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 …
So... TiVo claims it has patents on recording? Trying to give Apple a run for their money I see.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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?
Have they fallen out?
Vermin Media's TiVo boxes are (or were, at the time I got mine) Cisco hardware....
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.
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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