status of WiRNS/ Laho-Perc after the ReplayTV continuance - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 07-30-2011, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I figured I should post on the state of WiRNS/LaHo/PERC after ReplayTV's big announcement about keep the guide alive.

There's no question this is good news for everyone. I think the powers-that-be at DNNA realized that the devices are far from obsolete and much more useful than they expected.

Based on my discussions with folks at DNNA, I don't think this was a false alarm. The plan really was to shut everything down.. DNNA deserves credit for correcting a mistake and if they decide to do it again, I'm sure they will do a better job.

Everyone on the AVS and PlanetReplay forums knew about WiRNS and LaHo. That is a tiny percentage of ReplayTV owners. The majority knew of no workable solution. Heck, many of those folks may already be suffering with cable/satellite box PVRs!

The DNNA announcement was vague about the future. I suspect if there is a change, it will be *much* smoother and hopefully inform non-enthusiasts about their options. Certainly we, the community, are more prepared.

What does this mean for WiRNS? I think I can speak for them (they reviewed this email), but probably nothing. Many were using WiRNS before and even more are using it now. I don't see that changing.

What does this mean for LaHo/PERC? It's too early to say. I need to discuss more with my team, but I suspect we'll continue to improve the LaHo/Perc application so if DNNA changes their mind again, we'll be ready. Of course we have the luxury of time now..... something my wife and kids will appreciate. These past 6 weeks have been a little busy.

I don't think I'm going to add the LaHo payment system this weekend as I was planning. Henry, Ryan and Glenn may work on tweaking LaHo this weekend, or like me may take a short breather. If any BETA testers want to continue using LaHo, go for it. I'll bump any expiration that come up next week if I see people connecting.

So this is really a victory for everyone. Great job all around!

The Laho/Perc team
Robert and the rest of the Laho Team: Chris, Henry, Ryan, Glenn

**UPDATE**
We had a nice break and have resumed development of the LaHo ReplayTV service at PERC Data. The beta is available again and existing beta users have had their accounts exteneded.

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post #2 of 34 Old 07-30-2011, 08:58 AM
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So this is really a victory for everyone. Great job all around!

The Laho/Perc team
Robert and the rest of the Laho Team: Chris, Henry, Ryan, Glenn

Thank you Robert (and team)!

So, it sounds like you have spoken to DNNA and have the impression that it is safe to remain connected for now? Did you get the impression that they would change software or settings in any way to make us not able to use LaHo in the future? I don't want to ruin my chances of using your service in the future by reconnecting to DNNA now.

Everything you all are doing is so much appreciated,
Susan W
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post #3 of 34 Old 07-30-2011, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, I've been talking with DNNA. (Sorry, but I don't update the "Document your DNNA contacts" thread. )

There was no mention about any software changes, rekeying, etc. Maybe folks here gave them the idea! I suspect they still want to get out of the guide business, but want a smoother transition for their customers.

Robert

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post #4 of 34 Old 07-30-2011, 01:35 PM
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I think the powers-that-be at DNNA realized that the devices are far from obsolete and much more useful than they expected.

I'm 100% sure that had little if anything to do with the decision.

The overriding priority was, do we make money from this? Whatever process they used within the last six weeks to investigate this, the answer came up as "yes". That obviously contradicted the decision they came up with previously. So be it.

Once they decided they could profitably continue, only then did they look at HOW to reverse course. And of course, that involves spinmasters from marketing.

That anyone thinks "oh, they've decided they love us and it's the RIGHT thing to do for all those people out there", is proof of how well they've spun this to their advantage.

The other shoe has yet to drop, and drop it will. It might be benign, it might not. But there's more to come.

I can't help believing, though, that the realization that a third party (a) was able, and (b) was willing to step up to the plate with a for-pay solution--and that the public was willing to pay for it--gave them pause.

Maybe they didn't realize how much people were willing to pay to continue the service, and hated to leave that cash on the table. Remember, even those who paid the one-time fee were willing to pay. That's probably something they never thought would happen.

So, there's cash on the table.

One way or another, it comes down to profitability. I can think of a few things that could happen:

a) they realized they made a mistake in releasing the keys, for whatever reason, and now want to pull them back. The way to do that is to continue the service for now so they can update the machines with new keys.

b) they could keep the service going

c) they could switch the keys out and then close the service out again, and this time move it to a "different" entity that "turns it back on" and expects you to pay for the privilege. Hmmmm, sound familiar? Hey, if people were happy to pay for LaHo, why shouldn't Replay work the legal angles and take over that business for themselves? Pay the lawyers to dot the i's and cross the t's, make a new web site under a new name, and turn the old servers back on.
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post #5 of 34 Old 07-30-2011, 02:11 PM
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I'm 100% sure that had little if anything to do with the decision.

The overriding priority was, do we make money from this? Whatever process they used within the last six weeks to investigate this, the answer came up as "yes". That obviously contradicted the decision they came up with previously. So be it.

Once they decided they could profitably continue, only then did they look at HOW to reverse course. And of course, that involves spinmasters from marketing.

i don't agree at all.

If this was all about money, then they completely botched the heck out of the service. They cut off payment for every single one of their monthly subscribers. They're going to have lost a lot of those monthly customers in trying to get credit card numbers and such from them again. Many many people took the message seriously and started looking at alternatives and even transitioning away.

My guess is that there is something more to this where it's a combination of reasons that are not only monetary. Think along the lines of legal, brand image, third party intervention, customer complaints, etc
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post #6 of 34 Old 07-30-2011, 02:13 PM
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I get the impression there are a number of modem users still out there (maybe paying monthly?) LoHo is likely to be a cheaper option in the long run for that sub-set of users.
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post #7 of 34 Old 07-30-2011, 02:43 PM
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Once they decided they could profitably continue, only then did they look at HOW to reverse course. And of course, that involves spinmasters from marketing.

That anyone thinks "oh, they've decided they love us and it's the RIGHT thing to do for all those people out there", is proof of how well they've spun this to their advantage.

They very obviously did not use any spinmasters from marketing. Marketing would know how to present a message so people would actually believe it.

And they did not spin anything to their advantage because clearly people on these boards are skeptical. They actually blew it with their message.
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post #8 of 34 Old 07-30-2011, 05:15 PM
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They very obviously did not use any spinmasters from marketing. Marketing would know how to present a message so people would actually believe it.

And they did not spin anything to their advantage because clearly people on these boards are skeptical. They actually blew it with their message.

Well, then, that makes the people here EXTREMELY naive--because they think that corporate America loves them and cares enough about them to change their minds completely on a course of action, just because they love the people.

It's scary that people would be that naive.
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post #9 of 34 Old 07-30-2011, 05:17 PM
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Well, then, that makes the people here EXTREMELY naive--because they think that corporate America loves them and cares enough about them to change their minds completely on a course of action, just because they love the people.

It's scary that people would be that naive.

I guess I am not sure where you are seeing that. The people on these boards don't seem to think that at all - e.g., the skepticism. They want to understand what is really going on and are not buying into the line they were fed.
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post #10 of 34 Old 07-30-2011, 05:24 PM
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Well, then, that makes the people here EXTREMELY naive--because they think that corporate America loves them and cares enough about them to change their minds completely on a course of action, just because they love the people.

It's scary that people would be that naive.

I remember seeing some TV program that said that if a corporation was a person, it'd be a psychopath.
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post #11 of 34 Old 07-30-2011, 05:43 PM
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I remember seeing some TV program that said that if a corporation was a person, it'd be a psychopath.

That is a great documentary movie called, The Corporation.
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post #12 of 34 Old 07-30-2011, 06:11 PM
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That is a great documentary movie called, The Corporation.

Yes, that was it.
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post #13 of 34 Old 07-30-2011, 06:47 PM
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Corporations *legally* are beholden to one thing: maximize value to the stockholders.

Everything they do is to that end. Period.

No amount of "oh, our end users are just plain nice people, we couldn't possibly do that to them" has any meaning other than "here's how we spin our money-making policies to the public".
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post #14 of 34 Old 07-31-2011, 11:42 AM
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Corporations *legally* are beholden to one thing: maximize value to the stockholders.

Everything they do is to that end. Period.

No amount of "oh, our end users are just plain nice people, we couldn't possibly do that to them" has any meaning other than "here's how we spin our money-making policies to the public".

Man, I am not sure which guy from DNNA slept with your wife, but maybe you should loosen up on this one. I disagree with your basic statement about what companies can and might do, and have personal experience to back up my position.

Companies can act charitably; how they must justify that is another story, but the fact it that they do. Here are a few big well-known counter-examples to the simple interpretation of value maximization. I will provide just a few since this is not the right place for a huge debate. Note that I am not claiming that *all* companies are generous, merely that they can if they want to.

One of the charities I have a involvement with collects moderate donations from many companies, big and small, every year, for a local fund raiser. This can be called "PR", but for all practical purposes any goodwill gesture can be justified that way. Many people know of examples like this.

Newman's Own, a for-profit company that contributes money to community and health-related benefit programs. Over the past three decades Newman's Own has donated $290 million.

Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms Shoes, a small company that launched out of Venice, Calif., in 2006, donates a pair of shoes to needy people in places such as Africa, Argentina and Haiti for every pair that is purchased.

Target donates 5% of its pre-tax profits to cities in which it operates. It established a partnership in 2005 with the Salvation Army and has an online donation system to help families.

According to the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College in Massachusetts, as of 12 September 2005, corporate giving to help with Katrina's aftermath had reached US$547 million, with Wal-Mart, Office Depot and General Electric being the largest donors. Experts predict that corporate donations to Katrina relief efforts will surpass corporate donations in response to the tsunami in Southeast Asia.

"Many companies are engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities but do
not always communicate this engagement to the publicÂin many cases, because the benefits and risks of such communication are unknown. " -- from DOES IT PAY TO ADVERTISE GOOD DEEDS? THE INCLUSION OF A CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MESSAGE ON HOME PAGES, graduate MA thesis By Marjorie HenrÃ*quez, December 2010.

So, is DNNA just being nice to it's customers, partly to earn good will and live up to moral obligations? Who knows. Maybe, maybe not, but it is possible. I hope so.
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post #15 of 34 Old 07-31-2011, 02:21 PM
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Note that I am not claiming that *all* companies are generous, merely that they can if they want to.
Sure, they can if they want.

They can also act like total idiots and run their businesses into the ground. Guess which is more prevalent?

I've got tons of experience in this. Most companies succeed, or at least don't fail, despite themselves--not because of themselves.

Target uses their donations as a marketing tool. Its goal is not to be generous, but to increase the bottom line. That's a tool they've chosen. It may or may not work, but they didn't set out to lose 5% off their bottom line; they set out with the conscious calculation of "if we do this, our bottom line goes up".
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post #16 of 34 Old 07-31-2011, 02:30 PM
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Target uses their donations as a marketing tool. Its goal is not to be generous, but to increase the bottom line. That's a tool they've chosen. It may or may not work, but they didn't set out to lose 5% off their bottom line; they set out with the conscious calculation of "if we do this, our bottom line goes up".
Did anyone ever say you are too cynical?
I have known lots of companies who do the right thing even if they make less money. Not all, but lots.
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post #17 of 34 Old 07-31-2011, 03:40 PM
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So this is really a victory for everyone. Great job all around!

The Laho/Perc team
Robert and the rest of the Laho Team: Chris, Henry, Ryan, Glenn
Robert and the rest:Thanks for all you have and are doing! It has to be terribly frustrating to have them backtrack like this. I recall you saying you had to sign a very expensive contract for the guide data. I hope this has not put you in financial risk!
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post #18 of 34 Old 07-31-2011, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1991
It's scary that people would be that naive.
What's even scarier to me is that there are people like you who are so completely cynical. You could be right of course, but I'd bet against you. Besides you and I both don't know a damned thing about what happened and why. We each simply choose the story we prefer.

To the LaHo team.....thanks big time for all your hard work! I really appreciated that you provided me with an option just when the days were looking their darkest. I would have been a customer of yours for sure; and perhaps one day I still will be.
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post #19 of 34 Old 07-31-2011, 06:47 PM
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Besides you and I both don't know a damned thing about what happened and why. We each simply choose the story we prefer.
May I present Occam's Razor:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor

I don't choose the one that makes me feel good just because it makes me feel good, that's for sure.
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post #20 of 34 Old 07-31-2011, 06:58 PM
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This is just sophestry. Corporations are *legally* beholden to lots of entities: bond holders, share holders, venders they owe money too, clients they owe product/services to, land lord, uncle sam for taxes owed, etc....

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Corporations *legally* are beholden to one thing: maximize value to the stockholders.

Everything they do is to that end. Period.

No amount of "oh, our end users are just plain nice people, we couldn't possibly do that to them" has any meaning other than "here's how we spin our money-making policies to the public".

I started with a 3060. Later sold it and replaced it with a 4k and later added 2 5k units. Still love 'em and am resisting HD.
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post #21 of 34 Old 07-31-2011, 07:06 PM
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Corporations may not act in a way so as to reduce shareholder value or return.
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post #22 of 34 Old 07-31-2011, 07:10 PM
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I believe the cost of keeping the guide service going for DNNA is small, and the potential legal fight to defend (and quite possibliy lose) against breach of contract claims would have been more expensive. Heck, the cost of employees to address this SNAFU instead of doing real work, is probably costing them more money than simply leaving the servers plugged in.

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May I present Occam's Razor:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor

I don't choose the one that makes me feel good just because it makes me feel good, that's for sure.

I started with a 3060. Later sold it and replaced it with a 4k and later added 2 5k units. Still love 'em and am resisting HD.
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post #23 of 34 Old 07-31-2011, 07:13 PM
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This is wrong. Corporations take chances. Some things they do might fail and simply just cost the company money that they right off. (examples: oil companies drilling a dry hole, drug companies developing dugs that don't work or can't get FDA approval.)

You really have no idea what you're talking about.

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Corporations may not act in a way so as to reduce shareholder value or return.

I started with a 3060. Later sold it and replaced it with a 4k and later added 2 5k units. Still love 'em and am resisting HD.
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post #24 of 34 Old 07-31-2011, 07:27 PM
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I know exactly what I'm talking about.

The chances corporations take are all aimed squarely at enhancing shareholder value and revenue. Everyone acknowledges that some chances don't produce results, but no one argues that those chances are designed to increase revenue.

Corporations do NOT hand money out "because it feels good" or "because it's the right thing to do". If you hear a corporation say that, that's a marketing spinmaster trying to get you to believe that the corporation has YOUR best interests and your feelings in mind--but they really don't. Whatever they're doing, they're doing purely in their own self-interest.

You really have no idea what you're talking about.
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post #25 of 34 Old 07-31-2011, 09:14 PM
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That's exactly right...corps certainly try to enhance shareholder value -- NET. But those decisions that they make, might be pluses or minuses. The hope is that the minuses enhance the pluses. That's why grocery stores have loss-leaders. Or why two local big chain stores give away for free some antibotics and prenatal vitamins.

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I know exactly what I'm talking about.

The chances corporations take are all aimed squarely at enhancing shareholder value and revenue. Everyone acknowledges that some chances don't produce results, but no one argues that those chances are designed to increase revenue.

Corporations do NOT hand money out "because it feels good" or "because it's the right thing to do". If you hear a corporation say that, that's a marketing spinmaster trying to get you to believe that the corporation has YOUR best interests and your feelings in mind--but they really don't. Whatever they're doing, they're doing purely in their own self-interest.

You really have no idea what you're talking about.

I started with a 3060. Later sold it and replaced it with a 4k and later added 2 5k units. Still love 'em and am resisting HD.
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post #26 of 34 Old 07-31-2011, 09:49 PM
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Don't disagree one bit.
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post #27 of 34 Old 08-01-2011, 02:06 PM
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Corporations are run by people, and their actions reflect the morals and ideals of the people in charge.

Yes, they have a fiduciary responsibility to shareholders. But unless they overdo it, it's unlikely that acting charitably will have a significant negative impact on the share price.
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post #28 of 34 Old 08-01-2011, 04:47 PM
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IOW, "pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered".

If they cross a line into blatant and obvious mishandling of shareholder value, they'll get slaughtered.
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post #29 of 34 Old 08-01-2011, 07:52 PM
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I believe the cost of keeping the guide service going for DNNA is small, and the potential legal fight to defend (and quite possibliy lose) against breach of contract claims would have been more expensive. Heck, the cost of employees to address this SNAFU instead of doing real work, is probably costing them more money than simply leaving the servers plugged in.

Full agreement. It is my belief DNNA was contacted by multiple independent State Attorney Generals with regard to Breach of Contract.

Change of Course was a standard cost benefit decision.

Pretty straightforward. A stretch to speculate on some evil corporate conspiracy.
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post #30 of 34 Old 08-02-2011, 01:29 AM
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I know exactly what I'm talking about.

The chances corporations take are all aimed squarely at enhancing shareholder value and revenue. Everyone acknowledges that some chances don't produce results, but no one argues that those chances are designed to increase revenue.

Corporations do NOT hand money out "because it feels good" or "because it's the right thing to do". If you hear a corporation say that, that's a marketing spinmaster trying to get you to believe that the corporation has YOUR best interests and your feelings in mind--but they really don't. Whatever they're doing, they're doing purely in their own self-interest.

You really have no idea what you're talking about.

The problem with this entire discussion is the false dichotomy between doing good and doing well. There is no rule in business that says that doing the right thing must be financially irresponsible or costly. It is entirely possible that a business can have its cake and eat it too. There is no reason that DNNA can't get out from the program guide business without harming anyone - in fact, they could even use this as a way of creating another type of small business. The cost for maintaining the service really is minimal, the bad press and cost for alienating that many customers was significant with the bad press possibly tainting its other divisions, the potential legal battle might result in only a phyrric victory. This just could have been done in a much more graceful way. I think that was what DNNA figured out. Clearly, the new nag screen and public statements are an attempt to paint that in a more corporately palatable way.

So they decided to back off for now - depending on the costs for now could be a long time. Having totally embarrassed themselves this time, it is likely that they will come back at this with a better plan that satisfies the needs of the remaining community of users. Given the cynicism they have created in this move, that plan will have to be pretty decent.
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