TiVo Premiere Fall Update Arrives… Sans Netflix?


Right on schedule, the TiVo Premiere Fall Update has started rolling out. Beyond a raft of bug fixes, some of the more notable features, as documented by TiVo VP Margret Schmidt:

  • “What to Watch Now” available from TiVo Central
  • Press the C button in the Guide to filter by genre
  • Updated WishList screens in HD
  • 4-tuner Premieres that feed TiVo Minis no longer need to “reserve” a tuner so the Minis can watch live TV
  • TiVo Minis can now remotely manage the To Do List and Season Pass Manager of TiVo Premieres
  • new (HTML5) YouTube app with DIAL support

Interestingly, What to Watch Now isn’t yet active… and probably requires TiVo flip a switch on their end, perhaps once most units have been upgraded. Possibly related, my very solid intel had YouTube, Netflix, and DIAL arriving this fall. Yet.. Netflix is absent from both the release notification and Margret’s summary (despite one user believing he did indeed receive it). At the very least, it’s now confirmed that the Premiere is capable of running the lighter weight and more sprightly HTML5 apps – as seen on Roamio. And we continue to anticipate a Netflix announcement in the near future, with Roamio’s mildly refreshed UI expected in the Spring of 2014.

43 thoughts on “TiVo Premiere Fall Update Arrives… Sans Netflix?”

  1. It’ll be interesting to see how many more updates the Premiere will receive going forward… I imagine there is some pressure from cablecos to unify the experience between Roamio and Premiere, as we’ve seen from RCN. But how long will it continue? At the very least, I’d say we’re way better off than the S3 to S4 transition. Assuming TiVo gets Netflix working reliably on the Premiere…

  2. I have not received the update, so can’t tell yet (I did sign up on the early release page) but is the new YouTube app any faster? I think right now, I could grab my Chromecast from a different room, plug it in to my TV, launch the iOS or Chrome app and cast to my TV faster than launching the YouTube app on my Premier Elite.

  3. Well I caved and bought a Roamio over the weekend. I have been having trouble with CBS 3-1 reception on my Premiere and I wanted to see if the Roamio would have a better tuner. Well it’s a little bit better so I guess the next stop is a bigger antenna. The Netflix interface is certainly snappier. My children want their keyboard remote back. I still need my Riku for Amazon Prime. TiVo is so close to the perfect cord cutter box.

  4. Better late, than never. With TiVo, never is unfortunately always a possibility.

    The Premiere XL should have been a 3 tuner unit from the beginning.

    The Mini should have been part of the Premiere development structure from the beginning and available by the end of 2010.

    Premiere UI development is now right where it SHOULD have been in late 2010/early 2011.

    And, yes, there are plenty of excuses. ALL the tech was available. Most of it already done by Moxi.

  5. Michael: I have used YouTube on my Roamio via my android tablet. I believe it works like your Chromecast. I think it works great this way, even if it takes a few secs more to start on a Premiere than on a Roamio still much better than starting the app on the Premiere directly and then trying to find the video you want. No messing around in the YouTube app on the Premiere the video you want starts directly from your tablet/phone.

  6. It still blows by mind that if I dropped five hundred dollars on a tivo that there’s no way they could turn a profit on offering the monthly guide and season pass stuff for the same monthly fee as Netflix. No remote streaming, etc, just literally a program guide and show subscriptions.

    Why is it so expensive?

  7. @atmusky – I do use the iOS controls. Its just that it takes what seems like 5 minutes to start the actual YouTube app on the premier (I am sure its probably more like 2-3 minutes but still way too long when all I want to do is watch a simple video every so often).

  8. So will RCN be offering the MSO version of the Roamio? Last I heard, they were undecided, and the RCN employees who used to talk giddily about future products and services have become far more tight lipped recently.

  9. Michael: Just to be sure we are talking about the same thing – I am not talking about using a remote control app. With the new Youtube app and dial support you can start a video right from the YouTube app on your tablet, at least that is the way it works for me with an Android tablet and my Roamio.

  10. @atmusky – correct. I mean using the YouTube iOS app which is paired to both my Tivo and my Chromecast. I still need to manually launch the YouTube “app” on my Tivo in order for the iOS app to even see the fact that they are paired otherwise it doesn’t even acknowledge that I have even paired my Tivo with the iOS YouTube app. Its the launching of the Tivo “app” that takes a long time on the Premier.

  11. Michael: It doesn’t work that way on my Roamio. I don’t have to do anything on the Roamio at all, if I am watching TV and send a YouTube video to my Roamio from my tablet it auto opens the YouTube app on the Roamio. I have a Premiere once it get the update will have to see how it works with it.

  12. Well, as I said, I still don’t have the update yet. It is possible to the fall update will fix this. My whole question was whether the update fixes how long it takes to start :).

  13. @Michael atmusky is right, you shouldn’t need to wait for any app to load on your tivo. If you use the YouTube app on a tablet it should automatically switch the tivo to the exact video you select and start playing it. I’ve never waited more then 10-20 seconds for a video to start playing

  14. I’ve personally assumed that Netflix didn’t work on my premiere, while it works adequately on my TiVo HD. That said, if it really takes several minutes to launch things, then maybe I just never waited long enough? Honestly, I can look for my Apple TV remote, power it up from scratch, switch inputs, wait for the on-screen overlay to disappear, navigate to Netflix and launch it faster than the TiVo takes just to launch. Not worth finding out…

  15. It’s a complete shame that TiVo can’t update faster. The UI still is slow and sucks. I think premier owners are getting the short in of the stick. Users have complained how slow it is and how Netlifx app is nearly unusable. If ROKU can have a decent running Netflix app,. there is not reason why TiVO can’t do the same. What they are simply doing is trying to push everyone to the next TiVo’s while telling the the rest of the customers who can’t do it at the moment, we don’t care about you.

  16. @Ben – it can understand if it should work that way – it makes sense, but it does not. I have tried it today using both my iPad and iPhone. The icon never appears on my iPhone/iPad if I have not already started the Tivo YouTube app. As soon as I do that, the icon appears on either iOS device.

  17. @Michael That is odd, the icon appears in the youtube app on my iPad/iPhone without me ever touching the TiVo or the TiVo Mini

  18. @dave @everyone

    I still haven’t gotten my update as of 8am EST when I left for work so are we a happy with this update? Any feedback?

    What’s the difference between a HTML5 YouTube app and a Flash based YouTube app? :)

    I will say I’m stunned that the update gives the Premiere’s the ability to run HTML5 applications. This has to be because of the cable partners telling TiVo that they are not about to upgrade all their Premiere’s in the field for Roamio’s for years and they need to support them.

  19. I made the switch over the weekend, went from DirecTV to Suddenlink and their tivo premire with a mini. The cost savings for me was a major reason I switched along with Pac12 networks. I haven’t noticed if I have received the update yet. I do wish Netflix/Hulu/Amazon could work things out so we could see those apps added to the cable partner TiVos..

  20. @Dave,

    You more than anyone knows that TiVo is not responsible for the Netflix client.

    TiVo has their update schedule and Netflix has their own update schedule. Roku and Android devices still haven’t been updated to support Netflix profiles so Netflix updates platforms when it feels like it. Both my PS3 and Samsung TV were updated to the latest Netflix back in August.

    But I heard that the new Neflix profile update on the Roamio’s was released and then pulled for the old one again. Is that correct? I have a feeling that there were problems that Netflix needed to fix. Once fixed it will roll out on both Roamio and Premiere.

  21. I dunno… who do I blame when Netflix locks up and/or crashes my Premiere? The app or the poorly sandboxed SDK? It actually used to work (albeit slowly, until a TiVo software update). And it performs more reliably on the hundred year old Series 3/HD platform. But, yes, I think Netflix is being reworked simultaneously for both Premiere and Roamio platforms.

  22. I honestly don’t know how an application is able to crash an OS on a TiVo or Roku box. The underlying OS prevents this unless it’s a flaky device driver. When HBOGo on Roku was updated it would crash my Roku3 on pauses and FF almost every time until an update. Freezes I can see but crashes really means something is badly wrong.

    There are risks with getting an update early via the priority list. :) I assume this is why the cable vendors like RCN update only once a release is proven stable. My RCN Q in NY was updated in July to

  23. The Premiere Netflix issues are many months old… unrelated to the current Priority update. Hopefully the Netflix refresh I know they’re working on is more reliable and arrives soon. Netflix on the Mini has been decent after the worked out the launch kinks.

  24. I received the fall update on my XL4 late last week. It broke Netflix. I can’t stream a movie now on netflix w/out it appearing to buffer every few minutes. I have 75Mbps service and no issues streaming Netflix on my Samsung TV.

  25. “4-tuner Premieres that feed TiVo Minis no longer need to “reserve” a tuner so the Minis can watch live TV”

    Sooo… now that THAT is taken care of, why can’t I use a TiVo Mini with my 2-Tuner Premiere? I never, ever watch Live TV anyway. I just want access to my NP list in a second room.

  26. If TiVo were to allow a 2-tuner to host a mini I can only imagine the support call overhead makes it a no win situation. But maybe in the future 2-tuner will be supported once all these monthly software release slow down.

    “Hello Tivo, My husband can’t watch his football game on the TiVo in the den.”
    “Yes, I’m watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on the TiVo mini. It’s the episode where the women all get into a fight.”
    “Yes, the red light is on the TiVo in the den.”
    “What? What’s a 2-tuner? We have a Tivo Premiere. What? One tuner is being used by the TiVo mini and one Tuner by the TiVo for recording? Huh?”
    “Here’s my husband. ”
    ” I’m missing my &%^%$^ football game. What do you mean I can’t watch the game when my wife uses the mini? She does it all the time. What, I can’t record a show while using the mini and watch the football game? TiVo sucks. I wish there was somewhere online that I could complain about TiVo.”
    “That’s http://www.zatznotfunny.com? Thank you.”

  27. Dave – I had just read a thread in the Tivo Community with the same people complaining about the same things day after day month after month. I actually wrote http://www.tivocommunity.com/ above then changed it to https://zatznotfunny.com as a joke because I was on your site at the time. I didn’t mean it the way it came out. Seriously your site doesn’t even compare on the complaining scale to the TiVo Community!!

    Just trying to keep things positive by pointing out constant negative and biased complaints. Honestly, after awhile it’s like graffiti.

    This influences the direction of a thread:

  28. Just a quick note – I finally received the update (so much for early access list :) ) and YouTube now works as described above. I can launch videos from my iOS app without starting the Tivo app on the Tivo.

  29. Since my 2 tuner XL was updated to the fall 2013 service update I can no longer transfer TiVo files from my desktop to my dvr. I can transfer from the TiVo to my desktop using TiVo desktop. I have replaced all network cables, did a guided setup but nothing has worked. The transfer stops at 10 minutes no matter which show (file) I try and transfer.

  30. …and as far as TiVo Mini support never coming to 2-Tuner Premieres, because TiVo wants to move me to a lesser subsidized, higher priced 4-tuner model, well, that’s just supremely disappointing. I pay the same TiVo fee as everyone else, I never have recording conflicts and I never watch live TV. Why should I have to upgrade? All I want to be able to do is watch recorded shows from the same TiVo in another part of the house, on another TV. The Mini was the perfectly elegant solution I was waiting for… until that news dropped. And yet again, TiVo comes up with new and novel ways to surprise me with disappointments.

    I’m not sure if that decision was prompted by them wanting me to upgrade as much as it was them trying to avoid support calls from folks with 2-tuners who *do* watch live TV, and would have been confused by the lack of dynamic tuner allocation. Now that that issue is “fixed,” but the marketing materials and tech notes are already out, it seems like backtracking and specifically making it work on 2-tuner Premieres, and the spreading the news about this change, just isn’t a priority for them. Especially since it’s still not an optimally flexible experience, and since it’ll only affect a relatively small subset of TiVo customers like myself who have 2-tuner Premieres and never watch live TV, but who want a Mini.

    That being said, I don’t feel like upgrading to a 4-tuner model to support their decision. I don’t feel like losing the terabytes of recordings on my current TiVo (I’m on Time Warner, so I can’t transfer them all to the new box.) I’m also disappointed in their idea of “out of home streaming” since it has the same restrictions as in-home transfer, which makes no sense at all.

    So I’ll stick with what I’ve got, using HDMI to one TV and component to another. Thankfully the Bluetooth Slide remote (and the various network-based remotes on iOS, Mac and Android) work quite well in the other room. Unfortunately, this means no independent playback on each set; but I can live with that… for now.

    I do wonder (if only academically) about the nuances and specifics of the Mini setup now. IE: What would happen if I added a 4-tuner TiVo and a Mini to my setup, but then removed that 4-Tuner TiVo shortly thereafter? Has anyone tried this? Would it still work for the other (2-Tuner) Premiere on the network? I realize there might be some nags about the “host TiVo not being available” but I’m wondering if they’re easily dismissed, and if it could be made to work.

  31. Has anyone tried this?

    I believe this was tried when the Mini first came out and you COULD still stream recorded shows from the 2-tuner when the 4-tuner had been returned. Not sure if that’s still in play, especially after the recent updates – but who knows.

  32. @Josh – I thought the decision to not support the 2-tuner boxes was more of a technical one in that the dual tuner boxes don’t support MoCa and Tivo didn’t want to have to deal with the support calls of WiFi not being able to handle the bandwidth required for streaming. The quad-tuner boxes all have MoCa support built-in as do the minis.

    Does anyone know if that is more of the reason for this?

  33. Is that a serious question? The answer is, because TiVo is always the last to get everything. Why did Sony get HBO GO, VUDU, Crackle, Crunchyroll, EPIX, NHL GameCenter LIVE and NBA Game Time and more before TiVo?

    And when will TiVo get Amazon Instant Prime? Ever?

  34. Dave – With regards to using a 2-Tuner Premiere with a Mini (after a 4-Tuner Premiere is used to set it up, then disconnected and returned,) I did read this first person report:

    “When the host goes away it puts an error up in the discovery bar that the host is missing, similar to the one you see when the internet is down. The My Shows list is completely empty except for the links to the other TiVos on your network. Those you can still pull up and play anything from. Now I only left it in this state for a few hours. I’m not sure if there is any long term problem with this setup.

    The biggest problem would be that the 4 tuner unit you “borrow” needs to be on your account or the Mini wont even get through guided setup. So it could be a bit of a PITA to actually do this. And if it stops working after a certain number of days it would be all for naught.”


    Sounds a bit risky, I’d want to hear from someone who’s used it for 30 or more days before considering the hassle. And if I’m going that far, heck, I’d probably just bite the bullet and “upgrade” to the 4-tuner Premiere.

    Michael Burstin – as far as technical reasons go, I don’t think we ever heard definitively, and my 2-Tuner Premiere and Mini are hard-wired via Ethernet, so wouldn’t be using MOCA anyway. I remember reading speculation that it had more to do with the (initial) lack of dynamic tuner allocation. On a device with only 2-tuners, if one is monopolized by the Mini, you’ve left your primary DVR with only one. Still, that’s been fixed with the latest update (and TiVo could make it really clear to customers that if you only have 2 tuners, there’s only so much they can do.) But to preclude these devices entirely, is a decision that doesn’t make lots of technical sense to me, and is very disappointing.

  35. Josh, yes that was a “serious” question but thanks for the answer. I’m not some long time Tivo owner. I hope you didn’t expect me to know Tivo is typically late to the app game…especially since Tivo has been marketing itself as “not just a DVR” but an all in one internet-connected multi-media center.

    The irony is that at least when it comes to online media streaming, it’s actually the game consoles that are more all in one multi media ready entertainment centers and Sony and Microsoft seem to have more pull to get updates and new additions faster. If they ever come out with an add-on cable box DVR, Tivo will be facing even more competition. But hey at least Tivo made the advertisers happy with this Fall 2013 update by giving us an even larger, more annoying lower third pop-up template when the pause button is pressed.

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