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Longer Buffer

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by awax, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. Jun 17, 2012 #41 of 129
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    The question is, "Why ever bring up live TV at all?" It offers no advantages.
     
  2. Jun 17, 2012 #42 of 129
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    Anything more than zero is too much, but anythig more than the current 30 minutes that is not user selectable is unacceptable. Of course, the TiVos I own all have moderately large drives, but one I just got free from the CATV company only has about 48 hours recording capability, which is nowhere nearly enough. Take 2 or 4 hours off that, and it would be even more intolerable. I would wind up missing almost all the programs I recorded, let alone anything that might just happen to be in one of the buffers.
     
  3. Jun 17, 2012 #43 of 129
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    No, it's pretty trivial. Those of us with modified TiVos have been able to easily do it forever, now, if we care to.
     
  4. Jun 17, 2012 #44 of 129
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Houston &...
    Unacceptable to you.

    Just for once, consider the use of either "IMHO" or "YMMV".

    Or not. YMMV. :D
     
  5. Jun 17, 2012 #45 of 129
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    I don't. I let the TiVo handle all that. I just sit down, hit the <SElect> button to enter the NPL, choose a video, and press <play>

    That is still a random channel. It may be unlikely that it is the Serbo-Croation Knittting Analysis channel, but it is still not deterministic. There is also a moderate likelihood the TiVo will have found and recorded something interesting on a channel that only occasionally holds anything of interest. Looking at the list of channel sources on my server, there are 91 different channels represented, with many of them only having aired 1 - 10 of the nearly 2000 videos there. Many of the channels which air programs I watch on a more or less regular basis are not represented there, at all.

    The point is, if it is interesting, then if the Tivo is properly set up, the odds are exceedingly high it will be recording already. Conversely, if it is not recording, then the odds are extremely high it will be of little interest, and certainly of less interest than all the things that have been recorded. If neither of the two are true on any but the very rarest of instances, then the TiVo has not been set up properly.

    It is, but then those of us who have their TiVo's properly configured would scream, "Bloody murder!"
     
  6. Jun 17, 2012 #46 of 129
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    It is unacceptable, period. Forcing a really bad idea on everyone just because some fraction of the populace thinks it would be a good idea is unacceptable in an absolute sense. This is triply true when it negatively impacts experienced or talented users in favor of rookies or duffers. Allowing users to set higher values would be OK in an absolute sense albeit silly IMO. Forcing such folly on everyone is unacceptable in every sense.

    BTW, I do use the qualifiers you mention above whenever my statements are not based upon either empirical data or strong mathematical analysis. My sister once insisted that it was only my opinion that a mobius strip is an object with only one surface. Despite popular notions, many things are not a matter of opinion.
     
  7. Jun 17, 2012 #47 of 129
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    If you are "using" your TiVo at all, then you are using it sub-optimally. An optimally configured TiVo WILL know what you like and WILL record it, without your ever turning it on, and rarely ever touching it except to watch one or more programs.

    An optimally configured TiVo will almost never have any free space on the disk. I have three TiVos, with a total of more than 5T of storage (plus 18T of network storage, but that is another matter), and all 3 are 100% full. I just got a 4th yesterday, so it is almost empty, but I surely expect its rather small hard drive to be full in a matter of a few days.

    I certainly would not be particularly upset if TiVo decided to remove the option to watch "live" TV entirely, although it would not really be a good idea.
     
  8. Jun 17, 2012 #48 of 129
    JoeTaxpayer

    JoeTaxpayer Member

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    Mobius strips aside, I'm able to understand how a feature I have no use for myself is actually desirable to others. IMHO, by adding it as a buried menu item, it can be updated by the user. I've IM'ed everyone and heard back already. Every last one of us agrees not to tell you it's been made available. You'd probably take offense.

    The walk in and turn the TV on is one use case, but the step away to answer the phone, or walk the dog is one I'd see as valuable.
     
  9. Jun 17, 2012 #49 of 129
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    That sparked my curiosity, so I did a handful of searches. Excluding the off-topic areas, I found three pages of posts where I used the term "IMO", twenty-seven posts where I used the phrase "YMMV", eighteen posts where I used the term "IMHO", and four posts where I used the term "IMNSHO".

    I think more than 100 posts where I used one of those terms more than amply qualifies as "Just for once."
     
  10. Jun 17, 2012 #50 of 129
    dboff01

    dboff01 New Member

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    This line literally made me laugh out loud.

    The words "talented users" were used in regards to operating a TV appliance.

    Dear God sir, get over yourself.

    P.S. I'm working on developing the symbiotic relationship with my toaster that Irhorer has apparently achieved with his Tivos. Wish me luck.
     
  11. Jun 17, 2012 #51 of 129
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    It has nothing to do with desirability. It has everything to do with being useful in an optimal setting.

    There is no question of that. The question is, "Why bother". If the option to view live TV were eliminated altogether, then users would be forced to configure their TiVos in an optimal fashion. Catering to habits that allow users to obtain a poor experience from their device is akin to engineering co-dependency.

    It's been available for the better part of a decade. It just offers nothing that makes the TiVo easier to use or more powerful.

    That still requires that one be watching "live TV". Very frequently, when I am watching TV, both tuners are already recording. The buffer is then completely irrelevant. Ditto when the TiVo has been inactive on an SDV channel. The rest of the time, going to a live feed is almost always nothing but a major waste of time, so why would I? If nothing is recording, then the odds of there being anything more interesting on than even a small fraction of the things that are recorded is so small it definitely is not worth my time. How many times must I point out that in the vast majority of cases, if there is anything on live TV that would be interesting, it would be recording? Browsing through every single channel (which takes more than an hour) whenever something is not already recording virtually never finds even one interesting program.
     
  12. Jun 17, 2012 #52 of 129
    supersportsfan

    supersportsfan New Member

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    Oh boy...thats the one thing I have always loved about these forums...after all these years of being here, it has never changed. Someone comes in and gives a suggestion of something they personally would like to see. It isn't long before the TiVo "elitists" roll on through town to tell the individual why they are using the device incorrectly... :rolleyes: Many of those individuals are still crying over the one inch by two inch real-estate space that was lost when the premiere was released with a free space indicator...Oh the humanity!

    I have never been a suggestion fan. I don't have a whole lot of time to watch TV, so I can barely keep up with my season pass recordings. I never found that I enjoyed many of the suggestions anyway...but thats just my OPINION...a word that some obviously are not familiar with the meaning of. ;)

    Anyway, I myself would love to see the ABILITY to increase the buffer size. My best example is sports. Occasionally I will walk up to my TV, which is tuned to ESPN after recording PTI every afternoon, and there is a sporting event on (which I might sit down and become interested in.) The commentators might make reference to something that happened say 45 minutes prior. It would be nice to have an hour(+) buffer that would allow me to rewind and see the event that they are talking about. But I guess I am doing it wrong, considering that I wasn't already recording the national spelling bee, which I never dreamed I would watch :p

    And get rid of live TV? Get outta here! You are probably 1% of TiVo's subscriber base and not even their target "audience" anymore...
     
  13. Jun 17, 2012 #53 of 129
    dboff01

    dboff01 New Member

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    Agreed ... 30 minute buffer is lame, more would be better, as viewing habits for myself are a mix of live and recorded.
     
  14. Jun 17, 2012 #54 of 129
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    That says a lot.

    The statement applies to much more than the TiVo, but it certainly does apply to the TiVo. The sad (not funny) statement above strongly suggests a rather large lack of understanding of what a TiVo is, or what it can do. A complete understanding would take a far greater familiarity with the platforms than I posses, and far more than a mere ten years of study. I come across new capabilities and undiscovered features of the TiVo almost every week.

    The TiVo is a Linux based PC which is far, far more powerful not only than the coputers on board the Saturn V rockets which took men to the Moon and back, it is far more powerful than the computers on the ground that filled rooms whose total size was that of a gymnasium. It is far faster, far more flexible, and has vastly more storage space - millions of times more, in fact. It sports many of the very most creative utilities developed over the last 50 years, and devices that had not even a tiny fraction of its capabilities cost many tens of thousands of dollars in the 1960s. It has the ability to scan a database of several thousand programs, comparing them using clever heuristic routines to the programs one has watched and rated along with direct input from the user himself concerning the genre, key words and statements, actors, and directors.

    'Fascinated with volcanoes? Create wishlists with keywords for geology, tectonic, lava, magma, pyroclastic, and of course, volcano. 'Like the Fred & Ginger musicals? Create a wishlist for Fred Astaire + Ginger Rogers. 'See a Christmas special you like? Give it two or three thumbs-up. Get creative with the boolean expressions in some otherwise broadly defined wishlists. Bowse the list of upcoming Suggestions, and give thumbs-down on any you don't like. It takes a few weeks to tune really finely, but once done, it requires almost no intervention of any sort from then on.

    That said, even the manual processes can be enhanced by a better understanding of how the TiVo works. For example, the "Title" search isn't really a title search, at all. It is an index search, and I almost never use the title search to look for a title. Instead, once every couple of weeks, one may go to Search by Title => HD => Movies => 0 to see a complete list, starting at the top, of all the HD movies broadcast over the next 12 days or so. (It's not the way I do it actually. I use TiVoWebPlus, but then you know how much TWP is only a toaster, right?)

    It is hardly myself over which I need to come. I can't take any credit for the TiVo, other than those modifications I have created myself and applied to my TiVos. That said, I don't think it is at all unreasonable that an individual who has bothered to learn the intricacies of a powerful and flexible computer system consider himself and other users of a similar competency at least moderately talented and experienced users. Certainly I would credit the judgments of Jaime P, William McBrine, Omikron, Unitron, bkdtv, and the other veteran TiVo users more than someone who has owned a TiVo only a few months, and perhaps has never even had the cover off.

    OTOH, I don't recall seeing you explain at length to people how to build a video server for the TiVo, how to modify it to obtain better performance and access to a wider range of applications for the TiVo, or writing and publicly offering scripts and tutorials for the platform. Indeed, I only see 11 posts from you, total. Now, there is nothing wrong with being a rookie (well, nothing one can help, anyway), but with a join date of February of this year, I have to wonder how long you have owned a TiVo or how many of its myriad features you have investigated, at all?

    I am going to refrain from going into delighted detail how dangerous an intimate relationship with a toaster would be for you, and only mention fleetingly that my handle is not Irhorer. I submit if you were at all familiar with the underlying technology of the TiVo, however, then you would be very unlikely to make such a mistake.

    It is also one thing to be enamored of artifacts that appeal only to a rookie when one is ones' self a rookie, but it is quite another to dismiss with derision the ruminances, right or wrong, of someone who is experienced. Please do us all a favor and state your opinions - backed by whatever level of expertise you may have, but leave the nasty sarcasm at home.
     
  15. Jun 17, 2012 #55 of 129
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    For some unfathomable reason, some people are offended by the notion that there is a set of methods and procedures that produce a peak of efficiency, and that there is somehow some sort of value in wasting time because it is tied to a bad habit. "It is the way I like / know / am used to doing it" is the worst possible reason for maintaining or implementing a system feature, second only to "it's new and the old way hasn't changed in a long time".

    It is not the amount of screen space used by the indicator (although any unnecessary use of screen real-estate is not acceptable). It is the fact its existence encourages users to waste their time, and time is a precious commodity. Looked at one way, it is a form of theft, or at least, as I said, co-dependence. All of my TiVos have always had the ability to measure free space. I never, ever implement or use those capabilities, but guess what? My TiVos do a far, far better job of achieving the results which those who cried for the space meter get now they have it, and it doesn't require hours - or even milliseconds - of my own time to achieve them. Why ask for something that will allow the user to spend countless hours of tedious time to accomplish an inferior job of what the TiVo does far better without any input from the user?

    I have rather few season passes, but that's not really the point.

    And how many times did you apply a thumbs-down to any of those suggestions you did not like? Did you even give a single one a thumbs-down? How often did you give a program you were watching a thumbs-up, or perhaps more rarely a thumbs-down? It is a matter of fact - not opinion, but FACT - that the percentage of less desirable suggestions will diminish rapidly as one applies thumbs-down to undesirable content. It will never tend to diminish much, if at all, if one never applies the thumbs-down.

    I never watch any sports, and indeed I should not be burdened with the cost of buying ESPN so that you can watch sports, but that is also another matter.

    Once again, you completely miss the point. If YOU are recording anything, then you are not only wasting your time, you are getting a poor result from it.

    Nothing is perfect, certainly not the TiVo, but the odds the TiVo would recognize the spelling bee was something you might like to watch are many times greater than the odds of your just happening to come across it, or even being able to select it. No matter what one does, with several thousand programs airing each and every week, one is inevitably going to miss a significant number of programs they might like to watch, even if they get recorded, but surely if they do not. Configuring the TiVo properly, allowing it to do its job, and keeping one's bloody hands off the remote will by a very wide margin maximize the number of interesting programs one may view in the limited time one has to view them. It is a bit like sorting a mountain of coins of various denominations and nationalities. To be sure, a human being can do it, and if one is obsessed about the outcome one can take on the job ones' self, but a machine can do the job much, much faster and far, far more accurately.

    Is it possible you might miss that spelling bee using properly automated methods? Absolutely. The point is, however, while you might (or perhaps not) miss that spelling bee, depending upon the buffer to catch anything will inevitably miss many hundreds or perhaps thousands of programs over a period of many years that employing automated methods will not miss, and the time not wasted on manual processes will allow one to watch many, many more. On the one side we have one program that did not get missed. On the other we have hundreds. Exactly how is the former better? Because it wears out more batteries?

    Once again, I am not suggesting it should happen, but it would improve both the quality (by your own judgement, not mine) and number of the programs you watch while diminishing the amount of time you waste fiddling with the remote, waste being defined as "not watching an interesting program".

    Answer me this, however. Changing the buffer size requires a trivial change to the source code and a modification of literally only a handful of bytes in the binary. So why has TiVo left the buffer at 30 minutes? There are actually a couple of reasons, but one of them is the TiVo engineers realize, as do I, that it is a waste of drive space for no significant gain in system performance.
     
  16. Jun 17, 2012 #56 of 129
    lonewoolf47

    lonewoolf47 Member

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    I totally agree. I can't count the times that i've turned the tv on and there was a movie or just a tv program that I didn't know would be on. There are just too many channels to keep track of. This day and age a 30 minute buffer is just not enough. I had Directv DVR's and I loved their 90 minute buffers.
     
  17. Jun 17, 2012 #57 of 129
    JoeTaxpayer

    JoeTaxpayer Member

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    @supersportsfan People have their own situations. To me, it sounds more convoluted to tell you you should be recording your sport event, or that TiVo should know to record it, than it does to just know that the buffer is running. I love my TiVos, but I have no goal to use their features to the nth degree. Season passes are great, but like you, I killed the suggestions, never found one that I wanted to watch. The wish list is fine, but one can live a full and happy life not have one wish programmed.

    @lrhorer - I've tinkered with my TiVos. Swapped out drives, imaged new ones, etc. Encoded Video off the TiVo to view on an iPad, and encoded video to send to TiVo from ripped DVDs or home movies. That doesn't make my feature wants/don't cares any better or worse than the new TiVo users. I hope TiVo adds this option, and then I'll explain to my wife why it should exist, that its very nature offends some people.

    By the way, I saw your last response to supersportsfan. I tried the thumbs down to help the suggestions get better. I even thumbs downed every kid show that had a season pass, hoping that would stop suggestions from recording more kid shows. When that didn't work, I stopped.

    It seems that there are three groups here. Those who want the option, those who might never use it, but understand its value, and you. Hmm. You're an engineer, why does a hundred bytes on a TB+ drive bother you?
     
  18. Jun 17, 2012 #58 of 129
    L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

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    HD requires several gigabytes per hour of video, but it's still a drop in the bucket with TB drives. And I can't imagine how anybody could seriously object to making buffer space a user choice, which should be easy enough for TiVo.
     
  19. Jun 18, 2012 #59 of 129
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    If it's a trivial matter then there must be some reason why they have never offered a user adjustable buffer.

    Any idea why? I have no idea.
     
  20. Jun 18, 2012 #60 of 129
    supersportsfan

    supersportsfan New Member

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    I feel like I am reliving fahrenheit 451 all over again...

    Thinking is not allowed! The machine must chose what to watch for you!

    That statement alone sums it up for me...

    The bottom line is, one of the most amazing things about human life is, we all are different...have our own thoughts and opinions...and do things our own way. And THAT is the beauty of devices having settings and options so that we may use them how we each see fit. To each his own.

    Alas, I will continue to use my TiVo the way that I have for nearly 10 years and will continue enjoying it, and continue to believe that it is the best investment that I have ever made...even if I am using it at such a low efficiency level...so don't lose too much sleep, because I never intend to use it as "hardcorely" as you. My loss I guess?...
     

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