Of course, that "upgrade" is only any good...
...if you're in a Virgin Media coverage area. About 40% of the UK's households are not. For these, the entirely unnecessary withdrawal of TiVO services means they're stuffed.
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 …
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.
In the case of TiVo it meant for the life of the machine. i.e. As long as it still works.
AFAIK, the sub was linked to the motherboard ID, so you should be good until that fails. My old machine is still running happily and for all I know it might run for another 10+ years, so this is a bit of a bummer, but might also be breach of contract.
That said, my machine is now fitted with a network connection and gets it's listings from the internet and it looks like the new machines may well be doing the same - so it *might* keep working.
If not, then it will be a shame to see the old chap be sidelined, end of the proverbial era.
But some of us don't want nor need Virgin service, even if we're part of the 60% of the population that can get it.
I was very happy with FreeSat and my TiVo S1 and although it's worked for many years, so what; if TiVo didn't want to sell lifetime subscriptions, they didn't have to! They even went to great pains to define "lifetime" as the lifetime of the TiVo recorder. Mine's still going strong, why shouln't I expect them to continue the EPG as "promised"?
I will not be paying for Virgin, let alone an extra fee to use the TiVo functionality.
Microsoft takes old products out of security support at some point. You won't get security patches for Windows 98 or pre 2000 versions of Windows NT any more. All it would then take is an active enough XP worm and you won't be able to use XP on an Internet connection where the firewall doesn't block this worm, as is the case if you are still running NT on a server somewhere.
Also because this isn't an open source operating system, you won't be able pay anyone else to fix it.
This is the problem with any item that requires continued service from its manufacture.
If they updated the boxes with a version of the software that allows continued function without much hassle then that is fine they can just walk away but to disable the boxes is wrong.
This is similar to what Sony did with its ps3 with it disabled the otherOs feature of its console after selling millions with the function.
In the future i forsee a lot more companies following suit where they close down there service to stop people from operating there products especially in the area of software where many software and games now require online activation, it will take a big case and a company to lose big time for a change in the way these companies operate.
It's not really like what Sony did with the PS3. TiVo are only halting the EPG update service. The box will still work as a digital recorder. (Almost certainly - it's speculation to suppose otherwise.) We'll just lose all the bells and whistles that depend on the EPG, and have to rely on manual timed recordings.
The EPG service is downloaded via an archaic dial-up modem. It's not networked; it's 11-year-old technology. Those phone calls were part of the service. The cost of them may be part of why TiVo is discontinuing it. The EPG data itself costs money to produce too, as it needs to be massaged into TiVO format in order to drive their Wishlists etc.
"Lifetime" means the lifetime of the service: as long as the service is provided in the UK, lifetime subscribers get it for free. It lasted over 10 years, so those subscribers got a good deal.
I'm still using my s1 TiVo, but I don't think we have much grounds for complaint, either legally or ethically. I'm just surprised they've announced it now. They've created a lot of bad PR right at the start of their Virgin Media launch. Worst possible timing for them. If they could have held on for another 3-6 months, hopefully good feedback from VM early adopters would make s1 complaints less significant.
People should complain if they have, like me, pid the £200 FOR LIFE subscription and still use the box. Nine years is not life and I think that Tivo are now in breach of this contract and therefore some sort of compensation shoul dbe due for those customers.
But then if I am to be honest my Tivo is never used which is a shame as it was a far better PVR than Sky+. Granted Sky+ can record 2 things at once but the software on Tivo is far better - Tivo suggestions etc
As much as I loved TiVo, it wasn't HD, still used crummy old SCART connectors, couldn't cope with schedule changes during the day, and only recorded one channel.
Sky+ HD replaced mine. Interface sucks by comparison but really I've found it does the job I want it to do and the picture quality is impressive.
TiVo effectively quit the UK pretty much shortly after Sky ditched them for their own platform and that was not long after TiVo launched. They never bothered marketing the thing and didn't offer anything new until the deal with Virgin (which is only an option for cabled areas, and means signing up to the devil and living with the worst customer service in the world, ever, but anyway).
Frankly I'm surprised the listings service has survived this long considering most people must be on lifetime subs by now, so they get very little income (and those people still paying £10 a month must be nuts!!).
Great product in it's day. Never moved on. Now dead. Hmm, similar to Symbian ;)
How clear was it that they were purchasing the TiVO service as that, a service, and not part of a box. If people purchased their TiVO thinking it would be like a VCR with a hard drive in it then they have a very legitimate complaint.
Imagine the uproar if tomorrow Sony announced all their 9 year old DVD players will no longer work!
The 4TV/Inview service was used on Sony recorders and they lost service when Sony decided not to sustain the business of supporting a different EPG standard than the UK national standard EPG and they didn't want to go back and update all the legacy product.
Many manufacturers have implemented products on the basis of services from third parties for which they must pay a maintenance fee annually. When they cease to do so the service stops (this is essentially the same for TiVO UK because they must buy the EPG data service from someone else). If the business model no longer sustains the payment of those fees then the manufacturer may take a decision on the basis of risk (warranty claims, bad publicity) against the volume of legacy product still in the market and the on-going cost.
I am biased because I work in the industry, but I also would think twice about buying a Panasonic product because they also use a third party EPG service from Gemstar/Rovi rather than the UK standard EPG data. Perhaps the fact that many of these products also have adverts in their EPG to subsidise the services helps them be self funding after the manufacturer quits? But I am not privy to their contracts. Perhaps TiVO UK's business could be purchased by someone else who could operate the service for consumers, but that may not suit the TiVO brand strategy and wouldn't inspire people to take up Virgin.
Well I know how they feel because I am about to ditch a perfectly good HDD recorder, when it becomes completely useless after the digital switchover. I also need to shell out for an aerial/dish.
All so I can watch such delights as BBC3.
I am sure there are far more people left out of pocket by the digital switch than there are owners of 9 yo TiVos. It doesn't owe you anything, you are lucky it kept working for so long.
The S1 TiVo is still superior in many ways to a lot of current PVR's and is a brilliant device. Which is why it will be a sad day for the surprisingly large number of remaining S1 TiVo owners who cannot access VirginMedia's service and are having their perfectly serviceable devices forcibly junked.
Many of the S1 owners were happily paying a subscription for the service and are not looking for a free ride.
A cautionary tale for owners of the new Virgin TiVo's perhaps, what is the shelf life of the new TiVo?
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I got one of the first Tivos in the UK - within a few weeks of introduction. It did exactly what I wanted then and still does now. I had spent some time and money trying to cobble together a PC and tuner-based alternative to a VCR, which plainly didn't work.
I have upgraded the disk from 40GB to 400; I'm on my third handset.
I never watch TV live. Even if there's a program I want to watch I'll let the Tivo get about 10 minutes ahead, so I don't have to sit through the adverts.
I paid my £10/month to Tivo and then Sky for 10 years. I was convinced the £300 (?) one-time fee was not the best deal as there was bound to be something faster/better/cheaper along in less than two years. There wasn't.
Yes, it would be nice if it would carry on forever, but whining about it isn't going to help. And I for one am not going to Virgin or Sky - the content available on Freeserve is more than enough for me, I just want a Tivo service to record it for me so I can watch what I want when I want.
So the ugly great big silver box is going in the bin, I suppose.
I'm gutted over this to be honest.
The treatment from TiVo is shoddy to say the least, as soon as a new boy hits town - bang you're dead!
VM special offer was the box for £149 and £3pm extra for the service.
Absolute pants when S1 is still supported in other countries
(Wishes she could put 3 thumbs down for this!)
The original offering was not only through Sky and many people purchased their TiVo from Currys or Dixons without having any connection to Sky. The TiVo service works well with FreeView and the only alternative offering to current Series1 owners is to pay Virgin Media £149 (assuming they pre-register) for a box they do not own along with a monthly subscription of £34.50 per month (£414.00 per annum). It is not the fault of loyal TiVo owners that TiVo poorly marketed their offering 10 years ago and decided to pull out of the UK only to come back with a supplier that does not have blanket UK coverage. The comment that TIVO have not been billing people since November 2010 is somewhat erroneous as many people purchased a lifetime subscription to the service. The TiVo Series1 is still the best PVR offering in the UK, bearing in mind Virgin are not yet shipping their offering. YES we have a right to complain.
I have a 2nd gen TiVo box, and have been paying $12.95 a month for the service for nearly 5 years now. They've been hammering me with emails to get me to upgrade, but I'm not too interested (I probably should be interested but find that I am watching less and less "TV").
I completely understand why they're trying to get people to upgrade and/or lock in to another service plan. But if they pushed me to make a move, it would probably be to abandon the TiVo altogether, not to upgrade. I guess in this case if they are not billing subscribers then they really have nothing to lose. 9 years seems like they've been generous with support.
I think this shows a basic misunderstanding by TiVo of the UK market.
TiVo US clearly doesn't understand that cable in the UK is not universally available, unlike in the US. Getting a new TiVo is not an option. I wish it were. I'd happily pay for a dual-tuner Freeview HD TiVo, and so, I suspect, would the majority of existing Series 1 owners.
For those of you that use a Sky+ or Sky HD box, the TiVo infterface is SO much better! A sky box is like a TiVo with a lobotomy.
That's why there are loads of people, like me, who still keep their series one machines running.
IF we could upgrade we would, but the only new model is a cable only device and I'm not in a cabled area. Nor, according to Virgin Media, am I ever likely to be. (Yes I live in the far-far-away, remote wilds of, erm, London. Zone 2.)
Without the subscription servce my tivo, and everyone else's in the UK, will become large silver doorstops.
We love our TiVos because they are BETTER. By taking the service away and not replacing it will sour the whole TiVo experience.
I think this is precisely the sort of crap that caused me to dump Tivo for MythTV.
Users are charged a pretty penny for guide data. The least they could do is allow older devices to keep on using it. It's not like they were ever giving this stuff out for free or even at a reasonable cost.
This is a shame, TiVo have provided the EPG data for the last 10 years (I have been surprised that they have supported their users for so long) then they do a deal which means that they will have to continue producing the EPG data but now won't make it available for their most loyal customers.
Shame on Virgin Media for forcing their hand and dumping their long standing customers.
I can't say I blame TiVo. I'm sure that when they stopped selling them 8-9 years ago it was estimated that there were something like 30,000 of them sold so there can't be that many around still...
I've been expecting either the service to end or my TiVo to die for a few years now.
Perhaps I'd be less accepting if I didn't already have Virgin TV so have an upgrade path but if they hadn't made this new cable only TiVo it's not like there would have been an alternative replacement.
Anyway, I expect outrage on here too :-)
Well, if it ain't bust, don't fix it.
The fact that TiVo didn't charge any subs is a red herring. They knew that Virgin's cable footprint was poor yet they went ahead. Several people offered to support the service for those users who were not on the cable footprint but TiVo Inc ignored them.
Who's to say that after a couple of years, TiVo don't decide to dump all their support for the VirginMedia tie-up?
Thats fine for the people who were paying monthly, but back in the day they happily sold 'lifetime' subscriptions to their TV guide, without which it becomes pretty useless. Surely the cost of servicing however few old boxes are out there would be worth its return in good PR?
I have (mostly) switched to Sky+ purely because of the dual tuner, but even now compared to the TiVo interface its still sluggish as hell and nowhere near as user friendly.
Still, I am sure there will be third party options available to fill the void - never underestimate the geek, for they will inherit the world!
The Virgin Tivo boxes are shipping to Tivo users who were offered them through their current Tivos.
Still waiting to hear from Virgin after i expressed an interest although my Tivo was boxed up last year when i moved to a V+HD box. Can't wait to get back to having a Tivo again.
I can understand why Tivo users wouldn't be happy though, if you're not in a cable area your only choice is to go Sky+ or Freeview.
Any anyone who's used Tivo knows anything else seems like a step backwards in usability...
...as the lifetime of the TiVo hardware for which the subscription was purchased. So, if you sold your TiVo, the service went with it, and if the TiVo recorder failed outside of the hardware warranty period, you had to get it repaired, or buy a new TiVo recorder and subscription.
So, since my TiVo recorder with lifetime subscription is still working fine, why shouldn't I expect the service to continue too?
Of course, I don't expect them to still be serving the EPG service in 2035 when a grand total of seven UK series 1 TiVos are still working or suchlike, but, I do expect them to compensate any user whom they are breaking their contract for.
I moved to NZ nearly four years back and brought my Uk Thomson TiVo S1 with me because I knew there was a group over here that had hacked up install images and EPG services since TiVo wasn't officially available here at the time. OZTiVo if you're interested. Anyway, suitably hacked and hooked up to an EPG run off XML scraping scripts and my TiVo almost works like it did in the UK. Some features aren't there such as onl recording one showing of a particular episode but we deal with it.
I have since bought one of the cheap Freeview TiVos they have been offering which has dual HD tuners and no subscription but I've kept my hacked S1 to run off our Sky Digital box since the new TiVo has no analogue inputs. Even so, we've now got three TiVo tuners and plenty of HD so don't have to miss anything or watch ads. MySky (equivalent to Sky+) sucks.
TiVo should release software so that people can connect an old personal computer to the old box - say an old Pentium II or III knocking about - install Linux and this software, and it provides to the box the same service that TiVo would provide.
That way, TiVo doesn't have to keep providing services to the box, but users can manually input program guides - and if there are enough TiVo users in a given area, even share them with each other.
It it had been "certainly" instead of "may" manually record new programs, I would have been less concerned.
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.
Lifetime meant for the lifetime of the unit. TiVo went to great lengths to explain this in their contract. So anyone with a working unit with a lifetime subscription attached is being fleeced here. TiVo have illegally broken the contract and should either refund the full subscription or face a class action lawsuit.
Should old-style TiVo users really complain about losing a service to a box that's now at least nine years old?
I wouldn't be complaining if I had any option to upgrade to the new Virgin TiVo; in fact, I'd be ecstatic (despite the hefty cost). But I'm not in a cable area, so TiVo are just abandoning me. And I'm not complaining about them pulling the plug on my machine's "lifetime" service; I feel that I've had great VFM for my £200 sub (way better than the tenner a month subscribers), and would be willing to make further payment(s) to keep the EPG service going. I'm just complaining because I'm gutted at the thought of losing a treasured possession (as sad as that might sound to some). Even after 9 years, I still find it a delight and pleasure to use. If it wasn't for the glimmer of hope from the TiVo hackers, I'd be inconsolable right now.
If TiVo get away with this, especially for those of us that have lifetime subscriptions, then expect that the general practice of cloud service providers will be regularly to change their terms and conditions to force users to upgrade to ever more expensive and disadvantageous packages - or find themselves cut off completely.
We do not have Virgin (or any other) cable in our area. So TiVo and Virgin present us with a non-option. And that will make us FAR less likely ever to consider signing up to Virgin, should it ever come our way.
Perhaps the TiVo and Virgin "Corporate Responsibility" people would like to consider the impact of forcing users to trash perfectly good working Series 1 TiVos. Ah no, I forgot, corporate responsibility is only for shareholders, senior management and investment bankers.
I cannot believe this news. I have had a TiVo since it first appeared in the UK, I think in 1999/2000. I purchased the hardware with a Lifetime Subscription. Indeed I was a beta software tester for them at one point. Lifetime means 'Lifetime', the life of the product, surely? Not an arbitory length of time that a company comes up with? I still have the original hardware! It still works! I do not live in a cabled area anyway, so no upgrade path is available to me. TiVo have really screwed up on this. We are extremely loyal customers. (Or we were.) It is by far the best PVR, and most reliable piece of kit I have ever owned. We should post on every available forum on the Internet to tell as much people about this as possible, and really drag TiVo through the mud. Maybe, just maybe they will reverse this decision. Talk about alienate your customer base in one fail swoop.
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
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:
The user base for a product that they stopped selling 9 years ago is tiny. The cost of dealing with VM's exclusivity deal and having to maintain the system that delivers guide data for a defunct product is likely in excess of the potential fees from taking them to court (and the only people who have anything to complain about are those on lifetime subs).
They can basically stick two fingers up to the lot of them and take whatever hit comes to them.
Though frankly I think courts will rule in their favour. No definition of "lifetime" for a service tied to the box on a discontinued, out of warranty product can ever really mean your lifetime. Consumer law allows for the expectation of a product and related service to work for a typical product lifetime and it's beyond that now.
It's sad to see the old beloved TiVo go, but I just feel you're lucky to have had it this far. I expected them to pull the plug way earlier than they have.
If you really want your old clunky TiVos to continue I think you should concentrate on petitioning TiVo to do a final firmware update that makes the system open so people can legally set up a free guide service.
Oh dear. Lets deal with this point by point shall we (abbreviated for readability):
>>The user base for a product that they stopped selling 9 years ago ....<<
Not interested in taking them to court for money (or really at all personally), we want the service we were promised. Also its not jsut lifetimers, monthly subs were still being used until they went 'free' a few months back (obviously a precursor to what they had planned for the system as a whole).
>>They can basically stick two fingers up to the lot of them ...<<
Indeed, not a basis for leaving it unchallenged though is it?
>>Though frankly I think courts will rule ... Consumer law allows for the expectation of a product and related service to work for a typical product lifetime and it's beyond that now.<<
'beyond that lifetime' by whose definition? The massive amount of them still working, many without any additional repairs or upgrades (of which mine is one) defeats that argument. also if it was advertised as 'lifetime' I think we have an argument for mis-selling at least, regarldess of their get-out clauses.
>>It's sad to see the old beloved TiVo go, but I just feel you're lucky to have had it this far...<<
Errrr ... lucky?? To have had a service paid for advertised under the guise of 'lifetime' (for those of us on it). I think not.
>>If you really want your old clunky TiVos to continue I think you should concentrate on petitioning TiVo to do a final firmware update that makes the system open so people can legally set up a free guide service<<
And if you had read the petition you would see that this is one of the requested possible options.
So it seems you haven't really read any of the things you are trying to discredit.
So tivo finally cut s1 users loose in the UK. had to happen eventually, but is it fair? Many of us took tivo on board in the early days. 3 members of my family including me as an ectra all use tivo s1. we never got options to get a series 2 or later, so the thomson box was our only option. I have replaced 2 of the boxes that failed (one last year at top dollar) and now it is to be killed because virgin have now got their hands on tivo. I am hugely disappointed, as are the family (my pensioner parents especially who have no desire to go to vm or even sky). So the tivo box under our sky box is about to die at the hands of the corporate giant that has little or no regard for us who use it. Personally, I see this as an insult to those who knot only carried on with tivo for all these years, but we were also those who still carried the flag by saying how good it was, Now the time is coming for it to end I am looking for anything that isnt virgin media or tivo linked as between the 2 of them they have shafted the loyal UK tivo community. Not one penny shall go to them from this debacle. It will not affect them in any way as they will succeed with the new VM/Tivo partnership, but at least I know my money will be going on a nice new HD freeview recorder and so too will the family members. They lost the goodwill of all of us with the message that new is the only way for tivo and old is dead as of june. A real shame that tivo feel so little for their old user base.
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