TiVo dead in Australia [updated]

TiVo dead in Australia

The much loved US-based DVR TiVo has had a rocky relationship down under, but looks like it has finally come to a close. TiVo units are no longer being sold online via TiVo’s website or listed on either of their retailer websites, Harvey Norman or Joyce Mayne.

While TiVo in the US has been the benchmark for DVRs, it never really took hold in the Australian market. Personally I own and love a TiVo, but like many have complained that the Australian licensees of the TiVo brand, Hybrid Television Services, have failed to keep pace with the US version.

Australians, only ever got TiVo Series 3 and minor hard drive size increases since launching here in 2008. During the same time, US consumers got TiVo Premiere (series 4) with a faster, flash-based interface, as well as compatibility with mobile applications. Additional online services like YouTube, Pandora and Podcasts were also absent from the Aussie version.

As sales numbers dwindled, so did the number of employees in the company and support is basically non-existent at this point. This seems to be massive failing on the part of Hybrid TV Services given they were unable to secure any bundling deals with television manufacturers.

Enquiries to a local Harvey Norman store confirmed that the product is longer being sold there and actually hasn’t been for the past two months. This news arrives despite no official confirmation on TiVo’s website and the TiVo Australia website still listing the two retail outlets as the place to purchase from.

Time to look for alternatives for your DVR needs, unfortunately most require a paid IceTV subscription.

Update
A quick check of TiVo Australia’s social accounts and it confirms the lights are out at TiVo. The last post on Facebook was on August 14, while the last post on Twitter was on the November 11th last year. It’s time for TiVo Australia to come clean on this shut down, there’s a lot of concerned customers wondering how long the guide and CASPA servers will be up.

Update 2
This post quickly made it’s way to Whirlpool Forums, and forum user Brad posted a reply from TiVo Support. The official company line is “We can assure you that Hybrid TV – the licensee of TiVo in Australia and New Zealand – it’s business as usual!” I decided to call bullshit on that and did some investigating. I picked 6 random Harvey Norman stores from around the country and decided to cold call them, enquiring about TiVo availability.

Below are the results from each call.

FYSHWICK – None for last 3-4 months

BATEMANS BAY – 2 in-stock (1TB $580), unsure about future stock

BONDI JUNCTION – None. (Not sure if they are getting any more stock, suggested they may be changing distributors)

CAMPBELLTOWN SUPERSTORE – None, ordered in 28/8, still waiting. Commented that they never really sold many and customer service / returning them was a nightmare.

MARTIN PLACE – None. No chance at getting any more. A couple of months ago, they stopped being imported and dropped off the system. No reason provided to Harvey Norman.

QUEEN STREET MALL, BRISBANE – None for 3 months. TiVo have stopped bringing them into the country. Expects it was due to poor sales and increase in competition. Also referred to customer complaints about poor email-only support.

I could have kept calling, but you this is now crystal clear, there is no doubt, TiVo is dead in Australia. Hybrid TV are now past being disingenuous and are lying to consumers. Please share this post and make sure none of your friends and family purchase an end-of-life device without knowing it.

  • Shaun Moran

    So what happens with the guide data then for existing owners if the company goes under?

  • Glenn

    May I suggest you actually do some research before writing. Official Hybrid/TiVo post was made on Whirlpool on 20 Dec 2012, so obviously someone is still working there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Cartwright/502657689 Jason Cartwright

    Hi Glen, research has been done. There two exclusive retailers for TiVo in Australia do not have the product available for sale. I have been told directly from sales staff in HN that they were told to get rid of existing stock around 2 months ago and haven’t sold it since. No references to it on either HN or JM websites and you can’t buy direct from TiVo.

    As for the guy Dan on Whirlpool, I have no doubt there are people still employed in the customer service division. This doesn’t mean the post is wrong and that you’ll see any new TiVo’s on the market in Aus.

    I have and love my TiVo, so i’m as disappointed about the situation as anyone else.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Cartwright/502657689 Jason Cartwright

    If TiVo Aus would actually post a statement we might actually know and be able to plan around it. Right now we simply just don’t know about the future support window.

  • Mike

    Jason,

    Thanks for your article. I was at the point of recommending Tivo for my wife’s parents on the basis of our own great Tivo experience over the last 3 years. Now … ???

    HN Castle Hill today provided similar advice – no Tivos sold for about 2 months following a switch to Humax. Meanwhile the Tivo website still looks like it could take your online order and refers you to HN for in-store sales.

    Really disappointing news because the Tivo UI still seems to be the most intuitive for less-technical users, even years after it was developed.

    Anxiously waiting for news on the EPG.

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  • feline

    I emailed TIVO support recently asking whether I would still be able to buy a TIVO in Australia after my local Harvey Norman told me they would be available again in 6 months. They replied promptly and said that TIVO is no longer available to purchase in Australia, but that Hybrid TV is committed to ongoing customer support (whatever that means).

  • http://book-file.blogspot.com.au/ Julie

    I think our beloved TiVo has just suffered terminal damage after a storm (all the lights are on but there is no one at home). Luckily Google led me to this article. If I can’t fix/replace our TiVo can anyone offer a suggestion of what I should buy. Thanks for any help

  • http://www.facebook.com/kirstyleegibson Kirsty Lee

    I already owned one TiVo and I love it so much that I bought 2 more TiVo’s for my kids for xmas in December 2012. I had a problem with one of the TiVo’s, it wasn’t working properly. I complained to TiVo support about it. They walked me through a few things but could resolve it, so finally they sent me a new TiVo in the post and I received it today. I guess I am very lucky I got my TiVo’s before they stopped selling them, but anyway just thought everyone should know the support is still there and the company hasn’t gone under. I’m sure there will always be TiVo support and I am really happy with their service. I havnt had a problem with my other Tivo’s, one of the I have had for 3 years.

  • Gordon

    TIVO is still working and is still the best thing out there. Keep the faith!

  • Andrew

    TIVO at one point exited the UK, but kept supplying the TV guide data. That’s probably what they meant about customer support.

  • Dennis

    As of 25/7/13 our Tivo still works with the programing ok.

    They are the best thing around, can’t understand them not selling anymore.

  • Michelle Waltisbuhl

    I love my Tivo and would like to buy another one. Now what do I do???

  • http://techAU.tv techau

    Hi Julie, my current recommendation to replace the TiVo is Humax HDR-7500T. I reviewed it here – http://www.techau.tv/blog/review-humax-hdr-7500t/

  • http://techAU.tv techau

    Hi Michelle, my current recommendation to replace the TiVo is Humax HDR-7500T. I reviewed it here – http://www.techau.tv/blog/review-humax-hdr-7500t/

  • http://techAU.tv techau

    My brother went with the Humax and is happy. I will likely do the same when mine dies.

  • Debra

    My son just tried to buy a tivo and Harvey Norman confirmed that they no longer sell them. They said 5-6 years of service and then there will be nothing. Sooo disappointed as my tivo just outdoes anything else on the marked. Can’t believe they did not take off. Sad:(

  • ka-tet

    TIVO in Alice Springs does not recognize channel 9 gem or go in our house we call it them the to be announced channels. Very frustrating as it is like they don’t exist and we keep missing shows by virtue that they are continually forgotten and no guide data. We contacted TIVO customer support and 9′s affiliate Imparja 3 months ago and they both blamed each other, no solution pending

  • TiVo owner

    I have no guide on my TiVo. Is it the end???

  • Robbo

    Mine’s working fine, so must be a problem at your end?

  • Robbo

    I’ll agree with this article as say Tivo is dead-meat. Pity as we love ours and we’re with internode (now iinet) so data is free. Plus our house is networked (ethernet) so the guide always downloads and quickly too. It’s sad that with all brands updating their products that this has been dumped, as the US proves if marketed properly it will succeed. I know, we’re not the US and if you love their stuff so much just move there, but I’ve enjoyed our reliable machine for a long time and the season pass is a gem. Hope it continues to be supported.

    Like the article says, there’s no staff, so probably no-one about to respond to emails. Or they know they’re about to be sacked so why bother working, update the resume instead!!

  • Ange

    TiVo is the best investment I ever made and I couldn’t live without it, so I hope it still keeps being supported in Australia. Obviously the lack of advertising has affected the business here as most people I tell about my TiVo have never heard of it!

  • Steve

    I am glad to finally know that there is nothing wrong with my Tivo. In Katherine we are in the same boat with Imparja etc. Hopefully it will get sorted one day. PS I love my Tivo!

  • Motorhead

    Can anyone tell me why TIVO is moving on to QuickFlix and giving Casper the flick ( as crap as it was) – does this mean TIVO is still alive?

  • G Mac

    My TiVo box is going to the garbage bin – metered downloads from QuickFlicks is a joke and a breach of initial understandings. TiVo restrictions on USB connectivity has been contentious from the beginning – similar to Apple’s philosophy – and I’m glad to see the arse end of them.

  • HB365

    I have no knowledge of Tivo. MIL has moved in due to ill health and my internet usage has blown out . Is there a manual that tells me what is transferred via internet? Maybe a webpage with an explanation?

  • Mark Deakin

    You can always buy mine & I’ll throw in my home networking package keys as a bonus.

    Honestly, TiVo have treated Aussie customers pretty poorly. Lack of information & transparency are of concern. The guide updates are lean & when questioned they blame the providers. The system is flawed. Program clipping & the inability for it to distinguish a repeated program is ridiculous. I’m going for a quad tuner from Topfield.

  • Rosco

    Last week or so channel 9 (& 90, 99) has only “To be advised” in my guide. Does this mean 9 is no longer providing guide information to Tivo?