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What to expect from your Virgin Media TiVo 15.2 Upgrade
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Old 22-11-2011, 19:25   #1
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Question What to expect from your Virgin Media TiVo 15.2 Upgrade

Just wanted to make a thread to point out how much the TiVo has improved with the new firmware version 15.2, as opposed to version 15.1 which I used for a couple of months before I got the update.

I have the 500GB TiVo on the M+ package. My firmware update was done between the hours of 2am and 4am… can’t be more accurate as I was asleep, however a friend of mine in the same area was using his at around 3am or so says that is when the upgrade “kicked in”. Some on this forum have reported that they had theirs either at 2am, or slightly earlier at 1:45am.

The headend for my box is Fareham which is covered under the Solent (Portsmouth) rollout area scheduled for early morning of the 22nd, so the update was delivered on-time, more or less.

There are four lists:
  1. Positive Changes, which are things I’ve noticed that fix old problems or introduce great new features.
  2. Negative Changes, which are things that were better in the previous 15.1 firmware.
  3. Still To Fix/Add, which are any old issues or missing features identified by myself and others that remain to be (hopefully) repaired or added in the next version, presumably 15.3.
  4. Untested, for any features touted as new or improved by VM that I am unable to test, or alternatively can test and have not yet for whatever reason.

If I’ve missed things I’ll add them to the first post as and when I find them.

If anyone else wants to contribute I’ll add their findings to the list with the appropriate credit.


POSITIVE CHANGES
  • Speed increase.
    • It’s not a huge increase, but menus (especially Flash HD ones) are notably faster than before. Thumbnails on the Discovery Bar seem to cache a little faster and so do the previously very sluggish ones in the Home -> Help & Settings -> Help menu. Jumping from full EPG to Home or vice versa and setting new Series Links is swifter, with the nasty problem where the currently viewed channel jumps from PiP window to fullscreen and back again much less obvious.
  • EPG tweaks.
    • I thought the EPG was good before, but it has been made even better.
    • Start/end times appear in brackets just before the program description.
    • There is a green button Options menu allowing navigation to various times/days without scrolling endlessly.
    • When using the reverse EPG the channel number/name moves to the right which makes a lot more sense visually.
    • Pressing OK on something in the reverse EPG with a catchup icon brings up “Go to Catch Up TV On Demand”… I believe it had this feature before but having never really used reverse EPG before now couldn’t say for sure.
  • Full-screen info improvements.
    • If you’re recording the show you’re watching, another ® icon appears after the VM logo and before the thumb rating (if any) and channel name, plus in many cases shows will feature both a genre and “first aired” label to the right of the description. Small touches, but nice ones.
  • Activation of Ethernet port.
    • This is possibly my favourite improvement that has been made as it really extends what the VM TiVo can do; I have mine plugged into a 16-port switch (see signature).
    • After enabling certain networking options you are able to use an Android app called TiVo Commander (or VM’s proprietary iPhone/iPad app but I didn’t test that) to control the TiVo by a visual remote.
    • Better still, TiVo Commander can manage available content on the hard drive and make it play directly without having to go into the My Shows part of the Flash HD interface. This is a much faster and cleaner way of controlling the box; I really like it, even though sometimes the link between my Samsung Galaxy phone and TiVo was broken, solved by relaunching the app easily enough.
    • Also now Multi-room Streaming is possible (check for other TiVos on the network with Help & Settings -> System Info -> Multi-Room Streaming) although I’m not able to test this because the household only has one TiVo. If all is well other TiVo units should show up at the bottom of the My Shows list. (As a side note, the TiVo Ethernet port appears to be 10/100Mbps.)
  • Express Series Links.
    • A much easier way to setup Series Links is here, and it’s pretty much one click.
    • Defaults are: start 1 minute early, end 4 minutes late, 10 episodes until speed needed, new & reruns. These are now the default options for regular Series Links too, which can be changed of course.
    • If you want to make regular Series Links use the Explore this show -> Get this show -> Get a Series Link -> Options menu chain, which incidentally keeps you in the Flash HD part of the TiVo rather than to the old SD one without the PiP in the top right.
    • (When you manage Series Links, that’s still in the old SD menu style though.)
  • Disable PIN on recording playback.
    • It was annoying to have to enter a PIN to watch shows recorded after the watershed time(s) in non-watershed times, but this has been mostly done away with now.
    • I still received a PIN request for a show rated by age (18 in that case) rather than time of day though.
    • You can lock apps with the parental control as well, but for some reason the only one that shows up on my list is the old YouTube one.
  • Multi-tap text entry.
    • I’ve wanted this feature for a long time, and now it’s here I am not disappointed.
    • So much quicker to enter text on the Flash HD menus using the numeric buttons like writing SMS on older mobile phones.
    • iPlayer app always had it (still does), old YouTube doesn’t as it hasn’t been updated and the old SD parts of the TiVo menus (i.e. when creating or modifying WishLists) still doesn’t so it’s a mixed bag, however.
  • All channels in PiP Window.
    • Yes, even the Sky ones. I didn’t expect this to be looked at until 2012 so I’m impressed it’s already been dealt with, because it was a senseless limitation.
  • USB keyboards are working. - thanks to mikerr
    • It wasn’t just the Ethernet port that got switched on, the USB ports were activated too.
    • Interestingly if you press F11 you can toggle between Flash HD menus and faster but older original TiVo SD ones which have some “hidden” options. I’ll post the keyboard layout when I’ve tested it more. From what I can tell though, there is no rewind/fast-forward/play/pause ability which is a shame.
    • My Logitech MK250 wireless USB mouse/keyboard set works perfectly, well the keyboard does anyway! I also tried one of those generic PS2 mouse/keyboard to one USB adapters, and with only the Keyboard plugged in it worked perfectly too.
    • Sadly no support for generic USB Mass Storage devices which don’t need complex drivers like external HDDs, flash memory sticks or smartphones with SD cards.
  • Info and Stop button functionality improved.
    • “You’ll be able to use the ‘info’ button in the TV programme guide and the mini guide, while the Stop button now works as you would expect.” That’s what Virgin said and so far I agree with them.
  • New YouTube app. - thanks to the_pidgeon
    • I did receive the updated YouTube app, contrary to what I first thought.
    • Both old and new are now present on 15.2 VM TiVos.
    • New one is found under Featured apps and Music while the old one is under All Apps & Games.
    • Some have said the new YouTube app is buggy, but in my experience it's okay, just not as loaded with features as the old one.
    • New one autoplaylists by default, plays an annoying VM promo video at launch and lacks features like Subscriptions.


NEGATIVE CHANGES
  • Sorting of Apps & Games into folders.
    • This adds nothing when you consider at the moment there are only 14 apps on the TiVo (both old and new YouTube), just results in more button presses to get to what you want.
  • Films no longer show the year in brackets in My Shows. - thanks to mikerr
    • For example The Matrix [1999] now just displays as The Matrix.
    • This was a good way of instantly telling films apart from other programmes and it is a shame to lose it.


STILL TO FIX/ADD
  • Aspect ratio on 4:3 content when using PiP in Home menu is wrong.
    • A minor issue, but noticeable.
    • When you’re watching an old show or film, anything non-widescreen is displayed correctly in the EPG when the Aspect Correction Mode is set to Panel, i.e. with black bars on either side.
    • In the Home menu, all non-widescreen content is stretched out to fit even when Panel is selected.
  • YouTube/old style TiVo SD menus don’t support multi-tap input.
    • The new YouTube app might, but I don’t have it to test.
    • Old style TiVo SD menus still force you to input letters, e.g. for wishlists, by use of navigation keys only.
  • Still using old-style TiVo SD menus in some parts of the interface.
    • This will probably never change with VM’s Premiere TiVo derivative, but there’s always a disappointment when going from the slick, fairly decent looking Flash HD menus to the TiVo SD menus that haven’t changed much in a decade.
  • No Spotify.
    • It was promised but doesn’t appear to be available yet… I was expecting the app to be downloaded to the TiVo at least, even if it wasn’t usable.
    • I’d like to have Grooveshark and Amazon too, but you can’t have it all.)
  • Disabled TiVo Desktop support.
    • You can’t download content from the TiVo still; hopefully in the next update, since the original Premiere is capable of it.
  • Can’t use pyTiVo or Streambaby third-party streaming apps.
    • As the VM TiVo differs from the Premiere quite a bit at this point, these excellent features which allow you to stream content from other devices (i.e. a NAS or PC) with transcoding where necessary.
    • Features like this would push the TiVo closer towards being a true media centre hub, but even with the Ethernet port activated and Multi-room/network remote features added we’re unlikely to see support for these at any point. More of a pipe dream, really!
  • Negligible difference to SD channel upscaling.
    • I never saw much (if any) difference between the upscaling on Tivo and older V HD /V+ HD boxes but VM did promise an improvement here, which in my opinion has not arrived.
    • My recommendation is, if you’re connected by HDMI it’s wise to turn the Sharpness control on your set up somewhat. All VM boxes I’ve tried benefit from a clearer picture when doing this, which is quite noticeable on SD content and even more so on HD content.
  • No red button support.
    • Yes, red button still just takes you to Catchup style options, not proper Freeview-esque support of true red button services.
    • In my case not a big issue as it is something I rarely use (TV has built-in Freeview anyway) but it will undoubtedly tick off some TiVo users.
  • No Reminder feature.
    • This legacy function is still missing.
    • Easy enough to implement, so hopefully 15.3 will include it.
    • I see it as a transitional addition to make migrating from V HD and V+ HD boxes easier, especially if you have those and the TiVo in the house.


UNTESTED
  • Spotify support.
    • App isn’t there yet, presumably true for everyone with 15.2 right now.
  • Skippable Music Playlists.
    • Not something I ever use.
  • Live Pay-Per-View Events.
    • I don’t do PPV.
  • Connection reliability.
    • Never had a problem with HDMI or SCART connections, personally.


SUMMARY

Overall the 15.2 can be considered a big improvement over the 15.1 in a variety of ways, with some of the lingering problems due to be removed in the next firmware upgrade. Well done Virgin Media, and TiVo US!
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Old 22-11-2011, 19:47   #2
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Re: What to expect from your Virgin Media TiVo 15.2 Upgrade

What do you mean by 15 apps have more appeared in the new update?.
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Old 22-11-2011, 20:26   #3
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Re: What to expect from your Virgin Media TiVo 15.2 Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by zekeisaszekedoes View Post
[*]Sadly no support for generic USB Mass Storage devices which don’t need complex drivers like external HDDs, flash memory sticks or smartphones with SD cards.
But an interesting message appears if you do plug a USB HDD into one of the ports:

This TiVo box does not support using USB to connect a device to add recording space (E01)
You can only connect a compatible device using eSATA.
For more information on adding recording space , and a list of compatible devices, visit virginmedia.com


May be just a legacy message (especially as it references eSATA which VM TiVo doesn't have) - or may not be.

Quote:
  • Sorting of Apps & Games into folders.
    • This adds nothing when you consider at the moment there are only 15 apps on the TiVo, just results in more button presses to get to what you want.
It's for when they open up app development (Cindy Rose has previously said there'll be "hundreds of apps", but that may have been marketing speak)

Quote:
  • No Spotify.
  • It was promised but doesn’t appear to be available yet… I was expecting the app to be downloaded to the TiVo at least, even if it wasn’t usable.
Apps can and will appear independantly of software updates.

Spotify has a launch date of 29th November. It'll appear on your tivo then.

Here's one negative change that's bugging me:

Films no longer show the year in brackets in "my shows".
e.g. The Matrix [1999] .. now just displays as The Matrix

This was a good way of instantly telling films apart from other programmes.
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Old 22-11-2011, 20:27   #4
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Re: What to expect from your Virgin Media TiVo 15.2 Upgrade

I strangely have both versions of the You Tube app. The old one is in the All category and the new one is in the featured apps.

I hate the new one, only allows to search for stuff and doesn't allow account functions like subscriptions.
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Old 22-11-2011, 20:53   #5
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Re: What to expect from your Virgin Media TiVo 15.2 Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_pidgeon View Post
I strangely have both versions of the You Tube app. The old one is in the All category and the new one is in the featured apps.

I hate the new one, only allows to search for stuff and doesn't allow account functions like subscriptions.
Hang on... as it turns out I can get to both old and new. Perhaps this is the rule for all upgrades? Interestingly the new YouTube app allows entry by USB keyboard whereas the old one doesn't. Shame it plays an annoying VM promo video by default, but that can be paused.

As you said the old one is accessed by going to All Apps & Games. On either the Apps & Games or Music menu it loads the new one. This appears to be an oversight by the designers, but one I would describe as a Good Bad Bug.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gadge View Post
What do you mean by 15 apps have more appeared in the new update?.
Oh wait that should be 13, if you go to All Apps & Games. Need to correct that. I meant "same 13 that were there", although technically it's 14 if you count both kinds of YouTube app. Which I do. I'll correct that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikerr View Post
But an interesting message appears if you do plug a USB HDD into one of the ports:

This TiVo box does not support using USB to connect a device to add recording space (E01)
You can only connect a compatible device using eSATA.
For more information on adding recording space , and a list of compatible devices, visit virginmedia.com


May be just a legacy message (especially as it references eSATA which VM TiVo doesn't have) - or may not be.
Probably right about it being a legacy message, but as the Americans say I'll bet dollars to donuts the pins for the eSATA connection are still on the motherboard and with some hacking another HDD could be added. Whether the VM version of the Premiere firmware would recognise it is another matter, but it'd make a good project for a hardware hacker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikerr View Post
Here's one negative change that's bugging me:

Films no longer show the year in brackets in "my shows".
e.g. The Matrix [1999] .. now just displays as The Matrix

This was a good way of instantly telling films apart from other programmes.
You make a good point. I'll add that to the list shortly.
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Old 22-11-2011, 20:57   #6
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Re: What to expect from your Virgin Media TiVo 15.2 Upgrade

What to expect.... RSI removing unwanted padding in a very long and unwieldy way...

Already struggling with something that worked perfectly before now being unduly clumsy.
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Old 22-11-2011, 21:11   #7
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Re: What to expect from your Virgin Media TiVo 15.2 Upgrade

I received my update at about 3am today. I haven't had much time to sheck out all the features yet, but it does now allow my TV (JVC) to start up correctly from standby, which it didn't do before
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Old 22-11-2011, 21:53   #8
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Re: What to expect from your Virgin Media TiVo 15.2 Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adder View Post
What to expect.... RSI removing unwanted padding in a very long and unwieldy way...

Already struggling with something that worked perfectly before now being unduly clumsy.
Can't really believe there's not a screen where you can set your default preferences for express series links.
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Old 22-11-2011, 21:55   #9
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Re: What to expect from your Virgin Media TiVo 15.2 Upgrade

Spontaneous reboots every 10 to 20 minutes. :-(
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Old 22-11-2011, 22:06   #10
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Re: What to expect from your Virgin Media TiVo 15.2 Upgrade

The new Youtube app is pretty rubbish but at least it lets you play HD videos so that is a big thumbs up. Although annoyingly if it doesn't load up the Virgin video when the app starts up it doesn't play any video you search for. You have to quit the app and go back in.

Over all the new update is pretty good been playing with the main Tivo for a few hours and no RRD, MyShows and explore this show is the slowest to load but the box on the whole is a lot snappier. I also no longer get the preview window blanking out when going between menus. All the little touches make this a great update and best of all is the network stuff. The iOS app can't come quick enough.

And it is a good send being able to type text using my iPhone/iPad with the peanut app.
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Old 23-11-2011, 08:03   #11
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Re: What to expect from your Virgin Media TiVo 15.2 Upgrade

It's alot faster I would assume because it seems they are only retrieving data for programs etc when you stop scrolling, where before it did it every time you moved up/down the list.
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Old 23-11-2011, 08:51   #12
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Re: What to expect from your Virgin Media TiVo 15.2 Upgrade

Overall a lot better I would say.

Have spotted one issue which I think was in 15.1 anayway, there is a process of reviewing your recordings in my shows where the mini screen top rights turns itself off. You have to go into your settings and select that option again then fine.

Doesn't happen all the time and I really need to check next time the actual order of events which create this. Minor issue really but otherwise very happy with 15.2 Padding doesn't cause me an issue in fact pleased it is default to have that "insurance" of not missing start/end of programmes, but find you need to think about your forward schedule of recordings a little more, as you had to do with the V+ anyway.

Moving between screens in particular is quicker and makes Tivo much easier to use, have seen the red ring now and again but if it does appear it is for a much shorter period.

On to the next update in 2012 then and in the mean time we will get additional remote control options e.g. iPAD and multi-room streaming/copying for those who have 2 plus some overdue features like Red Button, this is only the start.
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Old 23-11-2011, 09:58   #13
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Re: What to expect from your Virgin Media TiVo 15.2 Upgrade

Red button support is in the 15.2 update however all that means is the service is now ready for red button services. There wasn't due to be any actually launching right away.

Also the lack of reminders, VM and TiVO said they would look in to it but that does not mean it will definately be added, and may not be as simple as you think.
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Old 23-11-2011, 10:40   #14
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Re: What to expect from your Virgin Media TiVo 15.2 Upgrade

So for what I use it for and yes I have made my lack of need of the "bells & whistles" very clear NOT A LOT !
If my sender works without disabling the Hdmi first that will be a plus.

Still I will wait & see if I spot the difference when it does come.

On the side & unrelated BUT the reason why I got a Tivo. My bill has gone down as promised. Saving this month £8 ( part of month only) and get extra box etc Still have so say that so far I would have settled for a second V+. However, it is as so many people say not the finished article just have to wait & hope that the one thing I would really like ( Reminders) comes in the not to distant future.
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Old 23-11-2011, 12:35   #15
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Re: What to expect from your Virgin Media TiVo 15.2 Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfect Choice View Post
Overall a lot better I would say.

Have spotted one issue which I think was in 15.1 anayway, there is a process of reviewing your recordings in my shows where the mini screen top rights turns itself off. You have to go into your settings and select that option again then fine.

Doesn't happen all the time and I really need to check next time the actual order of events which create this. Minor issue really but otherwise very happy with 15.2 Padding doesn't cause me an issue in fact pleased it is default to have that "insurance" of not missing start/end of programmes, but find you need to think about your forward schedule of recordings a little more, as you had to do with the V+ anyway.

Moving between screens in particular is quicker and makes Tivo much easier to use, have seen the red ring now and again but if it does appear it is for a much shorter period.

On to the next update in 2012 then and in the mean time we will get additional remote control options e.g. iPAD and multi-room streaming/copying for those who have 2 plus some overdue features like Red Button, this is only the start.
i have the same issue but you have advised me on how to fix that on the VM forums and again thanks for that

the muti room streaming and ios control so look good, i cant wait for them
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