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Another reason not to buy TIVO

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Anonymous
September 22, 2005 8:42:27 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.replaytv (More info?)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050921/ap_on_hi_te/tivo_co...

TiVo Users Fear Recording Restrictions By GREG SANDOVAL, AP Technology
Writer
Wed Sep 21, 4:06 PM ET



SAN FRANCISCO - Many fans of digital video recorders made by TiVo Inc. are
beginning to fear that Hollywood studios will one day reach into their set-
top boxes to restrict the way they record and store movies and programs.

Among the functions included in TiVo's latest software upgrade is the
ability to allow broadcasters to erase material recorded by TiVo's 3.6
million users after a certain date. That ability was demonstrated recently
when some TiVo customers complained on TiVo community sites that episodes
of "The Simpsons" and "King of the Hill" they recorded were "red-flagged"
for deletion by the copyright holder.

Some users also were upset that they were prevented from transferring these
red-flagged shows to a PC via the TiVoToGo service.

Elliot Sloan, a TiVo spokesman, called the red-flag incident a "glitch" and
said it affected only a handful of customers. "It's a non-story," Sloan
said.

Nonetheless, skeptics among TiVo users questioned why TiVo would own such a
technology unless the company planned to one day use it.

TiVo and other digital video recorders let users skip commercials and jump
around a recording quickly. Since TiVo introduced its DVR in the late
1990s, customers have enjoyed the ability to record anything they want, and
store it indefinitely.

But last year, TiVo quietly disclosed that it would employ copyright-
protection software from Macrovision Corp. for pay-per-view and video-on-
demand programs. According to a post on TiVo's Web site, the software
allows broadcasters to restrict how long a DVR can save certain recordings
or in some cases prevent someone from recording altogether.

"Program providers decide what programs will have Macrovision copy
protection," said the TiVo post.

Matt Haughey, creator of PVRblog.com, the Web site where the complaints
first appeared, said some fans are overreacting about the red-flag
incident. However, he said he is worried that TiVo has handed Hollywood a
means to restrict recordings.

"TiVo would be of limited utility in the future if the studios were allowed
to do this with regular broadcast content," Haughey said. "This is like
cell-phone jammers. What if you couldn't talk on your cell phone? If
customers can't do something with their TiVo that they could in the past,
they will stop using it."

TiVo is among many platforms that could be transformed by the entertainment
industry's demands for tighter copyright controls.

Broadcasters have also tried to force electronics manufacturers to insert a
technology known as the broadcast flag into new televisions to prevent
programs from being copied or disseminated on the Internet.

The Federal Communications Commission at one point required such piracy
preventions, but those rules were blocked in May by a three-judge panel for
the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Congress
may get the last word.

More about : reason buy tivo

Anonymous
September 23, 2005 4:49:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.replaytv (More info?)

Rick Diamant <rickd24@REMOVETOREPLYmchsi.com> shaped the electrons to say:
>http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050921/ap_on_hi_te/tivo_co...

Ah, yeah, the press never gets it right.

Did ReplayTV users forget that ReplayTV agreed to the very same
Macrovision license in 2003? And TiVo didn't agree until late 2004?
Hmmm?

ReplayTV has had Macrovision support for years, including support for
the VBI flags (what this is about) - and you don't have to believe me,
RTV said so openly on multiple occaisions. It was also part of their
defense in the IVS lawsuits - they said they did not allow IVS of
flagged shows.

Just about every recording device - VCR, DVR, DVD Recorder, etc - has
Macrovision support. It is mandated by law in VCRs in the US. And to
legally support DVDs you need a DVD Forum license, which requires CSS
support, which requires Macrovision. About the same time this hit
TiVo last week users also reported trouble recording some shows using
ATI All-In-Wonder cards and ATI DVR software - also due to
Macrovision.


The point is, this is absolutely nothing to hold over TiVo. The same
thing is in many devices. OK, it looks like TiVo may have a bug in
the current code that caused some false positives. Bugs happen -
they've happened to RTV too. And this was reported by a handful of
TiVo users, out of over 3 million. Big deal. They'll work on the
glitch like always.

And if some channel is erroneously adding the flags, there is little
TiVo - or anyone - can do about it. It could just as easily apepar on
RTV, it is just a matter of the odds. There are many times the number
of TiVo users as RTV users, so it is more likely to appear to a TiVo
user. That's simple. The same problem has also been reported in the
past with a cable company DVR.

It just makes for more sensational press to make it sound like
something unique to TiVo.

-MZ
--
<URL:mailto:megazoneatmegazone.org> Gweep, Discordian, Author, Engineer, me.
"A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men" 508-852-2171
<URL:http://www.megazone.org/&gt; <URL:http://www.eyrie-productions.com/&gt; Eris
Anonymous
September 23, 2005 6:32:59 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.replaytv (More info?)

>
> Did ReplayTV users forget that ReplayTV agreed to the very same
> Macrovision license in 2003? And TiVo didn't agree until late 2004?
> Hmmm?

Replay signed on for inclusion in "future projects".
>
> ReplayTV has had Macrovision support for years, including support for
> the VBI flags (what this is about) - and you don't have to believe me,
> RTV said so openly on multiple occaisions. It was also part of their
> defense in the IVS lawsuits - they said they did not allow IVS of
> flagged shows.

Showstoppers in the beginning made use of Macrovision, subsequent
software updates made them the same as Replays. They "support"
Macrovision in that they do not remove it, it passes through, but they
do not add it. And of course you can record DVDs, VODs, PPV, etc at will
AND share them via IVS.
>
>
> There are many times the number
> of TiVo users as RTV users, so it is more likely to appear to a TiVo
> user. That's simple. The same problem has also been reported in the
> past with a cable company DVR.

The "many times" is due to 2/3 of Tivos supplied by Direct. A situation
rapidly changing as Direct begins the purge.
Related resources
Anonymous
September 23, 2005 2:35:17 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.replaytv (More info?)

On Fri, 23 Sep 2005 02:32:59 -0400, Tony D <nospam@nospam.com> wrote:

>>
>> Did ReplayTV users forget that ReplayTV agreed to the very same
>> Macrovision license in 2003? And TiVo didn't agree until late 2004?
>> Hmmm?
>
>Replay signed on for inclusion in "future projects".
>>
>> ReplayTV has had Macrovision support for years, including support for
>> the VBI flags (what this is about) - and you don't have to believe me,
>> RTV said so openly on multiple occaisions. It was also part of their
>> defense in the IVS lawsuits - they said they did not allow IVS of
>> flagged shows.
>
>Showstoppers in the beginning made use of Macrovision, subsequent
>software updates made them the same as Replays. They "support"
>Macrovision in that they do not remove it, it passes through, but they
>do not add it. And of course you can record DVDs, VODs, PPV, etc at will
>AND share them via IVS.

Note that passing a recording through your computer (DVD -> Replay >
PC -> DVD-R) will remove Macrovision. It takes awhile but is suitable
for occasional use.

>>
>>
>> There are many times the number
>> of TiVo users as RTV users, so it is more likely to appear to a TiVo
>> user. That's simple. The same problem has also been reported in the
>> past with a cable company DVR.
>
>The "many times" is due to 2/3 of Tivos supplied by Direct. A situation
>rapidly changing as Direct begins the purge.
--
93 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
has a Replay 5xxx
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com

"The idea that there is an invisible being who
created and still runs this old universe is so
childish, so obviously contrived, that it is hard to
believe anyone with even a modicum of education can
still fall for that scam."
Anonymous
September 23, 2005 8:24:54 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.replaytv (More info?)

Mark Lloyd <mlloyd@5xxxmail.com5xxx> shaped the electrons to say:
>On Fri, 23 Sep 2005 02:32:59 -0400, Tony D <nospam@nospam.com> wrote:
>>do not add it. And of course you can record DVDs, VODs, PPV, etc at will
>>AND share them via IVS.
>Note that passing a recording through your computer (DVD -> Replay >
>PC -> DVD-R) will remove Macrovision. It takes awhile but is suitable
>for occasional use.

ReplayTV themselves claimed that they honored Macrovision in the
existing products are would not allow IVS for flagged shows.

I don't think it was ever seen in the wild, no one flags anything
anyway.

>>The "many times" is due to 2/3 of Tivos supplied by Direct. A situation
>>rapidly changing as Direct begins the purge.

There is no purge. DirecTV is doing nothing to replace TiVo units in
the field, and, in fact, are still selling them. Actually they're
still the only DVRs they are selling, since the NDS box is delayed,
again. Even when the NDS box ships TiVo units will still be available
on request, and they will not be replacing new units.

And TiVo has something like 1.3 million standalone users, which is
still several times the total ReplayTV install base - without DTV.

-MZ
--
<URL:mailto:megazoneatmegazone.org> Gweep, Discordian, Author, Engineer, me.
"A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men" 508-852-2171
<URL:http://www.megazone.org/&gt; <URL:http://www.eyrie-productions.com/&gt; Eris
Anonymous
September 23, 2005 8:24:55 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.replaytv (More info?)

>
> There is no purge. DirecTV is doing nothing to replace TiVo units in
> the field, and, in fact, are still selling them. Actually they're
> still the only DVRs they are selling, since the NDS box is delayed,
> again. Even when the NDS box ships TiVo units will still be available
> on request, and they will not be replacing new units.

Dream on. The agreement is ended. As soon as the NDS are available in
quantity, Direct will go all out to use their own box. I believe there
is mention of a no charge swap out of units to begin with.

>
> And TiVo has something like 1.3 million standalone users, which is
> still several times the total ReplayTV install base - without DTV.

At the end of Feb when the Tivo execs jumped ship Magna Global estimated
there were 910,000 SA Tivo units. Replays are hard to count in that
Replay does not sell ad space like Tivo so there has been little public
mention of Replay subscribers. Last year on the AVS forum a DNNA rep
alluded to over 500K.
September 24, 2005 7:40:17 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.replaytv (More info?)

In article <0r-dnbqqYNTIwqneRVn-rQ@giganews.com>, Tony D.
<nospam@nospam.com> wrote:

> >
> > There is no purge. DirecTV is doing nothing to replace TiVo units in
> > the field, and, in fact, are still selling them. Actually they're
> > still the only DVRs they are selling, since the NDS box is delayed,
> > again. Even when the NDS box ships TiVo units will still be available
> > on request, and they will not be replacing new units.
>
> Dream on. The agreement is ended. As soon as the NDS are available in
> quantity, Direct will go all out to use their own box. I believe there
> is mention of a no charge swap out of units to begin with.

That would cost DirecTV 2.3M subs X $200 = $460M

They will replace them by attrition as thry fail.

It looks DTV is going to hold off on deployment of the new DVR to see
what happens in the TiVo-Dish patent suit. DTV may cancel deployment if
TiVo wins. They are afraid of being next to be sued.
Anonymous
September 24, 2005 7:40:18 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.replaytv (More info?)

Curtis wrote:
> In article <0r-dnbqqYNTIwqneRVn-rQ@giganews.com>, Tony D.
> <nospam@nospam.com> wrote:
>
>
>>>There is no purge. DirecTV is doing nothing to replace TiVo units in
>>>the field, and, in fact, are still selling them. Actually they're
>>>still the only DVRs they are selling, since the NDS box is delayed,
>>>again. Even when the NDS box ships TiVo units will still be available
>>>on request, and they will not be replacing new units.
>>
>>Dream on. The agreement is ended. As soon as the NDS are available in
>>quantity, Direct will go all out to use their own box. I believe there
>>is mention of a no charge swap out of units to begin with.
>
>
> That would cost DirecTV 2.3M subs X $200 = $460M

Chump change. Lets see, the pittance Direct kicks back to Tivo X 1.8M
per month, vs the $xx.xx monthly fee to Direct for their own box minus
the $100 to mfg. In a heartbeat.
>
> They will replace them by attrition as thry fail.
>
> It looks DTV is going to hold off on deployment of the new DVR to see
> what happens in the TiVo-Dish patent suit. DTV may cancel deployment if
> TiVo wins. They are afraid of being next to be sued.

I'm sure Tivo terrifies Direct. Probably as much as they scare investors.
Anonymous
September 24, 2005 10:55:13 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.replaytv (More info?)

Curtis <Curtis@abcd.fake> shaped the electrons to say:
>In article <0r-dnbqqYNTIwqneRVn-rQ@giganews.com>, Tony D.
>> Dream on. The agreement is ended. As soon as the NDS are available in
>> quantity, Direct will go all out to use their own box. I believe there
>> is mention of a no charge swap out of units to begin with.

Something weird is going on in News - I never see Tony's posts, only
replies to them...

Anyway, DirecTV does not have the stock to swap out units and supply
new customers. They also have a large existing stock of DirecTiVo
units that are bought and paid for, if you think they're going to dump
them you're crazy or a fool. They just stopped ordering DirecTiVo
units, and are still taking delivery of them. They have absolutely no
intention of dumping them overnight. Remember, they've already paid
TiVo for the license into 2007. Dumping them now would be bad
business - they don't get the money back for the license, they'd lose
all the money spend on producing the stock of units they have, and any
write-offs would not compensate.

DirecTV has said, *repeatedly*, that all marketing efforts will focus
on the NDS box once it becomes available. However, they have no plans
to swap out the existing units, and they intend to support them
indefinitely. New TiVo based DVRs will be available, while supplies
(and the license) last, on request. Users will be encouraged to use
the NDS box, but if they want a TiVo they can have it. Obviously
they're hoping to be able to sell out the stock of boxes they paid
for.

There is no plan for widespread replacement. They may replace units
on request, but even that is unlikely due to the cost involved. The
new NDS units will be more expensive hardware - for example, they have
160GB drives - 60GB reserved for DTV, 100GB for user recordings.

>It looks DTV is going to hold off on deployment of the new DVR to see
>what happens in the TiVo-Dish patent suit. DTV may cancel deployment if
>TiVo wins. They are afraid of being next to be sued.

I don't think this is the case. At this point it looks like the NDS
box will ship in October, while the TiVo/Dish case will not get to the
courts until next year at best.

DirecTV says they think they've managed to avoid infringing on TiVos
patents in the new box - but that seems kind of hard, seeing as how
fundamental some of TiVo's patents are.

If TiVo wins against Dish, odds are anyone else would just sign a
license deal and there wouldn't be cause for more suits. That's what
usually happens - one case paves the way.

-MZ
--
<URL:mailto:megazoneatmegazone.org> Gweep, Discordian, Author, Engineer, me.
"A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men" 508-852-2171
<URL:http://www.megazone.org/&gt; <URL:http://www.eyrie-productions.com/&gt; Eris
September 24, 2005 8:02:06 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.replaytv (More info?)

In article <newscache$187bni$vvz1$1@sidehack.gweep.net>, MegaZone
<newsREMOVE@THISmegazone.org> wrote:

> They just stopped ordering DirecTiVo
> units, and are still taking delivery of them. They have absolutely no
> intention of dumping them overnight. Remember, they've already paid
> TiVo for the license into 2007..

Not exactly. DTV pays $1.50 per sub each month. After Feb 2007 though,
DTV owes nothing else to TiVo for the existing subs. Not a dime. That's
another reason why they would be nuts to switch out the boxes. They
just can't add new DirecTiVo subs aftr 2-07 without a new contract.

> >It looks DTV is going to hold off on deployment of the new DVR to see
> >what happens in the TiVo-Dish patent suit. DTV may cancel deployment if
> >TiVo wins. They are afraid of being next to be sued.
>
> I don't think this is the case. At this point it looks like the NDS
> box will ship in October,

Chase Carey said at a presentation last week that the SD DVR will ship
before the end of this year and the HD DVR before the end of next year.
October? Possibly.

> while the TiVo/Dish case will not get to the courts until next year
> at best.

Nope. Jury selection starts Oct. 11. The suit starts Oct. 24 in
Texarkana. It is expected to last less than a month.

> DirecTV says they think they've managed to avoid infringing on TiVos
> patents in the new box - but that seems kind of hard, seeing as how
> fundamental some of TiVo's patents are.
>
> If TiVo wins against Dish, odds are anyone else would just sign a
> license deal and there wouldn't be cause for more suits. That's what
> usually happens - one case paves the way.
Anonymous
September 24, 2005 8:41:43 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.replaytv (More info?)

Curtis <Curtis@abcd.fake> shaped the electrons to say:
>Not exactly. DTV pays $1.50 per sub each month. After Feb 2007 though,
>DTV owes nothing else to TiVo for the existing subs. Not a dime. That's
>another reason why they would be nuts to switch out the boxes. They
>just can't add new DirecTiVo subs aftr 2-07 without a new contract.

Yeah, I knew that - I meant the license to keep selling units.

What I've seen is TiVo gets $1/month out of the $5 (or $6 for new
subs, it went up recently) DTV charges.

DTV's license allows them to support existing users indefinitely, they
just can't sell new boxes once the contract runs out.

I wonder if it is new boxes or new custoemrs... could someone with a
DirecTiVo add another one after that? The license fee is by customer,
not per box... Maybe I can find out from someone at TiVo...

>Chase Carey said at a presentation last week that the SD DVR will ship
>before the end of this year and the HD DVR before the end of next year.
>October? Possibly.

October has been the timeframe bandied about most often of late, but
we'll see. They really want to get them out before the holidays.

>Nope. Jury selection starts Oct. 11. The suit starts Oct. 24 in
>Texarkana. It is expected to last less than a month.

Huh, OK, good to know. Last I'd read it sounded like it was going to
end up pushed into the new year.

Either way, it will be an interesting trial.

-MZ
--
<URL:mailto:megazoneatmegazone.org> Gweep, Discordian, Author, Engineer, me.
"A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men" 508-852-2171
<URL:http://www.megazone.org/&gt; <URL:http://www.eyrie-productions.com/&gt; Eris
September 24, 2005 8:55:35 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.replaytv (More info?)

In article <newscache$jdybni$d9h1$1@sidehack.gweep.net>, MegaZone
<newsREMOVE@THISmegazone.org> wrote:

> Curtis <Curtis@abcd.fake> shaped the electrons to say:
> >Not exactly. DTV pays $1.50 per sub each month. After Feb 2007 though,
> >DTV owes nothing else to TiVo for the existing subs. Not a dime. That's
> >another reason why they would be nuts to switch out the boxes. They
> >just can't add new DirecTiVo subs aftr 2-07 without a new contract.
>
> Yeah, I knew that - I meant the license to keep selling units.
>
> What I've seen is TiVo gets $1/month out of the $5 (or $6 for new
> subs, it went up recently) DTV charges.

"ARPU per month for DIRECTV subscriptions for the fiscal year ended
January 31, 2005 decreased from prior fiscal years to $1.52 from
$2.57 and $6.06, respectively. We expect ARPU per month for DIRECTV
subscriptions to decline further as new DIRECTV subscriptions
generally involve limited or no acquisition costs, lower recurring
expenses, and lower subscription revenue."

>
> DTV's license allows them to support existing users indefinitely, they
> just can't sell new boxes once the contract runs out.
>
> I wonder if it is new boxes or new custoemrs... could someone with a
> DirecTiVo add another one after that? The license fee is by customer,
> not per box... Maybe I can find out from someone at TiVo...

I've been wondering about that too.

> >Chase Carey said at a presentation last week that the SD DVR will ship
> >before the end of this year and the HD DVR before the end of next year.
> >October? Possibly.
>
> October has been the timeframe bandied about most often of late, but
> we'll see. They really want to get them out before the holidays.
>
> >Nope. Jury selection starts Oct. 11. The suit starts Oct. 24 in
> >Texarkana. It is expected to last less than a month.
>
> Huh, OK, good to know. Last I'd read it sounded like it was going to
> end up pushed into the new year.
>
> Either way, it will be an interesting trial.
>
> -MZ
September 24, 2005 9:31:04 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.replaytv (More info?)

In article <240920051155389070%Curtis@abcd.fake>, Curtis
<Curtis@abcd.fake> wrote:

> "ARPU per month for DIRECTV subscriptions for the fiscal year ended
> January 31, 2005 decreased from prior fiscal years to $1.52 from
> $2.57 and $6.06, respectively. We expect ARPU per month for DIRECTV
> subscriptions to decline further as new DIRECTV subscriptions
> generally involve limited or no acquisition costs, lower recurring
> expenses, and lower subscription revenue."

As of 7-31, it's $1.13 permonth.
!