Wait – Don’t go to the movie theater!

TiVo’s latest newsletter:

TiVo | The TiVo Newsletter
The TiVo Newsletter | Volume 123
Letter From the Editor

TiVo Shanan
Here’s a little trivia for you: You (the broadband-connected you, that is) are now connected to the world’s largest Video on Demand library in the world, brought to you by TiVo!

And my, my, from movie titles to tickle the indie/international film freak, to Disney® classics for the whole family, TiVo truly has something for the movie-lover in all of us. This, on top of all the Hollywood blockbusters you can rent or buy through Amazon Video On Demand, and all the music videos you can muster through Music Choice on TiVo, of course, and yet that’s still not all…

Starting next month, all TiVo® HD customers* are going to fall in love with Netflix® all over again (it’s even better the second time around!) when you can send more than 12,000 movie and TV episodes straight to your living room using just your TiVo remote – learn more. Don’t have TiVo HD yet? At tivo.com you can pick up a “pre-loved” TiVo HD DVR for only $179.99.

Instead of long lines at the Cineplex, doesn’t a night at home with loved ones, home-popped popcorn and movies on TiVo sound both priceless and cozy?

To the modern movie marquee, thanks to TiVo,


P.S. — Don’t forget to “share the love” on tivo.com where you can tell us how TiVo has changed your TV-watching life. Your brief quote will be published on our website to share with others in our great big TiVo family!

*Netflix available on TiVo HD, TiVo HD XL and TiVo Series3 DVRs.

Table of Contents

Save Big on HDTV

New Partners

Netflix® on TiVo!

Post Election Selection

New Video Downloads

TiVo Tip

Thanksgiving Guru Guide

Amazon Video On Demand™ On TiVo

Connecting Your DVR

Need Help?

Web Specials

Save big on HDTVs and get $100 off TiVo HD at Best Buy!

Best Buy Buying a TV this holiday season? You’ll save big on both HDTVs and
TiVo HD at Best Buy.

For a limited time, buy any HDTV at Best Buy or Best Buy Online and get $100 off your TiVo HD or TiVo HDXL. Shop now!

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Hollywood, Bollywood, and a fairy tale or two…

Our library doesn’t just keep getting bigger; it also gets better and better with new partners like Walt Disney Studios powered by CinemaNow and Jaman adding sugar and spice to TiVo’s already flavorful mix of movies.

Walt Disney StudiosOh, Ratatouille! You can rent new hit movies and
some of your favorite Walt Disney® Studios films.
JamanNaan Too Soon… Jaman specializes in award-winning independent and foreign films—including the world’s largest Bollywood collection! Might as well get your 2 free movie rentals just for trying Jaman today.
(I’d recommend Devdas and Eklavya.)

Note: Requires broadband-connected DVR.

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Coming next month…. Netflix® movies on TiVo!

NetflixIn case you missed it the first mention, starting next month, TiVo HD customers will be able to access more than 12,000 movies and TV episodes from Netflix via any broadband-connected TiVo HD, TiVo HD XL and TiVo Series3 DVRs.

Sign up (www.tivo.com/netflix) and we’ll keep you in the loop on all the Netflix on TiVo details.

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Post Election Bash or Blues?

No matter what your political persuasion, you’ll find a few good films in our Post-Election Selections episode of “The Badoop Badoop Show,” now available on YouTube, iTunes, MySpace or Facebook. Don’t miss the TiVo Tips at the end of every episode!

And just in case you wondered what would happen if actors played presidents in real life (didn’t we try that already?), you should know that Harrison Ford, for his role in 1997′s Air Force One, beat out 16 candidates in AOL Moviefone’s poll to reveal the best fictional movie president Americans would like to see in the real-life Oval Office.

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New Video Downloads

We welcome our three newest web video download programs:
CNET TV Tech Weekly, Sorority Life, and Diggnation.

Note: Requires broadband-connected DVR.

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TiVo Tip: It’s a numbers thing

Here are two ways to tidy up your Now Playing List if you have a Series2™ or later model TiVo DVR:

  • Press 1 on your remote’s numeric keypad to toggle between alphabetical view and recording-date.
  • Press 2 to turn folders on and off; this feature groups all Daily Show episodes, for example, into one folder, or lets ‘em loose — whichever you prefer.

While you’re having fun with numbers, try similar shortcuts on the TiVo Central screen. For example, press 1 to jump to the Season Pass Manager, press 2 to bring up the To Do List, or press 4 to Search by Title. Think “search 4 (four)”.

TiVoTipFor Tips & Tricks, to access your account, share your TiVo story (NEW!), and much more, you’ll love MyTiVo.

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Thanksgiving Guru Guide is here!

Charlie BrownNever mind the poor turkey! Fatten up your TiVo DVR with some appetizing TV, automatically served up to your Now Playing List with these Thanksgiving Guru Guides. Get the whole guide or just pluck the programming you want.

Sports Nut? Don’t miss the best of the NBA and College Basketball with our Thanksgiving Sports Guru Guide.

If you’re broadband-connected, you’ll find TiVo Guru Guides on your DVR (under Find Programs & Downloads > KidZone Recommendations & Guru Guides). If not, we’ve queued them up for your online-scheduling pleasure.

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Amazon Video On Demand on TiVo
Clone Wars™
Now Available
for Rental!

Clone Wars

Rent or buy movies without ever leaving
your couch!

Thousands of top movies and TV shows to download directly to the Now Playing List on your TiVo DVR from Amazon Video On Demand™.

Learn how to try it yourself.

Now Available to Rent!
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Made of Honor
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Iron Man
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Get 5 FREE Movies When You Get Connected!

A broadband connected TiVo DVR does more than record your favorite TV shows. Get movies, music, photos, web videos, and more when you get connected.

TiVo Wireless AdapterHow to connect your TiVo DVR to your network and the Internet
To get the most out of your TiVo service, connect your DVR to the Internet via your home network.

How to increase recording capacity
With the Western Digital My DVR Expander for TiVo HD and Series3 DVRs, you can easily increase the recording capacity of your TiVo DVR.

Get 5 Free Movie Rentals (with purchase of wireless adapter)
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Need Help?

Connect a TiVo box to a network

Watch one show, record another

Help with HD and Cable Cards

Update my credit card

Schedule recordings any time online

Other support topics

Get more helpful tips

Get accessories and gear

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Update My EmailUnsubscribeManage My AccountCustomer SupportPrivacy Policy
If you have questions or comments regarding this newsletter, you can email the editor. (Unfortunately, due to volume
received, not every email can be answered, though Shanan wishes she could!) By submitting comments, you grant
TiVo Inc. a nonexclusive, irrevocable right to use your comments in any way it desires without notice or
compensation to you.
FacebookYouTubeMySpaceTiVo Community ForumShare the Love
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©2008 TiVo Inc. The TiVo logo, TiVo, and WishList® are registered trademarks or trademarks of TiVo Inc. worldwide. TiVo Inc. 2160 Gold Street Alviso, CA 95002-2160. All rights reserved. Please feel free to review our Privacy Policy.

TM & © 2008 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Used Under Authorization.

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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  • MG

    Nice job Tivo.

    Abandon your Series 2 customers.

    The cable company’s free DVR is looking better all the time.

  • Rabidamoeba

    MG, as it has been stated many times before the Series 2 just doesn’t have the same functionality as a TiVo HD/HDXL/Series3 does. For lack of a better explanation, the Series 2 is DEAD. It still works just fine for what the system can do, but it is not compatible with anything that TiVo will be adding onto the Newer models. I realized this 10 months ago and I think everyone else needs to come to this realization now.


  • http://www.eyrie-productions.com/ Gryphon

    “Dead” is a bit harsh. I mean, it’s not like they’ve all suddenly stopped working, or the company’s stopped providing program guide information for them.

    Anyway, sure, it’d be nice if there were a standard-definition unit with the same bells and whistles as the HD models, but there’s no future in that. It’d be like making a massively multiplayer online game client for TRS-DOS.

  • lundberry

    Considering the fact that tivo just put out an update for the S2 and S2DT I would say that it is far from dead and that your not getting any new features. What your not getting are the features that would crash your Tivo. the best equivalent i can give is this it would be like running windows xp on a pentium 2 you definitely can do it but just barely and it will be really crashy and slow. So here is the great thing about the HD you don’t have to have an HD tv for it to work. just record all standard def programming. Finally if your upset the S2 isn’t getting the shiny features how is going with a cable dvr that doesn’t even the the features the current S2 has. I would prefer a good working tivo os with a decent number of features but not amazing over an ok owrking tivo os with tons of features ranging into the amazing.

  • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

    It isn’t an issue of crashing or not, or any neglect by TiVo, etc. The simple fact is the Series2 does not have the hardware to decode MPEG-4/H.264 or WMV/VC-1. Period. It will NEVER be able to decode them.

    YouTube is using H.264, Netflix is using VC-1. The Series3 and TiVo HD have newer decodes which can handle both formats, in addition to the MPEG-2 the S2 handles. If you want streaming media you need an advanced codec like H.264 or VC-1, and that means you need the newer hardware. That’s life. I still have an old P90 Dell PC kicking around (currently unused) and I would no more expect to be able to play a Blu-ray movie on it than I would expect the S2 to stream Netflix. Sometimes you just need new hardware.

  • MG

    Dead? That’s BS.

    With regard to the mpeg issue. If Tivo can deliver Amazon video in a usable format to Series 2, then it can deliver Netflicks. Standard def is a long way from dead.

    When customers want HD, they’ll pay the price to upgrade. Others (like me with 3 networked series 2′s) do not want HD at this point in time.

    Finally, a company simply doesn’t walk away from products that it sold customers a year ago. Especially when doing so raises the opportunity for customers to leave for the competition.

  • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

    Netflix doesn’t do downloads, period. They stream, and to stream video, even SD, you need a more efficient codec. Netflix only uses VC-1 for all of their streaming. They’re not going to re-encode everything special just for TiVo S2 users (neither will YouTube), especially when it would be pretty crappy picture quality at the same bandwidth. MPEG-2 is usually 2-4x as large as H.264/VC-1. So you need 2-4x the bandwidth for the same picture, or you get 1/2 to 1/4 the quality for the same bandwidth. And as it stands even using VC-1 a lot of Netflix streaming users can’t get their higher quality images – and those are all SD.

    Netflix only just this week introduced HD streaming on a limited number of titles, with the Xbox the first HD streaming platform.

    It is out of TiVo’s hands, the number of S2 users is way too small for Netflix or YouTube to retool their service to support. Download services like Amazon, Jaman, and Disney/CinemaNow don’t have to worry about the bandwidth because they can download slower than real time if the bandwidth is too low – and that’s what they do, they’re encoding bit rates are higher than the broadband bit rates for most users. They also don’t have other STB relationships like Netflix does – which means they get more from TiVo than Netflix does, making it worth more to them to work with TiVo. Netflix has partnerships with MS (Xbox), LG and Samsung (Blu-ray players), and Roku (the dedicated $99 box), TiVo is just another channel for them, and they use the same streaming service for everyone.

    The S2 is not going to get all the new features, period. It just can’t support them – it doesn’t have decoders for newer codecs, it has a slower CPU, less RAM (32MB in the S2, 64MB in the S2DT – compared to 256MB total in the S3 & HD), and just generally they lack the ‘oomph’ of the newer platform. Over time more and more features will land on the S3 and HD and not the S2. That’s just how it is, and if you feel the need to switch to something else, do so.

  • http://www.eyrie-productions.com/ Gryphon

    When customers want HD, they’ll pay the price to upgrade.

    In my experience, nothing is ever quite that simple.

  • MG

    All of your technobabble aside, I’m a long time Tivo customer who’s been happy with the service, but will go elsewhere when my current boxes die.

    You don’t abandon customers after one year into a “lifetime” subscription….

    Customer focused companied do better than the rest.

  • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

    Just because you can’t understand it doesn’t make it technobabble. Incomprehension is not a valid argument.

    I, and others, explained why it isn’t feasible to do. If you can’t understand that, TiVo is probably better off without you as a customer to support. If you bought your S2 a year ago, then you had other options. You bought the budget product. You decided to buy a box with less capabilities when a more capable product was already out. You set yourself up for not getting all the new features. You, not TiVo. TiVo didn’t abandon you, not getting a new feature because you went with the economy model is not abandonment. That’s not even hyperbole, it is histrionics.

    And if you had the S2 longer and just decided to switch to lifetime late in the game, well, the S3 came out in September 2006, and the TiVo HD in July 2007. So you’d have to have purchased the S2 before either of those not to have had the other options. If you had – then you should just be happy that you have had TiVo longer. And you’d have less reason to complain because the longer you’ve had the box the more you should expect it to miss out on something new eventually. Even before the S3 launched, once it’s feature set was known, there was a lot of discussion about how it would be able to do things the S2 can’t do. This is only a surprise to someone who didn’t bother to do research before buying, even then it should be obvious that it would happen at some point, it happens to pretty much all products.

    You really don’t have a valid complaint. It is like buying an SUV and then a year later complaining it doesn’t offer you the mileage of a new hybrid and throwing a tantrum when the automaker won’t find a way to make it work for you. And threatening to go buy someone else’s care because of it. Totally irrational.

    Sounds more like regret for going with the low-end option than anything else. You can’t buy low-end and expect a high-end feature set. And going to something else like a cable DVR is just cutting of your nose to spite your face, since you’ll have even fewer features than the Series2 TiVo. And I challenge you to find a more customer focused DVR vendor than TiVo.

  • BlueRidgePro

    I gotta go with MG over the Tivo fanboy on this one. For what Tivo charges for the box, and then for the monthly service, one should expect to not be dead-ended when it comes to support. The cableco box is looking good for my next DVR.

  • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

    No one is being ‘dead-ended’, you’re not getting some new features other boxes are getting. It isn’t like they’re taking away something you had or not delivering something they promised you. It sounds more like jealousy or regret for not buying the better product. You bought a product and it does what it promised to do – actually more as they do keep adding features to the S2.

    You have Amazon VOD, Disney/CinemaNow, and Jaman for movies. So you’re not getting Netflix streaming, big deal. You can pick up a Roku Netflix Player for $99 if you have to have your streaming Netflix. (Or an Xbox, or a Blu-ray player from Samsung or LG, or a TiVo HD…)

    It should not be hard to understand – the hardware doesn’t support it. Period. Streaming MPEG-2 simply would not work well, you’d either need a very fat broadband connection, faster than most connections available to consumers, or you’d have terrible picture quality due to high compression to squeeze it into smaller pipes. That’s why *no one* uses MPEG-2 for streaming video.

    The Series2 hardware does not support H.264 or VC-1, or any other advanced codec used for streaming, like On6. It cannot be upgraded to do so either. It was never designed to support streaming video, it is just that simple. If it had support for streaming video it would’ve cost more, because it would have more expensive hardware – ala the TiVo HD.

    Netflix is not going to setup a special system to stream shitty MPEG2 video to a relative handful of TiVo Series2 users. Neither is YouTube. And TiVo certainly cannot force them to do so, they’re fortunate to have them as partners at all – the deals mean a lot more to TiVo than they do to YouTube or Netflix. TiVo is the small player in the relationships.

    I don’t understand why people don’t get it. It won’t work on the S2 hardware. You can complain all you want, reality doesn’t change. TiVo can’t do anything about it, they don’t have magical powers. The hardware can’t do what the hardware can’t do. And it has nothing at all to do with being a ‘fanboy’, it has to do with hard fact. Whether or not someone understands the facts doesn’t change them.

    You may not understand the law of gravity, but if you walk off a cliff you’re still going to fall. This isn’t a Warner Bros. cartoon. You have to accept reality, because you have to deal with it like it or not. And the reality is the S2 hardware is not compatible with the Netflix or YouTube streaming services, and it never will be.

  • BlueRidgePro


    Did it ever occur to you that many people are happy with series 2 standard definition video?

    Amazon delivers movies to series 2 in a format that is quite satisfactory to a large audience. If you want to play tech snob, that’s your choice.

    Another point. There are likely ten times as many series 2′s out there as there are the costly Tivo HDs? Competitors are rolling out HD DVRs at a much lower cost. Tivo’s main leg up is their installed base of loyal customers.

    This isn’t a dweeb tech video encoding debate – it’s Business 101 – something that some propellerheads apparently can’t grasp. With such a large customer base out there (and up for grabs as other companies deploy DVRs) the smart move would be to cater to the masses and keep customers. No problem offering extra features to those willing to buy into the more expensive hardware, Tivo is crazy to write off paying customers.

    Do you want to see Tivo survive? I do. I’ll continue to pay my monthly fees, unless they drop support for the hardware that I purchased from them and force me to replace it. If that happens, I’ll likely choose the lower cost options from the cable or satellite companies.

  • http://www.eyrie-productions.com/ Gryphon

    Pointing out that a new wrinkle, unthought-of when the old hardware was designed, won’t work on the old hardware is a form of propellerhead tech snobbery? In other breaking news, people who say gravity has something to do with mass are just being propellerhead physics snobs.

    I can’t connect a hydrogen fuel cell to the battery terminals of my 1997 Saab and expect the car to stop needing unleaded gasoline either. But don’t go by me, I’m apparently just a “gasoline fanboy”.

    Great Zod almighty, where do these people come from?

  • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone


    You have either not read any or the previous comments or you really don’t get it. What part of WILL NOT SUPPORT is too hard to understand?

    TiVo has NO CONTROL over what Netflix and YouTube use. Netflix and YouTube use streaming technology that is not compatible with the Series2 hardware. TiVo can’t force then to change. The streaming services are NOT supplied by TiVo, they are supplied by the partners. TiVo has no ability to change how those services work, they can only implement support for them as-is. And as-is they are *incompatible* with the Series2. Period. That’s a very simple concept that anyone should be able to understand.

    But say, hypothetically, that TiVo could get them to change. You would likely be unhappy with the results. Streaming MPEG-2 would look like crap to most users, so even if they could make Netflix and YouTube use MPEG-2, in the end you’d get a service no one would really want to use. It’d look maybe as good as a Basic level TiVo recording, and perhaps worse, for most users. People already complain that at lower bitrates the current Netflix streaming service doesn’t look that good, and that’s using VC-1. MPEG-2 would provide 2-4x worse picture quality at the same bitrates.

    But it is moot, because neither Netflix nor YouTube is going to switch to MPEG-2. They’d have to be idiots to do so. Neither one of them really cares about TiVo Series2 users. As I said, TiVo users are small fry to both of them, not worth doing anything special. And it is probably a better business move for them NOT to do so because providing a poor quality service would be more damaging to their brand image than simply not providing the service at all. Especially since you’ve proven consumers wouldn’t understand the reasons for the quality, or lack thereof.

    It is NOT a business decision for TiVo, it isn’t even an OPTION for TiVo to support Series2 boxes. The fact is that it *IS* a ‘tech dweeb video encoding debate’, that’s *fundamental* to the discussion. Trying to ignore that is just blatantly ignorant. It is trying to ignore the entire crux of the matter.

    “They can’t do X because of Y.”
    “Well, ignoring Y, they’re stupid not to do X.”

    “You can’t breathe in space, there is no air.”
    “This isn’t a science dweeb discussion about air, they’re stupid for not letting me breathe in space.”

    You can’t just ignore the pertinent facts if they’re not convenient to your argument or if you can’t understand them.

    Let me put it in childlike terms – the square peg won’t fit in the round hole, no matter how much you wish it would.

    It doesn’t matter if I want TiVo to survive or not. It doesn’t matter that it might be better for business for TiVo to provide the service to Series2 owners. NONE of that matters, because the hardware cannot do it. TiVo can want to do it. You can want them to do it. But all the wanting in the world can’t make Series2 hardware compatible with Netflix or YouTube streams. And those are the cold, hard facts.

    If you don’t like reality, well, I’m afraid you’re in for a lifetime of disappointments.

    And I’ll say it again, TiVo is not writing off anyone. They just released the 9.3.2 update for the Series2. They continue to get updates, but increasingly there will be features added to the S3/HD boxes that the S2 won’t get. And that’s because the S3/HD hardware can do things the S2 hardware cannot do. That’s life and progress. And eventually the S2 will be phased out completely just like the S1 was, but that’ll happen over time. It is clear that the future for TiVo is based on the TiVo HD platform.

  • MG

    Standard def looks fine to me (and I expect most of the other million series-2 owners).

    Hey Blueridge – you sure do know how to spin up the technokiddies! You’re a super-troll!

  • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

    That’s nice, but a non-sequitur. The streaming services have nothing to do with standard definition vs. high definition. That’s incidental in the product. It just happens that the HD products are also the products with advanced codec support – they don’t even use those codecs for HD content. (HD – ATSC and digital cable – is still encoded with MPEG-2 in the US.) And it still just won’t work for the Series2.

    Ignorance (or perhaps stupidity as you’ve been shown the facts and really can’t claim ignorance at this point) is not something to be proud of. It shows your immaturity to ridicule those trying to enlighten you and explain the facts of a situation. I suppose you’re not comfortable with facts.

    Sure I get worked up at times, I’m trying to explain things to people to be helpful and it is exasperating when someone is acting like a five year old with their fingers in their ears chanting “nananananana I can’t hear you!”. Willful ignorance is just annoying, not to mention highly unflattering. But I do take satisfaction knowing that in the end I’m not the one out of touch with reality.

    It is interesting that both of you share the same IP address. Which is part of a small block of just 256 IPs belonging to Roadstar Internet Services – serving Loudoun County, VA and the surrounding area. I’m sure that’s due to you sharing a proxy, but you’re neighbors. If I were a cynical man I’d think you two knew each other and it wasn’t a cosmic coincidence.

    Oh, wait, I am a cynical man.

    But if you want to act like children, fine, I’ll act accordingly – you’re both on time out.