Originally Posted by JHBrandt
1. Certainly there's nothing wrong with petitioning Rovi (via email, their Facebook page, or wherever) to change their plans. I've done this and I saw that several others have done so as well.
Agreed, but this insistence from some parties that they're gonna force Rovi to do what they want, or force EchoStar to go back and make extensive alterations to its firmware to support something else is bordering on delusional. Ask, fine. But be realistic.
6. I like the idea of Pal owners banding together to offer to buy an upgrade from Echostar to, say, retrieve TVGOS from the Internet vs. OTA. However, this is likely a major undertaking. First, we'd likely end up paying Echostar for an upgrade that would only give us the ability to then buy a TVGOS subscription from Rovi. Also, Echostar would probably need to redesign the guide display to show Rovi's ads, and maybe even to send our viewing/recording choices to Rovi so they could target their ads to us. And they'd probably need to use the heretofore-unused smart card to secure the subscription. That's a lot of negotiation and software development, so it wouldn't be cheap. I can't imagine a firmware upgrade like that going for only $20. Maybe $100.
But Rovi's not in the business of dealing with end users. So "the ability to then by a TVGOS subscription from Rovi" is not even a thing. And why would Rovi want to do that? It's like with HBO GO - they don't want to deal with end users, and have the end-user billing and support apparatus that would be necessitated by such things. I'm pretty sure the court decision that allowed EchoStar to pull in TVGoS data only applied to OTA data, not via the Internet, so I'm pretty sure that any license would have to be for the entire customer base, and would necessitate EchoStar signing a license for TVGoS 10.1 or later, and incorporating TVGoS software, which would require significant alterations to the software. That's gonna be a massive amount of money. For a product they don't sell, or support, or even acknowledge anymore. $100 per user would be cheap for what all that would cost.
7. Open source is another good idea that keeps coming up, but it too is probably a bigger undertaking than we might think. Echostar probably has code in the firmware that they can't open up. Anything having to do with the unused smart card probably has to come out, as does the soon-to-be-obsolete code to support OTA TVGOS. If they can remove all the proprietary stuff, then maybe they could release an open-source F209 (Dish version) and F401 (CM version), but that's work for them, so they won't do it for free. If they're willing to do it for a reasonable cost, though, we might consider a Kickstarter project to raise the necessary dough.
Open sourcing it will most likely never happen. The software that was used on the DTVPal was, I believe, based on the same base code as was used on their Dish satellite DVRs. They're not gonna want that running around in the wild. That assumes they wrote all the software, too - I'm guessing some part of it is probably licensed, in which case, even if they released what they have the rights to release, you would get an incomplete code base. Essentially, half or maybe three-quarters of a DVR. That might be replaceable, but they're not going to want to invest more developer time replacing software components.
Open source is nice, but it's not magic fairy dust.