|reply to cdru |
No, it's not the "IR Blaster" kind of LED. It only blinks when you adjust volume using the TiVo-specific remote. For example, you hold the "VOL -" button for 3 seconds, when you let go it blinks. You hit mute, it blinks. It does not blink when you adjust the volume using the AV receiver's remote or a universal remote. It does not blink when receiving "random IR", only when it processes a valid command.
The remote specifically sends a command to the box letting it know you've adjusted the volume. It is not doing any volume adjustment on the box itself, this is only for tracking purposes. Additionally, as I already noted, it also sends this information back to the home server, in real time. Any command you send the unit is tracked over the internet in real time. Pause a TV show? Data sent. Rewind a TV show? Data sent. Skip a commercial? Data sent.
If you know anyone who knows how to use a packet sniffer and has a TiVo (not sure about other DVRs), it really is astonishing how much live information is transmitted back to the home office.
If you use a universal or stock remote to adjust volume, they will not be able to track it. Additionally, they don't want to know "how loud" you're listening to the programs. They want to know what times you raise or lower the volume from whatever the baseline level you are listening to the program at. With enough of this kind of data in aggregate, it can be very valuable to advertisers.
Very interesting, and rather disturbing that this is already implemented and without some kind of opt out. Is this disclosed anywhere in their terms of service? Like in some obscure clause? If not, I would imagine that's grounds for a law suit.