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Television Media

Tivo 2 Features On the Horizon 310

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the boop-beep-ding dept.
Lemuel writes "Tivo has finally pre-announced its music and photo pictures for the Tivo 2. Users will be able to play MP3s and view photos that come from their computer. It will also be possible to program the Tivo via a web site. An official announcement is due in January. There will be revenue associated with these items. Only the remote programming sounds interesting to me, but I'm glad for anything that would keep Tivo afloat."
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Tivo 2 Features On the Horizon

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:10AM (#4878025)
    Due to pressure from the MPAA, they're dropping the program recording capability.
  • Revenue? (Score:2, Funny)

    by jesser (77961)
    There will be revenue associated with these items.

    You mean fees?
  • Meanwhile (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by sheepab (461960)
    I have the freedom of recording whatever I want on my pc with my video capture card, without paying a fee, and without my viewing habits being tracked. I wonder what kind of nasty stuff they have cooked up in this Tivo 2 of theirs....
    • by Trane Francks (10459) <trane@gol.com> on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:18AM (#4878074) Homepage
      and without my viewing habits being tracked
      This is something that I've been puzzling over. Since we have cable-modem technology, what's to stop a cable tuner from calling home and reporting to the cable operator what channel you're viewing at any given moment? I'm not saying that this is actually being done, but I can think of no reason why such a thing couldn't be implemented. And if I were a cable operator, this would certainly be the sort of information that I'd be very, very interested in seeing.
      • It is there - since the digial set boxes have to call in for pay-per-view and some have to get the programming downloaded via the call - just like TiVo.

        Tell them to stuff the box, and hook-up the cable directly!

        I personally only watch TV with a Tin-Foil Hat. That why they can see what I thinking.
        • Some cable providers, like one in my area (Eastern Connecticut Cable), require an addressable cable box to watch channels above and beyond their basic package. Channels like SciFi and Discovery are in this "Expanded" package. They also require a cable box for the "Premium" channels, like Showtime, Starz, HBO.

          So you can't just plug your Tivo into their line and expect it to be able to watch those channels... you have to output the cable box to the Tivo which in turn outputs to TV, and use an IR blaster to change channels. If you go with a direct cable into Tivo, all channels except the basic ones (which is usually the local network feeds) show as scrambled.

          I use Sattelite feed, which, without a DirecTivo, requires a set-top box of it's own to get anything...

      • It wouldn't suprise me. However, I don't believe they can tell specifically who is wathcing what, just how many are watching. While not as valuable as demographic information, "How many people saw this" is still worth quite a lot.
      • The main problem being able to tell if a) The TV is actually on, and b) If someone is in the room. If I leave CSPAN on the cable box, turn off the TV, and leave for christmas break, that does not mean I've been watching CSPAN for a week. Aside from that, I don't see much trouble.
        • My cable co. does the tracking, and I deliberately confuse them as much as possible. Put on shopping channels etc (stuff I don't watch) when I'm not about, that kind of thing.

          It's a bit like the idea of swapping store loyalty cards with people. Mother of five suddenly starts buying microwave dinners and beer. It's my Bill Hicks driven, hatred of marketing types that does it!

      • Tracking such as your describing already is implemented.

        All the advanced digital settops have the ability to "phone home" with viewer habits when installed on two-way cable systems, or installed with a telco return. Thus, unless you have one-way cable and you didn't hook up a phone line to your cable box, your viewing habits are probably being tracked.

        As far as anonymity goes, there isn't any. The boxes send their unique ids back to the headend along with the saved data, so the cable company can identify exactly who is watching what, when.

        Isn't digital technology great?

    • Re:Meanwhile (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wdr1 (31310) <wdr1@pobox.TWAINcom minus author> on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:19AM (#4878079) Homepage Journal
      I thought about going that route. However, there's a few things missing:

      1) I don't want to watch TV on my monitor. My TV is nicer. My TV is in front of the couch. My TV has a better picture. My TV has sound through my stero.

      2) Season Passes. To be honest, I don't know when half of what I watch is one. I just look at at my Tivo list & watch one of them.

      3) Searching by category. Everyone so often, I like to go look at say, all the movies, coming up & Tivo the ones I've wanted to see.

      4) The interface. Any way you cut it, Tivo did a great job here.

      Viva La Tivolution!
      -Bill
      • Re:Meanwhile (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mcowger (456754)
        Actually, snapstream [snapstream.com] has all the features you mention...TV output, Season Passes (incl all or just new epsiodes) category search, and a pretty damn good TV full screen interface. That and it does streaming too over the web. Unfortunately, its windows & WMP only at the moment (DivX is on alpha)...but still a neat product. Not affiliated, just a happy customer.
      • Re:Meanwhile (Score:2, Informative)

        by shepd (155729)
        >My TV has a better picture.

        Say what now? [sourceforge.net]

        >Season Passes.

        If only it were Europe and we had standard DVB stuff, instead of the duopoly in non-standard Satellite TV we currently have. It would make viewing TV on your computer a pleasure, and you could buy any channel you want, not some moronic package that makes you buy a wildlife channel because you want TLC.

        >Searching by category. Everyone so often, I like to go look at say, all the movies, coming up & Tivo the ones I've wanted to see.

        Again, this is really more the result of the duopolistic control of satellite TV (soon to be monopolostic in America, unfortunately) rather than something that's actually impossible. You can also put some of the blame on Canada for our inane CRTC.

        >The interface. Any way you cut it, Tivo did a great job here.

        This is true. Although there are Tivo-alike projects out there (running on Linux!), however, the ones with Tivo-style features are for DVB. Some of them approach many Tivo features, I'm told.

        Here's one [cadsoft.de] of the projects. Here's [freshmeat.net] some that'll work minus the DVB (I think).

        If you want to go ahead and give DVB a try, there's some free programming on Telstar 5, but I doubt it'll be anything like what you get on DirecTV.
    • Re:Meanwhile (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Keeper (56691) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:30AM (#4878147)
      TiVo is very open about what kind of data they collect (data which is not linked to specific users), and provide an easy way to opt out of that collection process.

      The fact that you can record video on a pc means nothing to me -- a Tivo is nothing but a really low end computer running linux -- but you don't get a Tivo just to record tv. Saying "my computer with a video capture card does the same thing" is like saying that "my ford escort is just as good for a 2000 mile treck across the country as luxury sedan". They both get the job done. One is just a hell of a lot nicer than the other.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:34AM (#4878163)
      I WANT them to track my viewing habits. It's like voting for your favorite show. And if they want TiVo to record show that follow my habits, more power to them. Anything to reduce the "Friends" ratio can't be bad.

      And for watching TV on my PC, I think I'd much rather sit in my Lazy Boy, with my feet up, looking at a 35" screen and not having the sound drowned out by CPU fans.
    • Re:Meanwhile (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tswinzig (210999) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:41AM (#4878201) Journal
      I have the freedom of recording whatever I want on my pc with my video capture card

      Yes, you do. On the contrary, I have the freedom to enjoy using my extremely user-friendly, feature-filled TiVo. Of giving programs thumbs-up and having it record similar programs. Of easily setting up Season Passes for all my favorite shows. For setting up wishlists based on favorite actors, directors, and keywords, and having any matching programs automatically record. And this all comes in a nice-looking black box that blends in with the rest of my home stereo equipment.

      without paying a fee

      I don't "pay a fee." That implies I'm getting nothing in return. I buy a service. I could also fork out $250 and get that service for the lifetime of my TiVo. If you had a TiVo, you wouldn't be complaining about $15 a month. I'd pay 2-3x that for what TiVo does.

      without my viewing habits being tracked

      This is the worst mud you can come up with to sling at TiVo?

      Yes, horrors, TiVo aggregately tracks your viewing habits. I like this. I would prefer future content be tailored to what I like to watch. I like the idea that maybe my viewing preference information will make its way back to the bigwigs... maybe more West Wings, and Sopranos, and Six Feet Unders, and Andy Richters will show up on TV then!

      I wonder what kind of nasty stuff they have cooked up in this Tivo 2 of theirs....

      Sigh... You're the stereotypical slashdotter. I bet you get all hot and bothered with every "Your Rights Online" post they make here, don't you?

      I am willing to trade a little meaningless privacy for a lot of added value.

      Yes, that's right, it is MEANINGLESS to me if "they" know what I watch on TV! If I want to watch something deviant, I'll buy it on DVD like the rest of the world.
      • It should be noted that you can opt-out of any data mining whatsoever as well. I leave mine on though, I want tivo to know I love firefly!
    • Repeat: The Tivo is not just a VCR. The Tivo is not just a VCR. The Mac is not a typewriter. The Tivo is not just a VCR.
    • I wonder what kind of nasty stuff they have cooked up in this Tivo 2 of theirs....

      Hey, look ma! It's slander.

      Unless, of course, you can prove it. Which you can't, because there is no "nasty stuff".
  • But can you... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by swg101 (571879) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:13AM (#4878055)
    move files onto the computer for archiving/storage? The article talks about playing mp3's/video from the computer as well as "home networking", but there are no real details. Any other info?
  • by painehope (580569) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:16AM (#4878067)
    int sexualStatus ( char *sexuality ) {
    if ( (strcmp(sexuality,"I'm not gay goddamnit")) == 0 ) {
    recommendGayPorn();
    fputs("Sorry, Dave, we think you're gay", stdout);
    } else {
    recommendGayPorn();
    return 1;
    }
  • by bastardman (631862) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:16AM (#4878068) Journal
    Tivo is evil. It allows me to record programs on tv while I'm away from home. It controls my life when I am at home. I swear to God the thing watchs me sleep at night as well... probably records it too. Who's been watching those videos? Because it isn't me...

    Back to wearing my tin foil jump suit
  • by rhodesbe (614799) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:18AM (#4878075)
    We wanted to announce that we are gonna say this at a later date. Oh wait! Crap!

    • A "pre-announcement" is marketspeak for a deliberate leak. i.e. the Tivo people have not yet given a press release/conference on the topic (officially announcing it) but they have chosen to leak it to the press in an unofficial capacity.

      Now - can anyone tell me how it is that they're still losing money with half a million *paying* customers? That's, like, serious cashflow.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:45AM (#4878223)
        Now - can anyone tell me how it is that they're still losing money with half a million *paying* customers?

        You're not even counting the fact that Tivo owns the patents for practically everything PVR-related that is patentable, and is licensing them to it's few competitors...

        Unless PVRs aren't nearly as popular as it would seem, I'm not sure how a company that controls so much of it's market (either directly or through patents) can still be losing money.

        • I wouldn't use Slashdot as a measure of the popularity of Tivo. Go to your non-techie relatives and mention Tivo in conversation... I tried this and got a mixture of:

          'What's that?'
          'Isn't that the thing that forces videos things you didn't ask for?'
          'I've already got a VCR'

          Absolutely *nobody* had any interest in buying one.

          Even the salesmen know nothing about them - they have been witnessed pulling off the front panel trying to insert a VHS tape then telling the customer 'it must be broken I can't get the tape in'

          This is partly why Tivo pulled out of the UK - no market over there. In the US you can keep a company ticking over with just the scraps as it's a very large consumer base.

    • I've been puzzling over how you can "pre-board" an airplane. Board before you board?

      Of course they use the term "de-plane-ing" (not even sure how you would spell that) to mean disembarking from the plane so who knows what they're thinking...

      (And for you logic nazi's, I do get it. I just think it's stupid)
      • I believe you were attempting George Carlin's joke, but you're missing that well articulated, and enlightening comment, such as "pre-suck my genital situation!" that Carlin brings to any discussion:

        "Anyway, it's part of this boarding process, they say, "We would like to pre-board." Well, what exactly is that anyway? What does it mean to pre-board? To get on before you get on?

        That's another complaint of mine. Too much use of this prefix "pre". It's all over the language now. Pre-this, pre-that. "Place the turkey in a pre-heated oven." It's ridiculous. There are only two states an oven can possibly exist in: heated or unheated. Pre-heated is a meaningless, fucking term.

        It's like pre-recorded. "This program was pre-recorded." Well, of course it was pre-recorded. When else are you gonna record it, afterwards? That's the whole purpose of recording, to do it beforehand. Otherwise it doesn't really work, does it!

        Pre-existing, pre-planning, pre-screening. You know what I tell these people? Pre-suck my genital situation! And they seem to understand what I'm talking about. "



        -Alias
  • It doesn't look like they've allowed for updated Tivo over broadband yet. I dropped my land line for a cell phone and broadband (had the cellphone already anyway). Tivo looks great, but is un-usable.
    • For your Tivo 1: http://www.9thtee.com/turbonet.htm [9thtee.com]

      And your Tivo 2 can simply use one of many compatible USB ethernet adapters (support built-in to the Tivo "OS" albeit "unofficially").
    • by tswinzig (210999) on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:17AM (#4878350) Journal
      It doesn't look like they've allowed for updated Tivo over broadband yet. I dropped my land line for a cell phone and broadband (had the cellphone already anyway). Tivo looks great, but is un-usable.

      This is like the 5th highly rated comment in this article that is just plain wrong.

      If you have a standalone TiVo (series 1), you can buy cards that fit in your TiVo and give you an ethernet port. Or you can buy the AirTivo device, and have WiFi connection instead!

      If you have a standalone Series 2 TiVo, you can buy a USB device that plugs into the port and gives you an ethernet port. You could also buy a wireless AP and connect it to this port to give you wireless connectivity as well.

      In either case, if you bought compatible hardware, you simply punch in a special code instead of a dialup phone number into the TiVo menu, and your TiVo will use your existing LAN connection to the net to download all its data each night. No software hacking required.

      The TiVo forums refer to this as "broadband un-support," because while it works great in the TiVo, it is not yet officially supported.

      I've used it for well over a year now, back when you used to have to muck with the software to get it to work.

      Visit 9thtee [9thtee.com] for the necessary addons.
  • Really? (Score:5, Funny)

    by danheskett (178529) <danheskett@NoSPAm.gmail.com> on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:26AM (#4878112)
    but I'm glad for anything that would keep Tivo afloat

    Okay, but that whole "miscellenous afloat charge" on your bill might be worrisome after the 3-4th time.
  • by shird (566377) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:26AM (#4878115) Homepage Journal
    Andrew Tridgell's notes on hacking the TiVo [merlins.org], including his various hacks [anu.edu.au] for the device. Also, TiVo hacking FAQ [tivofaq.com] may be of interest.
    • From the Linked FAQ...

      Can I hack my TiVo so I don't need a TiVo subscription?

      NO NO NO. This is something that will NOT be explored. TiVo has been very gracious in not coming down on all this hacking described in this FAQ and we will do nothing to harm that. Nothing will be looked at to get around the subscription service so don't ask! Regardless your TiVo will function as a VCR already with manual record mode.

      Awww... What thoughtful and caring "hackers" these people are! it fills my heart with warm gooey liquid joy to know that they teach you how to modify for some personal, quasi-legal gains, but not others.
      • by Keith Russell (4440) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {llessur.htiek}> on Friday December 13, 2002 @09:55AM (#4880376) Journal
        ...they teach you how to modify for some personal, quasi-legal gains, but not others.

        It's a simple distinction, really. Subscriptions are a source of revenue for TiVo.

        Compare this to hard drive expansion mods, for example. If an OEM offered a unit with an expansion bay for a pre-blessed hard drive, such hacks would be frowned upon. (Of course, we wouldn't need that hack anymore.) But that's not the case. AFAIK, nobody is selling different capacities for the same model. The marginal cost of producing two models with different sized hard drives is greater than the cost of a single model. It's cheaper for OEMs to find the price-capacity sweet spot.

        The Average Joe isn't concerned with expanding his TiVo's capacity. And if he does get interested, he'll see that the process is more "bike without instructions on Christmas Eve" than "plug it into the wall and turn it on". It's the Power User who wants more capacity. He's savvy enough to know that expanding a single box is the best option. Sure, the accountants would like you to buy a second box. Connecting and managing another unit, however, is sub-optimal compared to hacking a single unit by stuffing in two Drivezillas. It's not a lost sale, since anyone skilled enough to expand their TiVo successfully is smart enough to not buy two TiVos in the first place. Hopefully, they're also smart enough to not put two rattlesnake-loud 7200 rpm drives in a case designed for a single, quiet 5400 rpm drive without providing more airflow and sound baffling. :-)

        Thus, we have the current Gentlemen's Agreement: Circumventing the subscription service hurts TiVo and, by extension, TiVo's user base, and is therefore taboo. As long as the hack doesn't impact the bottom line, however, TiVo won't try to stop it.

  • by sk3tch (165010) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:28AM (#4878136) Homepage
    http://tivo.lightn.org/ [lightn.org]

    No add'l streams of revenue off us Tivo 1-model hackers. Heh heh heh. :)

    Yeah...we can't view photos (boo hoo) and listen to MP3s (Apex DVD player anyone?) but we can extract shows, FTP, telnet, etc. into our Tivos...

    Wonder if Tivo will now be disabling this "ability" with a new round of hacker "thwarts"?
  • Story != Tivo 2 (Score:3, Informative)

    by aardwolf64 (160070) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:29AM (#4878141) Homepage
    The second generation TiVo has been around for quite some time (months even), and it does not have broadband support. Unless they'll be selling hardware upgrades (which is doubtful considering the warranty situation), you'll probably have to get a third generation TiVo.

    Of course, that's not to stop you from getting the Turbonet Ethernet Adapter Board [9thtee.com] for your TiVo from The 9th Tee [9thtee.com].
    • Re:Story != Tivo 2 (Score:5, Informative)

      by tswinzig (210999) on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:01AM (#4878291) Journal
      The second generation TiVo has been around for quite some time (months even), and it does not have broadband support. Unless they'll be selling hardware upgrades (which is doubtful considering the warranty situation), you'll probably have to get a third generation TiVo.

      Wrong. TiVo 2 comes with USB ports. These are meant for addons. There are plenty of USB-Ethernet solutions available. In fact, TiVo 2 comes with (albeit somewhat hidden) support for these devices already. You can change your telephone dialup # to a special code, and TiVo will use the USB/Ethernet connection to download program guide data and system updates (and to update the clock).

      Presumably these new addons would utilize this broadband over USB technology.

      Of course, that's not to stop you from getting the Turbonet Ethernet Adapter Board [9thtee.com] for your TiVo from The 9th Tee [9thtee.com].

      It's amazing that you linked to 9th tee's turbonet product, and yet completely missed the USB/Ethernet stuff [9thtee.com] I was just talking about for TiVo 2's.
  • TiVo already has full motion video. i thought the trend went: text -> pictures and music -> video.
  • Sarcasm aside, it has to be said that there are better uses for a television, especially the home-theater setups many Tivo users prefer, than as a slideshow screen or jukebox.

    I refer of course to using the television as a medium for viewing video clips saved in formats such as wmv, mpeg, divx, avi, etc. If users could transfer porn^H^H^H^H educational videos and the like directly to the Tivo box from their computers, it would be a great increase in convenience, and might just be the app that secures in the customer bade Tivo needs.

  • by no_such_user (196771) <jd-slashdot-2007 ... llday.com minus > on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:43AM (#4878215)
    I've been a Tivo subscriber for 2.5 years now, and while I love my Tivo (Series 1, 90+ hours), $13 a month is starting to get old. I don't understand who would be willing to spend yet more to play music and view pictures.

    Really, there are too many things competing for a consumer's monthy share of the paycheck. There's cable/satellite. Cell phone. Bill payment service. Bank fees. The ISP. Tivo. Gym membership. Subscriptions to various web sites. And it's been said that the world's favorite operating system and supporting programs will be billed monthly in the not-too-distant future. With an economy in not-top-shape (here in the US, anyway) and the unemployment rate rising, who can afford to pay for all these monthly services?

    As for increasing my $13/month to Tivo for new services... I'd consider a one-time charge to add software to it, similar to when I install an application onto my PC. But not a monthly billed increase.
    • by tswinzig (210999) on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:40AM (#4878416) Journal
      I've been a Tivo subscriber for 2.5 years now, and while I love my Tivo (Series 1, 90+ hours), $13 a month is starting to get old.

      FWIW, if you had bought the lifetime service, you would have already saved over $100 in monthly fees, and pay nothing else going forward.

      Really, there are too many things competing for a consumer's monthy share of the paycheck.

      Competing, yes. The nature of capitalism. TiVo will find out if this idea works, and adjust it (or fail) if not.

      And it's been said that the world's favorite operating system and supporting programs will be billed monthly in the not-too-distant future.

      The idea being that you would pay less for it up-front, with a running monthly fee for the ability to use the latest version. Not that you would continue to pay $300 for Office, and a monthly service fee ON TOP of that.

      With an economy in not-top-shape (here in the US, anyway) and the unemployment rate rising, who can afford to pay for all these monthly services?

      The rich can afford to pay for ALL these monthly services. But you and I will have to pick and choose which monthly services we want. TiVo will be vying for your dollars along with everyone else.

      As for increasing my $13/month to Tivo for new services... I'd consider a one-time charge to add software to it, similar to when I install an application onto my PC. But not a monthly billed increase.

      Strange that you say that, when your past actions don't indicate that you really feel that way. You could have purchased the lifetime service from TiVo, and saved money already. Yet you pay the monthly fee.

      • As for increasing my $13/month to Tivo for new services... I'd consider a one-time charge to add software to it, similar to when I install an application onto my PC. But not a monthly billed increase.


        Strange that you say that, when your past actions don't indicate that you really feel that way. You could have purchased the lifetime service from TiVo, and saved money already. Yet you pay the monthly fee.



        Strange? That's not how I see it. Two and a half years ago, nobody knew if this Tivo thing would work out.

        Anyway, I feel that paying a monthly fee for updated TV listings and system software is worth more to me than paying monthly to access my own photos and music. Once Tivo stops deploying new software for my 1st gen unit, the current $13 fee will be less justified (and I will seek out another, perhaps competing, PVR).

        At this point, I'm not about to go for the lifetime subscription. There's a growing chance my aging Tivo will bite it sooner rather than later... or that someone else will come along with something better.
      • > FWIW, if you had bought the lifetime service, you would have already saved over $100 in monthly fees

        Whey I bought my Series 1 SA, they were going for $399. Given the hard time I had convincing the wife that we really needed this, there's no way I would have gotten away with spending another $200 on top of that. And if you claim $600 for yet another TVA appendage is nothing, you're either not married or not in my (and most people's here) social bracket, so we have little to discuss either way.
        • Hrm... well when my GF (now wife) moved in I had a TiVo. She didn't know what it was, and thought it was just a toy.

          About a month later we went out and bought a second one, with lifetime service.

          And no, I doubt I'm in a different social bracket than you. But I do know when it makes sense to do a capital outlay upfront.
          • > She didn't know what it was, and thought it was just a toy.
            > About a month later we went out and bought a second one, with lifetime service.

            It's funny how wifes are that way. My wife now curses anytime she has to watch TV without TiVo (like downstairs or away from home), and yet I had to twist her arm to get it. But that doesn't change the fact that there are spending thresholds beyond which it doesn't matter how nice the product is, you simply won't spend that much. Granted, the TiVo has come down in price now ($200 for the 40 hour units), but now it's a matter of spending more on the lifetime service than the device itself, which triggers new objections.
            • Well, show her that it's a recoverable expense -- if you wanted to upgrade to a newer TiVo in the future then you can sell the old one on eBay and get the entire cost of the lifetime service back. You can't do that for monthly fees.

              Oh, and if you (or anyone else) does go looking to buy a TiVo - check out the returns at local stores. We bought my wife's that way and saved about $50.
        • What "social bracket" are you in, the very, very shortsighted one?

          You don't need to be particularly smart to realize that a $200 outlay that pays for itself in a year and a half is a pretty decent return on investment, and is a good idea.

    • You're a troll, a liar, or both.

      2.5 years ago the service fee was $10/mo, not $13/mo.

      You claim you prefer one-time charges, but you didn't pay for lifetime service (which was only $100 2.5 years ago).

  • Who cares about listening to mp3's and seeing pictures on yet ANOTHER device... And what does any of that have to do with recording, pausing, skipping which is what the tivo is supposed to be all about! Hell, my 65 dollar dvd player can do all that now. How many pictures can you stick on one vcd? a thousand?

    Why not make a feature that we can really use... like high definition support!

  • by xchino (591175) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:48AM (#4878242)
    By it being programmed through a website, do they mean a web interface, or an actual internet web site? If it's through a web site, I think I'd be wary of them tracking my viewing habis.. more so than they do already..
  • Odd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by T. Will S. Idea (463154) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:49AM (#4878250) Homepage
    What makes them think that people will pay extra to listen to music? People may pay extra if they get to download the music and burn it to CDs and transfer it to their MP3 players, but I can't imagine Tivo getting away with that when others have tried and failed.

    And I can't even imagine how they could get people to pay extra to show their own photos on their own TV.

    As a Tivo subscriber, I find it alarming that these guys are flailing around aimlessly with stupid business models like these. It makes me think that their days truly are numbered.
  • Innovative (Score:2, Funny)

    by bahwi (43111)
    But it's not innovative until it's Code Red and Nimda compatible!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:21AM (#4878361)
    TiVo has been "signing" their kernels so that the TiVo hardware will only recognize the kernel compiled by themselves. So, while TiVo does provided the source code to the Linux kernel and their modification to the source code, you will never get your own compilation of the kernel to ever run on the hardware. Of course, this defeats the hole point of CopyLeft/GPL!

    But, even if you don't care about Free Software and the future of Linux, there is also the issue of the future of TV. The FCC keeps claiming that there will be *ALOT* more ATSC digital TV broadcasts in 2006. That is only 4 years away! Why would anyone want to pay at least $200 + $250 subscription for a total of $450 on something that the NTSC tuner can't be replaced in?? TiVo still makes no claims to the be "HDTV ready." If it had some USB2 ports then there might be hope in the future but the two USB v1 ports provided have a *practical* maxium through-put of maybe 16 Mbps *combined*. An ATSC tuner can spit end up spitting out 19.2 Mbps of digital TV goodness of which the TiVo USB ports can't keep up. By the time TiVO figures out how far behind they are either a future version of Xbox or PlayStation will have entered the PVR market.
    • I'm assuming here that TiVo does give source changes back to the community. If they don't, tell me and stop reading.

      Note that the "point" of the GPL (in your opintion) and the "letter" of the GPL probably differ. GPL says that if TiVo changes the source, they make those changes available. Nowhere is it stated that their hardware has to recognize an arbitrary kernel. It's completely within their rights to limit which kernels can run on the hardware they manufacture (as it is (or at least should be) within your rights to hack that hardware to allow arbitrary kernels once you own the hardware).

      In short, if they provide access to their source changes, they are doing nothing wrong.

    • There's nothing in the text or spirit of the GPL that says Tivo needs to allow you to port new software to run on the Tivo hardware while you're using the service.

      If you don't use the service, you can use the machine for a frisbee for all they care, but if you want to use the service on a day to day basis, you need to run a certain signed version of the kernel.

      You're more than welcome to use Tivo's modifications to the kernel in your code, or any other code. That's the spirit of the GPL. Not that Tivo has too allow you to port new code to their architecture.
    • That is only 4 years away! Why would anyone want to pay at least $200 + $250 subscription for a total of $450 on something that the NTSC tuner can't be replaced in??

      Well as someone who just bought one of these outdated Tivo Series 2, I went ahead and purchased the lifetime subscription. All you need to do is go over to Ebay [ebay.com] and search for "tivo lifetime." You will see a bunch of series 1 tivos going for $300 to $500. So a couple of years from now, selling my tivo for $300 seems like a good deal to me. Plus, I usually don't keep hardware for more than a 2 years with the exception of my TV. I don't think anyone is worried about HDTV considering 1/2 of the United States was suppose to have it by now, yet I don't get any HDTV feeds unless I get directv which my landlord will not allow. Even then, its only a few channels.

  • by Quikah (14419) on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:29AM (#4878384)
    According to an "unofficial" post [tivocommunity.com] by a TiVo marketing rep there is much more to this than just mp3 and picture viewing.

    My guess: Originally when series 2 was announced they mentioned that they would have some deal with Real. I am guessing that you will be getting some of the premium Real content with this.
  • Replay (Score:4, Informative)

    by kEnder242 (262421) on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:52AM (#4878451)
    Replay alrady does this and more

    -lets you set your program from the web www.myreplaytv.com
    -Pictures can be uploaded to it
    -streaming over the network
    -share shows over the internet (you cant share what you recieved)

    I can live without mp3

    I did some temp tech support for these before SONICblue moved to India (last week). Nice PVR, wish I bought one.
  • by roc_machine (314714) on Friday December 13, 2002 @01:56AM (#4878465) Journal
    Geez, I'm getting sick of seeing so many damn Tivo stories on Slashdot... not because I think Tivo is crap, but because I would love to try one of these out, but I can't! The only thing that comes close up here is Bell Satellite with their PVR [www.bell.ca], which is something like $500-$600 up front I think.

    And as many Tivo users have said, it's not the PVR functionality that kicks ass, but the service features such as Season Pass (hey, that rhymes). And from what I've seen the UI is really good. My fiance and I are dying to get one of these.

    Damn you, Yankees! Damn you, eh!
    • by The Wing Lover (106357) <awh@awh.org> on Friday December 13, 2002 @02:23PM (#4882701) Homepage
      In case you happen to be using DirecTV, which of course is impossible since DirecTV isn't offered for sale in Canada, and you've bought a TiVo, which of course is impossible since TiVo isn't offered for sale in Canada, you can just hook up the Tivo, tell it your Canadian area code, give a US Zip code that DirecTV services, and it will find a local Canadian number to download the DirecTV guide data from.

      Or so I've heard. Because I certainly don't use DirecTV and TiVo up here, no siree.
  • by zeoslap (190553)
    My friend recently did some UI testing for Tivo and said that they are integrating a DVD burner into the Tivo, goooo Tivo :)
  • Does anyone know if they're going to be using Rendezvous for the MP3 and photo viewing features? If so, that's another reason for me to possibly get cable and a Tivo.
  • There will be revenue associated with these items.

    Well I'm glad we got over THAT hurdle. Perhaps the next step will be making a profit? ;-)
  • but I'm glad for anything that would keep Tivo afloat.

    Why? Is there any indication that other companies can't provide the same service just as well and possibly more cheaply?

    I, for one, am rather disappointed that a couple of companies have tried to build patent fences [uspto.gov] around DVRs for what are pretty simple ideas that had been "in the air" for many years. Tivo's bankruptcy wouldn't necessarily free those patents, but at least it would demonstrate again that patent landgrabs don't assure commercial success.

    I think this support for Tivo is similar to the support for Microsoft: people are saw awed by a product or feature that they don't stop to ask the question: how well could others do in this market if they had the chance?

  • TiVo is, in my humble opinion as a TiVo user, the best thing that's happened to TV. Posters who complain about the fee, saying that the same services can be had for free simply don't get it. It's a luxury item, my monthly fee pays for a service that I find highly valuable, and for $15 a month it's well worth it.

    If you're interested in assembling your own computer PVR that's great, go ahead. But for me, and tons of other TiVo users, the value of TiVo can't be beat. The time it would take to cobble together and support a home-rolled box is non-trivial and personally, my time is worth more than the paltry fee I pay each month.

    It's just like any other luxury item or service. I drive a sports-lux sedan because I value the extra pleasure I derive from driving it. If you don't want to drive a sports sedan that's fine, but your preference doesn't invalidate the choice for the rest of us that are willing to pay for it.
  • So I have to upgrade to a new, more expensive, Tivo2 just to have the ability to pay an extra fee to get the new functionality? Nevermind if you think this new ability to do MP3s and pictures is valuable, you have to pay extra for it, on top of paying for the new Tivo? I think I'll just spend a hundred on a new giant harddrive and upgrade my current Tivo.
  • Ogg, that is. I mean, come on, is this slashdot? I want ogg support in the new TiVO, not just mp3.

The use of anthropomorphic terminology when dealing with computing systems is a symptom of professional immaturity. -- Edsger Dijkstra

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