Timer function disabled, TIVO lawsuit? (1 Viewer)

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DVRDOWN

Member
Sep 21, 2009
6
0
Colorado
There was a payout in the Dish-tivo lawsuit on Sept. 4 of this year. This lawsuit is about the timewarp infringement, and Dish had to pay $2.50 per DVR that infringed on the Tivo patents. The Dish DP 501 was specifically sited in the lawsuit.

Sometime after Sept 13 my DP 501 timer functions stopped working. I can pause, rewind, fast-forward live TV. I can only record shows if I manually start the recording and manually stop the recording. Any attempt to set up a timer either to start or stop the recording after the show is over does not function. There is no error messages etc... The recording icon does not appear in the guide for the specified show, and no timer events are set up. This is a dvr that I own outright and do not lease from Dish

I am a firmware engineer and in my opinion, Dish has disabled my timer features via software download. I know people who work on Dish equipment and have rooms full of them. They indicated that Dish could easily do this.

My concern is that Dish is trying to reduce their future liability with Tivo, by slowly disabling this feature, thus eliminating the offending units in their customer base. I also know that eventually Dish wants to go to mpeg4 and would like to eliminate as many of the old mpeg2 units in its customer base. I'm sure newer units take an mpeg 4 signal and scale it down for standard definition tuners. The mpeg 4 allows them to broadcast more channels.

Have you heard about any other people experiencing this?

Six months ago I called Dish to try and see if I could get a deal to upgrade to HD. They basically told me to pound sand. As a 10 year customer, I was told that no deals were available and I just should sign another contract and get the unit. I declined at that time.

This week when I called about my non-functioning unit, I was told it was broken and I could upgrade like any other customer. I then told them I was informed about the lawsuit and the capabilities of Dish to disable the timer functionality in my unit. I was insistent and eventually then told me to contact "special services".

Today I talked to special services and they would admit nothing (of course you don't admit liability) and they were finally willing to deal with me. They would upgrade me to a brand new 722 HD DVR dual room unit for free. I would pay no monthly leasing fee for the life of the contract. However I had to commit to a 24 month contract. I refused, and then they offered an additional $12 savings per month for the next 12 months. They would not budge on the 24 month commitment. This just seems very suspicious to me. I felt like the abused wife going back to the abuser.

Have you heard of any others in a similar situation? If I was Charlie I would randomly target older DVRs and over the next six months selectively disable so that their appears to be no obvious pattern. I.E. You do not want to disable the timer feature in all the old units in one city at once. The firmware that is downloaded could be easily be spot beamed to DVRs over a period of time. The firmware could check the serial number of the DVR and if it was on the list, set a bit in non-volatile memory to disable the "timewarp" function. That way you could update the DVRs in a certain region over multiple days, weeks, months etc... to slowly break them. Thus causing the individual to think his unit is broken, and require them to get a new unit, monthly leasing fees, and a new 24 month commitment. Sounds crazy, but Dish has a lot of old units in service, thus a big liability for continued TIVO payments. I can easily see Charlie and the bean counters doing this.
 
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whatchel1

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 30, 2006
9,099
48
Great High Plains
Desicion is in appeal

I believe that the Tivo situation is tied up in appeals and don't think that is your problem.I think the unit may bea bout to go bad on you.
 

DVRDOWN

Member
Sep 21, 2009
6
0
Colorado
From my engineering experience (30 years) firmware does not go bad. The timer function is a pure firmware solution. All other DVR functions are working fine. If it is a bad download then other errors would occur. The checksum would not match and the system would generate a failure message. The unit works 100% except for any function dealing with the timers. The time, date and clock is working 100%. This timer function is 100% software or firmware if flash into memory on the system. Firmware does not go bad.
 

DVRDOWN

Member
Sep 21, 2009
6
0
Colorado
I believe that the Tivo situation is tied up in appeals and don't think that is your problem.I think the unit may bea bout to go bad on you.
It is tied up in appeal, but Dish had to pay TIVO for my DVR. This is a liability to DISH. IF things go badly in the future for Dish/TIVO, then my unit will cost DISH more money to TIVO. DISH also needs to remove all the old units to increase channel capacity via mpeg4. It makes perfect business sense to recycle older units especially if they are named in the TIVO lawsuit. Newer units are not named in the lawsuit. Firmware functions do not fail like this.
 

whatchel1

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 30, 2006
9,099
48
Great High Plains
Start reading the Tivo vs Dish thread

It is tied up in appeal, but Dish had to pay TIVO for my DVR. This is a liability to DISH. IF things go badly in the future for Dish/TIVO, then my unit will cost DISH more money to TIVO. DISH also needs to remove all the old units to increase channel capacity via mpeg4. It makes perfect business sense to recycle older units especially if they are named in the TIVO lawsuit. Newer units are not named in the lawsuit. Firmware functions do not fail like this.

Before going with anymore assumptions try reading the existing thread on the lawsuit. Right now the patent office is reconsidering whether Tivo even has any validity. It may be possible that what is happening could be something entirely different than what you think it does. If this were happened to all the receivers in mentioned in the lawsuit there would be a lot of people posting this same problem with their dvr's.
 
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DVRDOWN

Member
Sep 21, 2009
6
0
Colorado
Before going with anymore assumptions try reading the existing thread on the lawsuit. Right now the patent office is reconsidering whether Tivo even has any validity. It may be possible that what is happening could be something entirely different than what you think it does. If this were happened to all the receivers in mentioned in the lawsuit there would be a lot of people posting this same problem with their dvr's.
That's what this posting is about. Are there other DP 501 having problems. I have read the lawsuit thread.
 

DVRDOWN

Member
Sep 21, 2009
6
0
Colorado
Have you heard of any others in a similar situation? If I was Charlie I would randomly target older DVRs and over the next six months selectively disable so that their appears to be no obvious pattern. I.E. You do not want to disable the timer feature in all the old units in one city at once. The firmware that is downloaded could be easily be spot beamed to DVRs over a period of time. The firmware could check the serial number of the DVR and if it was on the list, set a bit in non-volatile memory to disable the "timewarp" function. That way you could update the DVRs in a certain region over multiple days, weeks, months etc... to slowly break them. Thus causing the individual to think his unit is broken, and require them to get a new unit, monthly leasing fees, and a new 24 month commitment. Sounds crazy, but Dish has a lot of old units in service, thus a big liability for continued TIVO payments. I can easily see Charlie and the bean counters doing this.

The smart way to do this would be to do this on only older units, and not all at once as stated above. Dish knows what happens when they disable all units at once. Again this is only for old units. New units are not affected by the suit.
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TheKrell

A mighty and noble race originating on Altair IV.
Pub Member / Supporter
Jan 4, 2007
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Fairfax, VA
Sometime after Sept 13 my DP 501 timer functions stopped working. I can pause, rewind, fast-forward live TV. I can only record shows if I manually start the recording and manually stop the recording.
To add further to the naysaying, remember that the subject of the Tivo Time Warp patent is trick play, not basic timed recording. In other words, what's still working on your 501 is the only function that might have been switched off. What's not working clearly still should be working. Something is wrong with your 501. "Case closed." ;)
 

8bitbytes

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
3,239
0
NoVA
Let's see...

...the company that barely knows what each dept is doing and seems to have a serious case of disconnect corporately has cooked up and is managing a scheme where random 501s are zapped with modified firmware in order to induce 501 owners to replace their equipment.

...you know people that have rooms full of Dish equipment and work on them.

That's an interesting post for a newbie.
 

DVRDOWN

Member
Sep 21, 2009
6
0
Colorado
That's what I was thinking too.

What's the reason you didn't want to take the deal????
If they did take my unit down, then why should I go back to them. As far as being a newbie, I never had any reason prior to this to post or find out any info about dish products. I've been a dish customer for 10 years. The newbie deal that is offered by DTV except for dual room, is very similar. DVRs can be disabled. The company has done this in the past. I work at a high tech company and know people who deal with these systems daily. It is possible, to do what I said. I could write the code in a day. I want to know if other people are having a similar issue. Maybe its a coincidence, that my timer functions stop working without any other problems in my dvr, very soon after the TIVO court ordered award. Maybe not...
 

KAB

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 20, 2005
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Fishers, IN
If they did take my unit down, then why should I go back to them. As far as being a newbie, I never had any reason prior to this to post or find out any info about dish products. I've been a dish customer for 10 years. The newbie deal that is offered by DTV except for dual room, is very similar. DVRs can be disabled. The company has done this in the past. I work at a high tech company and know people who deal with these systems daily. It is possible, to do what I said. I could write the code in a day. I want to know if other people are having a similar issue. Maybe its a coincidence, that my timer functions stop working without any other problems in my dvr, very soon after the TIVO court ordered award. Maybe not...
You have been told multiple times no one else is having a problem. You have been told multiple times it has nothing to do with the Tivo case. You have been told multiple times there is no chance the new VIP receivers will be disabled. Now, what else can we do for you? Otherwise, this discussion is over.
 

Scott Greczkowski

Welcome HOME to SatelliteGuys!
Staff member
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Sep 7, 2003
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Newington, CT
I believe to be all bogus.

There was no payout on September 4th and there will be no payout until after the appeal is heard. Money was put in an escrow account however no money has been paid out.

There are millions of 50x series receivers out there, if timers were shut off more then one person would be here posting about it.

Dish has a stay which will allow the DVR's to function as normal until after the appeal is heard. There is no danger of loss of DVR service until that happens.
 

navychop

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From your posts, I can get a good idea of what you calls to Dish were like. If I were them, I would not offer you any sort of deal. You do not appear to be the kind of customer they want.

Why not call your cable company and shift over to them?
 
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