TiVo Priority List Now Open

While TiVo’s CEO is (finally) moving on and though it may be too late to salvage their retail business ambitions, the product team continues cranking away. As such, TiVo has just opened the Priority list for Premiere, Roamio, and Mini customers looking for an early 20.5.6 software update. I’ve got no intel on this round and assume it’s mostly bug fixes… hopefully to include the one which will finally allow their WWE app to be published. It’d also be real swell it the Bolt’s commercial skip functionality made an appearance. But given its recent uncertainty, even if a favorable decision has been made, it could take some time to implement.

Boxes will be updated in groups. If you would like your TiVo Roamio, TiVo Mini, or TiVo Premiere to be in one of the first groups to be updated, please enter your TiVo Service Number below. Note: Only TiVo boxes purchased directly from TiVo.com or a retailer are eligible for this update. Boxes provided by cable companies will be updated on a different schedule.

42 thoughts on “TiVo Priority List Now Open”

  1. CMO indicated they were reevaluating SkipMode support for legacy hardware. So I’m saying that if they decided to change course, it’d take probably more than a month to get it into the pipeline and delivered to customers. QuickMode is already live as are logos in the guide – neither really do anything for me.

  2. I’ve been having a problem recording this year’s english premiere league. If I create a season pass that records on all channels, it records nothing. If it just records on a single channel, it records some of the shows. Since you can’t have a season pass with the same name on multiple channels, I can’t get them all to record. It worked last year…

    Maybe this update will do it!

  3. “QuickMode is already live as are logos in the guide – neither really do anything for me.”

    S’weird. TiVo is actually doing teevee ads these days, which I regularly see during my obsessive NBA viewing. And the ads are all QuickMode, QuickMode, QuickMode.

    Doesn’t appeal to me either, but it’s sure as hell what they’ve decided to promote as the greatest thing since sliced bread…

    (I strongly assume the channels and/or MSO’s wouldn’t allow them to run Skip Mode ads, even if they wanted to. So maybe that sorta, kinda explains the focus.)

  4. “Since you can’t have a season pass with the same name on multiple channels, I can’t get them all to record.”

    Couldn’t you accomplish this functionality with a WishList set to automatically record?

  5. “I love QuickMode…”

    Of course you do. You’re a lawyer. Skimming material is deeply embedded into your hindbrain by this point. I bet you could read War and Peace in an hour and a half…

  6. Hopefully this update makes my Premier more stable. Since the last update it becomes totally unresponsive at least once a week and I have to pull the plug. The MoCA adapter goes up and down (mostly down) as well. It used to be the master for all of my Minis, but half the time they can’t see it anymore, so my Roamio is now the master.

  7. “QuickMode is already live as are logos in the guide – neither really do anything for me.”

    I’ve got QuickMode on my Minis but haven’t yet seen it show up on Roamio.

  8. QuickMode is already live as are logos in the guide – neither really do anything for me.

    Not for Roamiio or Premiere DVRs, only for Minis. We’d been waiting on the 20.5.4 update for those features to hit the older DVRs, but it now looks like our hopes are pinned on 20.5.6.

    Though the first thing I’ll be checking if/when 20.5.6 hits is whether the Overlap Protection (clipping) configuration option has been removed from my Roamio Pro (as it was from the BOLT). It’s been theorized that the Overlap Protection config option was removed as a time savings when revamping the Settings UI for the BOLT, so II *expect* that it’ll still be present on the Roamio/Premiere series DVRs — but I’m not going to assume.

  9. I’m very confident I once used QuickMode on my first gen Mini. It doesn’t seem to be there anymore though. I feel like the feature may have leaked out briefly. I’m pretty sure I was awake when this happened.

  10. “I’m very confident I once used QuickMode on my first gen Mini. It doesn’t seem to be there anymore though. I feel like the feature may have leaked out briefly. I’m pretty sure I was awake when this happened.”

    Mike, as you obviously don’t completely remember, you contracted with Lacuna, Inc. to erase all your memories of having used QuickMode. While this was a quite unusual request for us here at Lacuna, Inc, we were happy to try to fulfill your request. Apologies for the remnants of the memories you still have, but unfortunately, we are not able to issue any refunds, as per your EULA.

  11. “TiVo is actually doing teevee ads these days.”

    OK. Interesting. I just watched the Thursday Night TNT NBA Spectacular™, which is the Big Weekly Show™ of the association regular season. TiVo was not only running TV ads, but they were also sponsoring graphics overlaying on-court non-action, shilled by the play-by-play announcers. That’s the biggest TiVo teevee presence I’ve ever seen.

    The details: the TV spots were many 15 second affairs with about 11 seconds devoted to QuickMode while showing the Bolt enclosure, and about 4 seconds devoted to a view of the UI showing Netflix and Amazon. The play-by-play announcers were shilling it as a ‘whole entertainment system’.

    Facile analysis:

    – Very smart of TiVo to focus on NBA fans, and sports fans in general. If anyone is impervious to cable-sub-cutting, it’s sports fans. The local rights and national blackouts means sports isn’t fully viable for OTT. (Unless you don’t care about local rights. And think Sling’s QoS is ‘good enough’. And don’t worry about broadband caps. And aren’t really doing the math about how much that all actually saves you.)

    – This indicates, whatever Zatz’s dark speculations to contrary may be, that TiVo has not yet given up on retail. They’re spending real money to market the Bolt. And hey, as a long-time happy TiVo user, I may think the Bolt is shite, but given how expensively they’re pricing it, maybe they can profitably make it work upscale. Who knows? But they’re still trying.

  12. And utter tangent, but the 4 month old ZNF! thread on the topic is now closed for comments.

    So, after 4 months, I finally decided to try out the Watch TiVo Streams In a Web Browser feature. Didn’t seem like a huge deal to my use-case-scenario, but I could see it coming in handy in a pinch. And today, I found myself in that pinch.

    And Flash? Flash? Really? Required Flash?

    What year is this?

    I mean, Flash is constantly plagued by zero-days by this point. If you ever run Flash, you’re kind of a sucker at this point, no? (That was rhetorical. The answer is ‘yes’.)

    They can’t serve HTML5 video streams, just like they do on mobile? Really?

    (Actually, I have a question for the crowd about ethics in TiVo Browser journalism. This actually could be all my some fault at my end, though I do seriously doubt it. I’ve got a highly customized setup, with the Flash plug-in installed, but disabled in all my browsers. I do have my reasons for doing things that way. I also have some URL’s blocked that I think are wrong to have connections to. So, theoretically, the Watch TiVo Streams In a Web Browser feature could operate just fine sans Flash, but my customized setup is somehow tricking it into not doing so. Though, as stated, I do seriously doubt it. So my question is will the thang work sans Flash on a stock non-Flash ecosystem?)

  13. Based on public comments from company executives, I am assuming the success (or not) of the Bolt ad blitz and and holiday sales will determine the future of TiVo in retail. If they can’t make this work, I think we’ll see far fewer resources expended in this (our) realm. Granted, with Rogers moving on early next year, the situation is less predictable.

    Since Roamio’s release, they’ve gone after sports fans (via talk radio) and travelers (via massive airport signage), following in Sling’s marketing footsteps. But the amount invested will seemingly pale in comparison to what’s happening now. Yet pricing may still be off plus they lost a lot of mindshare and momentum when distracted with lawsuits as the Premiere languished. Wish they had a cheaper 2-tuner OTA Bolt ready… something like $69.99 upfront and $8.99 month.

    I assume earnings to be reported on 11/24, won’t reveal much other than increase in marketing expenditures. But the following quarter should be real, real interesting in terms of retail numbers. Obviously, I’m also interested in seeing who they land on to lead this organization and when — not clear if there will be a “real” search or if Naveen Chopra will take the reins.

  14. Some update intel has come my way. Nothing earth shattering but at least one feature novice cable subscribers might appreciate. It’s been a busy few months and still thinking this is largely a minor update before TiVo downshifts thru the holidays and CES. Related, wonder if the Aereo/OTA Bolt will make an appearance this year?

    Regarding Tebow, we’ll just roll that wasted $1m or whatever it was into Rogers’ separation package.

  15. “Regarding Tebow, we’ll just roll that wasted $1m or whatever it was into Rogers’ separation package.”

    I know you always hated that campaign. But I was always more agnostic.

    I don’t follow any sports expect for the NBA, but as far I could suss, dude couldn’t play the game, but despite that minor complication, he really did have incredible mindshare. So, if the target is the sports fan, then, well…

    (That all said, if they Bolt indicates a more upscale target, (and maybe a more young target), the NBA is a much better bet than Tebow.)

  16. Wish they had a cheaper 2-tuner OTA Bolt ready… something like $69.99 upfront and $8.99 month.

    Those price-points make it seem like the 3rd & 4th tuners make up more than half the cost of a BOLT.

    Personally, I just don’t see the value of a 2-tuner DVR, nowadays; partly because you need more tuners to make sure you can get full recordings, but also because I expect those extra tuners *aren’t* coming at a tremendous expense.

  17. Karl, for comparison, TiVo sold the 4-tuner Roamio OTA for $50. So in my scenario, I’m slightly reducing the BOM while getting them a little more cash up front… at the expense of less recurring revenue. On the other hand, TiVo’s also increased expenses by going to the smaller hard drive for Bolt. The prior marketing team indicated they received a good response from that $9.99/mo OTA promo they once ran…

    Conceptually, with or without a baked in hardware subsidy and ignoring ongoing support, I think folks have a hard time paying nearly double a Netflix or Hulu or Xbox Live Gold for what they see as TiVo guide data. With something like $1b in cash at one point, they could have done so many different things in retail… but the regime has been more interested in propping up their stock valuation (and failing).

  18. Hopefully they get a Bolt OTA in retail soon and sufficiently market it before making a decision about pulling away from the retail market all together. More than the up-front cost, I think the ongoing monthly fee is the thing they really have to get down. If they could price it at $150 to 200 up-front with one year of service included, then $9.99 max per month for service thereafter, I think that could be successful, if it’s advertised. TiVo really does offer something to the cord-cutter market that no one else does (yet): a quality OTA DVR with major streaming services integrated. The niche for such a product has to be bigger than the success that the TiVo Roamio OTA has found so far, I think.

    As for TiVo possibly pivoting away from retail in 2016, my question is how? From comments I’ve read from Chopra, as well as other sources, it seems to me the entire business is built on the relatively high-margin retail business (along with patent royalties). They only make something like $1 or $2 per subscriber through the non-retail cable partnerships they have. The retail business, where their hardware/software platforms are initially developed before being repurposed for cable partners, essentially subsidizes their other lines of business. If they let retail die, I don’t see how the rest of TiVo survives either.

  19. TiVo sold the 4-tuner Roamio OTA for $50. ..

    Fair points, all. If they feel the need to go budget, I can understand, but I would expect the differences would go beyond just drive size. Given so much is embedded, now, would they strip-out MoCA and mobile streaming to try to hit that price? If they go the route of the base Roamio vs OTA, there wouldn’t be much cost savings beyond the CableLabs fees.

  20. Thank goodness the “cable” moron is nearly gone. That’s 11 years of TRYING to kiss cable’s butt, TiVo will never get back. All that for a literal handful of cable subs. What a waste. Making TiVo’s JUST good enough to be better, but not TOO GOOD to make cable mad at them. Comcast is laughing all the way to the bank.

  21. Karl, who knows what the market will bear and if TiVo can make money at those numbers. Certainly they haven’t had my traction from recent approaches. From what I’ve heard of a the 4-tuner Aereo/Bolt that’s being readied, it seems largely the same as the CableCARD Bolt with 4k, MoCA, dual channel AC wireless, etc. So they’re going to have a hard time getting the price real low without willing to take a hit upfront.

    billybobby, I’d say the first half of his tenure was productive in stabilizing the ship plus the DISH settlement ensured the short term survival of the company. But those few years focused nearly exclusively on cable and lawsuits, while cutting R&D, set the stage for retail failure through apathy. So many things they could have done with those hundreds of million of dollars… They just didn’t have the vision or capability to manage it. Speaking of limited capabilities, HDUI still unfinished. It’s a minor thing. Yet representative.

  22. I’m sorry, but timing of Rogers “sort of” departure and other executive movements within TiVo, seems the dance a company does when its board and others are preparing to sell their shares and leave with other golden parachute as everything must be in place before their limited window to “convert” their shares. This is all happening right after the Bolt release, and that really is fishy, rather than a point at which TiVo could really chart a new course.

    FWIW, I do believe the Bolt will not do what TiVo is hoping. Yet, Channel Master is on their 4th Gen product: the DVR+. The irony of CM’s success with an inferior product with such LOYAL consumers is mostly because once a consumer pays for the device, NO FEES nor additional funds needed to use it. Adding to the weight bringing down the ship is TiVo’s new sky high pricing that no a single sane tech savvy millennial will EVER pay.

    Considering the mad pricing of the Bolt, I have little doubt it will fail and that TiVo will exit the retail business within a year, but my hope is that considering the huge investment subscribers have made in TiVo (some thousands of dollars refusing to give up on the company) and the other places they make money (MSO’s and foreign products/services), TiVo would kindly continue to keep current subscribers retail DVR’s functioning with current features while no longer selling retail DVR’s nor adding new features. If it takes removing the apps to keep our DVR’s going (financially speaking for TiVo), I have no problem with that as I, and MOST people, use a Roku or similar device.

    As for a buyer: dream on. The only thing of value TiVo has is its list of subscribers that may be of interest to DirecTV or Dish, but both those companies and all the others TiVo sued had the opportunity to work with TiVo on a purchase of the company, and they all passed, and that was when TiVo had a little going for it then than it does now. Today, TiVo has even less than what would interest a possible buyer today.

    Let’s just hope TiVo does not do a Sezmi or a Sony DVR and say, “Sorry, but your DVR’s are still good as doorstops.” Let’s hope they still want our monthly subscription payments and continue to honor those with Lifetime or All-in. I will gladly accept and enjoy the TiVo’s I have today even if the apps have to go. Just don’t throw us out with the trash.

  23. In terms of potential buyers, it probably wouldn’t be a satellite TV company, it’d be someone like Rovi who wants deeper hooks into hardware or someone like Pace who could join forces with TiVo to add software and services to their cable hardware offerings.

  24. Interesting and potentially positive news… hope it’s not too late.

    “while the company is sitting on a pile of cash following a number of patent litigation settlements, it has not found a way to use the money to meaningfully grow its revenues. Insiders said this issue led to a confrontation between Rogers and TiVo’s board that precipitated his resignation.”

    http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/263253/fast-forwarding-tivo-why-did-rogers-bolt.html

    I obviously don’t know the whole team, but one senior staff member I used to interact seemed defeatist, lamenting how hard their business is. He was a Rogers hire, with no experience in the industry. I think the relatively new CMO has been behind some positive contributions. But he can’t do it alone and they’re long overdue for a broad corporate attitude adjustment (in retail, should they stick with it).

  25. “Interesting and potentially positive news… hope it’s not too late.”

    Why should it be too late? I think the Bolt is shite. But then again, I thought the original iPod was shite too, considering the simple-as-pie swappable 2.5″ HD competition.

    Dunno how much better the S6 runs OTT apps than S5, but if it’s considerable, then QuickMode, Skip Mode, decent OTT, and 4K make it a reasonable upscale buy. Plus, they’ve actually got a product they can advertise on the teevee! It’s got tailfins!

    One is only excited about the Verizon FIOS DVR news if one doesn’t understand the indubitable wonders of OnePass…

  26. “How about a Spoiler Alert Chucky?”

    Think you understood Star Wars? You won’t believe who Luke’s dad is…

  27. “*pssh* Star Wars. Don’t you know that stuff is fake?”

    Star Wars! 17 Reasons You Won’t Believe that Show it Was Filmed on a Soundstage! And 23 Reasons You Won’t Believe that Show it Was Filmed from a Pre-Written Script!

    (Well I’m the king of SEO, there is none higher. I get eleven points off the word ‘quagmire’.)

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