Feb. 15th, 2011 07:02 pm
maxwells_daemon: (Home Computer 2004)
[personal profile] maxwells_daemon
There's good news and bad news.

The good news is much-anticipated: the first new TiVo model in the UK for a decade, and it arrived today! (According to the engineer, I'm the first customer to get one in Oxford.) It is very whizzy with dual-tuner HD recording direct from the cable and integration with the on-demand services, YouTube, etc. It has some annoying features (especially having to enter a PIN every time one wants to watch a recorded 15-rated programme before the watershed) and lacks some things my old TiVos could do (notably copying recordings to PC and no hacking), but is mostly a big improvement.

The bad news has been long-dreaded: the day mine arrived, TiVo announced that they'll soon stop sending schedule information to old TiVos, rendering them near-useless. This is very sad, especially for people who can't get a new TiVo (it is expensive, since you have to get Virgin's top TV package, and only available in cabled areas). Hopefully an alternative way of providing the schedules can be worked out by all the TiVo hackers who want to keep their TiVos going (this has been done elsewhere, so it's probably feasible). I'm almost tempted to help, since I'll miss hacking the new TiVo. (I did a lot of work on my old Palm phone after I moved to Android, but that was just to transfer stuff over - transferring from old to new TiVo is more limited.)

[ETA: a search just revealed that I previously posted about TiVo in 2004, excited by the (until-now unrealised) possibility for a new TiVo model. So I've been anticipating this for at least 7 years!]

Date: 2011-02-15 08:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] parrot-knight.livejournal.com
Still a good thing given that timeshifted viewing in the UK has become erroneously synonymous in the minds of many with Sky+...

Date: 2011-02-15 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] e-pepys.livejournal.com
I suppose the "Sky+" generic term in the UK makes up for "TiVo" in the US.

Date: 2011-02-16 07:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waistcoatmark.livejournal.com
What about the lifetime subscriptions? Are they going to be refunded?

Date: 2011-02-16 11:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] e-pepys.livejournal.com
No. It was always always "lifetime of the TiVo and the TiVo service", not your lifetime. I think 10 years' service for a one-off payment is pretty good going, but it's a pity they couldn't keep it going.

Date: 2011-02-16 05:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] celestialweasel.livejournal.com
Are the new ones not Linux, or not hackable, or not officially hackable, or what?

Date: 2011-02-16 10:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] e-pepys.livejournal.com
Hacking would be difficult. First, the box is owned by Virgin Media, so opening it up could cause trouble.

It is also probably technically difficult. The TiVo Series 4 has so far not been successfully hacked (apart from disk upgrades), and the assumption is that the Virgin Media box is similar. TiVo still runs Linux, but the boot PROM checks the installation hasn't been tampered with before starting it. This is "TiVoisation" that caused lots of arguments over GPL3.

Still, if it turns out that hacking the new box is possible (and isn't likely to get me in trouble), then I'll be delighted.

Date: 2011-02-17 11:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] celestialweasel.livejournal.com
Ah, the TiVoisation thing, I had forgotten about that.
Were you not attracted to one of the open source thingies (the name MythTV springs to mind but I don't really keep up with things as I watch so little TV these days)


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