Teleworld Paid Program Showing Up In TiVo Now Playing List

Teleworld Paid Program in TiVo Now Playing List

TiVo users, including myself, were surprised to find a recording in their Now Playing List called ‘Teleworld Paid Program’, with four color icon that hasn’t been seen before. See the screen capture above, and click on it for a larger version. (Yes, that’s my TiVo captured via SlingPlayer.) Some people were upset by this, wondering why their TiVo was recording paid programming. Others were just baffled by it.

So, first of all, what is the Teleworld Paid Program? You know the videos used in Showcases, promotions, interactive ads, etc, on the TiVo? Teleworld Paid Program is how TiVo gets those video clips on the box. TiVo buys several broadcast slots a week on various cable channels and broadcasts this special program. If you watch one of these you’ll see it is made up of short segments one after another. The broadcast contains flags to mark the segments, and the TiVo slices and dices the signal recording into the multiple bits and links them to the proper item on the TiVo.

As for the name, TiVo was originally named Teleworld when the company was founded. They changed the name to TiVo later. I guess using it for this is a little nod to the early days. Teleworld Paid Program has been around for many years, but most users never become aware of it.

So why is it showing up in the Now Playing List now? Well, clearly something went wrong. The broadcast was recorded as it normally is, but it wasn’t hidden from the user as it is supposed to be. The new icon must be something TiVo had in the system for their special broadcasts, probably to help engineers recognize them. (There used to be a back door whereby you could make the hidden recordings show up in the NPL, I bet it is still in there for developers.)

So, in short, this looks like a glitch. I’m sure TiVo will work to correct this. It isn’t some bizarre new way to push advertising on the users, and users shouldn’t waste their time trying to figure out why it recorded or try to prevent it. Just delete them and give TiVo a little time to fix the issue.

UPDATE: TiVoPony has confirmed that it was a glitch:

Hey guys, we’re very much aware of this and it was just a one time glitch. Very sorry about it, you may delete that recording!

The team is off now to tweak the processes in place so that this doesn’t happen again.

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  • Marcus

    I noticed that program this evening on my TiVo HD as well. I didn’t even bother watching it and just deleted. Thanks for the explanation!

  • Tim

    I was wondering what that was too. I said “I don’t remember recording this?” FF>> through it and watched TiVo Shanan (ahhhh…<3, cue Love Boat Theme) at the end.

  • Tom

    I was curious about this and watched the first minute of it (a behind the scenes show of the new 90210), before deleting it.

    I remember awhile ago that one of the Showcases let subscribers record the premiere of some CBS TV show (or something like that) and see it “before any else”. They bascially did the same deal as this Teleword broadcast, air it in a late night telemarketing spot. That show was preceded by the “exclusive for TiVo subscribers” announcement at the beginning as this one was.

  • John

    Does anyone know how to prevent it from recording, or make sure that it records on the channel that you are not watching? I sometimes fall asleep with the TV on and then suddenly in the middle of the night, a Teleworld recording comes BLASTING out of the speakers at a much higher sound level. I’ve had a Domino’s commercial with screeching “rewind” sounds, and last night there was an ad for some alarm system that made me jump.

  • Kirk V

    If you program an event, it should record on that channel automatically. The channel you are tuned into, if not scheduled to record anything else, will automatically record the Teleworld programs which are paid to be recorded by advertisers. These short videos are what have hyperlinks you see on various menu screens. You can not prevent these from recording. From my experience, the volume of these is indeed louder, but I know not why.

  • Beaker

    Thanks to a sick child I’m awake at 4 in the morning. I can see on the front of the TiVo that it’s recording Teleworld Paid Program and was very confused since it’s not showing up in the play list. Nice to know that my TiVo hasn’t been possessed :)