Don’t ask if you don’t want to know.


First of, this will a Blog about something else than Osama, 9/11 or any other topic that is related. The news coverage is over extensive. Further does it seem recent events have opened the doors to whom that like to believe in what other do not believe, to broadcast there, usually less than professionally researched version about what really happened on the day on which thousands of people died.

Today I received an e-mail to participate in a survey regarding my satisfaction with my TiVo unit. As a true believer in the principals to give honors to whom that deserve and the other principle of improvement can only come from criticism, I generally do participate in these surveys. Those that know me are aware that I am outmost calm and relaxed. It does take a lot of pressure/frustration unless I need to vent some steam. Even when I had my own IT- business and was battling non subordinate computers, I managed to master every new challenge in a calm and relaxed manner.

In Germany there is no TiVo service. TiVo is known as a name from television shows that air in Germany, such as Sex and the city (Yes I need to admit that I used to watch the show about the great life in the best country in the world). Taking a big jump in time forward, my wife and I are now standing in our freshly robbed house. The big screen TV is gone. Due to the fact that a crucial criteria in the house purchasing criteria catalogue was a wall that could serve the double function as a projection screen, it was a no brainer that we would paint the wall of choice white and bring out the projector. The only catch though is that the projector has no TV tuner, nor recording function. This was the point in time in which I though that the purchase of a HD-TiVo was the answer to my problem. Little did I know…

My first negative experience with the purchased HD-TiVo was shortly after everything was set-up. I had not known that in order to use the unit a subscription was necessary, which would catapult my investment from 300USD to 600 USD for the 3 year service plan. Now we take a jump in time forward to today, the day on which I received the TiVo satisfaction survey in the e-mail.

Satisfaction is depending on your expectation toward the object, this is regardless if the object to which your satisfaction to be measured with is a dead or living object, human, animal or plant. Dissatisfaction occurs if the object to be evaluated is delivering less to us than we expected, therefore satisfaction occurs if the performance is above the line of anticipation. One of the influences, which regulates our judgment between failure and success, is the monetary investment, whereas this is relative the disposal income we have ad hand.

In my current example we are looking at a 600USD dollar investment. For this amount I expect a perfect working DVR. What I am getting is the opposite, the usability is sluggish. If a elderly person is using a TiVo, you will always wonder if the person gets to where it wants to be on the TiVo prior to reaching the own expiration date. The delay between pushing a button and reaction of the device  makes you wonder if little ferries live in the remote that need to wake up, climb out of the remote, fly over to the TiVo unit, climb inside, do engineering drawings, pull wires and make the connection in order to finally get a reaction to your button push. Also does my unit decide ever once in a while to longer talk to the mother station, which provides programming information. On top of that it seems that the little electric wizards in the unit, responsible for audio delivery, go on strike occasionally. Luckily there is a fix for both issues : Restart. This nifty feature reboots the unit and only takes about 5minutes. Longer than any computer in the history of Microsoft took to power up.

Further do I expect to not be bombarded with advertisement, since I paid for the subscription service (not by choice though).

Oh and yes, lets us not forget that the core of a personal video recorder (PVR) is the capability to record desired shows. Well even that basic function is something that TiVo manages to perform sub-standard (You wonder how I know what the standard is? Fact is I don’t, but I do know that NOT recording your is sub-standard).

In conclusion nothing in this world got me ever as upset as this TiVO unit. Currently I am just waiting to be able to afford anything else. The big question for me though is, will I sell the TiVo on eBay or will I find multiple ways to destroy it as I believe this piece of equipment should no longer walk the face o the earth.

And for all of you Terminator-Scenario-The-Machines-Will-Rule-The-World believers: Looking at my TiVo, before machines will rule anything, your neighbors hamster will become your boss.




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