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Running TiVo on a Motorola Set-Top


Many people are still confused about what on a Motorola set-top is actually Motorola technology. Simply put, the hardware is all Motorola, but the software is whatever operators want it to be. For example, Comcast now runs the GuideWorks interface exclusively on its Motorola set-tops after discontinuing the use of the Microsoft TV Foundation guide. However, Comcast has also decided that it will run TiVo software on the Motorola set-tops, and specific details on timing for that rollout – Boston area later this summer – were announced yesterday.

User interfaces are a funny thing. Many, many people love the TiVo interface, but fandom is not universal. How do I know? Well for one, I don’t particularly like the TiVo UI. And no, it’s not because I work for Motorola, a competitor to TiVo on the hardware front. I formed a general opinion on TiVo long before I had any connection to Motorola.

To my eyes, the TiVo guide is cutesy. In fact, it reminds me of the AOL approach to Internet browsing, with cartoony branding around every screen. In response to that conclusion I’ve had people tell me that the real revolution from TiVo was a simple DVR guide that just works. That’s true. But many years after TiVo’s introduction, I think there’s room in the market for a wholly different UI – something a little classier and more sophisticated, though just as easy as TiVo to use.

13 Responses

  1. Tivo works seemlesly; the others don’t. I don’t disagree with you that there is room for competition, I just have not seen anyone implement one.

  2. More than just the UI there are some cool features that just work, unlike other DVRs. Season pass, and Kidzone just to name a few.

  3. […] Running TiVo on a Motorola Set-top: Connected Home 2 Go […]

  4. Meh, Moxi is still my interface of choice.

  5. UI design and client side software aside, unfortunately it is the Motorola hardware that sometimes just DOESN’T work.

  6. As others have said it isn’t the UI in the sense you use it, i.e. the screen design. It is the acceptable latency, the easy to use aspects, and the fact that it just works.

    Generally the only nice things people say about MOT DVRs is that they’re cheap, i.e. no purchase price, and livable monthly charges from the cable company. Google for comments and you’ll find lots of people who can’t stand the latency of the UI, the non-sensical design, and the fact that it is completely unreliable, missing programs or emptying its disk seemingly at will.

    I have no idea what if any of these things the Tivo UI will address. If its just the cutesy Tivo interface with the horrible latency and unreliability of the typical MOT DVR, then it’ll be a horrible failure.

  7. […] bring this up because we’re likely headed into a period of TV interface wars, and widgets will certainly have a role to play. I’m thrilled looking ahead at what’s to come, […]

  8. […] the interface is slick. A while back I said there was room for something as easy to use but classier than TiVo. FiOS 2.0 fits the bill. I’m glad it’s on Motorola […]

  9. […] up in a Google News search. There’s not much I can say here that I haven’t already said. (See: Running TiVo on a Motorola Set-Top and Tivo’s Survival.) But I will reiterate two […]

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