AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! I would first like to say what a great site this is as I have been checking in frequently in order to keep up to date on the latest information regarding my favorite electronic product, naturally, Ultimate TV!! In that spirit I have been considering buying the 70 hour model from RCA but with all the uncertainty concerning the future of the Ultimate Tv service itself it is hard for me to shell

out $250 and then have the service shut down in the near- future. I realize there are no guarantees with any product these days but this seems to be on fragile ground at best. In any case I fired off an e-mail to customer service at Microsoft and I thought (for what it's worth) I would share their response with anyone interested. This response is as follows:


"Don't worry we are not dropping support for the Ultimate Tv. The press just doesn't understand what we are doing. There was just a simple restructuring. Some executives were laid-off and who isn't doing this these days? You have nothing to worry about as the FCC REQUIRES THAT WE SUPPORT THE UNIT FOR A MINIMUM OF 5 YEARS!!! We have also, as you mentioned, come out with a 70 hour model and a new upgrade. This should give you an idea of our commitment to the product. Thanks for the inquiry and we hope this puts your worries to rest."


That's pretty much it though I would be interested if anyone

here could comment on the part concerning the FCC mandate which I personally have never heard of??? Of course I am not an expert on FCC regulations by any means either! Take care everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,900 Posts
The requirement for five years of support is true only in relationship to RF emission issues, not for the PVR functionality. It is also disingenuous to say that they laid off just a few executives, as that would mean that over 20% of their staff were executives.


They also failed to note that both the upgrade and the 70 hour unit had been developed before the "reorg" happened.


/carmi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
Like it or not, the "official word" is:


We are not dropping support for the UltimateTV.


The reorg was mis-reported as a shutdown.


We will support the unit for many years to come.


We are committed to the product.


"Thanks for the inquiry and we hope this puts your worries to rest"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
I'd still like to see some "official" word not written (allegedly) by some CSR who says stupid things like "Some executives were laid-off and who isn't doing this these days" in comments to customers. That whole statement sounds like it was authored by a 9th grader.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
At this point, anything from Microsoft stating that the product will be around is a good thing. I guess I don't understand why the UTV hasn't been developed for use with cable systems. I guarantee that standalone Tivos outsell the DirecTV units at least 4-1. It just doesn't make sense to me that a product aimed at just the subscribers to DirecTV is going to have long term viability.


One thing I've noticed is that my local Best buy is not selling any UTV equipment anymore. Hopefully, it just means they don't have their hands on the new RCA box yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by majortom
The requirement for five years of support is true only in relationship to RF emission issues....
In fact, there are laws that prevent a company from shutting down a product line and abandoning it's customers. These laws are not administered by the FCC, but they do required varying lengths of support for the product ranging from 5 years and beyond.


Those of you who remember the days of Mac OS hadware clone companies (Motorola, PowerComputing, Umax) may recall that these firms had to commit to supporting a spares parts inventory and tech support to make sure the products were functional for 5+ years after they shut down operations - the same thing probably applies to UTV.


That does not mean that MS has to roll out UTV upgrades and new models, just that they keep charging $10/mnth, keep the guide data in the stream, and offer out-of-warranty servicing for the required period.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by bengalfreak
I guarantee that standalone Tivos outsell the DirecTV units at least 4-1.
Nope. In the last quarter, "a little less than half" of TiVo subscriber additions were DirecTV. It would probably be even higher if it were not so difficult and expensive for existing DirecTV subscribers to get them.


Anecdotally, both my brothers and a friend of mine actually switched from cable to DirecTV just to get a DTiVo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
BTW, you don't need a letter from anyone to feel better about the future of your UltimateTV unit. As long as DirecTV is sending a signal, your box will work. Microsoft doesn't do anything that's required for your box to work.


And in the unlikely event that DirecTV is allowed to merge with Dish, it will be several years (if ever) before the signal coming from the satellite changes in such a way as to break any boxes (PVR or otherwise) currently in service. And if that does happen, they'll be replaced with a "similar" service (whatever that means) free of charge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I just bought a UTV receiver and am waiting for the installers to put it in. I assume that by saying it will still work as long as DTV is sending a signal, you mean it will work as a DTV receiver. My understanding is that I would lose the DVR features and the PVR features but would still at least have a receiver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by bengalfreak
I guess I don't understand why the UTV hasn't been developed for use with cable systems.
My understanding is that UTV only works with DirecTV because it is getting a digital signal that it records. The picture quality of the recording is just as good as a live broadcast. That would be the case with digital cable, but not with the analog cable that most people have. And, presumably, there are multiple cable companies that supply digital cable, so the UTV team would have to co-ordinate with all of them to develop a viable product (or products).


You could say "Why UTV hasn't been developed for use with Dish Network?" The answer, I think, proves the point. Microsoft tried working with Dish Network on Dishplayer. When Echostar decides to change how their program guide works, that breaks Dishplayer. If the vendor doesn't work with you, it is hard to develop a product.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
if a company is required to support their hardware for a minimum of 5 years, can anyone explain Circuit City's now defunct DIVX DVD format?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by mjanders
I just bought a UTV receiver and am waiting for the installers to put it in. I assume that by saying it will still work as long as DTV is sending a signal, you mean it will work as a DTV receiver. My understanding is that I would lose the DVR features and the PVR features but would still at least have a receiver.
No, I'm saying it will work as a PVR. Everything your box needs in order to function comes from DirecTV. No ongoing support is needed from Microsoft. If it ever stops working, it's because DirecTV (or the merged company) changed something to make it stop working. Either they changed the format of APG (advanced program guide) or they stopped sending the subscription status info in the stream.


Seems odd coming from a "Kool-aid drinker", doesn't it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by raldrich
if a company is required to support their hardware for a minimum of 5 years, can anyone explain Circuit City's now defunct DIVX DVD format?
Sure - they settled a class action law suit brought by the owners of the DIVX hardware.


And the situation is not perfectly parallel - the DIVX gear only provided one function (for the owner of the consumer hardware) that normal DVD players did not provide - a lower cost for the initial disk, with higher costs for subsequent viewing. Once you are sufficiently financially compensated, normal DVDs are the same as DIVX. The real losers in DIVX were the studios looking for a revenue stream.


The difference with UTV (or TIVO) is that you can't easily quantify "pause live TV" in dollar terms, so it wouldn;t be easy for MS to pay us off in a settlement. It is much easier for them to leave the data stream on for the required # of years, and take our monthly fee.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
391 Posts
I do not remember any class action law suit over DIVX. When they announced the end of DIVX they gave a $100 to everyone that purchased DIVX and let you return all your DIVX movies for a full credit (even if they were opened and played.) They were all so supposed to keep a tech support line open until 2001 or something(do not remember the date.) I think the DIVX idea was little strange, but I think Circuit City was kind of cool they way they handled that disaster.


Yes I have a Proscan DIVX (still using it all the time), but after my $100 rebate and all the DIVX movies I was able to watch then return for a full credit I am not complaining. If I am not mistaken it is 5 years you have to maintain parts and be able to service products after you discontinue to manufacture them.


Rare
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I know for a fact that there will be continued development on the UTV system. Through connections, I have gotten on the alpha trials team for the next software release for the UTV system.


FYI: For any of you have have or know someone that has a Dishplayer, MS is also starting a new software update package for that product as well.


NDanger
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,221 Posts
Really?


Tell those connections I want to get in on the beta....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Yeah, and I'm on the alpha testing team for the new MS-DOS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by raldrich
Yeah, and I'm on the alpha testing team for the new MS-DOS.
You, too? Man, what a small world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
"Don't worry we are not dropping support for the Ultimate Tv. . . . We have also, as you mentioned, come out with a 70 hour model ... This should give you an idea of our commitment to the product."


Corey140 just posted in another thread that RCA will no longer produce UTV boxes. So much for commitment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts

Originally posted by zarkov




And, presumably, there are multiple cable companies that supply digital cable, so the UTV team would have to co-ordinate with all of them to develop a viable product (or products).


Meaning what? Tivo does it.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top