March 12, 2012

TiVo tablet App "ready", but...

This from PaidContent:

"I have since learned the app has been ready for months; it was submitted to and approved by Apple months ago. But Virgin Media is choosing to sit on it as it considers how to tackle a problem that will soon be shared by fellow connected TV operators…
For Virgin’s iPad app - which lets users switch channels and record shows from their sofa - to work, customers’ set-top box and iPad must be on the same home network. The problem - unlike iPad, Virgin Media’s TiVo is not WiFi-enabled.
That means customers keen to use the new wave of second screen controllers must run cable from their WiFi router to their set-top box. In many cases, consumers’ routers are not in the same room as their main TV.
And that poses a big challenge to operators - how can Virgin Media launch its fancy new app experience when it knows it will instantly disappoint thousands of consumers who can’t use it? And how does the company manage requests from customers who want its engineers to relocate their WiFi router or run extra cabling?
The problem can be solved either by manufacturers WiFi-enabling their devices or by offering bolt-on WiFi-enabling dongles separately.
Each method could be a way for Virgin and others to finally launch its TiVo and other apps. But each also adds extra expense to this new wave of products and services. And that could blunt initial adoption, at least until WiFi becomes more commonplace in them from the start."


denyo1977 said...

Is this actually a joke? They knew that problem would exist from the start, so why promise it ages ago?
Are they going to give iPad-less customers an iPad, so they aren't disappointed either?

ashpole said...

Very wrong. Both the iPad and TiVo can use Bluetooth for the connectivity; a BT dongle already works on VM's TiVo.

Ro-me-ro said...

TiVo has it's own internet connection, so in theory connection could be made via WAN - not straightforward though. That said you can remote record from the app & web so what is the difference...

However I have been using powerline adapters for a couple of years now so they should just release the app and not advertise mainstream until they are ready...

Another fail by VM for me...

BK said...

very easy solution: free powerline adapters if you renew your contract for 12 months.
alternative: virgin branded wireless bridge (subsidised)
it's really not that hard!

BK said...

I also moved my own router for £2 over the weekend - all you need is a cable cutter(or even scissors/blade), two f-connector plugs & an f-connector coupler.

unwrittenfutures said...

Er...why not just make sure that when the App appears within the App Store that this stipulation is clear?

Or is that too much to ask?

Unknown said...

Such a poor excuse, people who want to use it will know how to network the Tivo.
Most people who don't have a clue wouldn't even be bothered.

Richard said...

NickO from VM posted last year several times on the tivo forum about connection challenges to the LAN inside people's houses.
Whilst there are a number of solutions and homeplugs are the simple answer, you are forgetting VM has to service the majority of its customers who wouldn't know a cat5 cable from a telephone cable and dont know how to spell SSID!!!

Everyone on this forum is actually a small minority of their customer base. Yes we are all a little miffed about this excuse but think about it from their side.

If we offer it, even if we don't push or publicise it, how many people will be ringing support to say... my ipad app/iphone/andriod app doesn't work it doesnt see my tivo!

support team: is your tivo on the internet?

customer: how can I tell?


customer: how do I connect it?

customer: what I have to go an buy xxx!!

customer: what the app doesn't work! I thought I had bought a broadband connection! What's that other black box used for then?

etc... (just imagine the calls)

so overloaded support calls from people who dont get Lans and wifi and so they get pissed off.

what is worse for them... dissatisfied us the minority or a dissatisfied majority who are not reading this?

If it was your business would you..

Pay money to roll something out that causes a massive cost in your support department and potentially ends up costing a fortune in damage limitation (ie they get a media backlash so have to give free homeplugs)

or would you hold back and look at the options?

TAC2983 said...

Maybe VM should stop making promises they have no intention of keeping, most of us would call this lying! They told us it was coming soon when i upgraded to TiVo in June last year, they told us it was coming shortly after the 15.2 update and then they said it would be quarter one 2012, which is clearly bullshit! VM lie, its what they do best; maybe not best but their certainly better at lying than they are at fulfilling expectations!

I really struggle to understand why they would release a next gen set top box that doesn't have wifi anyway, what idiot made that decision, now they have Samsung making the boxes and low and behold VM have said 'No just make them the same as the Cisco boxes, don't bother with the wifi, most of our customers are idiots why would we bother to give them what they need"

In reply to Richard, i agree, if it were my company i wouldn't release the app, but nor would i systematically lie to my customers about when they could expect a product!

VM need to get their act together, i'm so sick of their lies that i'version decided to go to BT and Sky once they roll out infinity where i live!

Richard said...

@tac2983... I agree there is a flaw in their product development and release schedules. I think at the time they didn't know they would have to delay the release.
I also think they have serious challenges in meeting expectations... Take apple. We speculate and they say nothing till release. Why don't vm learn from this?
My personal view is they need to think about how they manage their design and product development.

I also think like many others tac2983 is tied to vm for the bb service not the tv service and infinity will be the game change that makes or breaks vm.

So let's see what happens, does vm get its act together or does BT provide an offering that grabs the techie savy who want decent bb services and are fed up?