Registered: Apr 2000
Location: Waltham, Massachusetts, USA
Originally posted by Dan203
Actually all new units shipping today come with 4.01 preloaded, so they would only need to complete the initial setup via the phone line. In fact, with the right wired adapter, they wouldn't even need a phoneline for that. (i.e. using the ,#401 backdoor)
(N.B.: My dialogue - which is actually a composite conversation with several different people - took place before 4.0 was shipping preloaded, in case there was any confusion on that matter, not that I think any of them would care today about 4.0 since they don't want to buy a dongle after spending so much money for TiVo in the first place. It's really a moot point: no Ethernet means no sale to them, period, game over, end of discussion.)
The point of my dialogue posted above is that non-TiVo users aren't interested in hearing about our "backdoor" features, tricks, tweaks, and other excuses for why the dang thing just doesn't work out of the box like it should.
They want the box to work for them out of the box. They don't want to have to go to some web forum and search for this kind of info. Expect them to jump through hoops to get their TiVo working the way they want, when other DVRs make it easier for them out of the box, and they will invariably go for the other DVRs instead. TiVo loses another potential customer.
And I don't think they are being unreasonable in their expectations, either.
Sure, now TiVos are shipping with 4.0 software, but the horse has already bolted the stable and closing the door now isn't going to undo what has been done. TiVo has lost sales, gotten bad reviews, and bad word of mouth, because of this.
(N.B.: To forestall accusations of "crying over spilt milk", let me clarify here that my purpose is not to "cry over spilt milk" but to simply assert the fact that the milk has indeed been spilt. There are still a lot of people in denial over this point, who still haven't realized that this is indeed a mistake with some negative consequences for TiVo.)
And the point still stands that TiVo can't work out of the box for those who don't have landlines (without jumping through hoops, which they won't do), and that its initial set up is still painfully slow compared to what a ReplayTV can do with a broadband connection. This is a major stumbling block for many purchasers who don't have landlines. There are many more of these kinds of people now than you realize. Trust me, I have met them.
These people won't listen to our explanations or our "workarounds". They will simply buy a Replay or some other DVR. They aren't a huge number of people, but they are a significant portion of TiVos potential market right now and losing them doesn't do TiVo any good.
As long as we have to explain the "ifs, ands, or buts" about TiVo LAN functionality, TiVo loses potential customers. They aren't going to listen to our workarounds. They are going to go elsewhere. As long has we have to explain things and make excuses, we will get "uh huh" reactions and "eyes glazing over" looks, and we will lose them. Another potential TiVo convert lost.
All of this could have been avoided for a few extra dollars or cents per box with a built-in Ethernet port. "Support" costs for Ethernet are virtually nil. Ethernet has been around forever and simply works without any bugs or glitches.
Not including Ethernet ports and forcing new users to use a landline (or an obscure hack) for initial set up is simply bizarre. I understand if the current Series 2 production lines can't be changed to accomodate Ethernet now, but that restriction doesn't apply to TiVo's hardware partners.
I would hope Humax or someone else will step up to the plate and give us some choice in TiVo hardware options, rather than another "more of the same" copy of the existing TiVo standalone models. Humax, stand apart from the crowd, please! Give us some choice in TiVo hardware!
Sony provided us with some "extras" (list button, larger case and room for second harddrive, better save-to-VCR function with Sony VCRs, etc). Adding an Ethernet port would help seperate any new box from the rest of the TiVo herd, so here's hoping someone at one of the TiVo hardware partners is thinking along these lines.
There is no pony.
Last edited by dmdeane on 03-11-2004 at 06:11 PM
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