Netflix WatchTiVo Crash Instantly

Ever since I switched back to Netflix and started using the Watch Instantly feature on my TiVo, the TiVo has been noticeably less stable. The problems didn’t manifest right away; rather, it wasn’t until my kids and I had a chance to get addicted to the service that issues started to crop up.

At first, it was just that the Netflix functionality would stop working and I would have to reboot to fix it. Soon after, however, I also started experiencing occasional spontaneous TiVo reboots or other problems that led me to manually rebooting it. Additionally, reboots started to become less reliable — that is, the system would appear to not finish booting and I would unplug it to give it another go. Sometimes I would have to unplug it two or three times before it finally booted correctly.

A bit of Google investigation revealed that others have been having trouble since enabling the Netflix functionality, and that some have even been unable to get the system to boot at all. Luckily, I haven’t run into that show-stopper yet, but I’m certainly hesitant to use the Netflix feature now (on the TiVo, that is — works fine on my Mac).

On Wednesday evening, I turned on the TV to find the TiVo rebooting. Forty minutes and two or three additional reboots later and I finally had it up and running again ten minutes after prime time started. Luckily, the ten minutes missed of the two recordings didn’t really matter as they weren’t real shows (American Idol Auditions and Lost recap), so no big loss.

I’m not sure I’ll be using the Netflix Watch Instantly service on my TiVo again any time soon.


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  1. #1 by whall on January 23, 2009 - 10:44 am

    I have no Tivo.
    I have no Netflix.
    Lo, nor do they have me.


  2. #2 by martymankins on January 23, 2009 - 1:21 pm

    Believe it or not, I have no TiVo, or any DVR for that matter. I’ve been talking about getting one for a long time now. I’ve even considered building a DIY using open source software and HD tuner PCI cards… but nothing yet.

    I just barely heard that TiVo could do Netflix streaming. Hope you can get yours fixed soon.


  3. #3 by Ren on January 23, 2009 - 4:09 pm

    whall – Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

    martymankins – no DVR. eh? what’s that you say? Did I read that correctly? No TV I could understand, but no DVR is beyond me….


  4. #4 by Giggle Pixie on January 23, 2009 - 5:44 pm

    I have watched their instant watch movies on my computer before, but hubby doesn’t like having to view it on a 17″ screen. We don’t have TiVO, so now we’ve just been renting from Redbox. Only a buck a movie!


  5. #5 by Ren on January 24, 2009 - 7:29 pm

    @Giggle Pixie, Watch Instantly also works with XBox 360 and some other devices, including a dedicated $99 device. That’s a lot of $1 rentals, though, and I actually think the Redbox rentals are quite complementary to Watch Instantly since Watch Instantly doesn’t generally have new releases.


  6. #6 by martymankins on January 28, 2009 - 12:16 am

    @Ren… some things have lept ahead of the DVR. It’s on the list for this year, though.


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