Reader John Barger contacted me earlier this week to tell me about his troubles with the Comcast TiVo software. His experience has been bad enough that he’s asking Comcast to replace his DVRs with units running the default software, and not the TiVo interface. In John’s words “It sucks, but it works.”
He’s an existing TiVo owner, with two Series2 units with product lifetime. So he’s not new to the TiVo interface. He had the TiVo software installed on 1/16/08. Roughly a week later the box ‘lost’ the TiVo software and reverted back to the default menus. Comcast send technicians back out to reload the box. But then it died again – on Super Bowl Sunday! That time it “completely locked up”. John pulled the power and it stuck on the “Welcome” screen. Further reboots produce the same hang. So he’s given up and is going back to the default software. Comcast told him “lots of people’ are having problems with the software.
And he’s not the only one. It looks like Doug Aamoth over at CrunchGear has had a similarly poor experience. While he recommended the software on his initial review, he’s now rescinded that recommendation. It sounds like Doug’s problems are a combination of box trouble and poor customer support by Comcast, including technicians blowing off appointments. (I feel his pain, I’ve had Charter do the same to me multiple times in the past.) As Doug concludes his post:
My options, as I see them are twofold. One, I can continuously reschedule technicians to come out here, hoping to get an appointment in the morning or to get a tech that gives a damn about working until 5:00.
Or two, I can bring both DVRs into a Comcast store and exchange them for working boxes at the expense of having TiVo (an interface that bricked my first box and doesnâ€™t work even close to correctly on my second box) removed from my account.
I think Iâ€™m gonna go with option number two.
We know that Comcast and TiVo have promised rapid updates to the software to solve a number of known issues. Hopefully they can get those out there fast, and they do resolve some of these issues. As for the customer service problems – I won’t hold my breath. I know Comcast and TiVo are breaking new ground with this OCAP software, and there are bound to be some teething issues as they blaze a new trail, but they’ll need to corral the major issues quickly before it tarnishes their image. (I can mix metaphors with the best of ‘em!) I know TiVo is determined to make this work, so I still have hope.
Do you have the Comcast TiVo software? If so, what has been your experience? Leave a comment or contact me and let me know, good, bad, or indifferent.