TiVo Sunsets DVR Suggestions

From the ‘this feature generates no additional revenue’ school of management, TiVo continues to chip away at their differentiated DVR selling points by killing off new television recording Suggestions (without advance notice). Instead, via on-box messaging, TiVo is directing remaining DVR customers to utilize TiVo+ — a sluggish, ad-supported streaming service of random and frequently junky content. Even if you’d like to partake, the situation is poorly messaged and targeted as it isn’t available to users who run the prior “TiVo Experience.” You’d need Hydra, with all the good … and the bad. In any event, this sort of FAST content is much more easily accessed via other services and cheaper boxes (that do not require a subscription) — including TiVo’s very own transitional Android TV dongle.

This move also effectively kills the iconic TiVo thumbs up/down buttons that previously powered the Suggestions recommendation engine and were periodically tested for interactive appointment television.

Full message text follows:

TiVo Suggestions will no longer be supported.

The Tivo Experience brings you great ways to discover new shows, and now we’re consolidating our discovery features into our TiVo+ app. The TiVo+ app brings content together from multiple partners to provide a variety of programs that is sure to capture your interest.

You can find the TiVo+ app on your Home screen and under the Apps
menu.

Never fear. Your existing Suggestions folder and recordings won’t be impacted and will remain on your TiVo box.

We hope you enjoy finding new shows you’ll love with the TiVo+ app!

(Thanks for the heads up Runciter!)

29 thoughts on “TiVo Sunsets DVR Suggestions”

  1. Honestly, was ANYONE really even using TIVO SUGGESTIONS at this point in the worlds history. If they cancel it and free up some resources to keep the darn BOXES running I’m ok with that. Half the time I can’t get SEARCH to work, and sometimes even getting into populated folders and remote access has been challenging lately.

    But, still nothing compares to the speed of trick-play, usability and overall capability.

  2. Yea Dave, quite sad. This mostly kills off what was great about Tivo, and I was hoping the Thumbs buttons might see a resurgence at some point. This isn’t the end for Tivo, but feels like we can see it from here.

  3. While I never really used suggestions, this is a really bad way to end them – especially given how awful TiVo+ is and the fact that it doesn’t exist on TE3.

  4. TiVo refuses to adapt to the 21st century.
    Their DVR’s, while nice doesn’t offer a path forward to NextGenTV. Or IpTV.
    Even though they demoed a dongle back in 2019, it never came to fruition.
    For those with a Smart TV, no reason to get the TiVo Stream 4k.
    And with our CC losing cable cards, my Roamio is now useless.
    Thanks TiVo!

  5. Let’s hope Tivo hangs in there. Cable companies add $50 for DVR service and rental plus $12 for each additional box. And if you want more than two recording tuners it’s an additional charge. Have had a Roamio, Bolt and now the Edge for cable. Have never had an issue, very reliable. The savings alone is worth Have Tivo.

  6. I think the sunset is in sight for TiVo as we know it today. Another “less is more” decision among many boneheaded decisions by TiVo over the few years. Pre-roll ads, ads buried in Guide pages taking up space reserved for channels, and sub-standard customer service keep making me wonder how long I’ll continue my 20 year relationship with this company.

  7. The slow death continues…. I am finally divorcing from Spectrum’s internet service as the local telco is selling 500Mbps up/down for $30 less. So now, unless they can price-match YouTube TV, I will cancel their TV and, in turn, my TiVo sub.

    Everything I loved about TiVo has been slowly chipped away, so why stay now?

  8. … and this summarizes the short-sighted management style that turned me from a Tivo enthusiast that has had about 12 different Tivos in 20 years to someone who now uses a firestick to play from my ChannelsDVR…

  9. I always turned off suggestions. The only time I use the thumbs buttons is to reboot the TiVo.

    I stick around for the 6 Minis I use.

  10. This was a confusing message from TiVo for those of us running the old firmware, but checking in to it made me realize how useless TiVo Suggestions had become since Rovio took over. Suggestions used to do a solid job recording shows we might want to watch by analyzing what we watch and what we thumb up / thumb down, but it’s really gone down hill. It doesn’t suggest new shows let alone record things I wished I’d remember to record. So, it’s been rarely used and almost useless for years.

    As for my TiVo, it’s still doing great give or take a weekly reboot and I have little reason to replace it or upgrade it. Only the adoption of 4K HDR content could do that, but the networks have been glacial in adopting it. Streaming is fine for movies and commercial free shows, but not so hot for shows or sports you want to be able to FF/REW/SKIP.

  11. With TIVO fallen from a great height and essentially dead — and l its own streaming device pretty average — you can’t help wonder what the next genius idea will be in streaming. The aggregators we’d hoped for haven’t been a great hit either. So what’s going to be next? William Gibson said, the future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed.” What do you see that others haven’t yet?

  12. I am a customer of Astound/Grande cable and they provide TiVo branded boxes with suggestions active. I wonder if they will kill suggestions there as well?.

  13. I sold my boxes last month. I’m done, glad to get some cash for them. I haven’t watched a recorded show in a long time on my TiVo. I think the streamer TiVo isn’t very good. I had the app on my firetv years ago and that worked and was a good start.

  14. The suggestions engine didn’t start out very good, and just atrophied over time. To my knowledge, there was never any concerted effort to improve it.

    There was also the problem that customers saw their box ‘filling up’ with recordings they didn’t ask for and didn’t want and, thinking they could displace the recordings they wanted, turned the feature off pretty quickly.

    Does a good recommendation engine have value? you betcha. But TiVo never invested the effort to build one. I’d argue that if the recommendations are good enough, it has more value to the user than universal cross-service search. But there was more thought being put into how to re-introduce and monetize advertising after enabling people to skip over it…

  15. I clicked the link in the story to see what was “bad” about the current UI.

    And I got a tweet from a random person with no details. Pointless.

    Just like Suggestions are in 2023. Suggestions were a good idea to help people discover new content, in 2002. Not so much today in our current media landscape.

    I find it ironic the same people saying TiVo won’t move forward are the sane ones hanging on to TE3 and outdated tool like Suggestions.

  16. Hi, I’m a person saying TiVo won’t move forward. Not with retail DVR anyway. I was on Hydra. And then migrated to Channels DVR two years ago. I find it so much nicer over here. *shrug emoji*

    Content Suggestions are always relevant. However, TiVo Suggestions have been crap since they deprecated thumbs and never met its potential, like Paul said. Which dovetails with jmace57’s question – if TiVo or the cable provider can make money “selling” Suggestions, they will continue to provide them.

    As to the random tweet, a current user who isn’t satisfied seemed more timely than my years old posts. And much of that is going to be personal preference at this point. Many bugs and inconsistencies have been corrected, but I still don’t like it.

  17. Oh, wow. Back in the day, suggestions were a large part of what made TiVo, TiVo. They were part of pop culture lexicon! The amount of suggestions cached on the hard drive also served as a TiVo user’s “free space indicator.”

    Sad day indeed (although I too moved on from TiVo to Channels 2 years ago and am very happy with it.) The very slow death of TiVo continues.

  18. Never used suggestions, lethargic apps, thumbs or hydra.

    I record OTA and skip commercials.

    My Roamio OTA is my first and probably last TIVO product, unless they make a ASTC3 DVR soon.

  19. Yes but do you miss and remember the good old days, when your TiVo thought you were a gay serial killer music lover detective?

  20. Ha! As Fofer said, Suggestions used to serve as my Free Space Indicator for years as Tivo stubbornly refused to add one. I haven’t used suggestions since I moved off cable to OTA. Wasn’t enough content to make it relevant. And now that they discontiuned service in Canada altogether, with my bolt dead, Tivo’s 24 year run as my DVR of choice has now ended. Sad, sad, sad. Still can’t find a decent DVR in Canada to replace it. Using the one built into Plex is the ‘best’ solution I have at the moment for OTA content. But its such a janky interface that isn’t reliable. I miss TiVo.

  21. Suggestions worked SOMEWHAT for me, occasionally picking up a movie I’d consider watching.

    However, Thumbs stopped working a while ago. I’d see garbage in my Suggestions, like “Real Housewives”, so I’d give them three Thumbs Down as I erased them, only to find more episodes the next time I checked.

    It made me wonder if those shows’ producers were getting kickbacks for the suggestions.

  22. Dale, are you feeding Plex from a HDHomeRun network tuner? If so, try Channels DVR instead. It’s purpose-built for this functionality, they’re not pumping random ad-supported content like Plex now does (and TiVo, obviously). There’s a free trial. Also: Tablo comes from a Canadian company and I assume they support their homeland.

  23. I turned off Suggestions when I got my first DirectTivo circa 2002, so I certainly don’t miss that feature.

    But as many here have commented, what troubles me are the implications for the service as a whole. I do think this is another step on the road to pulling the plug on the DVR service, period. Seems like that day is coming sooner rather than later.

    Mind you I stream aplenty, but still use my Roamio and two Tivo Minis extensively, mainly because the Xfinity DVR is so very very terrible.

    When TiVo is no longer an option, I guess it will be YouTube TV for me, which seems to be the closest analog as far as I can tell.

  24. I transitioned to YouTube TV 3 years ago in order to avoid Comcast’s subscription fees. I see I’ll have one Lifetimed TiVo connected to an antenna but increasingly find no reason to go find what’s been recorded on it.

  25. I enjoyed watching an old Law and Order suggestion in my SVU folder.

    I guess I can just edit the season pass to record all reruns

  26. What I find most irritating after investing in a couple of Tivo Bolts is a few years ago, the commercial skip button, when it does work, surprise, surprise, it now skips to a network show preview or a single commercial before resuming the show. Maybe I missed a story or announcement, but this is classic bait and switch by Tivo, which cements my decision never to give that company another penny of my money again.

  27. This is a huge loss for me in my family as we have found so many great things thanks to the little TiVo dude that did the work for us, hooking us up with things we didn’t know about that we loved and we got more value out of our hundreds of cable channels thanks to TiVo suggestions. *This is an even bigger loss to the over-the-air crowd which I help install for people on occasion. This was your perfect cabin in the woods without much good internet solution. Some people still dial up for their program guide. There are many high-end properties that don’t have good streaming internet and this becomes a great on-demand substitute. Without this feature TiVo over the air DVR becomes way less appealing compared to the cheaper competition. It makes me wonder what is TiVo supposed to be doing anymore his job was to do this and boy did he do his job really well. Now people will have to actually take the time to look at the guide ahead of time taking hours to read through the programming that will be coming through the antenna as this was a huge time saver. Who’s going to actually go through their program guide ahead of time and figure out what shows are really what they want to watch??? It would be stupid if a competitor didn’t start doing something similar like this for their lower price point. This comes from the same place that many stupid ideas come from these days replacing something really good with a downgrade. The morons that run Tivo think that everybody has a great streaming internet connection or probably just money grubbing more than anything! People who have over the air Tivos need this!! Well TiVo, it’s been a good run I wonder what my small business will be like after I’m gone probably not the same. As for our family and others I am going to dig in deep into channels DVR sounds like a fun project and maybe it will end up being able to be closer to the future TiVo experience now that the TiVo experience is fading fast. RIP TiVo dude we love you and we’re sorry you’re being killed by people who don’t understand what they have

  28. Ah, the joys of having remained on the TiVo T3 User Experience rather than moving to the current T4 (T3 is an option for the Bolt and earlier TiVo boxes): Suggestions just works, as it always has, thumbs included; it helps me near-daily. Suggestions on the T4 User Experience was doomed from the start, with TiVo’s switch from the earlier “brute force” suggestions matching system (perhaps not a whiz-bang system of artificial intelligence elegance, but it worked) to a seemingly complicated artificial intelligence system that never worked well from the very start (with TiVo explaining that it just needed to tweak the new system, which seemingly never occurred, at least with any success).

    And the TiVo+ app: how TiVo could have even brought that out with a straight face is beyond me–at least, as a serious option worthy of the TiVo name. It says something about the company as it exists in modern times that the introduction ever occurred.

    It’s a shame that TiVo so often doesn’t seem to care anymore (beyond in marketing and for the TiVo Stream 4K device (yawn, at least as currently developed and not more))–when it has customers that do.

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