When Dean recorded HBO’s new Tom Hanks-produced miniseries “John Adams”—which is not a pay-per-view or on-demand program—he was surprised to see it was flagged by Tivo’s Macrovision software, which controls how many times you may watch a program and how long you can store it before it’s automatically deleted. Now the question is, was this a mistake on the part of HBO or Dean’s cable provider Comcast? Or—considering HBO’s infamous anti-consumer stance on time-shifted programming—is it the beginning of a sneaky “back-door” approach to locking down all their content, something Tivo’s own people said would probably not happen when they added Macrovision to their recorders in 2004?
Like all decent Americans, I loath Time Warner and decided to cancel my cable and get satellite service through AT&T, who are a Dish Network reseller.
According to USAToday, Tivo failed to anticipate how quickly its customers would fall in love with HDTV—and out of love with TiVo.
“July 25 – So, I recently moved and have had one hell of a time with DISH Network. Apparently my new apartment building has an “exclusive contract” with ATT. So I call up those guys to get some TV in my new apt. ATT tells me to call DISH directly (their partner) and I oblige because ATT doesn’t deal with apartment complexes. I get on the phone to DISH with a guy (I think his name was Sam) who happily placed my order, until he asked me what floor I live on and I told him third. Sam proceeded to tell me that because of insurance reasons their DISH installers will not install on third floor or higher. I was a little baffled by this and Sam told me to goto a DISH reseller, like Radio Shack.
Time Warner is launching a service that works sort of like a DVR, but doesn’t let you fast-forward—or skip the ads.
If you have kids in your house, and Comcast or Time Warner Cable or whichever cable company you have sends you a DVR, here are is the first thing you’ll need to do:
While some of us might consider it “added value” to receive a Time Warner DVR that was already 20% full of the porn that we would eventually be collecting anyway, some people have children and/or don’t feel like watching “Hole Diggers 2.” Shocking, we know.
I explain to her that I know I can move the files over but raw TiVo files are encrypted and useless. She said you can just download an application to convert them yourself. I explained this would be illegal under the DMCA and TiVo somewhat agressevly tries to enforce the encryption. She said so there is no way you can get an application to convert the files. I told her that I could get such an application but that it is quite illegal and Tivo could sue me or worse. The total times she tryed to get me to do something illega so I would keep the TiVo service, about 4. If I wanted to be illegal I could just dump the cable too and friggin download everything DRM and commercial free, DUH.
TiVo2Go’s Terms and Conditions say:
The TiVoToGo feature includes security measures designed to prevent infringement of copyrighted works. You agree not to take any steps to defeat any TiVo security measures or to use any third party applications that may bypass any TiVo security measures.
It’s sad when your retention people have to talk customers into doing something against your Terms and Conditions in a desperate attempt to keep them. DRM gives The Consumerist a headache. DRM should be sponsored by Excedrin Migraine.—MEGHANN MARCO
“There are serious problems here,” Cook [City Councilman] said Wednesday afternoon. “I think Lincoln customers deserve better. They are not getting what they have paid for.” The new guide has been beset with problems since its introduction. Complaints have ranged from the guide itself — ugly graphics, incomplete information, etc. — to problems with slow-reacting cable boxes and DVRs after the software was loaded into them, causing some subscribers to reboot one or more times a day.
Last week the FCC reiterated that Comcast needs to “unlock” it’s DVRs and set-top boxes. And, to make life even better, “The foot-dragging, tech-testing wing of the cable industry, Cable Labs, has finally standardized a two-way interactive CableCARD.” A CableCARD is a device that will allow a CableCARD ready TV to operate digital cable without a set-top box.
“The DVR started out by simply not responding to any command to change channels, etc. Suddenly, it switched to channel 3, then 4, then 5, 6, 7, and so on. I managed to pause it for a second, but then it just jumped to channel 233 and stayed there, pulsing on that channel while the DVR box flashed the numbers. This story really isn’t terribly interesting on its own, but the channel it stopped on was a religious channel with a priest featured prominently on the screen.”
Reader Brandon had emailed with a dilemma. He lives in an apartment building that provides his cable via Qwest and DirecTV. After dropping $100 on a DVR, Brandon was informed that the dishes on his building were too old to receive local channels, which is the whole reason he bought the DVR in the first place. To add insult to injury, Qwest decided Brandon wasn’t paying a bill they never actually sent him, so they cut him off and are demanding $65 bucks.
Please help me. Comcast is killing me.“
Eric had some trouble with his TiVo and went through three tiers of customer service reps before reaching a critical point, that delicate juncture when the truth butts fiercely up against the facade of happy customer service and one of two things have to go…
Neil Gray placed a TiVo in his family vacation cabin. After he returned home, he started receiving bills from the empty cabin. The first month’s was for over $800 and the next, over $1000.
This is the kind of butt-kicking story of shopper’s biting back that makes us bark. Okay, so we bark anyway, damn lycanthropy, but Dave’s story is swift, proactive and in the end, he gets what he wants and needs out of his cable company: a functional product at an acceptable price. Of course, he has to, figuratively speaking, shove a fist in their love handles, rip out their gall bladder and eat it in front of them, but sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do to get his DVR…