Goodbye, TiVo

Alas, my favorite toy may be in the process of betraying me:

As this Flicker
photo reveals, Tivo appears that they are ready to "completely
disregard the Betamax ruling to bend over backwards for TV studios to
enforce an arbitrary length to my legal right to fair use."


There’s a robusrt discussion on this at PVR Blog.

This was not what I paid a lifetime fee for, and if it comes to pass, you can imagine there will be class action litigation.

UPDATE Septmber 25, 2005 2:51pm

More on this here

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. royce commented on Sep 20

    You’re right on this one. They already face competition from cheaper cable company-supplied DVRs which have less functionality and a poor interface, so Tivo can’t afford to piss off its existing user base.

  2. John commented on Sep 20

    You do have the option of getting a Replay which has almost the exact same functionality without the big brother games Tivo plays. I’ve been more than happy with mine since they first came out, plus you don’t have to put up with that perky Tivo logo dude. -grin-

  3. Kent commented on Sep 20

    Sh**T, Sh**t, Sh**t

    I have that expensive DirecTV HD Tivo machine and it’s great. But if they are going to pull this crap I’ll be looking for alternatives.

    I actually don’t keep movies for that long so it won’t really affect my lifestyle. But it’s the principle of it.

  4. charles commented on Sep 20

    As someone always mentions when this topic comes up, it’s time to start looking at building your own MythTV box. It’s a TiVo-like software program for Linux that is open-source, with support for downloading program schedules, remotes, and all that jazz. You can also buy them pre-built from third parties if building it yourself is beyond your expertise.

  5. MegaZone commented on Sep 20

    And, if you read the mutliple entries and comments at PVRBlog, and just about every other DVR related blog, forum, etc, out there, you’ll see this is part of the Macrovision license requirements that not only TiVo, but also ReplayTV, the cable company DVRs, etc, all agree to and support. So don’t be smug about owning ReplyTV – they signed the new license a year BEFORE TiVo did, back in 2003. TiVo announced this over a year ago, in 2004. This isn’t new. Macrovision is pervasive, it is in pretty much every commercial recording device out there, and supporting these flags is mandatory under the license. Even some PC video hardware has built in Macrovision detection.

    Additionally, this was an error. TiVo is looking into it and there is no reason to freak out. Not only shouldn’t the flags be seen on broadcast content, it is illegal for stations to use them. So this won’t be common.

    All in all, it isn’t anything to get worked up about. The general pervasiveness of Macrovision and copy protection systems in general, perhaps, but this particular incident is just a glitch.

  6. charles commented on Sep 20


    Why are the glitches coming up now? The screenshot posted here is different from other ones I have seen posted elsewhere. (Lauren Bacall vs. King of the Hill when it was initially posted to slashdot). It seems to me that avoiding false positives would be paramount to avoiding customer backlash, and they seem to be failing in that regard. Why implement a protection scheme, mandatory though it is, that does nothing but piss your customers off when it’s not ready for prime time? I know I had considered purchasing a TiVo, but will never do so now, thanks to these “glitches”.

  7. Movie Guy commented on Sep 22

    You wasted your money on a TiVo? Bummer…

    A few tech friends raised similar concerns a couple of years ago. And I agreed.

    Bought a Sony DVD recorder instead.

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