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Reasons why there's no HD GUI (speculative)

Discussion in 'DIRECTV DVR with TiVo Discussion' started by dirtyblueshirt, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. dirtyblueshirt

    dirtyblueshirt Under Suspicion

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    So by now we've all lamented on the lack of a high definition GUI for the THR22. We've all asked "Why couldn't they make the HD GUI from the Premiere work?"

    Here's a simple answer for that.

    TiVo's HD GUI is a completely different, Flash-based software. This requires significantly more powerful hardware to run the UI effectively. The TiVo Premiere and Premiere XL both use a 400MHz Dual Core CPU, about 2.5-3x the processing power of the Series 3, and faster than the HR22 platform (and even HR24 platform) [could somebody confirm this, I can't readily find the CPU specs for the HR2x right now]. Also, being a completely different programming language, the software would be significantly more time-intensive to port over than utilizing the base software from the previous-generation DirecTiVo DVRs.

    No, I don't have any inside information on the actual reasons (I wish I did); but reading around, this would make the most logical sense.
     
  2. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Not to mention, the Tivo Premier HD GUI only covers about two screens, they rest reverts back to the old GUI... IOW, they havent even finished their own boxes GUI yet.
     
  3. cypherx

    cypherx Hall Of Fame

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    But the HR20 and newer all support an HDGUI. We see that today with DirecTV's slow rollout of the new GUI overhaul. In many cases it's even been reported that there are aspects of the HDGUI feeling faster and more responsive than the THR22.

    How did TiVo release a completed HDGUI for Virgin Media? That's another partner deal, but when you compare it to DirecTV's partner deal it looks like something went wrong. Virgin Media is a good example of TiVo doing something right with their partnership. Heck their box has 3 tuners.. Updated gui or not, it's better from the get go. With all the time that passed, something new could of been developed. Heck a THR34 5 tuner DVR with the complete HDUI akin to Virgin Media (but with DirecTV blue menu overtones as opposed to Virgin's red menu tones).
     
  4. sbiller1

    sbiller1 Cool Member

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    Some research indicates that the R22's use the Broadcom BCM7401 processor which appears to not support Flash. It is a 300-MHz MIPS32 processor.

    http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=143866

    http://www.alldatasheet.com/datasheet-pdf/pdf/175170/BOARDCOM/BCM7401.html

    I think they could upgrade the software to provide some HD features but it would be risky and its unclear how much code reuse they could get from their Premiere software.
     
  5. dirtyblueshirt

    dirtyblueshirt Under Suspicion

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    Again, it's all based on the processor, and its support of Flash.
     
  6. sbiller1

    sbiller1 Cool Member

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  7. philhu

    philhu Cool Member

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    FYI, they turned off the second processor over a year ago due to stability problems. Still hasnt been turned back on.
     
  8. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

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    The reason is simple actually. TiVo is no longer an innovative company. They realized that they would make more money with IP lawsuits than continuing to be an innovator. Now that every company out there has their own DVR's the majority of customers don't care who makes it. They may have a preference but it's not enough to persuade them to stay with a company or not in the majority of consumers. I think this will be the last TiVo for DIRECTV and therefor I don't think it's in TiVo's best interest to make a HD UI. IF they can make their UI compatible with other features of DIRECTV so it integrates better then it is much more likely that a HD UI would become worth it.

    TiVo could have easily made this a HD UI if they had wanted to but they chose not to put the resources into it.

    So the real reason that there isn't a HD UI on the THR22 is that TiVo doesn't want there to be one on there for now. I'm betting they see what the saturation point is and then decide if it's worth it or if they just decide that the loyalists will stay no matter what.

    Once they get out of their lawsuits maybe they'll start spending some of that money on employees again and finish their own UI and start working on new innovations.
     
  9. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    There's another piece to this. The thr22 is really not a cutting edge device. It's designed to appeal to those at directv who passionately held onto old sat-t60s or hr10s. Those people actually view the consistent user interface as a benefit.
     
  10. cypherx

    cypherx Hall Of Fame

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    Now that TiVo is getting money from Dish and AT&T, you see the latest software for the premiere? Finally years later they did more menus (like the grid guide) in HD. It's def something to at least consider when my DirecTv contract is up. Nothing is in stone at this time. We will see how it all plays out. The atrocious DVR was what keeps me off of Cable, even though they have more HD channels I'm interested in, what good are they if the user experience is junk.
     
  11. dirtyblueshirt

    dirtyblueshirt Under Suspicion

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    It can still support flash, whereas the chipset in the HR2x cannot.
     
  12. CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Icon

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    It wasn't turned off, it was simply not enabled from the beginning. It currently IS enabled in software versions 14.9.2 and 20.2.
     
  13. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Sure didnt speed anything up. 20.2 is slower than previous versions.
     
  14. Draconis

    Draconis New Member

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    I think the size of the software image itself would also be part of the issue.

    The HD GUI on the DIRECTV HDDVR’s takes about 16.0 – 17.3 MB, while the current THR image is 31.6 MB.

    I have long wondered just how much memory they have for the OS... :scratchin
     
  15. CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Icon

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    There seem to be more reports of improved performance than of slow downs. It may be that it works better for some than others for reasons that are not clear.
     
  16. CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Icon

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    Apparently the background is now rendered in HD so that there is less annoying TV flash to adjust do the different formats. So those screens are not really HDUI, at least they are less jarringly SD.

    There seems to be a lot of old outdated information being tossed out here. I suggest people who really want to know the details go visit the 20.2 change log thread in the Premiere forum area over at www.tivocommunity.com

    It also appears that another software change is due in the May time frame for the standalone TiVo Premiere that is expected to eliminate these remaining SD screens, even in the infrequently visited settings areas.

    TiVo may not be fast at getting this thing working right, but they appear to be on the right track.

    I hope that bodes well for possible future updates to the THR22 too. Perhaps DirecTV will have TiVo develop DirecTV style streaming MRV for whole home support. That is the single biggest thing they could do to make this box much more palatable based on the most frequent comments and complaints in this forum area. I personnally think that whole home would go much farther than bringing an HDUI to the THR22 would in terms of making the box desirable.
     
  17. midas69

    midas69 AllStar

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    I agree. While an HD GUI is nice, it's really a non-issue for me. Especially the way D* went about it. There really isn't any more information per screen than there was before. So it looks better, but it doesn't offer any functional advantage.
     
  18. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    Except speed if working as intended...
     
  19. tracicollins

    tracicollins New Member

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    But, the fundamental issue is that their engineers haven't been able to get all the features of their flagship HD box out the door for the entire three years that the new DirecTivo has been under development. It makes perfect sense that they would be really conservative about their DirecTV product if they couldn't deliver the features they had already promised the already owners of their flagship products. Thank goodness they are finally finishing up the HD interface on the Premieres and thank goodness they are finally able to use all the processing power of those machines, maybe they will have a few engineers to spare for the development of the next generation DirecTV product.

    Traci
     

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