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Cox May replace its own DVRs with TiVos 223

Controlio writes "According to a posting by user BrettStah on the TiVo Community Forums, Cox Cable is currently circulating a survey to gauge customer's interest in TiVo services. From the survey, 'While Cox currently offers its own DVR service, the Cox DVR may soon be powered by TiVo, and include the features that TiVo owners have come to expect. If Cox were to offer digital cable service with a TiVo branded DVR for about the same price as you are currently paying for satellite service each month, how likely would you be to switch from satellite TV to Cox cable that featured this TiVo branded DVR service?'"
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Cox May replace its own DVRs with TiVos

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 08, 2006 @02:04PM (#15286850)
    Hi folks. Alan Cox here again, this time to address a serious issue that's come up recently in the Linux world.

    Frankly, Linux development has become impossible of late -- I spend far too much of my time and energy playing catch-up with Linus and his Lord-of-the-Flies approach to patching the Linux kernel. His criteria are based on what's shiny and novel rather than what's stable and needed. He's worse than a five-year-old in front of an Xbox. Such reckless practices threaten not only kernel stability and security but Linux mindshare as well. If we wanted to use unchecked code, we'd all be booting Windows.

    For instance, just last week Linus and I both received a patch for SMP from Eric Raymond. My inclination was to fire up Pico and read through the code, gleaning what I could from comments and code-tracing, and then apply the patch to my test system and run stability tests. Eric isn't known for his programming prowess (though he'd have you think otherwise) and I'm not one to toy with such low-level chunks of the kernel. But while I was putting the new code through its paces, Linus had other ideas.

    Before I could email Linus my first impression of Eric's patch, I received an instant message in ALL CAPS shouting about how he'd just committed the new code. I was incredulous, to say the least. There was no way he had time to manually parse through 384k of spaghetti code. Eric had no doubt been at the Jäger again and had made a grievous typo, having typed man(love) instead of main(). Had Linus taken the proper steps for integrating new kernel code, he would have caught that glaring error.

    I am sick of cleaning up after Eric, but with Linus there is just no excuse.

    Things weren't always like this. Linus used to take his time working on Linux, but when Linux started getting a lot of press coverage, he started getting sloppy. I understand the hectic schedule he had to endure with the interviews and press. But he let the fame go to his head at the expense of Linux kernel health. Going to work for TransMeta didn't help and moving up and down the West Coast only worsened the situation. Ironically, things haven't improved since he went to work for OSDL either.

    After studying the GPL, conferencing with Linux vendors, and much soul-searching, I feel there's only one way improve this situation. Therefore, as of today, I am forking the Linux kernel. I will call it simply Cox, keeping with the x nomenclature common to Unix. And to ensure that hackers all over the world can have a stable operating system, I will be the head of Cox. I hope you, gentle reader, will support me in this ambitious new project to get Cox into users' hands as soon as possible.

    The primary focus of Cox will be stability. Compared to Linux, Cox will be rock-hard. Another goal is security, and to that end Cox will fill as many holes as possible, and any bugs or viruses in Cox will be dealt with swiftly. Cox will also not leak nearly as badly as Linux does with its memory. Cox will also strain to avoid the hairy mess of incompatibilities Linux is infamous for. The net result of these improvements is that users will reach for Cox just as robust as when it first went up. Cox will have longer uptimes than Linux.

    In all honesty, Cox will likely split the Linux community in half. But the sacrifice will be worth it. Users will wonder what they ever did before they went with Cox. Linus will one day come face-to-face with Cox and realize what he has been missing all these years. After speaking with Richard Stallman, another huge fan of Cox, I agreed to keep the kernel under the GPL. He assured me that the GPL was the best way to disseminate Cox. Richard seemed quite eager to install Cox in his back-end!

    I hope the latent interest in Cox among Linux developers will soon become a driving obsession.

    Thank you.
  • I would switch. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yagu ( 721525 ) * <> on Monday May 08, 2006 @02:04PM (#15286854) Journal

    It's not entirely fair to offer an opinion, I have never seen or used the Cox PVR. My experience has been there are few pretenders to the throne that even come close to Tivo's quality of service.

    Tivo pioneered the user experience for PVR viewing, and from their first offering (which I purchased and actually returned -- it was not quite ready for prime time then) which was very good they have steadily improved their already leading product.

    For those who may care, here is one of my earlier posts on tivo features vs Comcast [].

    If I had the option and was a Cox subscriber, not only would I ask for the swap for similar pricing, I'd be happy to pay a premium. Tivo is that good, and what I've seen of other offerings is that bad! (I recently visited neighbors who had their new Dish PVR. While I'd wished a Tivo for them, I was happy for their new window into PVR viewing. I tried to walk them through the simplest setups: record one show, pause live TV, etc., but even I found the interface clunky, intrusive, inconsistent, and obfuscated. It bordered on unusable. I was able to figure it out, but it was a RPITA to use. And, before anyone points out I had to "learn" how to use the tivo, too, that really wasn't true. The litmus test for me for entertainment gadgets is that I be able to use it out-of-the-box with no instruction manual reading. Tivo is usable from the get-go.)

    If I lived in a region where I had some OTHER cable service, and heard Cox was offering PVR with Tivo, I'd switch.

    Good luck, Tivo...

    • Re:I would switch. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Tongo ( 644233 )
      I haven't used any other PVC device, but I was really disappointed by Tivo. My main beef is that the fricking UI is slow as hell. I love pressing a button and waiting a second or so before it does anything. The screen refresh sucks ass too. The other problem I have is the lack of an autotune feature w/out record. It's not that big of a deal, but I hate to waste the space if I don't need to record it (I know my lazy ass will be there when the show comes on).

      Besides those two gripes, the service is great. It
      • PVC is the way to go. I have been using PVC for irrigation since I was 12, and while aware of the problems (if that purple stuff gets in your clothes it ain't coming out), it's far better than the alternatives. We did some sprinklers for my granny, and we didn't use PVC, and it was a pain. PVC offers superior durability for a reasonable cost, and it is so easy to glue. The only drawbacks are flexibility and it's a pain in the butt to cut.
        • The flexability of PVC can definitely be a blessing or a curse. If you're having problems cutting PVC for a sprinkler system though, you aren't using the right tool []

        • The best part of slashdot when when comments like this are +5 Insightful!
        • How the hell does something obviously intended as funny get modded insightful? Even if you missed the whole humorous link to the GP's misuse of PVC (instead of PVR), the post would, at best, be Offtopic...

          *sigh* This is the problem of using the general (posting) public for moderation.

          To quote George Carlin: "Think of how stupid the average person is and then realize half the people are DUMBER THAN THAT!"
          • If I recall correctly, posts modded as Funny don't net the poster Karma. The idea, of course, is that you shouldn't gain Karma for cracking jokes occasionally.

            However, some moderators feel that those who lighten the mood and cheer up their day deserve Karma, so they moderate funny posts as Insightful or somesuch.

            I expect that, in metamoderation, Insightful moderations on posts that aren't get swatted down. Those moderators would thus end up getting mod points less often, and the effect is mitigated.
    • I understand how you feel, it sucks to move to an inferior model.

      I've had Ultimate TV for a few years now and I really dread losing it. Everyone I know who has had UTV boxes holds on to them for dear life--and I haven't heard those who have had to switch away bragging happily about their new systems.

    • Re:I would switch. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by lucabrasi999 ( 585141 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @02:32PM (#15287132) Journal
      My experience has been there are few pretenders to the throne that even come close to Tivo's quality of service.

      My experience includes both DirecTV's Tivo Box and Dish Network's DVR. And, in the end, it is a tie. Both services are good. Both have nice features (including the ability to skip ahead 30 seconds and the ability to jump ahead in five or ten minute increments). Both record what I want, when I want. The Dish box has a bigger hard drive, but that is probably because it is a new box. And, the Dish box has the ability to add an extra few minutes of recording to a show, if I desire (for those of us that LOVE the ABC show Lost, you know that ABC has a bad habit of extending the show past 10pm ET -- I can't tell you how many times I missed the last two minutes of episodes because my Tivo stopped recording at 10pm).

      So, in the end, to me the issue is not whether or not Cox is offering Tivo. The DVR v. Tivo battle is a draw. The issue is do I want to leave Satellite TV heaven and return to cable TV hell? Do I want to pay more for lower levels of customer service? And the answer is a resounding "No!".

      Satellite TV is still head and shoulders above cable TV. And, it is cheaper.

      • Re:I would switch. (Score:3, Informative)

        by eln ( 21727 )
        And, the Dish box has the ability to add an extra few minutes of recording to a show

        I have DirecTV's TiVo box, and it has the exact same feature. You can add anywhere from 1 minute to 3 hours on to the end of a show, which is awesome for recording sporting events that may go into overtime.

        TiVo is great. The only complaint I have is that the response times are very very slow. The slowness of the channel guide is particularly maddening, although the ability to filter out all the shopping, PPV, and non-subs
        • Just curious, do you have your DTiVo hooked up to a phone line? If so, it should've grabbed an update a while ago that speeds up the interface a whole lot. Mine was unbearable when it was first installed, but after a few days it was great. The guide interface is actually faster than the old straight DirecTV box that I used to have.
          • I only hook it up to the phone line when it complains that it hasn't contacted the service in a while (usually once every couple of weeks). I'll hook it up tonight and see if I get that update.
    • have never seen or used the Cox PVR. My experience has been there are few pretenders to the throne that even come close to Tivo's quality of service.

      I've never used a Tivo.

      I'm guessing that they are going for brand recognition. I've had Cox HD-DVR service, and I loved it. My only real beef was that it would store multiple episodes by the same title on the box when you told it to record all of the shows and repeats. There was not an option like "I really, only need one copy of this".

      I'm a picky SOB, and
    • Cox currently uses a Scientific Atlanta DVR/digital decoder combo. I have a TiVo and a friend who HAD a Cox provided DVR - the Cox provided DVR is a clunky POS compared to a TiVo. A problem with the Cox DVR is that you have to have digital service which I don't find to be worthwhile. BTW, Cox in my area provides excellent analog extended basic cable and broadband service.
    • I've used the Cox DVR -- In my opinion, it sucks, it's godawful and I used it for maybe a week, never even got around to watching anything it recorded, and it 'crashed' for lack of a better word and said I had to call CS to get it turned back on because "Your set top box is not authorized to use this service" or something, couldn't even -watch- tv... that thing was a piece of trash compared to a TiVo, which I purchased shortly after. Only problem with the cable TiVos is that you need the TiVo, AND the cabl
      • I have a TiVo with Cox analog extended basic and I don't use a decoder box. On our system you only need a cable box if you have a digital dcoder.
        • I have a TiVo with Cox analog extended basic and I don't use a decoder box. On our system you only need a cable box if you have a digital dcoder.

          Hmm... yeah I have HBO so I need the box I think... Maybe I can run it without the box if I just get extended basic... well, we'll find out once the Sopranos season is over, thanks for the tip!
  • by MaggieL ( 10193 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @02:08PM (#15286885)
    Sounds to me like Cox is more interested in getting folks to switch from satellite to cable than they are in replacing their current DVRs with TiVos. Otherwise they'd be surveying their current customer base.
    • As anyone who watches TV via Cox Cable knows, the cable vs. satellite thing is what's on their minds.

      +1 insightful -- You're right, this has nothing to do with Generic DVR vs. TiVO. This is Cox getting a hold of TiVO, and advertising it to prospective customers by means of what is effectively a push poll. Crafty.
      • This is Cox getting a hold of TiVO

        Didn't Comcast do this years ago? When do I get to replace my POS Comcast DVR with a Tivo already?

        • by sammy baby ( 14909 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @03:15PM (#15287480) Journal
          A little bit before the new year, I picked up a new HD set. I was pretty excited about it. If I'd known the runaround I was going to get from Comcast, I wouldn't have been.

          1. I call Comcast. They tell me that an HD tuner and service is already in my plan, and all I need to do is pick one up at the office. When I show up (It's a 20 minute drive), they tell me that they're out. But they'll call me when they come in.
          2. I check in after a couple of weeks. The person at Comcast says, "Oh - no, they're not gonna call you. You have to keep calling us." "Great. Hey - does my office have these HD tuners in yet?" "Yes!" Except when I get there, it turns out they don't, and haven't for days. I pitch a hissy fit, and they give me an "all in one" box (HD + DVR), promising not to charge me for the DVR part. I leave, mollified. The box doesn't work.
          3. Guy from Comcast shows up... 8 days later. "Yup, it's broken," he says. He swaps the DVR out with a brand new box. Beautiful high-definition television, complete with DVR functionality! It works! For a few hours, anyway. That evening, the hard drive (or something) on the device starts making a clicking noise. The DVR part no longer works.
          4. Guy from Comcast shows up... another TWO WEEKS LATER. He starts to swap out the box, discovers that the new one he has doesn't work at all, and puts the old one back. "It's a real problem," he admits. "All the techs just had a meeting about it. We unplug the units from the network to take them out, something changes in their config, and they have to be taken back to the office." Great. "Call to schedule another appointment in a couple of weeks."
          5. I schedule another appointment. I call out from work to be there. Then someone leaves a message on the answering machine saying... they're out of set-top boxes again, and I've stayed home for nothing.

          Fuck Comcast, right in their fucking eye.
          • Yeah, that's happened to Comcast in the last 12 or so months.

            They used to be reasonably good about making appointments, keeping them, and double checking that everything was okay. And then out of the blue, they basically decided to give up on customer service.

            I had a comcast cable internet service out of commission for a month. They kept insisting they had already been there and it already worked, but I had a feeling it was just so the trouble ticket never looked like it was open more than a day or two.
          • Yes.
            This is why people switched TO sattelite TV FROM cable TV.

            The "cable guy" movie was a documentary.
          • Compare this with my story of satellite. Ordered up a PVR hooked it up... now 3 years later (never a hitch) seriously debating upgrading because of all the cool new equipment that exists. I have cable internet and it sucks, but my DISH seems to be going strong. Also, my sister had TiVo for a while and didn't like it as much as the built in PVR.
  • Two questions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dark Paladin ( 116525 ) <> on Monday May 08, 2006 @02:08PM (#15286895) Homepage
    I haven't read the article yet (it's in my other tab) - but two questions:

    1. Is this "crippled" in any way, or is it a real Tivo?
    2. Does it plug into the Digital cable, or just the regular analog?

    I have a Tivo now, but another one would be useful (since my wife likes the American Idol shows, and I - don't). But if Cox is considering this, especially in wake of the recent Tivo/Echostar (if I remember correctly) lawsuit, Cox could save money on development, say "You know, the control isn't worth the hassle" (which would be called "buying a clue"), and Tivo could get more customers. Everybody wins, even the cable customers.

    Which is why I'm looking outside the window for those damn flying pigs.
    • Re:Two questions (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stevel ( 64802 ) *
      What it is most likely to be is TiVo software running on a Motorola 64xx hardware platform, in use today by Cox and many other cable TV companies. It is well known that TiVo is already developing such a thing and that Comcast plans to offer it later this year.

      So you would get the nice TiVo interface and feature set on the Motorola box. You might not get the networking features standalone TiVo users have become accustomed to, nor the "hackability" of older TiVo boxes.

      An alternative would be the TiVo Series
    • Re:Two questions (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      I'll bet dollars that it's the lame "TiVo Basic" that comes on many DVD recorders now. It's a "free" tivo service that is seriously lacking even in general VCR capabilities and with annoying advertisements on how your live would be better if you simply upgraded to full tivo service.

      It bothered me so much I returned the unit and bought a Lite-ON DVD recorder with hard drive instead.

      TiVO will not be free without a premium being charged, or COX will simply up your monthly rate by a unnoticable $13.95 a month.
  • by iogan ( 943605 )
    I don't even know what any of these things are, but sure, what the hell. I'll switch.
  • If they're doing that, why don't they hook up a bunch of Tivo's at the local distribution, and tivo everything? That way, you could watch any program at any time. Of course, some programs would be "too busy", and they'd only have x hours/shows in advance, but that would be completely sweet.
    • They have agreements about when they air content. Showing you this content out of band would probably violate agreements. Letting you do it, as per fair use, is different. This will eventually come, though, since every cable provider is working on rolling out VoD.
  • by The Joe Kewl ( 532609 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @02:10PM (#15286914)
    Most likely you would have to rent the Tivo DVR from COX for a month to month fee, and that would make it very limited to what you could do (hack) with the Tivo box.

    No thank you, I will keep my current Satellite Tivo, which I own, and can do whatever I want with (like upgrade the hard drive, add web interface, etc..)

    Now if I could purchase the Tivo from Cox for X amount of dollars, and the unit supported HD TV recording, I would maybe consider it.
    • Directv makes all new users LEASE equipment, that meaqns no "hacking" or upgrading if I were to go from Insight(a division of Cox) to Directv...welcome to the beginnings a world where you LEASE all of your electronics (or in the case of PCs the software running on them) to keep the corperations in control of every aspect of life...
      • I take it you don't remember the bad old day when you could only lease your telephone or your Xerox.
      • Yeah, but these aren't TiVos, there DirecTV DVRs, and are made for entirely different purpose (enhanced satellite viewing experience, vs a personalized media box). Yes, I'd jump on this, if (1) Cox were allowed in my town (we're Adelphia only) and (2) TiVo was bumped from DirecTV entirely (coming soon).
      • welcome to the beginnings a world where you LEASE all of your electronics (or in the case of PCs the software running on them) to keep the corperations in control of every aspect of life...

        It's not necessarily a bad thing. Leasing the equipment will always guarantee you free replacement hardware and upgrades in the future. So instead of dropping $500 on a box you spend $5 a month (or whatever)... that's much more cost efficient! It'd take you around 8 years to get a return on your purchase of the equipm

        • I am not saying leasing is a bad deal, I am just saying that it should not be the ONLY deal; some of us like to tinker, bolt in an extra HDD, try a 3rd party software mod, add or unlock features (ala 30 sec skip) and so on

          Why should tinkerers be treated like second class citezens? we arent stealing HBO (which oddly enough I actually have, and PAY FOR) or PPV events; we just want to tinker!

          Think of it like a car; want to get back and forth to work/achool/church and that is it, then leasing may be a good dea

  • Being someone who has both a Tivo unit and a Cox DVR (the Tivo is in my living room, the other is my hi-def plasma in the game room for the home theatre), I have to say that the Tivo doesn't really do anything the DVR doesn't do. The primary differences are:

    1) The Tivo will download "recommendations" (which I have yet to ever use). Advantage: Tivo (I guess)
    2) The DVR has a way better guide that has a nice preview screen (Advantage: DVR)
    3) The DVR has two-channel capability (watch one show while the other records). Advantage: DVR
    4) The Tivo has to use the serial input, which makes channel changing slow, versus the DVR which is integrated with the cable box. Advantage: DVR
    5) The DVR can do HDTV. Advantage: DVR (those I suppose these new Tivos might do it)
    6) The user interface on the Tivo is way simpler. Advantage: Tivo.

    All in all, I'd say my existing DVR is way better than the Tivo, though if they added what's good about the DVR, maybe it would be OK. I suppose my point is that the Tivo isn't so far ahead of the DVR that it's going to make some huge difference.

    • I have a DirecTiVo, and with the exception of HD, it does everything on your list. There is also an HD DirecTiVo, but it's being phased out with the switch to MPEG-4.
    • by silas_moeckel ( 234313 ) <[silas] [at] []> on Monday May 08, 2006 @02:28PM (#15287087) Homepage
      You have apparently never used a sat tivo.

      1) same
      2) Subjective
      3) tie
      4) tie
      5) tie
      6) same

      So the only catagory the DVR might be better at would be the guide interface. As a long time user of Tivo I use the my recordings a lot more than guide and like ther overlayed look. The Direct Tivo's can do a picture in a window similar to your DVR but thats personal preferance though having the option is good. Now for the rest of the features.

      Tivo can move recodings off the tivo onto the server.
      Tivo can talk to other tivo's in the same house and move recodings around.
      Tivo can access content on your pc for playback on your TV. (Think rip all your DVD's and never have to touch them again)
      Tivo allows you to access 3rd party applications.
      Tivo will stream internet sources and MP3's
      • The Cox DVR has two tuners and both are HD capable whereas the DirecTV HDTiVo has one SD and one HD. Until TiVo offers dual HD tuners, I'm not interested in switching, despite the fact that I would really like to have the networking features that TiVo offers.
      • Tivo can move recodings off the tivo onto the server.
        Tivo can talk to other tivo's in the same house and move recodings around.

        Yes, but it's godawful slow at network access. A one-hour show takes about one hour to move to another Tivo or to a PC. Moving the same file from one PC to another takes about one-tenth the time.

        • Yup it's slow but slow is better than the nothing that a cox DVR offers. I get better than an hour of content in an hour and there are more invasive methods (MTU size) to get better than that. Generaly this only annoys me when I'm watching a rip of a DVD and want to skip past the intro credits.
    • I would imagine Cox would use TiVo Series3 [].
    • Why doesn't ReplayTV ever get bundled?

      ReplayTV, perviously SonicBlue, has always come with an ethernet port. It doesn't need a phone line to update if you have a broadband connection, and you can watch or backup your shows from your computer on the LAN.

      • ReplayTV made a name for itself by not caving into content producer demands (30 second skip on by default for example). As a result, they're a pariah in the industry. That's why you'll never see them bundled with your cable company box.
    • you forget the one most important feature that NO cable DVR has.

      30 second skip.

      any DVR without that sucks. I am not going to fast foreward through the commercials, I am going to simply pop past them.

      Its the only reason that I dumped TiVO for ReplayTV. (yes, I know you can hack the 30 second skip back in.)
      • you forget the one most important feature that NO cable DVR has. [...] 30 second skip.

        You're right, I should've mentioned that one. The truth is, my DVR's fast-forward mode is pretty well designed. When you stop it, it flips back 10 seconds. The fast forward is so fast then I can typically skip past everything in 3 or 4 seconds. I think it actually works out better than the 30 second skip, though I have to pay more attention. The FF on the Tivo doesn't seem to work as well, though I can't at this second d

      • (yes, I know you can hack the 30 second skip back in.)


        Only if you consider hitting a quick sequence of buttons on your remote control ( select-play-3-0-select ) once per reboot of the TiVo hacking, I guess. It's more like a cheat code.

        It's a little annoying, I suppose, but it's highly disingenuous to claim that TiVo doesn't have the feature - I use it every day, and friends with TiVos are always glad to learn about it and start using it as soon as they're shown the sequence.

        • Only if you consider hitting a quick sequence of buttons on your remote control ( select-play-3-0-select ) once per reboot of the TiVo hacking, I guess. It's more like a cheat code.

          I have a TiVo and I don't even bother with the code.. the FFWD feature is fine for me, and I'm not even using their remote (which would be even nicer, I use a Philips TSU500 LCD remote without tactile feedback) I just press FFWD 3 times to get it up to max speed, once I see the show I hit it one more time and it goes back to pla
    • 1) The Tivo will download "recommendations" (which I have yet to ever use). Advantage: Tivo (I guess)

      And offers more recording options in general. Advatage: Very much TiVo.

      2) The DVR has a way better guide that has a nice preview screen (Advantage: DVR)

      OK. Valid point. Advatage DVR.

      3) The DVR has two-channel capability (watch one show while the other records). Advantage: DVR

      TiVo has tons of multi-tuner models already in use for DirectTV, for instance. Advantage No one.

      4) The Tivo has to use the serial i
    • Do you actually have any comparisons beyond just channel flipping? Such as season passes, wish lists, user interfaces, device stability, etc?

      The Guide and other live TV functions are features I almost never use, since I almost never watch live TV. For me the value of Tivo is how well it can record what I want (wish lists, season passes) and the ease of use in doing so and playing the recordings back.

      Admittedly the standalone hardware is pretty much obsolete; serial/IR channel changing, analog-only audio a
  • Tivo has done an amazing job at branding. They're synonymous with good DVR, and I even reffer to my generic Time Warner DVR as "Tivo", and when I record a show I reffer to it as being "Tivo'd".
  • I wish my cable company would consider that. I can't stand the DVRs Time Warner provides. I used to have a TiVo, but "upgraded" to the Time Warner DVRs (made by Scientific Atlanta) in order to get high-def and on-demand content. They are such awful pieces of junk that it's difficult to fully describe the magnitude of difference between them and TiVos.

    Just to give a single example, suppose you're watching a show. Another show is scheduled to record, and it tells you it's going to have to switch the chann
    • This is somewhat worrying to me, as I've grown accustomed to the Moxi capabilities on the Motorola box that I lease from Adelphia. TW is due to take over the area in a few months, but there's been little word on what will be happening with the DVRs. I know that Moxi has a coming deal on a better device made by another company (Samsung?), but whether TW will pick up on it is a significant question.

      I'd been hoping for TiVo to get on the Cablecard bandwagon until the clarifications were posted on ArsTechnica
    • It's not a bug or flaw.

      You can only record two programs at the same time, and then switch between the two. However, you can record one, and then watch whatever you want. The reason being is because they (SA8000 and SA8300 boxes) only have two tuners built in.
      • You're suggesting that it's NOT a bug when the box:

        A) Asks you if you would like to change the channel
        B) Allows you to say "No, don't change the channel"
        C) ...and then changes the channel anyway?

        This is a bug. I had my TiVo for around five years before getting the Time Warner box, so I know how a DVR is supposed to work. The TiVo also asked if you would like to change channels, but amazingly enough actually listened to the answer.
  • Cox DVR SUCKS! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Radi-0-head ( 261712 )
    The Cox DVR is awful. From a usability perspective, TiVo blows it away.

    I've been through three. All of them like to spontaneously reboot themselves, especially while in the middle of recording a show (which is subsequently lost as the box spends 5 minutes booting up).

    If you start playback of a program that is being recorded, the DVR will stop when the program is finished recording, and throw you right back to the beginning of the program so you have to fast-forward to where you were. Maybe they fixed thi
    • I hate the Sci Atlanta DVRs.

      I like what it does, but it's kinda a pain in the ass.

    • 100% agreed.

      When fastforwarding, the audio will frequently lose sync with the video, and you'll have to rewind a bit to get try and get it to sync back up again.

      The "record only new episodes" feature should be renamed to "record anything in this timeslot, or nothing at all, whichever is more annoying".

      No 30 second skip forward.

      Sometimes after fast forwarding, it takes a good 5-10 seconds for the audio to come back on.

      Explanation of any of the video output settings are horrible. All it says is "Upconvert-1"
    • The Cox DVR is awful. From a usability perspective, TiVo blows it away.

      Ah, you apparently received one of the functional models. Consider yourself lucky that it works well enough to compare with TiVo.

      The horror stories range from them simply not working at all (regardless of how many times the customer has the unit grudgingly replaced by a tech who mumbles about "signal quality" and "poor power in this area"); to the DVR randomly recording whatever the hell it wants (and of course, not recording what
  • I just got the HD Tivo for DirecTV, but it looks like I'm in a bad location where I can't see any of the terrestrial HD transmitters. Apparently DirecTV's HD DVR can pull in local HD channels, but they're highly compressed, which seems to me like it defeats the purpose of going HD in the first place. And it sounds like it's user interface sucks too.

    So, IF:

    1. I could get full quality HD channels
    2. I could expand the disk capacity


    1. It was setup to allow me to archive shows (fat chance)

    Then I would swi
  • "If Cox were to offer digital cable service with a TiVo branded DVR for about the same price as you are currently paying for satellite service each month, how likely would you be to switch from satellite TV to Cox cable that featured this TiVo branded DVR service?" (emphasis mine)

    The real story here isn't that Cox may slap the Tivo name on their DVRs. It's that they may be thinking about dropping their hideously high prices. For Cox to offer what I used to pay a month for satellite plus the cost of Tivo t
  • Every channel below 100 ("basic" cable and non-HD locals) is analog even with Cox's mislabeled "digital" service. They want to keep backwards compatibility with their analog subscribers, and don't want to spend the extra money to have separate digital channels for comedy central, cartoon network, etc.

    In December 2003 I bought a 56" DLP HDTV. I plugged in my Cox digital cable, and the flaws of the analog signal (especially the ghosting) were so bad, I ordered dish network's HD package the next day. The pict

  • by tinrobot ( 314936 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @02:30PM (#15287114)
    I love my Tivo and it's one of the main reasons I dumped Adelphia (that and Adelphia's abysmal service.)

    If I ever went back to cable, the deal would have to include a Tivo that had the same features as DirecTV's implementation (including the ability to record two streams)...and no, I'm not into a standalone Tivo, mostly because of the subscription and the fact that it needs a separate receiver. Too complex. I like the simplicity of having two tuners built into the Tivo itself. DirecTV has a great solution.
    • Yeah, except that TiVo is already walking toward the gas chamber in the DirecTV world. I will probably drop DTV for, well, I have no idea, after they make me switch in a couple of years. I guess my only hope is a TiVo HD standalone / cablecard version and rabbit ears. (Okay, really a pair of Channelmaster 4221s). God, but I don't want to go back to Adelphia (evil...pure evil).

      What I want is SA features on DTVs network. Oh, and world peace. Is that too much to ask?
  • Despite what misgiving people may have about tivo, it's be around for some time and is generally considered "stable." Cable companies that has been producing their own DVR probably discovered that it will cost them less to license software from tivo than hiring a crew to develope and maintain their own.
  • I don't care (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheKubrix ( 585297 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @02:42PM (#15287221) Homepage
    I'm a customer of Cox Cable and ordered their DVR as soon as they came out. I love it. It does everything I need and has a great menu, all the options I need and I love the preview window while I browse the menus.

    I'll admit that I havn't really played with a tivo, and I'm sure there are many services that it has which I might like, but honestly, I'm very busy and Cox's DVR does everything I want, anything more would add to the indulgence.

    What I WOULD like to see from Cox is an improvement to their video on demand. Its flaky at best. The few times that I tried to order a movie from them, the movie died out and no one from their side could figure it out and I've given up from doing that again, which sucks because the convienance is incredible. I don't have time to go to blockbuster/hollywood video (actually I long since gave up on them for many reasons). And I loved using netflix, but now I don't have time to watch as money movies as they send me, so its a waste. I just want to pick a movie every now and then and just pay for it, and video on demand is exacly that.

    Before Cox decides on switching Tivo (can't wait for the price to increase, joy), they need to fix what they already have.
  • Cox were to offer digital cable service with a TiVo branded DVR for about the same price as you are currently paying for satellite service each month, how likely would you be to switch from satellite TV to Cox cable that featured this TiVo branded DVR service?

    What is the incentive besides the TiVo name? I don't see it. It's a deal that's no real deal. Is this a real Slashdot question, or a marketing survey for Cox?

    My switch point would be (and I don't live in a Cox area, but do receive satellite w/DV

    • Besides, isn't TiVo the brand that removed 30-second forward skip, forces you to watch commercials, and auto-deletes programs?

      Wow! How do you pack so much misinformation in one sentence?

      You can enable 30 second skip on all models they have ever sold.

      Tivo has never forced anyone to watch commercials.

      If your Tivo is out of disk space it will remove the oldest recording that it is allowed to delete and reuse that space. If all of your recordings are marked "Keep until I delete" it will warn you (in advance) th
      • You can enable 30 second skip on all models they have ever sold.

        Which used to be standard, and now they hide against the day it can be removed altogether.

        If your Tivo is out of disk space it will remove the oldest recording that it is allowed to delete and reuse that space.

        You got me there. I meant to refer to the "feature" where TiVo will now refuse to record some programs at all if it sees the proper "flag" in the broadcast stream. My DVR still records everything I ask of it without question.

  • Older Tivo?
    Slow Interface?
    No network connectivity?

    These guys have the kits and instructions even -my- Dad could follow.

    9th Tee Tivo Upgrades []
  • I switched from cable to DirecTV specifically for their dual tuner HD TiVo. I've been happy with it, but DirecTV has done a really lousy job of supporting TiVo, not implementing any of the advances TiVo has made with their stand-alone systems and not providing any TiVo-branded upgrade path for their new MPEG-4 broadcasts.

    I'd switch back to cable in a heartbeat if I could get a dual tuner HD TiVo. My experience with non-TiVo PVRs has been fairly negative. I don't have Cox in my area, but I understand that th
    • The TiVo they showed at CES this year - dual tuner HD with cablecard - may get me to switch to cable from satellite. I don't particularly trust the cable companies to not screw with the feature set of a 'captive' TiVo, having been burned by DirecTV already. But with Cablecard, I don't *have* to trust them. And I was led to believe that it would support both cablecard and antenna input, so I also don't have to trust the cable company to not recompress the snot out of the local channels.

      Of course, it's vapor
  • The key thing though is "at a similar price to satellite." How about working on getting down to a similar price as their competition? I am paying $40 MORE with Cox than I was with Time Warner, for the exact same services. On top of that, the Cox service is of poorer quality(HD channels are compressed heavily), the DVR is harder to use and is significantly slower than the Time Warner dvr-box of the exact same model. Regardless of what DVR box they use, I think I would still rather go with DirecTV
  • by MS_leases_my_soul ( 562160 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @03:13PM (#15287466)
    I love my TiVo. I had a Series 1 that I hacked to the gills before I sold it and went with the Series 2. Years later, I run a media server with Galleon on it and have everything stable enough to pass the WAF and KSF - Wife Acceptance Factor and Kid Survivability Factor. I gladly pay my monthly subscription for the very factor that I believe in TiVo and want to give them my recurring revenue versus a one-time payment.

    I see a possible future for TiVo. I can download vblogs today, re-encode them to MPEG2 using VLC player, and hang them out on a share on the media server. I watch most of the vblogs on my TV now. Thanks to an RSS feed to the cartoons in the internet archive; the kids occasionally download an old superman cartoon and watch it. They didn't think twice about the concept of asking for a show, waiting for it to download, and then having it whenever they want it. This could be the future of TiVo.

    Somewhere in a lab, TiVo has to be playing with TiVo Desktop with built-in torrent ability. If TiVo Desktop could do torrents, TiVo could have a new revenue stream by allowing content providers to register their content with TiVo. TiVo would host the tracker and desktop would download and share. Before you could play the video, you would need to download a key from TiVo. Bingo - instant subscription video. If TiVo also added the ability to insert custom commercials into the video, that would be all the better. You don't have to pay for the subscription, but you can't fast forward through the commercials. If the commercials were given to me based on my demographics and I had the ability to thumbs down any commercial I did not like, I would go for that!

    TiVo embracing IPTV could change the face of "television". Anyone with a decent camera and a cast could create content with the possibility of a profit. Independent TV would spread as fast as cheap digital cameras have spread independent film! The old 500 channels analogy would become a joke.

    But I don't think this will ever happen. Why? Because of the players TiVo is cutting deals with. Hey, I understand why they are doing it -- they have to pay the bills today! But once the deal is done, I don't think Cox and Comcast are going to appreciate TiVo pulling eyeballs away from cable TV to get their video broadband through TiVo. Then again, maybe this is a two-way hedge. Maybe the cable companies are seeing where IPTV *could* go and are putting a backup plan in place where they are still the pipe the video flows through.

    All I can say is that the technology is not there today. If everything we are told about the TiVo 3 is true, I think we would only be a bittorrent enabled version of TiVo Desktop away from the start of something huge, but just like DIRECTV would not enable the HMO functionality for the DirecTiVo, I don't see cable companies being too keen on losing viewers (and thus ad revenue) to someone who needs them to survive.
  • I actually prefer the cox PVR. First of all it is cheap, but most importantly, it offers features not yet available with any tivo. (Am I wrong here?)

    My cox PVR can record two shows simultaneously in HD... I don't even think TIVO makes a model that can record a single HD signal yet, although the upcoming TIVO will have all of these features.

    The cox box isn't as feature rich as a tivo, it just has basic recoding and scheduling ability, HDMI outputs, and dual HD tuners. Also a very convienent button i
  • This is a good thing and I don't know why it has not been done already. I would purchase it in a heartbeat. Tivo's are better then the Scientific Atlanta DVR's. It's ALMOST like the iPod except noone really has a ready made DVR that's better.
  • Since DirecTV is ditching TiVo I would totally switch if they plan on using the dual tuner cablecard HDTV TiVo's, or something similar in feature set w/ the TiVo software.
  • But I'd like to believe this, since I have both the laughably useless Cox DVR and a wonderful, yet not-digital-cable-ready TiVO.

  • I decided to give the Cox free for 3 months DVR trial a go and liked what I saw. That isn't to say it was without problems, which I'll detail below.

    The unit in my market (OK) was a Motorola DCT6412 []. It has dual tuners, a 120GB HDD and HDTV support.

    The first unit lasted only a month or so before the output would lock up. Initially it could be fixed by to a different channel and then back again but eventually it got too annoying. It would also reboot itself randomly. It got rather warm even with plenty of ven
  • I or my family have been a customer of Cox Cable for something like thirty years now. I've seen their complete range of stupid. I've seen their complete range of brilliance. I prefer the brilliance.

    Stupid: letting installers user RG-59, refusing to do simple maintenance of the plant, etc.

    Smart: upgrading to 15x2Mbps DOCSIS2, PVR, high-def, VoD, more channels than Dish or Direct, etc.

    Stupid-to-be: changing to Tivo, going along with ending net neutraility and throttling of traffic at whim, etc.

    Smart-to-be: up
  • I wonder if this is related to TiVo's recent patent victory. Cable companies may be figuring that if they are going to be paying royalties to TiVo anyway, perhaps it would be to their advantage to offer their customers the real thing instead of a second-rate clone.
  • I would switch in a heartbeat IF and ONLY IF the Tivo was a DUAL Tuner Tivo. I already use COX for internet but I CHOOSE to pay more for COX internet because I want to continue using the DirecTV Dual Tuner Tivo that I have grown to love. A single tuner Tivo doesn't cover the real needs of the lame network programming. They all try to compete with the best timeslots. Without the dual tuner you can't get all the main shows recorded.

    But if they were to make the dual tuner TIVO happen with Cox' service. I

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