Possible change in upgrade/hack tolerance? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-01-2000, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I apologize if this sounds like crying that the sky is falling, but this popped into my head a couple of hours ago and its been bugging me.

I've been closely following the progress of upgrading (i.e., hacking) of existing units to add storage. I'm one of those that will almost certainly upgrade their unit (I'll probably even get another one, upgrade it too, and then sell the TiVo that I got because this upgrade wasn't available). I'm very much looking forward to being able to do this.

Up until now, I've agreed with others that ReplayTV would privately be happy about the finding of an upgrade/hack path, as it serves a definite need and gives an answer to upgrading TiVo systems.

However, that was ReplayTV. Now they've said that they're going to move over to exclusively licensing their technology for others build (like Panasonic does currently). Could this possibly change the ground rules?

My concern is that ReplayTV may no longer have enough of a say in this matter. What happens if Panasonic, or any future licensee, takes the big-business position of "Stop it! That's ours." Will ReplayTV have enough leverage to quell this, or will it be too hard to get their input and/or arguments to the correct decision makers in a large corporation?

I'd be interested in the opinions of others.

Ken
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-01-2000, 04:08 PM
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It's mine. Too bad for them.

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post #3 of 13 Old 12-01-2000, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by PRMan:
It's mine. Too bad for them.

Thanks for that informative response. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

What I was referring to was what if that a licensee insisted something had to be done? (There are plenty of previous threads that outlined how this could be done, so I don't think I need to go into that here.) For example, if you were ReplayTV and this was major income source, would you feel you had to comply with a software upgrade to inhibit upgrades?

Again, I'm just wondering if anything has changed.

Ken
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-01-2000, 05:46 PM
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It's an interesting question. Obviously, big'uns like Phillips and Sony haven't cracked down on TiVo hackers. And my guess is that PRMan's short response is actually kind of on the money: Even though we've probably "licensed" the Replay OS, I would have to guess that we've bought the hardware.

Now of course, that doesn't mean that Panasonic or a future licensee won't do something dumb. But since the Replay OS is what's controlling the disks and storage, I think that the hacking is probably going to continue unabated.

Now, the question will probably be: will odd versions of the Replay OS work as well with the hacks as the ones they've come up with so far? The AT&T/Replay boxes have a v2.4 OS that is specific to their setup... I'd be interested to see if the hacks work for them. And if another partner comes along and says "we'll license this as long as you prevent hacked upgrades".... But who can say what will happen at this point?

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post #5 of 13 Old 12-02-2000, 05:35 PM
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Mike, just to keep you honest, the original 200x units were going to be user upgradeable. Of course, Firewire has since been flushed down the toliet.

Cheers

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post #6 of 13 Old 12-02-2000, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jleavens:
Now, the question will probably be: will odd versions of the Replay OS work as well with the hacks as the ones they've come up with so far? The AT&T/Replay boxes have a v2.4 OS that is specific to their setup... I'd be interested to see if the hacks work for them. And if another partner comes along and says "we'll license this as long as you prevent hacked upgrades".... But who can say what will happen at this point?

Seems like it'd be more work (on the part of Replay and AT&T) than it'd be worth. I mean, sure, for the AT&T box, they're going to make changes to cable box control, etc. Why would they make changes to the file system? More work for questionable benefit.

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post #7 of 13 Old 12-02-2000, 09:03 PM
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My thoughts:

1. There is no money in upgrades.
2. They would rather sell a new unit to you.
3. They won't stop the hackers that are smart enough to install larger hard drives.
4. The market is to small for them to deactivate units simply because you didn't buy a new unit and installed a larger hard drive. This would create bad press all over the internet.

Headlines:

Replay disables their own hardware after users upgrades hard drive.
TIVO disables their own hardware after users upgrades hard drive.

Do you think either company would benefit from the above headlines? Do you think they would sell more units?


Headlines:

Replay & TIVO announce they have no objections to user upgraded machines.

or

Replay & TIVO announce they won't do any software modifications to disable user upgraded units...but both companys indicate that they are not responsible for machines that are damaged in an upgrade attempt.

Now that would sell more units!

Loren Kruse

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post #8 of 13 Old 12-03-2000, 11:52 AM
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Loren

It is one thing for either company to do nothing about the hacking of the units but it is another in saying it. it they say they don't disaprove of the hacking then it could be infered that they support it and therefor would have to make sure that all upgrade software would work on the hack units too along with there surported units. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

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post #9 of 13 Old 12-03-2000, 01:55 PM
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I think the fact that they let you know that tampering around inside the unit VOIDS your warranty says it all. It allows you infer to your heart's content about the whys & wherefores of, but it certainly makes the majority of us to put our screwdrivers back in the drawer.

We need that warranty intact.

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post #10 of 13 Old 12-03-2000, 02:09 PM
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You know I can't let it die.

Cheers

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post #11 of 13 Old 12-04-2000, 01:48 PM
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jleavens hit it right on the head. If something were to happen to my unit, several people on this forum would do something about it. And nothing is going to get me off my overworked lazy butt faster than someone saying, "You can't do such-and-such with your Showstopper. We're going to control your life like this now."

I don't in any way feel like ReplayTV will do this whatsoever. Them seem to be very decent people trying their hardest to make a quality product and make money doing it. I think Panasonic is smarter than this. They made a decision about Macrovision and are totally up front about it in their literature. Their response to the bug was inexcusable, but seemingly so few had it that it took a while to filter up the monolithic chain. They can't afford any more of this kind of bad press. But if they did, the drive would be out of my Showstopper already.

And on the issue of warranties, think about it. Labor is only warrantied for 90 days. Parts are warrantied for a year. But are you really going to pay over $200 for some technician to replace your failing hard drive after 90 days or are you going to spend $240 on an 80GB and do it yourself and get more hours? If you have had your machine longer than 90 days, the warranty seems like an incentive to hack, not an incentive against it.

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post #12 of 13 Old 12-05-2000, 06:25 AM
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It seems to me that in the future, devices like the ReplayTV may have a DVD burner built into them. Then you could easily archive stuff from the hard disk on to a DVD.

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post #13 of 13 Old 12-05-2000, 07:42 AM
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Someday. But right now all the DVD-combo units are in the thousands of $$$ range, mostly I believe to keep them from being mass-market sellers and gain the ire of the entertainment industry. I mean, if I could tape movies off HBO and then burn a DVD, I'd never have to buy a DVD again, right? And I could send copies off to my family and friends too!

I think that some kind of licensing issues will get worked out on this. It may be something that limits the DVDs I burn to work on my machine only. Of course, since I may swap machines at some point, it can't simply be keyed to the actual machine, it will need to be a license card (like DirecTV) or something to that effect...

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