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My Tivo keeps crashing

By Dave Menendez
Tuesday, April 25, 2006, at 12:35 AM

Summary: Digital video recorders are great! Until they suddenly start rebooting every ten minutes for no apparent reason.

I love having a DVR. It takes the pressure out of watching television. I hardly ever watch anything when it’s actually airing any more—at the least, I try to stay a few minutes behind real time, so I can skim the commercials.

Unfortunately, my television paradise has been disturbed. I sat down Monday evening to watch The Daily Show, and I saw that my Tivo was booting. This is fairly unusual: Tivos, in my experience, are stable enough that I usually assume there’s been a power failure when I notice that mine has rebooted.

Unfortunately, there seems to be something very wrong with my box. Once it finished starting up, I watched about three minutes of TDS when it suddenly rebooted. As I write this, it’s been rebooting about every ten minutes for at least the past hour.

A discussion thread at the Tivo community forum suggests that the 7.2.2 version of the software may be at fault. Several people report random crashes, although I didn’t see anyone describing the repeated rebooting that I’m seeing. I had noticed that my Tivo had rebooted a few times recently, but had attributed that to brief power outages.

Limited they may be, but at least regular televisions don’t crash. Our culture’s inability to keep a dedicated software video recorder running is one of the reasons I don’t see a technological singularity happening any time soon.