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>>> Serial Control of Cable Boxes Available <<<

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markp99 is offline Old Post 02-06-2003 10:58 PM
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markp99
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Having had just 2 of the 3 magic elements: DCT-2000 & 7.54 Firmware, but NOT AT&TiVo, I have been drooling over this feature for quite a while! This is an important development for a lot of us. No more misses...

Read thru the many old DCT-2000 threads, there are certainly MANY more of us who will be absolutely thrilled by this development!!

Thanks TiVo!!

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SuperRob is offline Old Post 02-06-2003 11:02 PM
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SuperRob
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I think Thursday Night TV will be the big test as to whether or not this will work flawlessly or not. Provided people get it tonight. I'm not sure how fast TiVo is rolling it out to people who sign up on the list.

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JoeltheTiVoFan is offline Old Post 02-06-2003 11:08 PM
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JoeltheTiVoFan
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I think this is great...

I don't know what version of software I am running on my cable box, and I don't know if my cable company has enabled serial control, but y'know what, I thank TiVo, Inc. for removing their obsacle for getting this working!

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trojanrabbit is offline Old Post 02-06-2003 11:13 PM
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trojanrabbit
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Why are you STUNNED SuperRob?

Actually TiVo never promised serial control to anyone initially other than the AT&T TiVo users. As a Series 1 owner, I know that all this new 4.0 stuff is off limits, but serial control is serial control, the software hooks are there and it works. If they had to do this 'baby step style' I'm glad they first took care of the ones that had the option then had it yanked away, and the ones that were told to buy the 60 & 80 hour models, because they would "work the same". That may explain why the Sony series 2 TiVo's aren't getting the offer, AFAIK they never had working serial control. But it doesn't mean someone with a Sony TiVo can't ask when it might come his way.

It's not certain that there won't be any more series 1 upgrades, although it sure looks that way. But who's to say a special version couldn't be made available for us series 1 guys.

I think some of us still have the right to be disappointed. Software updates were part of the service, yes it has to end sometime, but we're not talking about something that's going to bring TiVo's processor to its knees.

Just means that serial thread may drop to page 3 once in a while.

I am happy for those who are getting the new software, and I'm glad TiVo is giving you guys a few month's head start on the 4.0 rollout. Maybe my added aggrivation is because I am in the first area that AT&T pushed the serial control out to.

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Last edited by trojanrabbit on 02-06-2003 at 11:21 PM

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michaelallroy is offline Old Post 02-06-2003 11:16 PM
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michaelallroy
danger can happen

Registered: Jan 2003
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at&t/comcast still sucks

my digital cable box doesn't even have a serial port.

digital cable was hooked up in this apartment in october 2000 and they still haven't upgraded my box.

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Alcatraz is offline Old Post 02-06-2003 11:36 PM
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Alcatraz
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God you guys suck!! TiVo takes the time and effort to release this one feature early and almost all you do is BITCH BITCH BITCH!! Hell, the first post was a "woe is me" post. Oh, thaaaaaaaaat's gonna make them want to be nice to you in the future.........(could I BE any more sarcastic?!?)

Stop and think for just a moment and you'll think of a key word......"PARTNERS".

It's a simple word...really...but appears to have eluded many of the whiners on this board.

AT&T was the PARTNER who developed this capability with TiVo for use with AT&T cable boxes. Why would you think for even one moment that it would be just given away to Sony, Hughes, or Philips units???? Why would you think for even one moment that it could possibly work with non-AT&T cable boxes???? If it happens to work for a different cable box, you'll be very lucky, but the protocol is only meant for AT&T.........PERIOD!!

TiVo is hard at work trying to release a HUGE software update, but in the middle of it all they stopped and took the time to release this one feature that they could've held close to their vest until the update. There was nothing compelling them to do this for us, except for the incessant griping, whining, moaning and groaning that you guys put out.

I'm embarrassed sometimes to tell people to read this forum because (1) many of the threads go negative real quick, even if it's only a few members posting, and (2) many of you ingrates immediately whine if you're the one still left out in the cold. Hell, they even gave you a damn PONY (TiVoPoNy) and you still complained.

SHUT UP ALREADY and left everyone who HAS been helped take a moment to be thankful. Could you BE any more selfish?!?

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michaelallroy is offline Old Post 02-06-2003 11:42 PM
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michaelallroy
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^^^

this is the internet.

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overnut is offline Old Post 02-06-2003 11:42 PM
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overnut
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Well, I know my box has a serial port as I initially tried to hook up my TiVo using it only to find it didn't work and resorting to the IR blaster.

How do I find out the version of the software my cable box is running? I will have to completely rip apart my a/v system to get to the cables so I want to make sure I have everything in place that I can possibly check before trying it out.

thanks,
overnut

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Dancar is offline Old Post 02-06-2003 11:43 PM
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Dancar
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quote:
Originally posted by SuperRob
I am quite literally STUNNED at the response I'm seeing here.

TiVo never promised Serial control to anyone other than Series 2 owners. They never promised that it would do anything other than control AT&T DCT2000 series boxen (since AT&T developed the feature). Now, TiVo is giving us exactly what they promised, and before they were originally going to deliver it ... and people are still grousing about it.

I understand that those of you with Series 1 boxen are cheesed off about being left out of the software upgrade loop. Did you honestly expect that TiVo would continue offering software to Series 1 owners, even after they TOLD you that they wouldn't be???



Wrong on both counts!

My Sony SVR-2000 came with a serial control cable and the documentation said was for changing channels on cable and satillite boxes. So as far as I am concerned, this feature WAS promised to Series 1 owners, at least those with Sony units.

Next, TiVo never announced an end of support for Series I software. All they said was they are "not ready" to announce and of support for Series I.

Considering that my SVR-2000 is less than 2 years old, I think it is too early to end support. Future software upgrades were promised in the marketing, so I expect any new features that the hardware will support (I accept that HMO is NOT supported on Series I hardware). Microsoft did not end support for Windows 95 until very recently, years after they stopped selling the product. So I expect the updates for TiVo software to last longer than 1 year.

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Todd is offline Old Post 02-07-2003 12:04 AM
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Todd
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Thumbs down

quote:
Originally posted by SuperRob
I am quite literally STUNNED at the response I'm seeing here.

TiVo never promised Serial control to anyone other than Series 2 owners. They never promised that it would do anything other than control AT&T DCT2000 series boxen (since AT&T developed the feature). Now, TiVo is giving us exactly what they promised, and before they were originally going to deliver it ... and people are still grousing about it.

I understand that those of you with Series 1 boxen are cheesed off about being left out of the software upgrade loop. Did you honestly expect that TiVo would continue offering software to Series 1 owners, even after they TOLD you that they wouldn't be???



I am not happy. The reason is that the Series 1 boxes HAVE the ability to do this! It's already in the software. If they are going to turn it on on the Series 2 boxes, WHY not on the Series 1 boxes?? I don't complain much on here and like TiVo a lot, but this is ridiculous!

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Flowzarus is offline Old Post 02-07-2003 12:34 AM
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Flowzarus
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I'm a TiVo enthusiast. I am the guy that spends hours telling his friends how great it is. But damn, some of you are just Stepford TiVo fans. Whatever TiVo says or does must be great. Let's stone anyone that doesn't bow down with joy at a crumb dropped from the heavens.
Fine, its a nice upgrade.
But why shouldn't Series 1 owners expect upgrades? Not stuff that makes a hacked Series 1 pretends its a Series 2, but simple crap like Folders and Serial control?
The argument against folders has always been that its too confusing. This isn't a PC. NOT that Series 1's can't handle it, that TiVo isn't doing it because they didn't think it was the right direction to go.
The potential for serial control exists in Series 1's. How can you even make this ridiculous argument that if you own a Series 1 then you should be happy with what you have? The reason TiVo is successful is because of all the people out there with Series 1's that have been here forever. Series 2's are nice and a natural advancement but Series 1 owners have the right to expect simple upgrades. Not MP3 playing, Not photo viewing, not program sharing between TiVos...but simple advancements that.

This would be different if they said "Series 1 owners, we haven't forgotten about you. We're going to be implementing Serial control after we finish with the update for Series 2" But they haven't so Series 1 owners have the right to be cheesed.

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GimmeMP3 is offline Old Post 02-07-2003 12:35 AM
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GimmeMP3
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Re: Serial Control of Cable Boxes Available

quote:
Originally posted by TiVoPony
Serial control of cable boxes is not available at this time for Sony-brand Series2 standalones. Nor is it available for Series1 or DIRECTV systems. And AT&T-manufactured systems already have this feature.



Pony's quote is above and is not clear to me. The quote in the first sentence is "not available at this time." I think that the "not available at this time" might apply to the second sentence.

So get off my back about the complaining.

It's a simple question. All I want is clarification from Pony. Does your quote mean (TiVo-branded) Series1 is not going to get the serial control code at this time or that Series1 will not get the code at all?

Thank you.

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phone1 is offline Old Post 02-07-2003 12:40 AM
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phone1
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I've never really understood what the big deal is, but then I rarely eat serial.

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Redleg is offline Old Post 02-07-2003 12:48 AM
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Redleg
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Registered: Jan 2003
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For anyone who's interested, here is a picture and description of the DCT2000:

http://broadband.motorola.com/catal...p?productID=226

That's my box, now I've got to check my version number tonight... here's hoping!

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Otto is offline Old Post 02-07-2003 12:54 AM
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What the hell, I'll clarify my earlier comments:

If you're one of those affected by this, then yes, you have cause to rejoice.

If you're not (like the majority of Tivo owners), then you (still) have cause to be ticked off.

I fall in the latter case. The serial control code is already there. It works right now. It's in 3.0. All embeem's hack does is to change the flag in the existing software from "off" to "on". That's it. Nothing more. It doesn't even require Tivo to send a software update, just to flip a toggle in MFS.

So I guess my disappointment is as follows:
-Why wait for 4.0?
-Why not flip the switch right now on all boxes?
-What's the bloody holdup?

That's what I mean by "too little too late". It's too little in that it ain't going to help my box work one bit. It's too late in that they could have flipped the switch ages ago and achieved the same effect. It's disappointing in that they turned it off for everybody but AT&T-Tivo box owners in the first place, when it *was* on.

So excuse me for not applauding. When and if Pony says "it's now enabled on all Tivo boxes", then we'll have something to shout about. As of right now, this is only a partial fix for a mistake they made by disabling existing, working, boxes in the first place. Since they were the ones who broke it, I'm not going to cheer for them fixing it.

I will cheer for them rolling it out to *everyone*, but until then, I stand by "too little, too late".

quote:
I'd also like to point out that there was absolutely no reason for TiVo to release this feature to Series 2 users before the April update...

I'd like to point out that there was no reason for them to take it away from Series 2 users in the first place. This isn't a "new feature". This is the return of an "old feature" that was taken away from users who *had it working*, without any reasons given.

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Last edited by Otto on 02-07-2003 at 01:43 AM

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wysiwig3 is offline Old Post 02-07-2003 01:43 AM
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wysiwig3
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Were serial cables the same with both series?

quote:
Originally posted by TiVoPony
Caveats:
...You'll also need the serial cable that originally came with your TiVo system.



I'm curious: Were the serial cables that shipped with the Series|1 units the same as those shipped with Series|2 units?

The reason I ask, is this... I have a Series|1 that I've enabled serial on and I'm using it with AT&T's DCT-2000 converter (which may be labled General Instruments [GI] or Motorola; both seem to work for me). However, the serial cable needed to be put inline with both a gender-changer *and* a null-modem adapter.

It seems the original cable that came with the Series|1 was already null-modeming, as it worked perfectly when I plugged it into my laptop's serial port to watch the console boot up. However, it didn't plug directly into the cable box. It seems AT&T's boxes serial ports are already null-modemed giving them the opposite gender one would expect. It took me a bit of time to figure out that, in addition to the other gender change I put inline to make the wire plug into the converter, that the cable box was nullifying my null-cable and I needed the third null-modem adapter inline to get things back working....

Sheesh: too many nulls!

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Otto is offline Old Post 02-07-2003 01:47 AM
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Otto

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wysiwig3: The series 1 cables are not null modem cables. They shouldn't let you see the console boot up when you plug them directly into a serial port.

I have the 9 pin d-shell to miniplug that came with my Philips 14 hr. I have to use a gender bender and a null modem adapter to get a console on the serial port when hooking it to my computer.

Edit: I think some cables that were meant to hook up devices like Palms or CE based devices used the same kind of cable but which were wired in reverse (nulled). So you may be using one of those instead.

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Last edited by Otto on 02-07-2003 at 01:52 AM

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SuperRob is offline Old Post 02-07-2003 02:04 AM
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SuperRob
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quote:
I'd like to point out that there was no reason for them to take it away from Series 2 users in the first place. This isn't a "new feature". This is the return of an "old feature" that was taken away from users who *had it working*, without any reasons given.


That's the worst case of revisionist history I've seen in a long time. It was taken away, and we WERE given a reason: The feature was still in testing, wasn't supposed to have been released yet, and they were under contract to AT&T not to release it to the general customer base yet. Yes it was disappointing the way it went down, but reason WAS given, and regardless of your personal feelings about it, it was a VALID reason.

quote:
So I guess my disappointment is as follows:
-Why wait for 4.0?
-Why not flip the switch right now on all boxes?
-What's the bloody holdup?


From what TiVo has said in the past, despite popular MYTH, they CAN'T just "flip a switch" remotely. They have to send a complete new software load each and every time they make a change. THAT'S why they don't just rush out a simple fix every time they get something working. This serial control update is no different ... when you get it, you'll have to download new software, reboot, the whole works. Just because on your end you have the ability to replace one simple file and get this to work doesn't mean TiVo has the same capability.

For Pete's sake, Otto. If you don't want to accept their answers, that's fine. But don't pretend they never gave them at all.

quote:
My Sony SVR-2000 came with a serial control cable and the documentation said was for changing channels on cable and satillite boxes. So as far as I am concerned, this feature WAS promised to Series 1 owners, at least those with Sony units.


Dancar, your situation is not unusual, but if I recall, the mistake is yours. The serial cable that was included was for controlling satellite boxes ONLY. The instructions were multi-purpose, but if you re-read them CAREFULLY, the language is quite clear that serial control only worked for satellite boxes.

quote:
Considering that my SVR-2000 is less than 2 years old, I think it is too early to end support. Future software upgrades were promised in the marketing, so I expect any new features that the hardware will support (I accept that HMO is NOT supported on Series I hardware). Microsoft did not end support for Windows 95 until very recently, years after they stopped selling the product. So I expect the updates for TiVo software to last longer than 1 year.


YOUR SVR-2000 may be less than two years old, but the MODEL is not. It originally shipped with version 1.3 IIRC, and you simply got months/years of software updates all at once. To use your Microsoft analogy, just because you bought Windows 95 in 1997, doesn't mean that you should get more support than someone who bought it in 1995. You waited until the technology and software had matured, which was a smart decision. You also cut your support short in the process.

TiVo promised future software updates, and you got them. They did NOT promise future software updates into perpetuity, or even up to a specific date. You got the updates they promised. For crying out loud, they even added Internet guide data over hacked-in Ethernet controllers. You got more than what was promised.

And just because Microsoft has the bankroll to support a dead product years after they no longer manufacture it, you can't expect EVERY company to do the same. If you're expecting TiVo to act like Microsoft, then expect them to shelve the whole thing any day now.

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sbourgeo is offline Old Post 02-07-2003 02:20 AM
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sbourgeo
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quote:
Originally posted by SuperRob
From what TiVo has said in the past, despite popular MYTH, they CAN'T just "flip a switch" remotely. They have to send a complete new software load each and every time they make a change. THAT'S why they don't just rush out a simple fix every time they get something working. This serial control update is no different ... when you get it, you'll have to download new software, reboot, the whole works. Just because on your end you have the ability to replace one simple file and get this to work doesn't mean TiVo has the same capability.


Speaking of revisionist history...

TiVo can most certainly "flip a switch" remotely.

When the 2.0.1 standalone video flaw was spotted by Guy Kuo, Richard Bullwinkle acknowledged the problem and let us know that this could be easily fixed by tweaking a "resource" and it did NOT require a full software download.

I don't know if an MFS flag is analogous to a "resource", but it is certainly plausible to assume that the same technique would apply.


Steve

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NeedSerial is offline Old Post 02-07-2003 02:46 AM
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NeedSerial
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I think what's getting overlooked in this announcement is the fact that your cable box must have an "active" serial port.

I've been trying to get AT&T to activate mine for weeks (I have S2 AT&TiVo) and the morons at their customer support line don't even know what a serial port is.

I have a feeling a lot of people are going to be verrrry disappointed, but at least they can't point their fingers at TiVo anymore.

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