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Television United Kingdom Entertainment Hardware

TiVo To Brick All Remaining UK PVRs On June 1 286

handelaar writes "Perhaps in order to 'encourage' existing users of UK Tivo units to change their TV service to Virgin Media, pay £149 for a new 'Virgin TiVo' that they won't actually own, plus £34.50 per month in service charges, Tivo is to cancel all EPG data service to all the Tivos still in use in the country — and existing units will become basically nonfunctional at that time. The faithful aren't amused, having stuck by the company for several years, and mostly paying £120 per annum for service until now. 50% of UK residents aren't able to avail of this generous upgrade offer even if they want to — the cable company in question only covers about half the country."
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TiVo To Brick All Remaining UK PVRs On June 1

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  • by Dr_Barnowl ( 709838 ) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @06:23AM (#35219228)

    It might cost more up front, but in the long run it's much cheaper, and you get to control the recordings.

    Although the BBC has been applying to be able to encrypt it's EPG data for HD channels - there was a large fuss made about it at the time but I've heard nothing since, so I presume they are sneaking it in the back door quietly.

  • £149? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <richardpriceNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @06:25AM (#35219240)
    Not sure where you get that from, the Virgin V+ HD box is free (well, a once off £50 activation charge) for new customers, and as an existing customer I can get one for £70 including the activation charge.

    Plus the "£34.50 per month" includes TV, phone (line rental and a fairly decent call package) and 10MB broadband.

    Not saying that what Tivo are doing is acceptable (although they never promised eternal service in the UK, or did they? Since people are paying an annual service charge, I would guess not), but at least get stuff correct before ranting.
  • Re:Brick? (Score:4, Informative)

    by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @06:40AM (#35219298)

    But stop fucking using the term brick unless the device is incapable of powering on.

    You, sir, are correct. From the link in the summary:

    Without the program guide data provided by the TiVo service, Series1 boxes will have limited - if any - functionality. They can still be used to view previously recorded programs and, under certain circumstances, may be used to record programs manually.

    So they are stopping the service used by the device, limiting it's functionality. It's like owning an intelligent radio, and your favorite station goes off the air. They are do not doing anything to brick the device.

  • Re:Brick? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @06:41AM (#35219300) Homepage

    But stop fucking using the term brick unless the device is incapable of powering on.

    There are plenty of ways of bricking something and not being able to even power something on is only one of those. Like for example a gaming console: if you hit the power button and it goes on, but nothing else happens, then it clearly is bricked.

    Basically bricked means the device no longer useable for the purposes it was actually originally made for and getting it to functional state requires tools not even a regular geek has at his or her disposal. It is not bricked if returning it to functional state is sufficiently doable, or if it doesn't do what you want it to do but still serves the purposes it was sold under.

  • To add some context (Score:4, Informative)

    by bamf ( 212 ) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @06:55AM (#35219358)

    Tivo haven't actively sold the boxes in the UK for about 8-9 years now. This isn't a modern service being canned, it's effectively a legacy system.

  • Re:Boat Anchor Mode (Score:5, Informative)

    by Adrian Harvey ( 6578 ) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @07:15AM (#35219426)

    See Oztivo [oztivo.net] where they've hacked the series 1 frimware to get it's updates over the Internet from a community run guide service. I'm in NZ and using the New Zealand variant on an English Series 1 TiVo (the kind we're discussing here) to good effect. TiVo have resisted people doing this in countries where they're selling the guide service - perhaps now is the time for the community to have a go?

  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @09:31AM (#35220126)

    The BBC is not being evil, its the evil MPAA saying "do this or we wont let you broadcast our content".

    The BBC does the bare minimum they are required to by their deals with the big content producers.

    Of course what is needed is for the big content producers stop thinking that DRM (especially DRM on free TV broadcasts) will ever stop their content from being pirated (or even do much to slow it down). But there is as much chance of that happening as there is of George Lucas deciding to give Star Wars away for free and uploading copies to YouTube.

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp