Friday, September 21, 2007

TiVo Unbox - The Reason(s) Why I'll Keep Getting DVDs

Hey boys and girls. Long time no post, I know! But, I had an experience so horrible that I had to post somewhere about it. I had to say something. I had to be able to have my opportunity to rant. This is the place!

So, what did I do? I tried to get a free download from TiVo via Amazon Unbox.

Now, to help everyone have context, I've been looking forward to this. I've got TiVo and I love it. Alas, with a TiVo, Comcast OnDemand just never works correctly. It's a real PIA to rent a movie. So, when I heard about the rental feature of Amazon Unbox through TiVo, frankly, I was jacked.

Now, it's time to take advantage of that service. Grab the TiVo and here I go!

First, hey, where's that TiVo Unbox option off the main menu! I mean, after all, one of the great things about TiVo is its software, so easy my (then) 7 year old could use it. Uh, so where is it? It's hidden on a menu off the main menu. So, I've got three clicks to get there. OH, and it doesn't say Amazon Unbox anywhere until you're in the service.

Booooo TiVo. Boooo.

Well, now I've found it, so what next. Hey! I'll just look up what I've got available. Well, that part works pretty well. A good set of different options to choose from including what's new, popular, rental, free and paid for full movie. That's cool. I think I'll download a couple of those preview shows they have for free. Click! BUUZZZZ.

Uh, we're sorry. No sir. You can't download those free items without an account set up. Huh? Why? It's free isn't it? Sure, sure it is, but we're sorry sir, you have to set up an account. Ummm, TiVo my friend, don't you have my account information already? Not to be a nudge or anything, so I hate to remind you, but you bill me every month. In fact, you hit directly against my bank account. Won't that suffice? No sir. You have to set up an account. OK. OK already. I'll set up an account.

Setup Click. Account Click. What? You want me to use the email address and password that I use on the TiVo site? You're kidding right. You must know I have no idea which of my 8-12 email accounts I've used. And I think only God knows which of my 27 different password combinations I've used. TiVo Please tell me you're kidding. No, we're not sir.

Fine. Hmmm. Let's see, I guess I'll check Keychain (Mac OS X's username/password management software). Nope. Not there. Hmmm. OK. Let me check my other browser. FINALLY, I've got it in FireFox. Time to log in.

Move the letter selector. Click. Move, click. Move, click. Move, click. Oh LORD. Move, click.... (you get the idea). First the email address THEN the password. Finally, submit.

Thank you sir. Please enter your Amazon password. No, no TiVo. You have to be kidding right? It just took me 10 minutes to enter my other username and password - never mind the time it took me to find it. Yes sir. We are serious. Please enter your Amazon password. AUGH! (see previous process for password retrieval).

Finally... everything is entered. Yay! Now I can finally download the *free* video. Click, click.

Thank you! Your video is downloading, you can find it in your Now Playing list. We'll start that download anywhere in the next 30 minutes for you. WHAT!!!! Come on TiVo, you've got to be kidding me? Why do you have to wait at all? What? and I have to wait for it to finish downloading before I can start to watch it too? We didn't mention that sir? Uh, no TiVo, you didn't.

Tick, tock. 45 minutes after the download started, which is a blody 1-1 ratio of the number of minutes of the show in the download! (Plus the 15 minutes after I ordered the download I had to wait for it to start) - I finally got to watch it.

Geesh. So, now that I've finally gone through the pain, is it worth it? Maybe. It's no OnDemand. It calls for thinking about what you want to watch at least a couple of hours before you watch it. Was it nice to have on my TiVo where I could use that remote and control it? Yes. WAY better than OnDemand for that - but for me - the jury is still way out. And no extra stuff either. So for me it's still the DVD. That's my $.02. How about you?