Friday, November 10, 2017

How NOT to release a product.

I've been a TIVO supporter ...... well, almost since the beginning. We've owned a series 2, series 3, XL4, and 2 Roamio's. The only reason we don't own the BOLT is because why bother? The only real difference is it gets 4K, and at this point I'm starting to think 4K content is vaporware. I've owned a 4k TV for almost three years now, and I got it because it seemed like 4K content was right around the corner. Where the hell is it? But I digress.

Anyway, this past weekend Mr S. wanted to go to a TIVO release for the VOX remote. I wasn't sure what the point was because while one of our TIVO's is getting cranky I don't know that I'm ready to upgrade for essentially no reason. There is a lot of UI stuff TIVO could really work on at this point - like navigating a keyboard with a remote. And since there isn't a simple way to accomplish that I was willing to try a voice controlled remote.

A solid point in TIVO's favor is they made it so you didn't have to upgrade your TIVO to use this remote. However, so far those are the only points TIVO gets. It's not like a single unenjoyable moment, but it was like a bunch of tiny bombs.

We show up to the TIVO campus and there were already several hundred people in line. No big deal. Where we stood for about two hours. We got to the front door just as the sky was unloading so I don't know if the people behind in line even stayed. We only stayed because they said that all of us would get a remote.

After waiting in line, you go to pick up your remote and all you get is this scratcher ticket. They said they'd run out. Okay fine I think. I'm not going to get to play with this thing today. Obvi. But it gets better! I'm not getting a free remote - I have to pay shipping. Which is only 10 bucks, but all of these little things are making this like getting a box of rocks for Christmas.

The TIVO remote arrives yesterday. I'm re-excited again - only to find out that I have to download an update that they will get around to in the next day or two! Oh, and they failed to mention that it completely reconfigures your TIVO UI, and you can't back-rev unless you want to lose all your saved shows. I still haven't gotten the software upgrade, so those days when you could just bring a product home and start playing with it - is so gone. They managed to make a very unexciting release, so much more unexciting. Who wants to wait TWO DAYS to use a remote? Who? tell me!

Normally I might not bitch about something I got for free, but I didn't really get this for free. So.....

Also just generally - they had a ton of employees on site for the release but only 4 stations where you could ask questions about it and with several hundred people there who waited in the rain for two hours. We had other obligations so Mr S. and I left before he could really see a demo or ask questions.

So individually, each issue was not that big of a deal. But it's really the least exciting thing I've ever gotten. I have no idea if the product is better or going to make me mad. Crazy. Right?

Why would someone actually pay full price for that?

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