something in syndication and keep 10 episodes, instead of always grabbing the latest 10 episodes, give me an option so that it will only refill the bucket after I’ve watched some. Make a Law & Order wishlist and tell it to grab 10. As soon as it finds the 11th, it drops the 1st and records that one”

    You need to change the setting to delete only when I delete rather than as space necessary. Adjust total episodes as needed.


  17. A lot of interesting comments. Something I’ve thought about for a while – you can see your upcoming recordings on the TiVo website (the MyTiVo section), and ‘push’ recordings down to the unit; you can even see recordings already saved on the unit.

    However, the ‘mobile’ version of the TiVo website has almost none of this, except the ‘push’ record functionality. This means that while I’m away from home or away from a PC, I have to navigate the ‘full’ TiVo web site on my handheld device to see what I want instead of using a mobile-enhanced version.

    Additionally: if I’m going to be away from home for more than a few days, I find that I have to obsessively prune my ToDo list (often changing high-def to standard-def) – since there is no option at all to remotely cancel recordings that are scheduled. This means that if your TiVo “surprises” you by finding something after you’ve left that may put your available space over the limit and end up deleting recordings you wish to save, you’re basically screwed.

    Having a secured (logged in by username/password) area on the TiVo web site to ‘push’ cancellations of recordings is something that I think is way overdue, especially for such a ‘connected’ device.

  18. A real iPhone client. With access to what is going to be recorded, what has been recorded, season priority reordering (or at least some form of one time conflict resolution), etc. Seriously, they’re falling behind CABLE COMPANY DVRs on this stuff now!

    A little red dot on the guide to indicate things that are going to be recorded. Seriously, we’ve been waiting for this one for Y-E-A-R-S.

    What the other guys said about the freaking Daily Show.

    Double tap the record button to set up a Season Pass using the default settings. Seriously, even Verizon FiOS does this now. Replay TV went out of business a long time back…

  19. Comment #10 above by Brad — unbelievably spot-on.

    While I appreciate the simplicity and intuitiveness of the basic TiVo interface, it is old technology now. TiVo has apparently lost its ability to innovate. They are getting left behind.

    I should be able to access my TiVo from my iPad as if I were in front of the TV. I should be able to stream shows to any room in my house despite CCI. Put a dang Blu-Ray player in there for $50 extra. Give me a simple unified front end to all the free television content on the web. At least match cable’s “on demand” lineup. Make it simple to copy a show to my iPod, iPad, etc. Improve network throughput 10x.

  20. Tivo is 10 year old technology but still excellent. They are run by people who will never realize they are running the company into the ground. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.

  21. I have had Tivo since 2000. Currently have three Tivos including the incredibly disappointing premiere. Will never ever by another Tivo. I feel like I am using a computer from the 90’s. So sad. They coulda been somebody. They coulda had class. Why? Why? Why?

  22. Armaan Sehgal May 16, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    I am amazingly disappointed in TiVo. I have had TiVo since the first original TiVo! I then had a Series 2 and then was very happy with a Series 3 for the longest time.

    I was so excited to be getting a Premier. And, what a dud of a UI. Not only is it the slowest thing, its UI is very disappointing. I don’t know where to begin.

    Since TiVo has been doing so well with lawyers, maybe we start a class action suit for such a HD product that is not HD!