TiVo are calling for Beta Testers

If you’re interested in testing out the new Australian version of TiVo, they’re currently looking for Beta testers. You will get a TiVo box in your home and will have to do some homework that goes along with it but I’m sure it will be an interesting look at how it’s going to work. It will also give you some say in how it works and that’s always worthwhile.

Go here: http://www.tivo.com.au/testtivo/ to sign up.

If you do get onto the Beta testing programme, please keep us informed. Let us know what does and doesn’t work for you and how it compares to other systems you’ve used or have seen.

9 Comments

  1. Well I applied, we will see whats what. If I get it I will keep the boxcutters informed.

  2. David Boxcutter says:

    If you get it, you will be under a non-disclosure agreement, so you won’t be able to keep the Boxcutters informed,

  3. I have a … a friend… who has signed up and might get it…

    What if I get ‘my friend’ liquored up and get him to tell me and then I tell you?

    An NDA ain’t gonna seal no loose liquored lips…

  4. David Boxcutter says:

    Whatever works for you, I guess.

    I tend to respect things like that, because it seems like there is a fair exchange going on here. I companies can’t trust people to honour these agreements, they may do less of this kind of testing in future. And if Boxcutters becomes a source of leaks – that may prevent any future possibilities between Boxcutters and TiVo (say, giving interviews, or even getting swag for your giveaways).

    Having said that, I have no problems using channel bittorrent or disregarding many copyright notices (I never signed anything)… but I’d respect an agreement like this, and take it pretty seriously. It’s the difference between jaywalking and lying or going back on your word.

  5. You are quite right to respect any non-disclosure agreement you sign, whether or not it’s binding and/or enforceable. Agreements should be honoured.

    That being said, were we to receive any reports from beta testers who wished to remain anonymous we would share the comments but not the source. We’re not willing to get anyone in trouble.

    Anyone who does want to let us know about their experiences beta testing TiVo in Australia can contact us here or at the usual email address. If you wish to remain anonymous, then we will, of course, honour your wishes.

    @David

    I[f] companies can?t trust people to honour these agreements, they may do less of this kind of testing in future.

    I think it would be ridiculously naive of any company undergoing beta testing to assume that there will be no leaks of how their product works. If their product is as good as they say it is, then they would also be foregoing the money-can’t-buy buzz that would go along with it by enforcing an NDA or prosecuting a breached NDA.

  6. I wonder, also, if an NDA would expect the beta testers – in their own homes – to hide the box and any screens away from their friends…

    It’s starting to sound a little like Ruddock’s video for home use legislation.

  7. David Boxcutter says:

    I think it would be ridiculously naive of any company undergoing beta testing to assume that there will be no leaks of how their product works.

    Sure, they will expect some leaks. But if it got bad, then they could just restrict the beta programme more tightly, or put more onerous conditions on participation. Remember, there’s nothing forcing these companies to make their beta tests “open to application” from the general public like this.

    The TiVo site said that participants “may” have to give back the equipment. My hunch would be that NDA violations would increase that chance of having to give it back as opposed to getting a freebie.

    I wonder, also, if an NDA would expect the beta testers – in their own homes – to hide the box and any screens away from their friends?

    It?s starting to sound a little like Ruddock?s video for home use legislation.

    What sounds like Ruddock, Brett? That little hypothetical bit you just invented? I haven’t read the NDA they require, so I have no idea if it contains anything like that. I would doubt it.

    Oh, and while I wouldn’t violate an NDA, you’re welcome to get me liquored up anytime you like.

  8. Invented hypothetical? Where did that come from? It wasn’t invented and it’s not a hypothetical. We covered this at least two times on the show when it was news. Check out Replacing stupid laws with moronic ones or New laws to limit use of TV recording to refresh your memory. Given that we don’t have fair use laws in this country, recording TV on video was always technically illegal. The legislation introduced by Ruddock, as AG, was stupidly restrictive and draconian and barely an improvement on what had previously been in place. The one difference was that the act of recording a show from TV was no longer technically illegal. Another area affected by the former copyright legislation was online music. Technically, it was illegal for a person to buy music from BigPond – and later iTunes – download it to their computer and copy it to another device – even a mobile MP3 player. But that’s all old news.

    If the TiVo beta doesn’t explicitly forbid that use – allowing third parties to see the hardware and system in operation – then there’s bound to be leaks and reports on it. The one thing they specify in the Beta signup process is that the user not be an employee or related to an employee of a competitor.

  9. David Boxcutter says:

    Invented hypothetical? Where did that come from?

    It clearly came from you. In the context of the discussion, the “it” that was getting bad was the idea that TiVo would make people hide the equipment in their own homes.

    We covered this at least two times on the show when it was news. Check out Replacing stupid laws with moronic ones or New laws to limit use of TV recording to refresh your memory.

    Right, but that doesn’t have anything to do with TiVo’s beta test, so why the non-sequitur?

    The one thing they specify in the Beta signup process is that the user not be an employee or related to an employee of a competitor.

    But that’s just the sign-up process, an initial screening. That’s not the NDA – you sign that if and when you are selected.

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