The original TiVos, commonly referred to as TiVo Series 1 and TiVo Series 2, are the venerable workhorses of the DVR community. They were one of the first “record what I like” DVRs, and there are many of them still out there in the field. Over the years, Revision3 has supported these devices as well, providing our videos to TiVo in a format that allows them to be published to anyone with a Series 1 and 2 TiVo.
As the Series 1 TiVos are pushing the 12 year mark, their functionality has been replaced by newer DVR and Over-the-Top settop boxes, including TiVo’s own Series 3 and higher devices. These newer devices allow for HD quality playback of all Revision3 content, allowing for better viewing experience across the board.
As these newer machines come into play, we at Revision3 have watched as the original TiVo’s viewing numbers dropped to a fraction of a percent.The reason is easy to understand, the original TiVos use a file encoding format that is, even by today’s smartphone standards, antiquated, coming it at a resolution of 720×480, and low audio and video bitrates. (Newer TiVos and other settop boxes provide full 720p and 1080p resolution with higher bitrate audio and video encoding.)
Ironically, the original TiVo’s encoding format – even though results in a video of less audio and video fidelity – is harder to produce. Our transcode servers have to work 2x-3x as long to downgrade our high fidelity video to the older formats.
Given the reduced viewership on the older TiVo devices, plus the length of time it takes to transcode our daily video output, Revision3 has made the decision to cease support of TiVo Series 1 and TiVo Series 2 devices starting February 8th, 2013. While our back catalog will still be available to these older devices (we’re not going to delete the older encoded files), new content will cease to be provided.
Over the years we have appreciated the amount of support we have received for these devices from TiVo, and the overwhelming enthusiasm from the early TiVo adopters. The device will be missed by Revision3 and early TiVo loyalists, but not forgotten.