TiVo calls time on ageing set-tops
Nine-year-old kit marked end-of-line
Long-time UK TiVo owners are up in arms because the company is to effectively stop their boxes from working to the full.
TiVo has announced that from the start of June, its old PVRs will no longer operate beyond playback of TV programmes that have already been recorded at the point.
TiVo insisted that the boxes "may" be able to record programmes manually, but there will be no electronic programme guide (EPG) and the boxes will have "limited - if any - functionality".
TiVo justified the move because the boxes, originally offered through Sky and by manufacturer Thomson, have not been sold or marketed for the last nine years. Two years ago, in 2009, it entered into a new deal with Virgin Media, which late last year introduced an entirely new TiVo-based box, tied to its cable TV network.
Quite how many TiVo users are affected by the closure isn't known, but a fair few are complaining online about what they perceive as TiVo's shoddy treatment of its UK fans.
TiVo countered by saying it hasn't been billing them for its service since November 2010, and that there is an upgrade path, of sorts.
TiVo suggested its customers hotfoot it to Virgin Media, which is not yet shipping its new TiVo box but is asking punters to register their interest in the gadget. But not everyone who has an old TiVo machine lives in an area cabled up by Virgin, which is currently available to just over half the UK population.
Should old-style TiVo users really complain about losing a service to a box that's now at least nine years old? What do you think. ®
Lifetime means lifetime
TiVo sold their EPG as a monthly subscription or as a lifetime one off payment. I think anyone who had the lifetime option is entitled to continue to receive EPG, or be compensated. TiVo should at least refund that payment if it is not going to fulfill the service obligation.
SO. FUCKING. ANGRY.
Fight Back: Seconded
My disappointment has been already written here by others many times, so I won't repeat myself.
Suffice to say the beginnings of an attempt to create a community driven alternative have been started on various forums. This all needs user input and help, so if I may I'd like to plug two links which might help:
First, there's a Facebook page which has some useful information:
And an online petition to see if we can make them change their mind or at least release some information to allow the creation of a user community to replace the service:
Write to BBC Watchdog, National Press, lobby your MP.
I've done all 3 if everyone who posts on this forum does likewise we will embarrass the hell out of Virgin Media and Tivo Inc.
Don't be misled its a corporate bullying ploy to get as many existing Tivo users to sign up for VM's offering and to pay for premium rate program package.
FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT and lets get the media asking questions eventually the service will be restored. Neither VM nor Tivo Inc can afford bad publicity up to the VM Tivo launch.
Get emailing, writing,twittering spread the word and act now
Lifetime of the Service.
Those that are complaining of the 'I bought a lifetime sub and I'm still alive' issue should know that the contract specified the 'lifetime sub' refers to the lifetime of the EPG service Tivo/BSkyB were putting out. Tivo needed to give just 30 days notice of closure of the service. In the end we've been given a little more notice than that.
Not that I'm defending the decision by any means - it sucks. I'm a 10+ year Tivo user and it's still the best SD PVR you can run at the moment. The VM offer (which fortunately I can, and have, taken up) will only soften the blow for people in cabled areas - it's about 50% of the country ISTR.
One glimmer, as mentioned above, is the ability to hack your S1 Tivo to get data from elsewhere. The Aussies do it, so do the Dutch. Here's hoping we get a UK version soon.