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Why can't...

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by cerebros, Oct 27, 2004.

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  1. cerebros

    cerebros
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    One of the features that seems to have been/still is popular on Tivo/Sky+ is season link where the box records all episodes of a specified programme. Yet this is missing from Freeview PVR's right now.

    But why? I'd have thought that with the EPG in place, all the software in the box would have to do is look for any programme with the same title and record it. For example, say I want to record every epsisode of Eastenders during the week. I select the programme from the "season record" (or somethign similar menu), and the box then examines the current EPG and sets timers for all programmes where the name matches "Eastenders". When the EPG next updates, the box checks the EPG for any time changes, adjusting the record timers where necessary if the time changes, and checks the listings for any new days on the EPG for that programme. Repeat indefinitely or until user input or lack of disc space prevents continuation.

    Is that really so hard to implement? Yes in this example you'd probably end up recording the omnibus edition as well (unless it's called "Eastenders Omnibus" in the EPG), but there again, would it take much code to allow a season pass modifier (i.e. never record a programme with this name on a Sunday unless specfied by the user)?

    So is there something obvious I'm missing, or is someone holding patents that stop the above being done?
     
  2. Starburst

    Starburst
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    TIVO own something in the region of 160 patents all aimed at stopping other competitors doing what you want a Freeview PVR to do:)
    That more than anything is why NDS and SKY went with their series links, a method to emulate season passes but without infringing the patents owned by TIVO, as such they are not as advanced as the TIVO method and a far more suspectable to failure due to their reliance on the broadcasters to transmit the data rather than a central body to collate and organise the passes.
    I would expect NDS to have patents which apply to their series link methodology as well.
     
  3. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    Since they do not do a UK Tivo perhaps these patents will be unenforcable
     
  4. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Why? If you pay for a world wide patent on your product then why should it not be enforceable just because you don't sell the product in a certain country.
    If your thoughts were the law then patents would be a waiste of time & money as I doubt many, if not any products are sold in every single country.

    A lot of the features offered by TiVo are also directly controlled by the embedded information within the Tribune EPG. If a standard EPG was used then things such as Season Passes, Wish Lists etc would not work. This is of course a large part of the problem for Freeview PVR's as they use generic EPG's and setting up a dedicated EPG for a product that sells in fairly small numbers would be far too expensive. I think this is half the problem with TiVo UK. TiVo needed to get a lot more subscriptions (ie sell more boxes) to be able to make a profit in the UK - and they charge for the use of their EPG but the Freeview EPG is Free!

    Mark.
     
  5. cerebros

    cerebros
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    They'd still be enforcible, but if I were a Tivo shareholder, I'd be asking why they're not licencing the patents for use in non-Tivo products outside the US since they're not going to be generating much new revenue from non-US customers (except those who haven't upgraded from the monthly to lifetime subs). Even a couple of £ per device should bring in a tidy amount over the coming years.
     
  6. Starburst

    Starburst
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    You've got to believe that the market for HD or HD/DVD recorders is strong enough to support a subscription TIVO piece of hardware being launched, perhaps not at the full £10 (£200) sub that it was (although since then the US service has had multipule price increases) but a few quid for all the benefits surely must be a winner.
    Granted the average VCR owner isn't going to be swayed but there must be a few hundred thousands DTT owners who have seen SKY+ and want something similar even if it carried a price tag.
     
  7. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Agreed! I think that TiVo basically failed the first time around because nobody knew what a PVR was. Since the Sky+ launch and with its current advertising push and the likes of the Pace Twin, PVR's are becoming fairly popular and people can see what advantages they offer. After all if you don't know what a product does you wont know that you have a use for it. As has been stated in many places and on many an occassion the TiVo advertising was terrible - 'You can pause live TV' just didn't do it justice. And that is assuming that you even saw the adverts as they were so few & far between.

    Mark.
     

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