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back to article TiVo takes on Cisco in patent knock down

Cisco's woes in consumer-land have taken a new twist, with TiVo alleging the networking giant's DVR set-top boxes, supplied to telcos, infringe TiVo’s patents. The complaint filed last Monday in a Texas Federal Court claims that the Cisco boxes infringe on patents that make the playback of time-shifted TV possible. TiVo also …

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Facepalm

So... TiVo claims it has patents on recording? Trying to give Apple a run for their money I see.

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What I want to know is...

How is it that this is a patent? wouldnt this be trumped by anything in the past with a "Fast Forward" option on it? Granted I am not totally sure what "Time Shifting" is but it certainly sounds like FF. Anyone want to clue me in on how exactly this might not be the case?

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Anonymous Coward

Another Bleak House

Charles Dickens wrote Bleak House, did he have an insight into the everlasting litigation society where the only winner is the lawyer and legal system?

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Re: What I want to know is...

Not really FF. Sometimes it just means record now+watch later, which isn't exactly cutting edge. It might also mean "pause live TV", which I guess is a matter of reading the early part of a file while the end is being appended to. If it was clever it could also treat the file as a ring-buffer so that you could do this indefinitely without running out of space. Dunno what TiVo think they have a patent on.

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Tivo has some patents on hardware that processes the video stream in real-time, cheaply. This was necessary back when TiVo was founded; less so now that Moore's Law has made doing it in software more viable. Regardless, it is/was patent-worthy (and it has nothing to do with the techniques VCRs use).

TiVo has a feature whereby when you stop a fast-forward, it rewinds a little bit to correct for the overshoot due to human reaction time. They have a patent on that, too.

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Anonymous Coward

There be facepalms ahead

"it rewinds a little bit to correct for the overshoot due to human reaction time"

Christ, they have a patent on THAT? Whatever happened to the "competent practitioner of the art" thing? Can I get a patent on putting in a hard newline in my posts so that lines get broken for clarity?

Doh!

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Have they fallen out?

Vermin Media's TiVo boxes are (or were, at the time I got mine) Cisco hardware....

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Devil

Paging all Tivo owners!

Hey guys nice article but to your commentors who own a Tivo. I know what a DVR and time shifting is but I never operated one. By owning a Tivo is it like netflix and must pay monthly charges? Or is it just like a VCR you buy once and record to your lil hearts fancy?

I would love to own a Tivo but not if I have to pay monthly payments. For that I call it a rip off if true.

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Angel

Re: Paging all Tivo owners!

I've owned two TiVo units since August of 2000 (a Series 1 and a TiVo HD). There are two ways to buy it: You can month-to-month it for (I think) $15/mo or pay an up-front "lifetime subscription" fee of (again I think) $350. This is on top of the $50-$200 price for the unit itself. The service is required to operate the device as it provides all the TV schedule info.

It works like a VCR in the same way that a laser printer works like Gutenberg's movable-type press.

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