Just wanted to make a thread to point out how much the TiVo has improved with the new firmware version 15.2, as opposed to version 15.1 which I used for a couple of months before I got the update.
I have the 500GB TiVo on the M+ package. My firmware update was done between the hours of 2am and 4am… can’t be more accurate as I was asleep, however a friend of mine in the same area was using his at around 3am or so says that is when the upgrade “kicked in”. Some on this forum have reported that they had theirs either at 2am, or slightly earlier at 1:45am.
The headend for my box is Fareham which is covered under the Solent (Portsmouth) rollout area scheduled for early morning of the 22nd, so the update was delivered on-time, more or less.
There are four lists:
- Positive Changes, which are things I’ve noticed that fix old problems or introduce great new features.
- Negative Changes, which are things that were better in the previous 15.1 firmware.
- Still To Fix/Add, which are any old issues or missing features identified by myself and others that remain to be (hopefully) repaired or added in the next version, presumably 15.3.
- Untested, for any features touted as new or improved by VM that I am unable to test, or alternatively can test and have not yet for whatever reason. [I've not copied this piece: check out the CF thread if you want to read more on the stuff zekeisaszekedoes hasn't looked at yet]
If I’ve missed things I’ll add them to the first post as and when I find them.
If anyone else wants to contribute I’ll add their findings to the list with the appropriate credit.
- Speed increase.
- It’s not a huge increase, but menus (especially Flash HD ones) are notably faster than before. Thumbnails on the Discovery Bar seem to cache a little faster and so do the previously very sluggish ones in the Home -> Help & Settings -> Help menu. Jumping from full EPG to Home or vice versa and setting new Series Links is swifter, with the nasty problem where the currently viewed channel jumps from PiP window to fullscreen and back again much less obvious.
- EPG tweaks.
- I thought the EPG was good before, but it has been made even better.
- Start/end times appear in brackets just before the program description.
- There is a green button Options menu allowing navigation to various times/days without scrolling endlessly.
- When using the reverse EPG the channel number/name moves to the right which makes a lot more sense visually.
- Pressing OK on something in the reverse EPG with a catchup icon brings up “Go to Catch Up TV On Demand”… I believe it had this feature before but having never really used reverse EPG before now couldn’t say for sure.
- Full-screen info improvements.
- If you’re recording the show you’re watching, another ® icon appears after the VM logo and before the thumb rating (if any) and channel name, plus in many cases shows will feature both a genre and “first aired” label to the right of the description. Small touches, but nice ones.
- Activation of Ethernet port.
- This is possibly my favourite improvement that has been made as it really extends what the VM TiVo can do; I have mine plugged into a 16-port switch (see signature).
- After enabling certain networking options you are able to use an Android app called TiVo Commander (or VM’s proprietary iPhone/iPad app but I didn’t test that) to control the TiVo by a visual remote.
- Better still, TiVo Commander can manage available content on the hard drive and make it play directly without having to go into the My Shows part of the Flash HD interface. This is a much faster and cleaner way of controlling the box; I really like it, even though sometimes the link between my Samsung Galaxy phone and TiVo was broken, solved by relaunching the app easily enough.
- Also now Multi-room Streaming is possible (check for other TiVos on the network with Help & Settings -> System Info -> Multi-Room Streaming) although I’m not able to test this because the household only has one TiVo. If all is well other TiVo units should show up at the bottom of the My Shows list. (As a side note, the TiVo Ethernet port appears to be 10/100Mbps.)
- Express Series Links.
- A much easier way to setup Series Links is here, and it’s pretty much one click.
- Defaults are: start 1 minute early, end 4 minutes late, 10 episodes until speed needed, new & reruns. These are now the default options for regular Series Links too, which can be changed of course.
- If you want to make regular Series Links use the Explore this show -> Get this show -> Get a Series Link -> Options menu chain, which incidentally keeps you in the Flash HD part of the TiVo rather than to the old SD one without the PiP in the top right.
- (When you manage Series Links, that’s still in the old SD menu style though.)
- Disable PIN on recording playback.
- It was annoying to have to enter a PIN to watch shows recorded after the watershed time(s) in non-watershed times, but this has been mostly done away with now.
- I still received a PIN request for a show rated by age (18 in that case) rather than time of day though.
- You can lock apps with the parental control as well, but for some reason the only one that shows up on my list is the old YouTube one.
- Multi-tap text entry.
- I’ve wanted this feature for a long time, and now it’s here I am not disappointed.
- So much quicker to enter text on the Flash HD menus using the numeric buttons like writing SMS on older mobile phones.
- iPlayer app always had it (still does), old YouTube doesn’t as it hasn’t been updated and the old SD parts of the TiVo menus (i.e. when creating or modifying WishLists) still doesn’t so it’s a mixed bag, however.
- All channels in PiP Window.
- Yes, even the Sky ones. I didn’t expect this to be looked at until 2012 so I’m impressed it’s already been dealt with, because it was a senseless limitation.
- USB keyboards are working. - thanks to mikerr
- It wasn’t just the Ethernet port that got switched on, the USB ports were activated too.
- Interestingly if you press F11 you can toggle between Flash HD menus and faster but older original TiVo SD ones which have some “hidden” options. I’ll post the keyboard layout when I’ve tested it more. From what I can tell though, there is no rewind/fast-forward/play/pause ability which is a shame.
- My Logitech MK250 wireless USB mouse/keyboard set works perfectly, well the keyboard does anyway! I also tried one of those generic PS2 mouse/keyboard to one USB adapters, and with only the Keyboard plugged in it worked perfectly too.
- Sadly no support for generic USB Mass Storage devices which don’t need complex drivers like external HDDs, flash memory sticks or smartphones with SD cards.
- Info and Stop button functionality improved.
- “You’ll be able to use the ‘info’ button in the TV programme guide and the mini guide, while the Stop button now works as you would expect.” That’s what Virgin said and so far I agree with them.
- New YouTube app. - thanks to the_pidgeon
- I did receive the updated YouTube app, contrary to what I first thought.
- Both old and new are now present on 15.2 VM TiVos.
- New one is found under Featured apps and Music while the old one is under All Apps & Games.
- Some have said the new YouTube app is buggy, but in my experience it's okay, just not as loaded with features as the old one.
- New one autoplaylists by default, plays an annoying VM promo video at launch and lacks features like Subscriptions
- Sorting of Apps & Games into folders.
- This adds nothing when you consider at the moment there are only 14 apps on the TiVo (both old and new YouTube), just results in more button presses to get to what you want.
- Films no longer show the year in brackets in My Shows. - thanks to mikerr
- For example The Matrix  now just displays as The Matrix.
- This was a good way of instantly telling films apart from other programmes and it is a shame to lose it
STILL TO FIX/ADD
- Aspect ratio on 4:3 content when using PiP in Home menu is wrong.
- A minor issue, but noticeable.
- When you’re watching an old show or film, anything non-widescreen is displayed correctly in the EPG when the Aspect Correction Mode is set to Panel, i.e. with black bars on either side.
- In the Home menu, all non-widescreen content is stretched out to fit even when Panel is selected.
- YouTube/old style TiVo SD menus don’t support multi-tap input.
- The new YouTube app might, but I don’t have it to test.
- Old style TiVo SD menus still force you to input letters, e.g. for wishlists, by use of navigation keys only.
- Still using old-style TiVo SD menus in some parts of the interface.
- This will probably never change with VM’s Premiere TiVo derivative, but there’s always a disappointment when going from the slick, fairly decent looking Flash HD menus to the TiVo SD menus that haven’t changed much in a decade.
- No Spotify.
- It was promised but doesn’t appear to be available yet… I was expecting the app to be downloaded to the TiVo at least, even if it wasn’t usable.
- Disabled TiVo Desktop support.
- You can’t download content from the TiVo still; hopefully in the next update, since the original Premiere is capable of it.
- Can’t use pyTiVo or Streambaby third-party streaming apps.
- As the VM TiVo differs from the Premiere quite a bit at this point, these excellent features which allow you to stream content from other devices (i.e. a NAS or PC) with transcoding where necessary.
- Features like this would push the TiVo closer towards being a true media centre hub, but even with the Ethernet port activated and Multi-room/network remote features added we’re unlikely to see support for these at any point. More of a pipe dream, really!
- Negligible difference to SD channel upscaling.
- I never saw much (if any) difference between the upscaling on Tivo and older V HD /V+ HD boxes but VM did promise an improvement here, which in my opinion has not arrived.
- My recommendation is, if you’re connected by HDMI it’s wise to turn the Sharpness control on your set up somewhat. All VM boxes I’ve tried benefit from a clearer picture when doing this, which is quite noticeable on SD content and even more so on HD content.
- No red button support.
- Yes, red button still just takes you to Catchup style options, not proper Freeview-esque support of true red button services.
- In my case not a big issue as it is something I rarely use (TV has built-in Freeview anyway) but it will undoubtedly tick off some TiVo users.
- No Reminder feature.
- This legacy function is still missing.
- Easy enough to implement, so hopefully 15.3 will include it.
- I see it as a transitional addition to make migrating from V HD and V+ HD boxes easier, especially if you have those and the TiVo in the house.
Overall the 15.2 can be considered a big improvement over the 15.1 in a variety of ways, with some of the lingering problems due to be removed in the next firmware upgrade. Well done Virgin Media, and TiVo US!