TiVo had said last year it would introduce controls on its DVRs to let content providers decide when recordings of certain shows could "expire" and be automatically deleted from users' devices. The functionality was quietly rolled out at the end of the year, and things have remained quiet as few (if any) broadcasters have actually started flagging their shows to delete, until this weekend when TiVo enthusiast sites got busy after one user noticed several recordings on his TiVo that couldn't be saved indefinitely. Apparently, it's down to a "bug" at a local Fox affiliate that mistakenly tagged the shows, with some users jumping to TiVo's defense. But isn't the real bug including the functionality in the first place? While this instance may have been a mistake, it's a stark reminder to TiVo owners that quite literally with a flip of the switch, TV networks could severely dent the functionality of their devices because TiVo decided to play ball and horse-trade with them. TiVo has been a revelation for many people, improving their TV viewing experience, but with the company's moves lately to put ads in front of people that want to skip them, other ad gimmicks and the looming specter that Hollywood could decide at anytime to make TiVos less useful, when will users decide enough is enough?
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