August 07, 2011

EPG aftermath

I returned from my holiday fearing the worst after the reported EPG issues in July, but my TiVo didn't miss a single programme: everything recorded either on the original broadcast date or picked up later in the schedules. Thank you TiVo: faith fully restored...


streaky_7 said...

And that is why, despite the odd negative, TiVo rocks!!

Welcome back, hope you had a great holiday!!

Richard said...

firstly welecome back, I trust you had a fab time.

as streaky say... that's whats so special about tivo.

I did say before, that it 'should' pick up from the repeat later in the week and you have confirmed what I've always said... the season pass process just rocks.

@ streaky - 'few', lol, when you are bored one night you should look at the VM support forum... few negatives is not quite right. The positive people keep getting slammed by a few negative people, who won't listen to the evidence from others. Seems like they are into conspiracy theories. The stuff will make you laugh.

streaky_7 said...

I do flick on there from time to time. But try and limit it to when I actually have an issue that I want to check out. I used to go on it everyday but got very bored reading about the negatives over and over. An like you say, some of the "conspiracy theory's" are just ridiculous. Some just don't get it.

I had a conversation about TiVo with some friends yesterday. They had seen some of the adverts but were generally completely unaware of what TiVo really does. I explained in an honest and open way. A couple loved the idea, a couple thought it was OTT for their viewing habits. Simples!

I just wish everyone looked at it like that. Many of us have said it may not be for some people. But still some will just say it's it's a fact. Baffling.

steveg091972 said...

Sorry if this is a little of topic. Had an interesting chat with a VM direct sales advisor last week. They are now offering TIVO for Free to new customers who appear to be hesitating to sign up. This was also confirmed by the manager of the local VM shop manager, it was also confirmed by a customer service advisor! But customer relations had no knowledge of the offer. Consequently i have cancelled my TIVO installation until they know what they are doing. I also have a photo of the TIVO being advertised for free on the local VM stand in our local shopping centre.

campbellg said...

If so that's a bit of a slap in the face to existing customers, especially those having forked out for tivo already.

That being said, better deals for new customers over loyal customers is nothing new from VM.

Does this smack of desperation on VM's part? Were they expecting more tivo uptake by now?

Nialli said...

Not really...Virgin, Sky and BT will all offer "special deals" to retain customers as it is cheaper than getting new ones.
TiVo's most effective marketing will be word-of-mouth, but they need boxes out there to get that.

campbellg said...

At the moment I don't know anyone who has Tivo, and all I have to go on word of mouth is forums, which seem to be 50% calling it the second coming and 50% calling it the antichrist.

I'm on the fence until such time as the content on VM becomes too much for my V+ memory to cope with, then I'll get Tivo - unfortunately the way things are going with VM regarding content I might be on this fence for some time.

Nialli said...

@ campbellg: The only reasons I can see for not upgrading to TiVo would be if you use the red button frequently or if you watch/record mainly SD. In all other areas TiVo is a far superior product to the V+

Anonymous said...

The problem with sitting on the fence is you'll get splinters in your arse...

streaky_7 said...

I personally don't see content to be a reason not to upgrade to tivo.

Content is a VM vs Sky issue (which I do agree with, I too want Atlantic) but not a V+ or TiVo issue. Content is the same whether you are on V+ or TiVo.

TiVo is a superior box to V+ overall (yes there are updates needed which are hopefully, rumoured, to be coming next month).

The only decision you need to make when you are thinking of upgrading is whether the pros of TiVo outweigh the cons, if you think the tricks of the box will benefit you more than what the V+ can offer you - if they don't then don't bother - whether the content is there or not...

alan said...

when are people going to get over this tivo crap,its just a recording devise,i have one ,load of rubbish,its slow,needs constant rebooting,most of what it decides to record is rubbish,and i have to delete the stuff,what a game,its menus are junk and look crap,i prefered the vm+ hd box,at least you could copy from that to a dvd recorder and watch other things,you cant with tivo,i would have my vm= hd box back anytime,now wm are giving it away free to some new customers,vm you really do take the ----,and the lack of hd content,one failure after another and a load of promisesof more to come,yeah ok,roll on sky at least they deliver,get over tivo its no great thing,vm are loosing customers fast,and they think tivo will save them,i think not

ADarbin said...

@Alan sounds like you have a faulty box, mine has rebooted 3-4 times since I had it installed months ago my V+ was much more flaky (even after 4 replacements) re recording have you told it what you don't like? mine is great at finding things and as someone who as very eclectic tastes in programmes esp comedy even I'm surprised it hasn't pulled out more wet fish I could never go back to another recorder just on the premise of being able to ask for particular actors/keywords makes a huge difference to the times when I would have to devote a day to finding new things to record because my series links had ended and V+ was little more than a very large ornament. I will admit I am surprised it is taking so long to activate the recording side but TiVo has much better options (when switched on)

campbellg said...

V+ v Tivo is very much a contents issue - at any given time there isn't that many programmes in HD I want to record - at the moment Torchwood and Supernatural and that's it I don't usually keep them after watching them as I prefer to get the DVD box sets, I'm happy to keep a SD recording until then if I want to look at it before the DVD comes out but that isn't too often.
If VM get more HD and specifically Sky Atlantic HD (where there have been several series I would have kept recorded until the DVD was released) then I would require Tivo for the memory - at the moment my V+ satisfies my need for what channels VM has, how anyone can say Tivo isn't about content baffles me.

I had the foresight to realise it could be a long wait on the fence so I brought a cushion - no splinters here!

streaky_7 said...

Thank you for your kind words. I apologise if I baffled you. Ill try and explain again what I meant.

If you see the only benefit of Tivo being space and believe content to be a major issue then go to Sky! The Tivo box has a lot of tricks up its sleeve. I think you will have to want these tricks otherwise there is no point in getting it. which is why some people who have Tivo don't like it, they dont get the benefits of it i say, if your sitting on the fence purely because of content and the only advantage you see of tivo is space then just go to Sky. Because at VM the only comparison you can make at the moment between V+ and Tivo is what the 2 boxes can do - the content between the 2 is obviously the same. But Tivo is a more sophisticated box...which I love.

I love the space of course, but i also love the 3 tuners, the fact if a recording fails it records it another time without doing anything, the wishlists, the more control when setting up series links, discovery bar etc etc

streaky_7 said...


I too think you have a faulty box. Dont you think if everyone had your experience Tivo would have even launched in the first place? and everyone would have returned their boxes within a week???

based on your issues:

Mine isnt slow, I have never rebooted, not even once, you can turn suggestions off (i think this feature may improve with time and updates), I have never had an issue deleting something, it certainly isnt a chore, I think the main menus are great though you need to learn the short cuts, I think the main ones look great but also agree the SD menus look shoddy, I have never understood why you want to record to a dvd? With Tivo you have the extra space so shouldnt have to do this anyway, the lack of content isnt relevant when comparing V+ and Tivo as the content is the same but I do agree more content would be nice.

But as I have said before, if the actual tricks the box does, doesnt benefit you in anyway then Tivo isnt for you. But it isnt crap is it. otherwise no one would like it.

As per Niallis post, if the issues whilst he was away happened with a V+ box he would have missed 2 days of recordings. gone forever. not with Tivo!!

campbellg said...

Sadly, as I have said on several threads, I cannot go to Sky but certainly would if I could.

The three tuners is certainly a bonus over the V+ box, granted - there have been some (not manytho) occassions where we've had too many programmes clashing - more often than not some reality TV dross my other half watches.

streaky_7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
streaky_7 said...

@campbellg - shame about Sky, I know I do love my tivo but granted, if I could have gotten Sky (I wasnt able for a long time until recently) I would have moved over a long time ago....but the only thing Sky now has (for me anyway) is Atlantic...if I had that I would be a very happy man....but I wouldnt move away from VM and Tivo now, I feel the benefit too much....

One thing I should point out is it took me 2-3weeks to get used to Tivo, learn the shortcuts, get my way round the menus, let the box start doing its tricks first I thought I had wasted my money, now Im very pleased to say I havent...

campbellg said...

I've kept an open mind regarding tivo, but from what I've read the tricks and things don't really interest me and I'm not prepared to go through the expense and hassle of a change for not much more benefit (to my mind).

Sky Atlantic looks to have more programmes I'd watch than 90% of all the channels currently available on VM so Tivo would simply be a necessity for storage space for me in the event that VM acquired Sky Atlantic (and more HD as well).

Mark Warren ain't gonna sell Tivo to me, but Sky Atlantic HD on VM would!

Richard said...

@alan – thanks for the nice polite feedback. Can i suggest you go join the VM support forum with all the rest of the constructive feedback.
I won’t echo some of the feedback you have had, but strong probability your box is fault.
One person on a different forum post a similar problem and his box was in an enclosed space and probably overheating.
Another was turning the box off at night – doh – in morning when he turned it on its trying to download all the epg updates, rebuild tables, calculate the missed programmes in the todo list etc. And he wondered why it was slow.
Suggestions are just that, use the thumbs down if you don’t like them... they come from your thumbs profile and your recording options, if you do nothing with these then it will become telepathic and read your mind... NOT!
As we all keep saying, tivo isn’t for everyone, if you don’t get what it does, then it probably isn’t for you.

Richard said...

@campbellg – I understand why you are sitting on the fence. There are two main differentiators between sky and VM; These are content and technology.

On the technology side, tivo is pretty cool and definitely puts VM ahead of sky. Tivo has been highly successful in the US market because it is so good. The negatives are frequently from people who have technical problems or people who don’t get tivo and what it does.

For example, you have heard this season pass thing from Nailli which V+ just can’t do. But it goes further... if the program changes time slots or stops broadcasting and comes back next year in a different timeslot, tivo will catch it.

You know how on V+ you get 50 copies of the same episode when you record the program on several links, Tivo just records 1 copy – a unique single copy of the episode across all the season passes.

You know how sometimes you only want to record 1 or 2 copies of a program and if you miss it, you won’t go back – eg my wife records question time (honest its not me!!!) well, with tivo, you can say only keep 1 ( or 2 or 3 etc) episode, then it deletes the oldest when the next program is on.

Its the little attention to detail that tivo gives that you don’t realise till its gone. And when I used a V+ after 7 years of tivo, I could see all V+ shortcomings. (and most stuff got recorded on the second box with the tivo attached.

So on the content side, sky wins with more HD channels and sky atlantic.
BUT I argue that some HD channels are not that much better than SD. A different debate for a different day, but learn what NTSC and PAL resolutions are and what a lot of US HD content is produced at. Then there are the compression algorithms in the transmission, there was a big debate of BBC HD picture quality being very poor on sky compared to vm due to to this. When you look at these things, you might understand why I say this.

As for Sky Atlantic, does one channel really make the difference? I guess for some it will. But for others; well they can make different choices!!!

So back to sitting on the fence... I guess the answer is if content is important, then V+ and tivo make no difference to you. The only advantage comes when tivo learns about your viewing preferences and it starts to suggest content you didn’t know existed.

as for technology, there is no reason not to have something that is better (baring the comment about red button)

matthew said...

All these people who want to leave VM over issues re Tivo and HD content..are they not bothered about their broadband speeds??
I know this is a HD forum but its worth thinking parents and friends have Sky..they have issues to...and the best speed anyone gets is about 6-7meg...not the 41meg i can get

campbellg said...

Given the number of VM broadband users dropped while supposedly being VM's biggest advantage over Sky I don't think people are that bothered, I certainly don't require 20meg broadband let alone 41!

Sky Atlantic really is a major factor to me - if the time comes that I can get Sky and VM don't have Sky Atlantic I will leave VM, simple as that - I see the best US drama on this channel and being a huge George RR Martin fan I did not like the fact I had to go to other houses to watch Game of Thrones, which was siply the best thing I have seen on TV for as long as I can remember. From what little I have seen of Boardwalk Empire I want to see more and the Borgias looks like my kind of programme.

There is no other channel out there with at least three programmes I want to watch, that's why this one channel is of great importance to me.

Tivo may be a great piece of kit, but what's the point of a fancy plate if there's little worth eating on it?

streaky_7 said...


Away from TiVo (I dont know if I will ever convince you to go Tivo without Atlantic haha), you are right with regards to content and specifically Atlantic. I too want it.

Its a kick in the teeth from Sky to give us Sky1 and then bring in a new channel. Its a kick in the teeth from VM not to pay up - or if Sky are digging in their heels on price, then at least give us the opportunity to pay extra for it. At least then its consumer choice.

I have said before if its such an issue for Sky and VM then why not put Atlantic in to the Premium HD List with Sports and Movies? Even if they up the charge a little bit more. I would pay an extra pound or 2 to get it.

With regards to BB, I do like the quick speeds. Sky, and most other providers, are poor when it comes to BB - both my parents and the in-laws have broadband speeds of "up to 10mg" with Sky and BT and they are realistically around the 3-4mg mark and its so slow and frustrating to use.

Have you thought about using the VM quick speeds Atlantic programmes?? Taking advantage of what VM can offer in terms of decent broadband. You cant get the programming through VM TV but you can download it pretty quickly using VM BB....

Nialli said...

I'm in full agreement over Sky Atlantic. I've watched Boardwalk Empire (downloaded - felt terrible doing so) and Game of Thrones (a friend recorded it for me from Sky) and can confirm that they're both exceptional series. Will I download season two of Boardwalk? Don't know yet. There's still no DVD release date for season one btw.

campbellg said...

I'd prefer not to go down the route of illegal (presumably) downloads, plus I'd much rather watch a series like Game of Thrones on a screen that enhances the programme (which ain't my PC monitor tbh). There's probably ways to then watch it on my TV but I'd rather not do the illegal stuff as I said.

Total agreement regarding the option to pay for it, if I ever move to Sky I'll most likely pay more anyway so that isn't an issue (especially paying for HD programming, which also would be fine with me, Sky have far more HD than VM).

gsituffers said...

can i applaud all of the above for your honest comments,to explain a few basics 1.tivo in the usa is like sky in uk every one wants one or has had one -so it was no brainer when sky declined tivo to take it up to get one over them
2. content sky will always pay to get hd first as their boxes dont upgrade sd like vm boxes do -see argument about bbc hd content always move the goal posts after a deal is done remeber bt deal with skysports1+2 -price increase 7weeks after deal was done and bt ended up out of pocket
4. tivo red button still under testing /development
5. we are always trying to give customers really good value for monet -see deal with spotify ?
6. love film deal ? dooged down due to skys monopoly with universal /tristar/disney/paramount -will come in time just likes skys death grip on premiership remeber the old season ticket -gone now can get all content from vm and some from bt
7. tivo ? box =what ever you pay for install £3ppm fee for hd and better functions compare to skyhd £10ppm = your own choice and decision. tivos connected to internet =full bbc i player -apps -sky anytime coming soon!! this bit could go on forever -links to alt content from facebook /yotube- ===in essence tivo is a one stop shop for all aspects of a family enviroment where kids want to show parents clips from youtube on 37/40" telly instead of 15"monitor etc learns to catch stuff you miss -ability to let you copy stuff you want to keep and send to another tivo box if you have a second ?