Monday, February 20, 2012

TiVo Woes

The time has come.  I have been a staunch supporter of TiVo, it's products, and what it stands for since getting my first TiVo in 2006.  It was the first (and best) DVR interface I had ever seen, it was fast, reliable, and had an apple-like fanboy effect on me.  I was stoked on anything and everything TiVo.

Over the years, things changed at the company.  They stopped selling lifetime subscriptions (of which I was never a part), they stopped offering points for referrals, but they remained reliable with hardware and software.  Their desktop software even went to Mac (although only with the Toast Titanium package) but the networks started cracking down and it got to the point that while a trip to Costco or Fry's would get you an expandable HDD for your DVR, you couldn't even transfer recordings into the other room anymore.  What was going on with my beloved company?

My wife and I just moved and when the Time Warner guy came to re-route the cable in our new living room to the place where we wanted it to be, I really thought about what I had and what was out there.  Times had changed.  People we unplugging all around me and even AT&T's U-Verse was offering wireless boxes for those that still wanted to be plugged in.  Why, in 2012, was someone at my house re-wiring ANYTHING?  It really hit me.  Even more recently, I noticed

Since we have been in our place (just under a month) the thoughts of unplugging have been swarming in my head.  Back at the end of 2010, TiVo had released a new box - The TiVo Premiere.  This box had it all: streaming, HD menus, etc.  It seemed that while they had fallen behind the big cable companies that had been trailing behind all these years, they had made the comeback.  They were going to show all the cable companies how to do it all again, right?

Well, I had read the reviews then and read some more now that the box had been around just over a year and the outlook is still bleak.  What happened?  What's going on with the (basically) inventors of the DVR?  Why did they get passed up by all of their competitors (and I use that term lightly -- they were the only game in town for years)?

Now I am faced with the decision: do I stick with what I have - a series 3 HD TiVo box that still runs great but has an admittedly out-of-date UI that is no longer getting support from the company?  Or do I unplug completely?  Getting a TWC box or switching providers, to me, is out of the question all together.  Why would I want to get inundated with information of which I am only watching maybe 2%?  Why not pay for exactly what I watch?

I may be answering my own question so then let me ask this: what do I go with?  I am an Apple devotee.  I love their products, I love their UI and aesthetic, but they don't have Hulu on Apple TV.  I know I can get season passes for shows, etc. but if I am going to unplug all together, why even buy a download of something?

This leads me to the Roku or Boxee boxes which I hear nothing but great things about.  They stream all the stuff I want them to but I am a fan of integration.  Does anyone have any great stories of integration with their Apple products and these third-party developer?  I feel like if it's not Apple, it needs to be TiVo for me but TiVo has yet to announce anything in this market.

I would love to know what everyone else is doing?  I just want to stream and have it all on-demand.  Don't want to download, don't want to store things on a HDD, just want to pay my subscriptions and go about my business.  Does everyone have Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix all at the same time?  Do you supplement with iTunes season passes?

Even my Xbox already has Netflix and Hulu and I think the Zune (cringe) marketplace has season passes for shows as well.  I just want to do the right thing... once.  No more physical media storage (although I did just get Drive on Blu-ray from my mother-in-law) just streaming or nothing.  Pay for what I watch.  WHAT DO I DO?!


1 comment:

  1. David you sound like me when I learned that PCs were copying the Macintosh operating system complete with the cute little trashcan. I would like to share my opinion nothing more my experience thus far in the entertainment service provider industry. I moved from my beautiful Virginia to help my Mom who was caring for my Grandmother struggling with Alzheimers. It was a hard move for me as I left everything I knew and loved but I was ready for an adventure. This happened right after the economy fell off the map so finding employment was a tough road but I did with Dish in one of their call centers. I was naïve to satellite technology prior to this point but quickly took on a massive education and could separate big differences in cable and the recognizable ‘dish on the roof’. What really fascinates me now is the progressive innovation that is constantly taking place. I see it in more than one company but I see leaps and bounds in Dish where I do not in other corporations. For instance, Blockbuster@ Home is a service that is revolutionizing the way I watch movies and I love movies. It is an endless pit of movies and TV shows that can live stream with in internet connection to your TV, computer, or mobile device all in high quality HD. Want to watch ‘Up In The Air’ in the airport head to the airport and whip out your iPad. There are awesome other perks that come with the service but I wanted to focus on where I think you are coming from. I love my On Demand service and I would not trade it for the world now that I see where the future is going. I hope this helps! 