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TiVo Begins Testing of PopUp Ads


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#1 Guest_beatmix01_*  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 7:57 pm

http://www.betanews...._Ads/1112116681
Much to the chagrin of many of its users, TiVo has begun testing out a new form of advertising on its subscription digital video recorder service. The ads were designed to appear on the screen while a user is fast-forwarding through commercials, but some TiVo customers say ads are popping up during TV shows.

The new billboard-style advertisements, which TiVo calls "Icons" or fast forward tags, come as the company faces increasing pressure to become profitable. Although subscriber numbers recently topped 3 million, most of TiVo's customers are coming from its now-in-doubt partnership with DirecTV rather than sales of standalone units.

According to reports on the TiVo Community Forum, some users are encountering the ads when fast-forwarding or rewinding during a recorded or live program, not just commercials. TiVo representatives chalked up the occurrence to a bug, but many TiVo users are still fuming over what they characterized as an intrusive feature.

For its part, TiVo has downplayed the significance of the new advertisements. In a knowledgebase article on the company's Web site, TiVo says "You can still see the video in the background when fast-forwarding or rewinding. The new icons only cover a small portion of the screen and are only visible for a commercial that is branded to display one."

But some customers disagreed with that assertion. "It's really hard to tell when a commercial ends and the show begins with this banner dead center. I thinks it going to kill my ability to accurately click play when a show begins after a commercial break," one user wrote on the TiVo Community Forum.

"The problem with this implementation is that the primary focal point of the content is being blocked, which destroys one of the primary features of the TiVo software/service: The ability to FF through a commercial and start where the commercial ends. If I can't see where the commercial ends, I can't stop at the right spot," the user added.

Despite a negative response from users, TiVo is unlikely to drop the new advertisements. "The TiVo Service is supported in part by monthly or product lifetime subscription fees, and in part by advertising on the service (Showcases, TiVo Central Promos, Fast Forward Tags)," a TiVo representative explained on the Community Forums.

For now, only owners of newer TiVos will see the advertisements, as software version 7.1 is required. TiVo officials say the size and placement of the ads may change, and the company is currently testing the feature with only one advertiser.



#2 RossMAN  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 7:59 pm

What if you have the 30 second skip feature enabled?

#3 aplefka  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:03 pm

Yeah what Ross said. I don't have TiVO or any kind of DVR but I know that even in older televisions they've got 30 second skip and 90 second skip. Seems like a lost cause to me. People don't want to skip advertising only to get more.

#4 Brad  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:03 pm

Another reason to consider a HTPC before paying a "lifetime" fee for TiVo. I could see having ads on the free TiVo Basic, but showing them after you've paid for both the unit and a subscription doesn't sound good to me.

#5 outnumbered  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:04 pm

Ok, let me get this straight...TiVo gives you advertisements to look at while you are fast-forwarding through advertisements??? Um, doesn't that defeat the entire purpose of having TiVo?

#6 aplefka  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:04 pm

Another reason to consider a HTPC before paying a "lifetime" fee for TiVo. I could see having ads on the free TiVo Basic, but showing them after you've paid for both the unit and a subscription doesn't sound good to me.


How does this lifetime pass work? How much does it cost?

This year for Christmas I really wanted to get my father a TiVO unit and subscription but it was pricier than I thought even just for the unit. How much are these lifetime passes?

#7 aplefka  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:05 pm

Ok, let me get this straight...TiVo gives you advertisements to look at while you are fast-forwarding through advertisements??? Um, doesn't that defeat the entire purpose of having TiVo?


Exactly my point. This is just going to frustrate them. Personally I don't mind commercials if they're going to be funny and original, but most of the time they aren't.

#8 Brad  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:10 pm

I don't know for sure how much they are, but I'm thinking $299, and that's for the lifetime of the unit - not your lifetime :)

#9 ActuaryTm  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:11 pm

Another reason to consider a HTPC before paying a "lifetime" fee for TiVo.

Hear, hear.

#10 aplefka  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:12 pm

I don't know for sure how much they are, but I'm thinking $299, and that's for the lifetime of the unit - not your lifetime :)


Well, that's still not too bad. The units are what? $300-$400? And $300 to record all you want? I mean let's face it, I could always record the shows with my camcorder once the thing starts getting full and making him DVDs.

For $700, I think it may be worth it, but that's definitely gonna be out of range for my budget for a while.

#11 mugs  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:17 pm

Ok, let me get this straight...TiVo gives you advertisements to look at while you are fast-forwarding through advertisements??? Um, doesn't that defeat the entire purpose of having TiVo?


Not exactly... it still takes the same amount of time to fast forward through the commercials (theoretically - assuming you can figure out when to hit the play button). The difference is, instead of seeing a blur of commercials you can't understand, you see a static image over part of the screen (as I understand it). So the benefits of TiVo are still there, and they get some ad impressions. I don't have TiVo, but I don't think it would bother me as long as I can still tell where to hit play again.

#12 RossMAN  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:18 pm

Yeah what Ross said. I don't have TiVO or any kind of DVR but I know that even in older televisions they've got 30 second skip and 90 second skip.

I would also consider the ReplayTV for $49 after rebate (2nd link)

You can hack/mod it to enable commercial skip which is superior to Tivo's because there is no 30 skip and no guessing.

I am also considering selling my ReplayTV 5040 for $80 plus shipping, it comes with Internet Video Sharing and Commercial Skip right out of the box - no modding or hacking required. You will have to pay either $12.95/mo or $299 lifetime fee. I have the original box, packaging, manual and remote control :)

#13 biomajor  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:19 pm

I like my DVR, but I don't know about paying Tivo to watch commercials.

#14 aplefka  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:19 pm

I would also consider the ReplayTV for $49 after rebate (2nd link)

You can hack/mod it to enable commercial skip which is superior to Tivo's because there is no 30 skip and no guessing.

I am also considering selling my ReplayTV 5040 for $80 plus shipping, it comes with Internet Video Sharing and Commercial Skip right out of the box - no modding or hacking required. You will have to pay either $12.95/mo or $299 lifetime fee. I have the original box, packaging, manual and remote control :)


But don't you have to pay for the service for these things to work?

#15 RossMAN  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:20 pm

But don't you have to pay for the service for these things to work?

Yep $12.95/mo or $299 lifetime.

#16 mugs  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:23 pm

I like my DVR, but I don't know about paying Tivo to watch commercials.


You (probably) pay for cable, and they show you commercials. :) But I don't really think it's right to force it on people who've paid the lifetime subscription fee... give them the option to turn it off at least.

It'd be unfortunate if TiVo weren't able to survive after they started the whole industry.

#17 biomajor  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:28 pm

Yes, I pay for cable--but I'm a record and fast forward addict :-) I have a dual tuner and watch something that i recorded during the day just to build up fast forward time on my recorded programs at night :-)

#18 mugs  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:35 pm

Yes, I pay for cable--but I'm a record and fast forward addict :-) I have a dual tuner and watch something that i recorded during the day just to build up fast forward time on my recorded programs at night :-)


I'm the same way. I haven't watched a commercial at my house since I got my DVR. Never watch live TV anymore.

#19 RossMAN  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 8:37 pm

I'm the same way. I haven't watched a commercial at my house since I got my DVR. Never watch live TV anymore.

Yep we never watch TV commercials unless we want to.

I have 2 TV tuner cards (install BeyondTV) and you have a PVR with no monthly or lifetime fees!

A Tivo series, Toshiba SD-H400 (no monthly fees) and DirecTIVO (currently not used).

Also a ReplayTV 3060 and like new 5040. Selling the 5040.

#20 i-bystander  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 9:02 pm

I am also considering selling my ReplayTV 5040 for $80 plus shipping, it comes with Internet Video Sharing and Commercial Skip right out of the box - no modding or hacking required. You will have to pay either $12.95/mo or $299 lifetime fee. I have the original box, packaging, manual and remote control :)


How many hours does the 5040 hold?

#21 RossMAN  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 9:05 pm

5040 holds 40 hours.

#22 i-bystander  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 9:12 pm

5040 holds 40 hours.


Interesting... I don't know if I wanna pay another fee for a DVR, though. :fedora:

#23 RossMAN  OFFLINE  

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Posted Mar 29, 2005 - 9:18 pm

Interesting... I don't know if I wanna pay another fee for a DVR, though. :fedora:

Anyone who is interested in my ReplayTV 5040 here is the user's guide complete with specs and yes even pictures.

The ReplayTV 5040 features Commercial Advance and Internet Video Sharing which the 4xxx series and later models do not have (but are available if you are comfortable hacking your DVR). Out of the box Commercial Advance and Internet Video Sharing work :) It also has an Ethernet port on the back.



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