Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Television Media

TiVo OS Update Adds Content Protection 615

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the does-this-mean-they-have-jumped-the-shark dept.
generic-man writes "According to PVRBlog, TiVo's new operating system update enables content protection flags on a per-show basis. On some programs, notably syndicated shows, a red flag appears to indicate that the copyright holder has requested that TiVo devices not save a program past a certain date and that the program may not be copied to a PC using TiVo to Go. TiVo users were told to expect this style of flag only on pay-per-view and video on demand programming, and as such are upset that TiVo has restricted the capabilities of the receivers they bought and subscribed to use. The TiVo Community boards have some screen shots and firsthand accounts."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

TiVo OS Update Adds Content Protection

Comments Filter:
  • MythTV (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:31AM (#13557559)

    Just one more good reason to bite the bullet, sit down, and build yourself a MythTV box. [mythtv.org]

    There's a good walkthrough on building a MythTV box over on O'Reilly Digital Media [oreilly.com], and another on the Electronic Frontier Foundation [eff.org].
    • by b0r1s (170449) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:35AM (#13557615) Homepage
      But the age-old argument holds: this won't work for (just an example) my parents.

      In the past, Tivo employees have been very helpful in helping users work around these types of issues - they don't really care if you record the show, install larger hard drives, pull video off to your computer, as long as they get their subscription fee.

      Hopefully a workaround comes out and makes it to the forums.
      • Why won't it work for your parents? You can't build the MythTV box for them?
        • by b0r1s (170449)
          Because eventually something will 'go wrong' with it - for example, the first time they unplug it from the wall without powering down, and the kernel forces a check (e2fsck or whichever), and (because it's actively reading and writing all the time) some inconsistency is found: I'm not willing (due to past experiences attempting to support their electronics) to answer phone calls and walk them through an explanation of how to get the system live again.

          It's a decision I made ages ago, and I highly recommend
          • by Dachannien (617929) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:50AM (#13557779)
            I'll take journaling filesystems for $200, Alex.

            • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:29PM (#13558132)
              I run MythTV with a journaling filesystem. What you find out is that Murphy's law has no exceptions.

              For example, this summer I found out that my BIOS had an optional setting to automatically cut power if it thought the MB temperature was too high. The machine had been crunching on shows for months, but once the warm season arrived, it would mysteriously power down with no warning during long transcoding jobs. It took me a little while to figure out what was going on and turn off that option (the MB really wasn't getting all that hot; the threshold was just set way too low).

              I've had video card driver I/O errors lock up the machine more than once.

              Once an error at the Zap2it server caused the entire program guide database to empty out, so recording stopped until I reloaded it.

              The latest screwup was somebody left the CD tray slightly open and then closed the front access door so the tray was stuck between open and closed. The kernel started logging millions of messages about not being able to access the CD drive. After a couple of days, it filled up the OS partition and MythTV stopped working.

              MythTV has a lot of compelling features that make it worth it for me to maintain it, but I would never consider taking on the hassle of doing it for someone else. People tend to think that the shows they record are a high priority, so of course any problems have to be fixed NOW. It's bad enough answering to members of my own household when the thing starts messing up, much less handling the crisis for someone else on a phone help line.

          • by Gulthek (12570)
            Wow, nice. Thanks for everything Mom and Dad, but you aren't worth my free time.

            If you don't care enough to do tech support, what do you care about this latest TiVO development? I.e. why mention the trouble your parents would have with MythTV at all?
      • by ciscoguy01 (635963) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:08PM (#13557964)
        Tivo deliberately built a crippled product: Unless you paid them for a monthly subscription you got no guide data, and that made it unuseable. The monthly subscription is exhorbitant, and the flaw in their business model is that they wanted to sell you the box.

        If they had kept the boxes and let you have one as a rental that business model might be valid and the idea that you received some "service" for your monthly fee might have some validity.

        But they sold them, and through the crippled nature of their product and the monthly fee they are trying to maintain ownership and control over you and your box, which unfortunately for them they SOLD you.

        You can't maintain control over things you sold. If you want to maintain control, don't sell it.

        That is now over since they have tipped their hand, first by sending you ads and taking up part of the guide data that YOU ARE PAYING FOR. Now by limiting what you can do with items you have stored in your box, which you own.

        I think it's about over for the current Tivo business model.

        They should just start being honest, give the boxes out as a rental and then they can control them.

        Once sold they lose the ability to control them and I can see the handwriting on the wall, internet accessable guide servers will soon abound and Tivo has no more revenue from people who own those boxes- their current customers.

        That is completely fair.
        • by ad0gg (594412) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:33PM (#13558184)
          Not only did they force you to purchase monthly service, they also spy on you aswell. When your tivo makes its daily call, its sends your remote control click log back to tivo. So they actually know you rewind on every racy scene. They say its anonymous, but on the same call it sends your credentials back so it can get the guide the data.
          • Not only did they force you to purchase monthly service, they also spy on you aswell.

            There is no force involved. They're doing exactly what they said they do (tracking use so that their service can learn what to recommend to you, etc). You're certainly not forced to use a commercial product and its companion subscription service. Where does the force come in? Did some armed TiVo goons drag you to Best Buy and make you procure one of their devices? Here's an idea: stop using it if you are only now decidin
          • they also spy on you aswell. When your tivo makes its daily call, its sends your remote control click log back to tivo. So they actually know you rewind on every racy scene. They say its anonymous, but on the same call it sends your credentials back so it can get the guide the data.

            Do you have a source for this remote control click log? Also just because it's doing these two things at once, doesn't mean they don't store the data anonymously..
        • by pegr (46683) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:54PM (#13558398) Homepage Journal
          Well, I've thought about how to get out from under restrictive TiVo terms with the least pain for a couple of years now. Seems to me that there is no reason (well, a minor technical reason, easily overcome) why you couldn't run a totally custom version of software on the TiVo hardware. TiVo hackers have been expanding the capability of their TiVos for quite some time. The general feel for TiVo hacking at the moment is to go ahead and hack it however you want, but don't step on TiVo (or, more correctly, their monthly fee) and TiVo will turn a blind eye to it. So far, that's how it has worked.
           
          But I guarantee that the moment TiVo becomes the "screw the customer, we represent the illogical corporate interests of content providers" company this article implies, all TiVo hacking gloves will come off and their will be a highly successful port of MythTV or FreeVo for the actual TiVo hardware. TiVo knows this. If something like this hits the streets, TiVo is screwed. They don't want this (obviously), so they are highly motivated to balance the interests of their customers and content providers.
           
          BTW- The examples cited in the article are mistakes. Nobody really intended to restrict access to a syndicated rerun, for crying out loud. The restrictions were only supposed to apply to OnDemand and Pay-Per-View content. Somewhere, sombody/something screwed up. The actual circumstances were unintended, but boy did it fire up a lot of TiVo owners! I hope TiVo responds to this in some fashion...
    • Re:MythTV (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rovingeyes (575063)
      Well yes that is an option. But the idea defies the very purpose any one would be interested in buying Tivo. Lets say if I try to tape a game on sunday and I am out of town for an extended vacation. So when I come back a week later Tivo is gonna say "sorry you're schedule clashed with mine". Wasn't Tivo supposed to solve that problem? I was indeed considering buying it pretty soon but now I will instead look at building myself MythTv box.
    • Do you know if there's a guide anywhere on taking the Tivo Series2 hardware and using it for other things now that I've cancelled my account? I'd love to use the whole box as a myth tv box, or failing that, I'd love to rip out the video capture card.

      • According to the discussions I've seen on the topic, you can't put MythTV on a TiVo box for one or both of the following reasons:
        • The MythTV interface runs under X windows, and the TiVo can't run X11.
          -and/or-
        • TiVo has non-standard hardware for which no drivers are available.
        I don't know if any of that has changed with Series2, but I'd love to know...odds are good you can pick up a used box for a song, since most ex-TiVo users will not have any further use for it.
    • by Tetris Ling (836450) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:05PM (#13557941)
      What makes TiVo a great product isn't its PVR functionality, it's the thoughtfully designed interface. This is something I don't think people who havn't used TiVo really understand. From the way it rewinds a little after you stop fast forwarding to the schedule tables, TiVo constantly does things that make me happy. It's like TiVo is my friend. This, I think, is the reason that so many people (myself included) are fanaticaly devoted to their TiVo.

      I'm not saying MythTV doesn't have its benefits, but it certainly isn't a replacement for my TiVo.

      • by interiot (50685) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:37PM (#13558233) Homepage
        TiVo constantly does things that make me happy. It's like TiVo is my friend.
        So how does TiVo's periodic reduction in features, in a way that's completely out of your control, fit into your conception of Tivo as your friend?

        MythTV is like a lifelong friend. It may not be as soft and curvy, and it might not flirt with you. But it won't wake up one morning and start deleting your belongings either.

      • I've got an old Ultimate TV box and I have yet to see a pvr (including TIVO) that comes anywhere near it.

        The menus are much simplier to navigate, the +30/-7 second skip is perfect, the keyboard has a nice layout (A little bulky, but comes in handy for searches). Nothing else comes close.

        Maybe it's just that we like what we are used to?
      • It's like TiVo is my friend.

        A friend who deletes your programs from your TiVo when he feels like it. I have a feeling you haven't tried MythTV lately though. All the features you mentioned (and many more than TiVo has) are in MythTV today. My wife has absolutely no problems using it and any married guy will tell you the wife-acceptance-factor is one of the primary selling points of any consumer electronics device.

    • Re:MythTV (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hawkbug (94280)
      I can't go with MythTV unfortunately, or else I would in a heartbeat. I have DirecTV and I currently enjoy my dual tuner tivo which is able to record a show while I watch another. I would have to have 2 seperate dtv receivers to do this with myth, and that's just dumb to pay for 2 different boxes for one TV. Trust me, if there was a better way to make it work with DirecTV, I would do it in a second. I have the money, time, and knowledge to build one of these boxes - I just don't want to get rid of DTV.
  • welcome! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by namekuseijin (604504) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:32AM (#13557568)
    "Welcome to the (our DRM) future!"

    - MPAA, RIAA, Disney, M$ and associates
  • Driving Sales! (Score:4, Informative)

    by AcheronHades (837485) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:33AM (#13557581)
    For some reason I remember reading that Tivo struggles to stay out of the red and that they are really not even that profitable. So why then would they add in a feature to restrict the functionality of their product and piss people off?

    There has to be something else here, this just doesnt make buisness sense.
    • Re:Driving Sales! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Aspasia13 (700702)
      It does since their strategy is not off-the-shelf sales, but rather combining with content providers such as cable and sattelite TV companies. That way they can manage to use their position of market leader with brand-name recognizability to get exclusive contracts with the provider companies.

      And those companies will only allow it if there is "content protection".

      It makes perfect sense if you think about their business model and who their real intended customer is.
    • Simple. They're being paid to add that feature, or it's part of an agreement to get schedules and schedule coordination from that content provider.

      Or they're doing this to get something new from them and this is what they're doing in exchange.
  • Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:33AM (#13557586)
    There's something wrong about selling a device to do something, and later limiting the ability of the device to do what it was designed to do.
    • Re:Wrong (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Quasar1999 (520073)
      There's something wrong about selling a device to do something, and later limiting the ability of the device to do what it was designed to do.

      My car can 'theoretically' go up to 240km/h. The damned thing has a governor/limiter installed in it that won't let the car go faster than 180km/h. Solution, get rid of the governor.

      Why can't we do the same with the TIVO? It might be a gray area, but it's your device since you purchased it (not renting it), so you can modify it... or am I missing something?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Tivo's sales dropped dramatically on their latest attempts to restrict what people do with their own bought-and-paid-for hardware.

    also in other news, sales of MythTV [mythtv.org] increased for the 99th straight quarter at the new increased price of $0.00

  • BUG!!!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by doormat (63648) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:34AM (#13557595) Homepage Journal
    This is a bug on behalf of the Tivo software...

    See

    http://blogs.chron.com/techblog/archives/2005/09/c opy_protection.html [chron.com]


    Update: Jim Denney, director of product marketing for TiVo, said the instances of standard TV shows being affected by new copy protection restrictions likely are "false positives."

    Denney said the copy protection is trigged by a flag in the video signal. The reports appearing on the Web appear to be cases where TiVo misinterprets noise in the signal as a copy protection flag, and imposes the restrictions.

    "During the test process, we came across people who had false positives because of noisy analog signals," he said. "We actually delayed development (of the new TiVo software) to address those false positives."


    Apparently they still didnt fix the issues.
    • Re:BUG!!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SpecBear (769433)
      So, if this flagging is so robustly implemented that it can be triggered by noise, how long will it take for someone to create a filter to eliminate that "noise"?

      Egad, I can see it now: "With our innovative new filter, not only will your shows look clearer, they'll last longer!" Except I won't be laughing at that ad.
  • Oh, good... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:34AM (#13557601)
    ...it's another example to use when explaining to people exactly why they should be opposed to DRM and the Broadcast Flag. It's good that it will spread awareness of the issue, so that we have a better chance of stopping it before it becomes mandatory by law.
  • 7 days? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jshaped (899227)

    They limited the particular program stored to only 7 days?!?! That's ridiculous.
    So much for saving your favorite concerts, as I have done.
    (I just hope my ReplayTV doesn't head toward this...)
  • Relevant question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ifwm (687373) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:36AM (#13557618) Journal
    Is there someplace I can buy a MythTv box, so I don't have to muddle through it myself? I don't mind learning, but I'd rather have a working box while I do so.
    • I haven't heard of one, and without a lot of work put into refinement, I wouldn't want to be in that business.

      These instructions are pretty decent though:
      http://wilsonet.com/mythtv/fcmyth.php [wilsonet.com]

      It would still take several hours. The problem I'm currently having is the system suddenly can't operate my tuner, particularly, channel control.

      The problem I had before was that a program to test the tuner before going to the final Myth setup, xawtv, was hard to find, I did find packages for it though. Make sure you
    • Re:Relevant question (Score:5, Informative)

      by jvbunte (177128) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:55AM (#13557847) Journal
      http://www.magicitx.com/ [magicitx.com] has a prebuilt MythTV setup with a small form factor for about $700, with options for more memory, larger hard drive, and remote. It uses the universally accepted Hauppage PVR250 hardware encoder (I own a 350 and a 150 and they work with all freeware pvr software I've found). You will need an external infrared sender to work with digital cable or satellite receivers.

      (I am not affiliated with magicitx in any way, just found a link to them on ebay.)

  • by beeudoublez (619109) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:36AM (#13557621) Journal
    Read: http://www.pvrblog.com/pvr/2005/09/tivo_72_os_adds .html [pvrblog.com]
    Quoted from one of the posters: This is a BUG!
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.ph p?p=3233152&&#post3233152 [tivocommunity.com]
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.ph p?p=3236586&&#post3236586 [tivocommunity.com]
    TiVo recognizes the Macrovision flag but there have been NO cases of a network or studio actually utilizing it.
    Even HBO whose websites says OnDemand stuff can't be DVR'ed... well, I could TiVo my OnDemand stuff just fine. I did all the time. That was before 7.2 and I don't have HBO any longer but it did work.
    Again - this is a BUG. Neither the local station or FOX intended for this syndicated rerun to be flagged like this.
    Are bug bad? Sure. But it's not worth getting all up in arms at TiVo about.
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:36AM (#13557624)
    People will continue to plunk down cash for these products and services, because most people don't care about DRM. Even this won't really affect them, why do you think you can buy the Superbowl on DVD, or the World Series on DVD? People shell out $$ for seasons and seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc. So they DRM the shows on your Tivo after a month.. by then people have either wiped it, or bought the damn thing on DVD.

    Then there is the minority, who are not media consumers, who remain unaffected by this.

    Before the tinfoil hatters come out, and blame the ??AA or the Government, think: when was the last time you watched one of those old Star Trek episodes you taped 15 years ago "in case you ever wanted to watch them again"?

  • This will either not get used much and be easily ignored, or it will cause a wave of dissent and defection among Tivo viewers which will lead to it getting yanked. It either forces the issue or it's irrelevant. Either one is fine with me. Let's rumble.
  • by FortKnox (169099) * on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:38AM (#13557634) Homepage Journal
    ... you'll see that this was [tivocommunity.com] a bug [tivocommunity.com] found by someone using their TiVo over antennae, not cable, which could have distorted the signal.

    The whole macrovision flag is for PPV shows, not regular shows.
    • It's not just a bug - it's an exploit. TV stations and other content distributors can start exploiting this bug to force deletions on people's Tivo boxes (unless Tivo patches their product to prevent false positives).

    • by tji (74570) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:12PM (#13558004)
      Just because it's triggered in error doesn't mean it's not a cause for concern.. This is just exposing capabilities they built into the product before they were ready to force it on their customers.

      I don't want to invest $1,000 in a HD-Tivo, only to later find out that programs I record are forced to expire beyond my control. Not to mention the commercials it records automatically, popups on the screen offering more advertising, etc..

      What's next? Disable 30 second skip (yes, they are getting pressure to do this)?

      No thanks, my MythTV box works great, and will never be forced to obey a company's decision before mine.
  • Tivo, until now, was a nice and consumer friendly service despite the small tricks they pulled out of their sleeves like "must watch commercials" or product placements on recordings etc. but I took it as survival tactics in the marketplace. And they were livable with.

    But when they started sucking up to hollywood, whiich ithe main reason why people bought tivo or PVRs, they crossed a boundary and started to become annoying.

    I think it is time to tell customer to tell tivo, screw you and send it to the list of
  • by Alpha_Traveller (685367) * on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:39AM (#13557650) Homepage Journal
    TIVO has attempted to suggest the flags are a bug. While TIVO admits to making the technology available and active, not a single content provider is using it. That said: I do think it's a bad idea.

    As a TIVO owner, I have to insist that TIVO needs to remove this technology because content flags that require a time frame within which to watch the show defeats the purpose of my purchasing a TIVO in the first place. I'm their customer because I could timeshift on my terms. NOT theirs. Not Fox's. Not NBC's.

    I also want the ability to transfer it to another medium. If I lose that, TIVO loses me as a customer and no amount of lifetime memberships and HDTV versions of TIVO at a discounted rate will prevent me from leaving.

    If TIVO does not remove this feature, I will reconsider remaining a TIVO Customer, and both TIVO and all the content providers lose a "captive" audience member.

  • ReplayTV Tivo (Score:5, Informative)

    by digitalvengeance (722523) * on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:39AM (#13557651)
    I use ReplayTV [replaytv.com] and have never had any problems with content protection. There is even a great open source tool called DVArchive (at sourceforge) that lets one copy shows to/from the ReplayTV units and even stream content directly from the ReplayTV to any machine that supports HTTP streaming.

    I highly recommend both of these products for the geek who wants a great DVR and the freedom to DivX content at will.
    • ReplayTV is better (Score:5, Informative)

      by waynegoode (758645) * on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:57AM (#13557866) Homepage
      I have two ReplayTVs. I don't have any of the problems you read about with TiVo--and I can skip past commercials, not just fast-forward. I don't understand why TiVo is more popular that ReplayTV. It is certainly is not as good.
    • Re:ReplayTV Tivo (Score:3, Informative)

      by Alsee (515537)
      REPLAYTV SIGNED THE SAME MACROVISION LICENSE AND THEREFORE WILL BE SUBJECT TO THE EXACT SAME RESTRICTIONS.

      If anyone is avoiding TiVo because of this, well you sure as hell do not want to get a ReplayTV either. It seems the only option is to buy or build a Myth box.

      -
  • Ha-Ha (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SeaFox (739806) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:40AM (#13557667)
    What happens when people don't read the fine print on service agreements and that all important clause which says TiVo can change the terms of usage at any time without prior notice.

    And this is supposed to be so much better than taping? The time shifting abilities of PRV's are great when watching live shows, but really the only people for whom the PVR experience is "revolutionary" are folks too stupid to program their VCR's to begin with.

    This and digital cable continue to be examples of consumers choosing wiz-bang technology simply because it's new and not because it's better. Few users have the TV's or proper audio equipment to enjoy "the digital difference" but they all lap it up because of all the stations they can't get otherwise, few of them seem to think about how much more difficult exercising fair use rights becomes because of the converter boxes needed for digital cable.
    • Re:Ha-Ha (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hexix (9514) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @01:03PM (#13558484) Homepage
      And this is supposed to be so much better than taping? The time shifting abilities of PRV's are great when watching live shows, but really the only people for whom the PVR experience is "revolutionary" are folks too stupid to program their VCR's to begin with.

      You can't be serious. So here's your solution:

      1. Find a show you're interested in
      2. Look up the time the show should air in your TV guide
      3. Set your VCR to record that given timeslot
      4. Make sure there is a blank tape inserted in to VCR
      5. Turn the VCR off, it will not record if it's on
      6. Rush home from work to swap the tape that just got show A taped to before show B starts taping
      7. Return to step 4

      And here's the Tivo/PVR/DVR/whatever solution:

      1. Find the tv show you wish to record using the search by name feature, or hitting record button while it's on.
      2. Tell the PVR to sign up for a "Season Pass"

      Yeah, definitely for people too stupid to program their VCRs. I own a Tivo and I can say, it's got it's share of problems. I think it's idiotic that I need to pay 13 bucks a month just so it can know when a TV show is on. I already bought the damn box. But to say the idea/technology behind Tivo is useless - well I'd have to disagree with that.

      Now, if you wanted to make the point that TV isn't that great to spend the money on a device that records it, well you might be on to something there. But man, I love sitting down when I get home from work and having new episodes of shows I actually want to watch there waiting for me.

  • The commercial PVR was a great way to improve the lives of nongeeks. It was something that did a useful function that people would have difficulty figuring out themselves.

    With this DRM crap, it removes most of the value added. If you can't store the video to your liking, the PVR becomes pretty much useless. I'm not talking about people who can make their own PVR out of the parts. I'm talking about my mother here.

    I sense the rapid penetration of these devices will end right about...now.
  • by Chairboy (88841) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:43AM (#13557698) Homepage
    There are advantages to living in the cracks sometimes. Harry Harrison once wrote that every society has rats, and even an incredibly advanced one would have the equivalent, even if it's a 'stainless steel' rat. By owning a ReplayTV instead of a Tivo, I feel like I'm living in that crawlspace, away from all the media attention that a company like Tivo gets.

    Replay got sued for the automatic commercial skip, but once that PVR had been thoroughly surpassed in numbers by Tivo, attention shifted elsewhere and now the only people who know about Replay are the owners.

    1. I can pull my shows off my Replay over the network, no broadcast flag.
    2. My 5060 (w/ the requisite hard drive upgrade, of course) still automatically skips commercials. They aren't taking away features I bought, and I appreciate it.
    3. There's no pop-up advertisements like Tivo has. There just isn't the money in doing stuff like that because the user base is so small (but the development effort doesn't get cheaper as a result).

    You can see some of the same stuff happening with Apple. The Macintosh has, lately, demonstrated less enthusiasm about adopting the various DRM flavor of the month technologies that the Windows PC has. This is in part because there isn't the same level of scrutiny, and also because the development effort of adding that stuff doesn't amortize across the user base as well. I'm sure there are other 'do no evil' type considerations and whatnot, but money is the real motive power to be reckoned with.

    I sometimes wonder what the implications are for the rest of society. Do I, the middle class anonymous guy have more freedom than the popular, rich people? Probably. There's no media scrutiny of my every move, if I had a T-mobile Sidekick, nobody would bother trying to break into it, I can post diatribes to slashdot without apologizing via a press release, and so on.

    Just a thought on the trade offs between being comfortable and caged in the living room above versus being a bit cramped, but living the freedom that only the unknown can claim...
  • MythTV just got a lot more important.

    I've felt that a lot of the complaints against TiVo to this point has been mainly petty Slashdot whining, but now there's something to really complain about.

    How is MythTV when it comes to HD? Because I've got my hacked TiVo box for now, but when I get an HD set and all that, it'll be time to move to different hardware.

    • How is MythTV when it comes to HD?

      Bandwidth consumptive. You pretty much need to transcode shows (unless 15-25GB/hour sounds good to you). You will also need a pretty serious CPU to handle record, playback, transcode simultaneously. Disk bandwidth is probably ok with most recent drives. My PATA drives keep up with it fine, but the CPU can't decode it fast enough to stream it without the occasional glitch. Plan on an Athlon 64 3200+ or better. Make sure your bus and video card can handle the bandwidth,
  • Hahah, It's only a matter of time before someone gets into the firmware and has a hack to ignore this problem. Just like the mods available for the Playstation, PS2, PSP, XBOX etc regarding copied CDs. There's got to be a flaw in there somewhere to be exploited.
  • DVD restrictions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by twl1973 (877541)
    I wonder in the future if they will start to restrict any episode of a show that was released on DVD. It will be a move to make more money off of these shows by forcing a person to actually spend the money on the DVD instead of saving it on your Tivo or moving it onto your computer.
  • SageTV anyone? (Score:2, Interesting)

    I love my SageTV. If you have the savey'ness, then build your own 'tivo'. I love my SageTV (Dual Tuners, Remote, etc.. 'love'en it).

    MythTv is awesome too, from what I hear.

  • If you don't like the idea that some entertainment producers practice DRM, then why don't you become a producer who releases entertainment that is free of DRM. It should be easy. Create a show that everyone wants to see and then you can freely and voluntarily choose to release it without DRM.

    Once your show becomes popular enough, the producers who use DRM may voluntarily decide to change their past DRM decisions and release without DRM.

    I'd like to see this fought out in the arena of voluntary decisions.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This just makes me even happier to have MythTV.

    I mean, I understand why you can't play emulators or rip DVDs (that I bought) with Tivo, but now you can't even record TV shows permanently? I mean, isn't that the whole point of getting a Tivo in the first place?
  • MythTv, I haven't tried it myself - actually I haven't bothered watching any form of TV much in the last few years - but BS like this would never be an issue.
  • good bye tivo (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jrwillis (306262)
    I've had a tivo since shortly after they launched their service. I've been a beta tester for them on several occasions. I've sold many friends on the product, but no more. I'm closing my account as I type this. Go fuck yourself Tivo.
  • Fortunately, you hackers all use open source software exclusively, so you aren't at the mercy of some company. With your technical skills, it's trivial to disable the protection and get everything just the way you like it. /sarcasm
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:59AM (#13557880)
    TiVo owners should be demanding refunds for the reduced functionality of this purchased device!

    How would you like it if you took your car in for factory service and they downloaded an update to the car's computer that restricted your speeds to 55mph because of pressure from your state highway patrol?

    Don't tell me that because there was some fine print in some d@mn license agreement that you've already agreed to this ahead of time. I sincerely doubt that the TiVo license agreement clearly states: We absoutely will reduce the functionality of your purchased and owned equipment in the near future without your consent to appease the broadcasting and content creation industries.

    You bought the box for what it would do at the time of purchase, and have a right to continue to expect it to perform to at least those levels in the future!

  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:11PM (#13557998) Homepage
    ...if you have no way of knowing what you bought.

    The most insidious thing about DRM-enabled devices is their ability to change the deal long after you've made your purchase decision.

    No doubt there is a legal fiction that you agreed to some fine print somewhere that says, in effect, "I know I'm buying a pig in a poke."

    We need a "truth-in-DRM" law. If there were a conspicuous sticker saying "Warning: this device may not actually record the programs you want to record. There is no way for you to know in advance which programs you can or can't record. The fact that you can record your favorite programs now does not mean you will be able to record them in the future," then purchasers would know what they were buying and the free marker could operate.
    • the free market is like dehydrated water.

      it simply ceased to exist a long time ago.

      in a free market, chinese companies would be able to sell you a device to bypass the HDCP restrictions on your TV.

      a European company would be able to sell you a ppc box to install Mac OS on.

      a Canadian company could sell you a modified Tivo to record and transfer video into and out of it and to enable all features.

      an Indian company could sell you a region free DVD player legally, in let's say Circuit City stores.

      a Russian Comp
  • by Luscious868 (679143) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:13PM (#13558010)
    If TiVo implements this, I'm throwing my TiVo out the door. I think TiVo is by far the best PVR out there, but I'd much rather settle for a less elegant UI and move to something like Replay TV. Replay TV has got some pretty sweet features of it's own and I was considering it as my next DVR but I really do (or did anyway) love my TiVo.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:20PM (#13558058)
    Lest there have been any doubt before, TiVo clearly does not care about its customers.

    TiVo website blame macrovision and even go so far as to say "Please do not contact TiVo Customer Support regarding copy protection related issues" is a total cop-out.

    I think every TiVo owner should precisely be contacting Customer Support about this. Jam up the telephone lines. How else is the company every going to know how their customers truly feel.

    Old saying: If you don't take care of the customer, someone else will.

    update: I just wanted to reiterate that yes, this was the result of a mistake on the part of the station providing syndicated shows.

    Don't consider this an update -- consider a warning! Your local stations already have this switch in place, and all they need to do is flip it now!

  • by jdehnert (84375) * <[moc.trenhed] [ta] [trenhedj]> on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:26PM (#13558103) Homepage
    Well, I have been a longtime Tivo user. I hacked my series 1 box to add more space, and I bought a series 2 box pre hacked.
    This initial incident seems to have been caused by a big that has highlighted a legitimate feature, but the cat is out of the bag now.

    Here is my problem with this.

    Tivo changed the way I watch TV, but perhaps it changed it more than they thought it would. I have no problem recording a show and not watching it for a few weeks, then sitting down on night and catching up on a months worth of new episodes. If the show gets dumped after 5 days, well, then I'm not going to see it.

    So now, depending on the network's whims, my Tivo box may have just become much less usefull. I can tell you 2 things that I will NOT be doing.

    1) Changing my TV viewing habits back to where I work around the shows schedule. There are precious few shows that I;m now going to rearrange my schedule around.

    2) Buy another Tivo. I was considering replacing my lifetime service series 1 with a lifetime service hacked series 2 (waiting for HDTV), however, it looks like this will be much less useful than what I am used to having.

    Sorry Tivo. It was a good run, but the other options are looking better and better all the time.
  • by E8086 (698978) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @04:58PM (#13560727)
    "What is this crap? Fox broadcasting down eight"

    How long until that red flag is accompanied by a nice big shiny "$" that will allow you to pay a TDB amount to let you keep the program a little longer?

    I'm not a copyright lawyer, but doesn't it allow you to keep something you bought, in this case in the form of TiVo hardware and subscription? This has to be a violation of fair-use consumer rights, right, those don't exist anymore. This is like going to a kid Potter fan and saying Rowling called, she wants her book back or to one of those people you saw waiting in line for Star Wars III and saying Lucas called, he wants his toy light saber back and you're not getting a refund. Copyright law says once you own something you can keep it for as long as you want, give it away or resell it or even burn shoot or blow it up, anything other than making and selling copies for profit and showing it at a public performance. There may be some clause in the TiVo EULA that might allow this "upgrade".

    This sounds too much like the Broadcast Flag and as last I checked it was thrown out by the courts.

fortune: not found

Working...