Questions On The TiVo Series3 EOL

After yesterday’s announcement that the TiVo Series3 is being EOL’d, I had a few questions about the future of the S3, and the heir-apparent, the TiVo HD.

- Will work continue on the Series3 to enable M-Card CableCARDs, or will it remain S-Card-only now?

- One of the lesser known features of the S3 is support for Crestron home control systems. In the past I’ve been told this is an S3-only feature, not available on the TiVo HD. Now that the S3 is being EOL’d, will this software support be brought over to the TiVo HD?

- Will the S3 ‘Glo’ remote continue to be produced and offered for users who prefer it?

- Are there any plans for additional TiVo HD models, say with 250GB drives?

I sent these off to my contact at TiVo and I’ll see what TiVo has to say about these issues. Are there any questions on your mind in light of the EOL announcement?

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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  • Kyle Johnson

    Along the same line as the multistream card support, I’d like to know if the upcoming tuning resolver dongle will work with the S3. I’m assuming there will be a code update required on the TiVo for the dongle to work, and I’ll be a little ticked if they don’t update the S3 to support it.

  • tiburon501

    TiVo totally screwed Series3 customers. We were promised M-Card support by Jim Denny in a vlog. This was delayed because CableLabs hadn’t established a process. TiVo then manages to ship the cheaper TiVoHD M-Card ready at launch. Not a single blurb has been uttered about the S3′s status since. It’s obvious TiVo only cares about improving platforms they’re being contractually paid to update. TiVo will make some B.S. excuse why they can’t support M-Card for the S3. Just like they did initially with DST on the S1. Early adopters always pay a premium. I simply never felt as screwed by a product or company as I do with the TiVo S3. I simply won’t buy another TiVo platform again.

    The S3 has a broadcom chip on the mobo that could be used for bi-directional purposes (granted TiVo would have to write a software framework for it). The OCAP Platform is also ready thanks to Comcast’s chequebook. That won’t see light of day a port on non “S4″ platforms. Has TiVo ever delivered major feature updates to an existing platform? HME Apps don’t count.

  • MegaZone

    I think you’re mistaken about a few things:

    - The TiVo HD uses a chip from ViXS which supports M-Card. That’s why the TiVo HD has M-Card support. What I’ve heard through the grapevine is that ViXS provided support to developed M-Card on their chip, but that Broadcom hasn’t provided the M-Card support for their (older) chips used in the S3. So while TiVo planned to support M-Card on the S3, they haven’t been able to do so due to lack of vendor support. The ability to support M-Card in the TiVo HD has to do with the chipset used, not any prejudice by TiVo.

    And the ‘contractually paid to update’ comment doesn’t make sense. No one paid TiVo to update the TiVo HD. If you’re thinking of Australia – they developed the TiVo HD for the US first then used it for the basis of the DVB-T box. And Australia, of course, doesn’t use CableCARD anyway.

    - The S3, and TiVo HD, lack any known transceiver hardware for bidirectional communication. No one has found any sign of a the ability to transmit to the head end – hence the need for the Tuning Resolver. As I understand it, CableLabs forbids unidirectional devices from having this capability. I don’t know what Broadcom chip you’re referring to, having looked into the chips myself I don’t know of any that could facilitate bidirectional communication – software or no.

    - You’re confused on OCAP. There are two ways to look at OCAP – one side are applications that run on an OCAP host. The other side is the OCAP host platform that accepts the application. What TiVo has created for Comcast & Cox is the former. And OCAP application that runs on an OCAP-compliant host platform.

    That’s not what is required for any ‘S4′ platform – the proposed TiVo/OCAP hybrid. TiVo needs *the other half* for that – a platform that can *HOST* OCAP applications from the cable company for PPV/VOD, NOT an application that is *HOSTED* by an OCAP box. Now, TiVo might do something like create an OCAP host foundation and then use their OCAP TiVo application for the ‘TiVo’ side of the box. Basically the lower-levels of the box could be a generic OCAP host platform with the necessary hardware and the OCAP software APIs, instead of the ‘standalone’ TiVo Linux-based software. Then the OCAP-based TiVo software would run on top of that for all the TiVo-side use, while next to that on the stack the cable MSO provided OCAP software for VOD/PPV, etc, would run for those applications. This may be the cleanest implementation.

    The alternative would be to develop an OCAP-host layer for the standalone TiVo software, and hand-off between that and the cable MSO OCAP applications for those specific functions.

    Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. So I wouldn’t call which way they might go – if they do it at all.

    But, basically, you’re just wrong on the OCAP claim. What they have today is not the half they need to bring OCAP to their standalone products. They have the hostED half today, they need the hostING half.

    - Yes, they have. Networking was not enabled when the S2 shipped, it was delivered later. TiVoToGo was delivered well after the S2s shipped. Amazon Unbox, TiVoCast, and downloads in general are certainly a major new feature added to existing products. In fact, all networking features – music, photos, TTG/TTCB, HME, online scheduling, etc, were added to existing platforms. KidZone was added to existing platforms. External drive support was added to the S3 & TiVo HD later. So, yes, there have been a lot of major features added to existing platforms.

    Frankly I just don’t understand why you “simply never felt as screwed by a product or company as I do with the TiVo S3″. Actually, I think that’s completely and utterly ludicrous. The *ONLY* feature TiVo talked about the S3 having that it does not (yet) have is M-Card support. And it may still get that – but even if it doesn’t, boo-hoo. I have an S3 too, and I’m not going to freak-out about needing two S-Cards instead of one M-Card. I don’t even feel groped, let alone screwed. ;-)

    The S3 has features not found on other models – like supporting any eSATA drive, not just the approved drive, the ability to use non-TiVo WiFi adapters (not sure why you would though), and support fro Crestron home automation controls. Plus the nicer box, OLED display, and nicer remote.

    I don’t see any rational reason to feel ‘screwed’ by the TiVo over the S3. TiVo has delivered everything they promised on the S3, except for M-Card support, and several updates that weren’t promised to boot. TiVo always said the CableCARD boxes could not handle SDV, so the development of a Tuning Resolver is a bonus. I do think that the S3 will get Tuning Resolver support, since that should be a software update and not hardware related (like M-Card), so the S3 and TiVo HD will share that work. But even if it didn’t get Tuning Resolver support, that was not something TiVo promised for the box in the first place.