TiVo Premiere as Box of the Year?

Dave Zatz —  December 8, 2010


In response to my Boxes of the Year column, I received some interesting correspondence wondering why the TiVo Premiere wasn’t more highly regarded – especially as I’m an owner.

First off, I’m the owner of many boxes. Some I like more than others. So that doesn’t really play into the equation. Also, if I weren’t the blogger that I am, I probably wouldn’t own a Premiere. Not yet, anyway. While its clearly TiVo’s platform of the future, for most folks, it’s not currently a significant enough upgrade over the Series3 or HD (of which I own a pair) to warrant purchase.

TiVo is one of the best DVRs but, given the numbers, most folks are clearly content with the hardware provided by their cable and satellite companies. And many of those solutions exceed TiVo’s capabilities in various areas. Having said that, TiVo leads the pack when it comes to “real” Internet-sourced content (versus widgetized snippets). And anyone looking for a retail DVR should go with TiVo (especially since it’s been radio silence out of Arris/Moxi and I suspect development has ceased). But I could live without the Premiere. Having sampled just about every mainstream DVR experience (and various newer, smaller players), Verizon, DirecTV, and Windows Media Center could all satisfy my timeshifting needs… and then some.

So what would it have taken to make the TiVo Premiere of a box of the year for me? Well, given the expansion of the CCI Byte lockdown (for customers of Time Warner, Cox Communications, etc) TiVo would need a streaming, versus progressive copying, multi-room solution. Additionally, while the new UI looks great, it’s incomplete and somewhat too slow for my tastes. Lastly, the Hulu app would have to be deployed and the Netflix, Photos, and Music apps would need to be modernized. Those are pretty modest goals and, combined with something like pyTiVo or an improved official TiVo Desktop, I could see the Premiere evolving into the “one box” TiVo promotes it as. Alternatively, had the higher-end (in theory) TiVo Premiere XL shipped with integrated 802.11n (like two solid $100 boxes – Roku, Apple TV) and the very nice TiVo Slide QWERTY remote, I’d probably feel differently.

36 responses to TiVo Premiere as Box of the Year?

  1. I’ve been thinking about the whole streaming vs. progressive copying thing and I think that there is more than one way of looking at it. It sucks that cable is trying to use it to stifle competition, but for those who aren’t restricted it’s really a much better solution. The biggest problem with streaming the content are the ads that go with it. This isn’t an issue for Netflix because it’s all ad free, but would be obnoxious if you tried to do it with television. TiVo could introduce a 3 min skip button or something like that to help cut out these chunks, but it would be a lousy experience for most of their subscribers (albeit better than no streaming at all) and would raise holy hell with the content providers. The best way to approach the issue would be to make a streaming vs. download setting that is somehow optional, but in the long run, if TiVo ends up delivering a sub-par experience to their customers, it could potentially affect their ability to keep them (unskippable ads would probably enrage most DVR customers) I’ll never understand why cable is allowed to stifle competition like this, but it’s one of the many underhanded tactics that they use to try and keep you locked into their boxes.

    As far as the TiVo premiere being the box of the year, I think that it’s all about perspective. If you went back to the launch of the series 3 and compared what was offered then to what the premiere offers now, there wouldn’t be any question in peoples mind about this, but since TiVo has consistently updated their software again and again and again (speaking of which 14.7 was released this morning), there is the impression that “it’s not currently a significant enough upgrade over the Series3 . . . to warrant purchase.” Most companies would hold back on the software updates to encourage their customers to upgrade, but I like that TiVo is going to support their products now and into the future.

    I think that the better question is that if you could only have one box and if you were going to buy that box today, which would it be?

  2. Thanks for sharing. Good notes, and I really do hope TiVo can keep up with the times. I’m a pretty big fan, as I need to keep things as simple as possible in my household, and it does that, at least. I’m the only techy living here. :)

    That CCI byte stuff is harsh, and I’m glad I don’t have to deal with it right now. Keeping my fingers crossed that it stays that way (charter cable).

    On a side note, I’ve had the same 55 inch HD TV for almost 10 years, and its been easily the best purchase I ever made (Mitsubishi WS55807). But it does NOT have HDMI. Now that boxes are coming out that don’t have Component output (hdmi only), its starting to hurt. Apple TV for example.

  3. I definitely agree. While TiVo has always let me down, the Premiere has even been a bigger disappointment. It works for recording shows which is why I do keep it rather than switch, but you do have to wonder what TiVo is doing. It disappointing to see the potential seem to be wasted.

    The integrated search is nice when it works, but lately it seems to fail me. Popular shows available on Netflix instant watch work fine from the app, but don’t show up on search. Try watching season 6 of the Office. It doesn’t show up in search, but if you have it in your queue it plays fine.

    Streaming is definitely needed for those with copy protection as long as I can keep my copy ability ;). The fact TiVo doesn’t seem to care about this says a lot. This should have been on the Premiere. This alone I think would have pushed people to upgrade.

    8-9 months later we still haven’t seen a new HD screen. I would much rather see a new HD UI screen every update or so rather than wait for them to finish the whole thing. Of course at this point we have no clue if they will finish it.

    They definitely need a better version of TiVo Desktop, but that seems to be abandoned. It is sad when a single user can write a better program, KMTTG, than the one TiVo puts out. At least add some of the basic features, KMTTG offers. I would much rather have seen a TiVo Desktop that looked like the ipad app.

    It just seems like they are floundering with no real direction. Oh well that is my TiVo rant for the day.

  4. 1. Fix the HD interface. It sucks and is slow
    2. Iphone/ipad streaming.
    3. Push the zero dollar down / $20 a month model harder

  5. Two things stand in the way of making the Premiere my must-have box: DLNA/uPnP/AirPlay (some form of non-proprietary in-home media sharing), and a better performing/nicer UI. If TiVo wants to live up to their “one box” solution, they need to be that one box. WiFi-N and BT would be nice (especially if I can BYO BT keyboard).

    (FWIW, I have Cox (LV) and don’t have the same CCI-byte issues you have as far as I can tell)

  6. Interesting… just poked around the TiVo Community. Looks like NoVA and San Diego are crippled by Cox, but maybe Vegas and Orange County are clear. There is a very high probability I’ll be moving onto FiOS early next year, now that we’ve moved, so this particular issue will cease to plague me. Davis raises a good point on a potential lack of commercial skip or efficient fast foward. Depends how it’s implemented and how much content is buffered, I suppose. Hopefully we’ll find out next year.

  7. Does anyone else find it ironic that companies like Apple and Google and Microsoft are pushing away from Adobe’s Flash, and yet TiVo has opted to base their entire new UI on Flash?

    I, for one, think that Flash is response for the pathetic response times on my Premiere. I’m also ready to pull my TiVo HD back out of the kids room and give them the Premiere instead.

  8. I’m not positive it’s Flash that is causing the pathetic response times on the Premiere. I think it’s just bad programming :-) You can write bad code for any platform. It seems as if the UI has a very poor appetite for optimizing the fetching and aggressive cacheing of data. And when it can’t get that data, the logic they use makes you wait for the data to come in.. making the UI feel slow.

    The bigger issue for me, is if they are using flash to “speed moving the UI along” … why hasn’t the UI moved along yet? tons of screen still in the old UI format.. basic HME apps haven’t been upgraded to flash equivalents. They just seem to be half heartedly approaching the whole thing.

  9. I actually think Tivo Desktop is entirely adequate for now. Sure it could use some work, but it does the job I want it to do, automatically converting shows my Tivo’s record for later watching. Or just backing up things I know I won’t have time to watch. Not life-threatening for me right now.

    The Tivo Premiere’s slugish U/I is what keeps me away. I’d love the improved ethernet speed, but as long as the HD U/I is worse than what I’ve already got on my Tivo HD, I’m not buying another box. Its really quite shocking that we’re either full months into the Premiere’s life and they still haven’t fixed the problems with it.

    Yes I lay the blame totally at the feet of the senior people at Tivo who made the STUPID decision to write their U/I in Flash. Not only hasn’t it improved their velocity, but it appears to be worse than previously. And they still haven’t enabled the 2nd core? Sounds like all their code is single threaded and the 2nd core will NEVER be enabled, so again a very poor design choice on Tivo’s part. Again SENIOR people at Tivo are to blame, not some lowly programmer.

    And yes the fact that the U/I’s for Pandora and Netflix and Amazon on Demand and music and photos are all AWFUL (though they do work) is a serious problem, but that’s not new.

    Priority #1: Fix the freaking Premiere so your existing customers might be willing to buy one. Make it AT LEAST AS GOOD AS A TIVO HD first before you worry about adding any new capabilities.

    Priority #2: Everything else.

    Sorry Tivo but you’re bleeding customers. Love ya and all but I’m not sure you’re long for this world if you can’t get your shit together.

  10. The Premiere’s horribly slow HDUI is a major concern, yeah. Streaming vs. copying would address the cci byte issues quite nicely.

    I also want local (and SMB) media playback like the boxee box.

    The premiere is very, very far from a “one box”. Really the only good thing you can say about it is that it’s cheaper to make and pretty speedy with the standard definition UI. Beyond that, it’s effectively identical to the S3 I purchased five YEARS ago in 2006.

  11. @Glenn If you think TiVo Desktop is okay, check out KMTTG and the various features like the ability to custom name the transfers, transfer into show folders, and the various encoding profiles.

  12. Re: Streaming vs. Progressive downloading

    While streaming would get around the CCI byte issue* when using MRV, MRV is still only half of the equation. I use kmttg exclusively to download shows from all my TiVos (the ttg stands for TiVo To Go), and pyTivo to push back the commercial cut content. The target for the pyTivo push is a one TiVo with a 2TB upgraded drive. The only time I use 30 second skip/scan is during the opening credits that don’t pass the commercial cut criteria. If TiVo abandoned TTG in favor of a streaming only solution, there would be many upset folks, myself included!

    *I’m not effected by CCI bytes. I’m an antenna & network content kinda guy :-)

  13. I don’t see why implementing streaming necessarily means they would disable copying entirely, but I don’t understand a great deal of TiVo’s “strategy” these days beyond suing satellite companies to stay afloat.

  14. Dave is right, the Premier is not a compelling upgrade as I am very happy with what my series 3 does. I spent big bucks on it and it works great. It also is cool with it’s OLED display. The Premier by comparison looks so ghetto.

    If TiVo released a way for folks to develop and distribute apps easily it would give TiVo a huge advantages over the rest of the space such as AppleTV and GoogleTV.

    So I will keep enjoying my series 3 and it’s reliability. My last purchase was AppleTV which has a killer NetFlix interface and works as a great iTunes extender. PS3 is on the Chirstmas list. The Premier will have to stay on the island of misfit toys for now.

  15. @The Hub,

    Not necessarily. Tivo has less than 1.4 Million paying subscribers. Apple sells that many iPads in a month. And while there are more iPad users all the time, there are fewer Tivo users with each passing day. To develop a vibrant app community there would have to be (a) more users (b) growth (c) a belief in the companies vision, (d) a way to profit from app sales, …

    I think you can see where I’m going with this. Tivo has already tried to encourage some developers and never gotten very far with it. Sure they haven’t tried that hard, but I’m not sure even putting their back into it would change anything.

    If you want apps on your TV I suspect that both Apple TV and Google TV will give it a run in the next year, and are where all the developers will be lurking.

  16. I agree that Premiere shouldn’t have been the box of the year if only to avoid rewarding TiVo for the half-baked release.

    Only started using Premiere XL recently and don’t use it much past viewing of recorded content (i.e. no Netflix, Blockbuster or HME), so HD UI speed is alright with me, but the fact they couldn’t redo entire UI in HD (at least, make it 720p instead of blurry upscale) is pure madness.

    But, then again, speed of innovation (or lack thereof) from TiVo has been a great disappointment.

  17. On streaming vs copying. My ReplayTVs could stream content between them without a hitch and ff, rew, etc worked well. That was years ago. I don’t believe that Tivo couldn’t implement it if they wanted to.

    Oh ReplyTV how I miss you! So ahead of your time. I nominate my 5040 as Box Of The Year. It still works!

  18. @PeteNice I’m not saying that an elegant streaming solution couldn’t be done, but I do think that a lot of variables can impact the current solutions. Was your replayTv connected via wifi or ethernet for example? That alone could potentially degrade the experience for half your customers. Right now Netflix probably does streaming better than anyone, but if I were to try and fast forward through 3 mins of content every 10 minutes, it would drive me nuts. The two second delay between play and buffer, the choppy nature of their fast forward solution, their inability to let you do a quick 3 second skip while loading all get in the way every time there was a commercial break. If TiVo fixes CCI byte for half of their customers, but breaks it for the other half then they aren’t much better off. This might at least explain why they’ve seemed to ignore this issue.

  19. I think that the end result of all of this is that TiVo is on it’s way out.

    The Premier was like: Hey, buy the new TiVo Premier… Maybe one day we’ll get around to finishing it.

    They had a really good core product with their guide, interface, and DVR functionality. Everything else felt like it was stapled on or a huge misstep:
    – The little apps that you could write back in the day (I suppose you still can). Dominos had one for ordering pizza late in the game but I could never get it to work. Also, they were always placed in sort of a weird way.
    – The TTG stuff with the TiVo Desktop. It worked. Wasn’t fantastic but they haven’t done anything with it in years.
    – The ads were annoying. I know people over on TiVoCommunity made the case of: “Well if it keeps them in business…” The fact remains, I don’t want to pay for a premium service and then get told: “Guess what.. Ads!”
    – They lose DirecTV. Maybe not their fault but they’ve been coming back for, what, 2 years now with nothing to show?
    – They have that odd signup with Comcast to put their software on the standard Motorola DVR. Looks like nothing more than a re-skinning and outside of a few test markets it doesn’t seem to go anywhere.
    – The CableCard/Tuning adapter nonsense; I don’t blame them for this one but from a consumer’s point of view it’s a stupid hassle.

    Now they released the Premier with one of the two processors turned off and the UI only partly done.

    Looks to me that they’re just trying to push out whatever they have in hopes that something will sell.

    I really think they’re a has-been now.

    For a few years I’ve been telling people: If I were to get a DVR today I’d just avoid the expense and hassle of TiVo and go with whatever you can get from the cable or satellite company. Yes, the TiVo interface is better but the hassle and extra expense aren’t worth it.

    That’s the recommendation from a guy, up until about 2 weeks ago when I sold it, had a lifetime TiVo and had a few other TiVos in his past.

    Really, outside of a few hard-core TiVo fans, would your average TiVo owner buy another one at this point if theirs died today? I bet most would pass.

  20. Jon the Heretic December 9, 2010 at 9:39 am

    CCI byte smacks down non-network HD content in CT on Charter. MRV is so limited as to be dead. I record in analog (analog!) if I want to view files on my iPhone later…bah. To take content with me, I have to plan ahead—way ahead. So much for Tivo automating the full experience.

    Flash: When I first heard Tivo was using Flash of all things in the Premiere, my heart sank. There are so many more efficient UI technologies out there. Flash’s main advantage to the others is speed of development (at cost of speed of performance)—you can get equally nice eye candy with other toolkits (think AJAX: Dojo, jQuery, etc); but I can’t say that I have seen Tivo take advantage of that. Slow development and slow performance: worst of both worlds.

  21. I love my Series 3 TiVo and I would really like to replace the other four TiVo’s in my house with a Premiere. I’d probably purchase four Premiere except I refuse to pay $19.95 monthly for each machine. Two of the TiVo’s currently have lifetime subscriptions yet I’d still have to pay $200 to transfer my lifetime subscription.

    I also have a problem with the new remote with slide out keyboard. It’s way to easy to accidently press the wrong button just by setting the remote down.


  22. Cable card/tuning adapter:

    I’ve been lucky with my cable card, but not with the Tuning Adapter. Til Tivo ELIMINATES the need for the Tuning Adapter, I will never buy another Tivo. Not can I recommend it like I used to do with the Series 2. I couldn’t believe Tivo ignored this with the Premiere.

    Rant on (warning!)

    About once a week, I lose a SDV show on my Tivo. Without warning, without being alerted. It is just…not there. What happens is that the Tivo will send a signal to the Tuning Adapter to a SDV channel, and about once a week on one show, the channel just fails to be tuned. So the Tivo tries to record a blank screen (totally black), locking the tuner for the full time (if I break the recording, and retune, the channel is fine, but lost all that was ‘recorded’). At the end of the recording, the Tivo finally realizes that it had been recording well nothing, and it disposes of the recording and then buries the error in the To Do: History.

    A show on the same channel set to record right afterwards records perfectly. I find out later that the season finale of Walking Dead just isn’t there, and the Tivo season pass magic doesn’t attempt to auto record the 10 showings right after the first show though the channel are working fine.

    Tivo tells me this isn’t their problem, not even a teensy bit. It’s my fault, because I had put cheap tires (Tuning Adapter) on a sports car (Tivo) and wanted to blame the car company for the poor performance and reliability of the crappy tires. This is bogus. If you have to use a Tuning adapter, you have no choice; you can’t get another brand or typically find another way to get HD cable (FIOS, where are you?) Cable monopolies. To me, this is more like a sport car company that ignores the fact that none of the tires manufactured by anyone for their car work safely with the car, and only one kind fits!

    Tivo could fix this by 1) verifying the SDV request resulted in a tuned channel. Doesn’t do that now. Send another SDV request if verification fails. (I have set up a 1 min recording before each show that I am afraid to miss on that same channel; this ensures the channel is tuned. But what a pain). 2) If the Tivo knows the channel never recorded properly (and it does), why not try to pick up the next episode? On SDV channels there are usually a dozen more showings. I have to review my Now Playing list to ensure all of my important shows recorded, and then manually set up the ones it missed. This is not a Tivo-like experience. 3) Tell the users something happened! Is Messages only good for selling Tivos and telling me that I know have QVC in HD?

    Tivo is quite arrogant about this, claiming they have no responsibility to improve their software to help their own users deal with problems caused by Tuning Adapters.

    Rant off.

    I find it surprising that Tivo is pushing a new box that doesn’t fit fundamental problems with the last box, some of which they can definitely remedy. And don’t get me started on having just two tuners! A single M-cablecard supports up to 5 channels.

  23. Bill,
    I love it how you whine about a significant price break that Tivo is offering you. By the way it doesn’t transfer the lifetime, you get a second lifetimed box… Also, the whole point of Product Lifetime Service is that it is service for the life of your box, not your life. You agreed to these terms and now you want to change them?

  24. @Davis I definitely agree. They could implement it so if you pick a show from another TiVo or TiVo Desktop and it is copy freely, it gives you the option to transfer or stream. If it is copy once, you don’t have an option and it only streams.

    @jon the Heretic I really believe we will see a TiVo with 4 tuners. Your issue is one of the reasons. Some tuning adapters only support 2 tuners. They pushed for the FCC to increase this to 4 tuners minimum. The cable companies were given 9 months I believe from that decision to push out new firmware to update the tuning adapters. Once we see this I expect TiVo will release a model with more tuners. They have already said they are working on a whole home DVR for suddenlink.

  25. @Josh: I think the complaints are because Tivo used to offer full transfers of Lifetime, before the Premiere came out. They changed the rules. Consumers hate that, especially if the old rules were kinder on their pocketbooks than the new rules. It isn’t like we owe Tivo a profit. If they sell a compelling product with a compelling price/performance ratio, it will sell.

    Given the marginal value of the Premiere over the HD/S3, Tivo should offer more of an incentive to existing Tivo owners. Instead, they feel milked. I personally don’t find the overall deal I get for a Lifetime Premiere to be any better than the deal I got when I upgraded from a S2 to a HD (which was a huge upgrade!)…that’s just looking at total $s. (With S2–>HD, Iit was easy to get $100 off of both HD hardware and $100 off of Lifetime for a new purchase with Lifetime if you had a LT box already). But in addition, you have to lay out a lot more cash than when you could just transfer it. In my view, the Premiere would have to be at least the upgrade the S2->HD was for me to be okay with those terms, and it simply is not.

    It’s simple: Tivo can change the rules of these Lifetime transfer/deals whenever they want. It is not a entitlement. But we don’t have to upgrade either and Tivo loses a sale. In the final analysis, if you don’t like the terms, vote with your pocketbook and let Tivo figure out how what is needed to make that sale. They will either adapt, or learn to live with that many fewer subscribers, or just die.

  26. Jon, TiVo probably doesn’t make much money on hardware. So there may not much incentive for them to move units by allowing an economical transfer of Lifetime Service. Which is why TiVo will tempt folks to consider new hardware and new plans by limiting new features to the Premiere platform.

    As far a streaming versus copying, these are not mutually exclusive. Stream to other TiVos (and maybe the iPad), but allow copying for TiVoToGo…

    Davis, streaming Internet-sourced content versus locally stored content could be night and day. What I propose is not unique – several providers offer whole home DVR via streaming and it’s implemented just fine. In addition to streaming, we also need collaborative scheduling and a unified playlist.

  27. @Jon
    When did Tivo transfer it for free? Not since boxes sold on or before January 21, 2001? That they didn’t even intend to offer either. Their previous transfer deals were $199 and came with one free year of service for the previous box. The current upgrade deal is $199 and you keep the lifetime on the previous box. The current deal is better than anything they have offered before, unless I am missing something.

  28. @Josh
    Didn’t say transfer was for free.

    In terms of cash outlay ($s), I got the same exact deal for a new box going from a S2 Lifetime–> to a new HD Lifetime (I chose to keep both boxes, hence your confusion). All you had to do was call Tivo. Which is what I did and got (as many others I know have gotten) $100 off of hardware and $100 off of lifetime. Net savings: $200. Now they roll out an uncompelling upgrade over the last gen, and it cost exactly what I spent for a truly significant upgrade ($200 off of lifetime, full price on hardware. Net savings: $200)? With both plans, you get/got to keep both boxes,

    If they want me, they would need to give me a reason to upgrade, like a compelling product (which the HD was it for me). Upgrades that aren’t compelling shouldn’t cost the same as upgrades that do. Sure they don’t have to provide that extra incentive, nor do I have to pay them until I see something worth spending my money on. This doesn’t pass the price/performance barrier over what I have.

    Quite simply, the Premiere isn’t worth a Premium over the HD. But the HD was worth a Premium over the S2. Price it accordingly and it may make sense.

  29. @Jon
    The indication of a free upgrade came from a previous poster not you, sorry about that.
    This deal is available to all those with S2s as well, so I would say it is an even better deal for them (I do think the Premiere is better than the HD and the upgrade offer is $30 cheaper if you include the box discount). Basically what you are really saying isn’t that the deal isn’t good, but there is no compelling reason to spend money on the Premiere. So the deal isn’t cheap enough to make you want to upgrade, but Tivo isn’t trying to get everyone to upgrade. They are trying maximize upgraders*(price-cost). Right now the price offers they have out there are some of the best that have been available to all. For example to upgrade your Tivo HD to a Premiere, it costs ~$200 if you sell the HD w/ lifetime on ebay for ~$300. I think that is definitely reasonable, but right now even for me I am sticking with my HD. That doesn’t mean I don’t think it is a good price from Tivo. I have been trying to get my sister (w/ her 62″ HDTV) to upgrade from her S2. She is a cheapskate though. :)

  30. Jon the Heretic December 9, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Premiere is a good deal coming from S2. It is a better box than the HD, no doubt about it. If the Premiere had been offered instead of the HD, think how much happier we’d all have been. ;-) But we’d still be waiting on that all HD interface…

    I agree I must not be Tivo’s target audience or they would have given Lifetime HD owners a better deal. The extra $30 discount I am seeing now is pretty new. For the first 6 months when i dwelled over this decision, it was lifetime discount or hardware discount, not both. So the deal was no better than what I got last time I upgraded to something really compelling. And I kept both boxes last time too. Nothing new for me.

    I’ve also put 1TB drive in my Tivo HD. I’d never go for less storage than this ever again. Actually, if it didn’t drop recordings on SDV randomly with no warning, I’d be pretty happy with it. But upgrading to the Premiere won’t help with that. Nothing short of moving (or getting a generic DVR) will help with that until Tivo and/or the cable companies fix it. Both deny it has anything to do with them. Tivo told me my “tires were cheap”. ;-)

    eBay: just sold an iPod Touch last week, and between Paypal and Ebay, a $208 sale cost me over $25 in fees. Yikes. On $300, I imagine the cut they take is greater, maybe $38. I’d sell it with the 1TB drive of course as “XL-ish”, so even a bigger cut.

    Given the cut from eBay/Paypal and the hassle, it’d have to be a much sweeter deal for me. Like let me buy my own hardware at whatever price I can find instead of full price, since they don’t make that much off of hardware anyway, and then let me have $199 lifetime on it as a current Lifetimer. Or they could just promise to fix all of the my Tuning Adapter issues with a new Premiere. Neither will ever happen.

  31. Jon the Heretic December 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm


    Great topic and thread.

    The Tivo Premiere SHOULD have been the box of the year but it just isn’t. Nor is it the one box to do it at, though it should have been.

    Over promise and under deliver; I think Tivo got a little mix up on this.

  32. @Jon I guess I don’t see how it is a bad deal. Previously didn’t they transfer lifetime from the old box to the new box when you took advantage of the upgrade offer? The new offer you get to keep lifetime on the old box while also getting it on the new box. From what I remember this is the first time your old box kept lifetime.

  33. Jon the Heretic December 9, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    That was a different offer to transfer it. Never done it.
    Tivo took away the transfer option, that’s all. But you could always buy a new LT box at a discount, and get a discount on the hardware too.

    I can only assume transfers must have cost less than the $299 I paid for Lifetime on a new box (which they also gave me $100 off on). So I got $200 off total and kept both boxes with lifetime. That was a couple of years ago.

    How is that different than the current deal? It’s the same. That’s the problem; the upgrade from S2->HD was compelling and I wanted do it–badly. I had a HD TV and a SD Tivo! But going from HD to Premiere? It’s just not worth it.

  34. @Jon the Heretic,

    Good rant, excellent reading. Glad I don’t live in Time Warner’s footprint. If I did I would probably avoid Tivo (or any SDV channels).

    If we’re ranting, another reason to avoid upgrading is that Tivo doesn’t make it easy. I can use Tivo To Go to transfer the majority of my recordings (I don’t have CCI byte issues), but the important thing, the Season Passes isn’t offered. Despite the fact that the metadata is trivial. Why isn’t there a way to back this up from one Tivo and restore it to another?

  35. @Glenn
    Well I have a little good news: Tivo has a web site for S3, HD and Premiere users where you can set recordings (old news), season passes (old news), but can also view your now playing and to do lists (good news) and transfer season passes from an one Tivo to another (wonderful news).

    The usability quite is good as wel. But for my systems the meta data however seems really out of date (my seasons passes from the summmer are showing up!) But I have to believe Tivo will address those types of issues now that the functionality exists.

    BTW, I have Charter and have these SDV issues and the CCI byte issues. TWC users however are more commonly struck by this as a quick Google search can tell you.

  36. It’s missing a DirecTV access card slot and a SWM compatible DirecTV tuner with built in DECA and Multiroom. Oh and the HDUI isn’t complete and the video’s look like it’s a little too laggy.

    Sorry Tivo, you will never grace this household.