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Longer Buffer

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

  1. Jun 18, 2012 #61 of 129
    DonaldBurns65144

    DonaldBurns65144 Member

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    :):):):):):)

    Or maybe it would okay if we had a slightly larger buffer. Oh no, I just came out of the closet and told the world that I'm a newbie or less than experienced master of Tivo, just a person that has had a Tivo for about 10 years or so and never let it rule my viewing. I wonder how "experienced users" ever add to their viewing interests if they never watch live TV? Most of the programs we like end up going the way of the dodo after a few years and we seek new shows to watch. Suggestions seem to try want me to watch some crud about vampires or cooking shows about the best way to eat a snake. Plus I'm not prepared or willing to allow a box to take over my life to the point that I can't walk away for more than 30 minutes. There's many times that I've turn on the TV only to catch the end of something that started 34 minutes earlier and the missing 4 minutes is critical to the whole plot. Would have nice to see those missing few minutes. If I was more experienced (read spent a good part of my whole life programming my Tivo) then I guess I won't have to worry I'd be watching Big Brother's program list of suggestions (eat more snake) and could be safe within a cocoon of Tivo fed to me programs. Or in my case more of my wife's Hallmark or Lifetime movies. EEK!!!
     
  2. Jun 18, 2012 #62 of 129
    Ed_Hunt

    Ed_Hunt Pokerpro

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    Patterson,...


    This is totally 100% a matter of opinion. As long as it is an option.
     
  3. Jun 18, 2012 #63 of 129
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    You are correct, many things are not a matter of opinion. But in this case, it is.

    For example, on my DirecTV DVR (I have both Comcast cable/TiVos and DirecTV), the buffer is 1.5 hours. If there was some empirical evidence that a buffer that long caused harm to person or property, or led to a shorter DVR life, or caused a ripple in the space-time continuum, they would NOT have allowed it. But they did. And TiVo choose 30 minutes, for their own reasons (which probably made sense 10 years ago).

    So one company chooses .5 and the other chooses 1.5. Why? They had differing opinions on this particular option, and they each chose a different path. Opinions with no right or wrong, just a choice.


    Aside: My guess is the 30 minute buffers are coded so deep into the TiVo software that it's not worth the time or expense to change it. This is not a mission-critical problem, so they leave it alone. .02
     
  4. Jun 18, 2012 #64 of 129
    jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    My guess is that initially, 30 minutes was used to balance advertised recording space with the ability to pause live TV to use the "facilities". I imagine back in the day (and this behavior still remains) that users were primarily thinking VCR and not DVR.

    Today, we have lots of people apparently moving over from other DVR products to Tivo. Those other products had other features, many of which were designed to keep users happy while they often missed things they should have recorded (my comcast trial unit missed most everything!). It is therefore a bigger leap of faith in TiVo for those moving from a known DVR to Tivo than those jumping straight to a TiVo from just a cablebox.

    With HD, TiVo is still balancing advertised capacity with the buffer. Ignoring the more nitch units, XL/Elite/Upgraded drives, this balance remains with the base unit.
     
  5. Jun 18, 2012 #65 of 129
    morac

    morac Cat God

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    I'm actually very surprised TiVo has kept the 30 minute buffer. 30 minutes might have been a lot back when a TiVo could only record 14 hours worth of video, but today it's really too small.

    Personally I think it should be 60 minutes. Granted with 2 or 4 tuners, the buffer is technically 60 or 120 minutes so increasing the buffer size to 60 minutes would require 2 or 4 hours of buffer space, but if someone doesn't have an extra hour or two worth of free space on their TiVo, then it might be time to buy another one. :)
     
  6. Jun 18, 2012 #66 of 129
    JoeTaxpayer

    JoeTaxpayer Member

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    My Premiere has 1.5TB, 238HD hours. So the 2TB is 317.
    I don't know if TiVo guys are looking at this, and don't know how deeply embedded such code is. Seems the variable option would be great. Let the menu option go up to 4 hours in 30 min increments.
    Those who don't want or need it, for whatever reason, can leave it.
     
  7. Jun 18, 2012 #67 of 129
    ShayL

    ShayL Member

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    My sentiments exactly.
     
  8. Jun 18, 2012 #68 of 129
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    No, it isn't. One one side you have the user catching a comparative handful of programs while missing hundreds for recording and having less time to watch the ones the TiVo does catch. On the other side you have the TiVo missing some of that handful of programs but catching the rest along with the hundreds that the other method missed and having the time to watch considerably more of them overall. 'Not a single opinion involved anywhere. Nothing but pure, hard, cold mathematics.

    In large measure because on the DirecTV DVR, the buffer is necessary. The DirecTV is missing or has severely attenuated the most of the most powerful automation features enjoyed by the TiVo.

    With the vastly expanded number of channels today, it makes even more sense.

    Nonsense. These are ENGINEERS of which you are speaking. We don't employ opinions whenever possible. We calculate. Sometimes we have to roll the dice, and sometimes we have to make subjective decisions, but those are very rare, except when developers create user interfaces. On the Tivo, the buffers are largely superfluous, and without them the system (which includes the user) is more effective and efficient. On most other DVRs, failing to have a significant buffer results in potentially missing a distressingly large fraction of programs, especially back in the days when there were only a comparative handful of channels available. Today, as I already mentioned, the probability space is much, much larger, so the specific applicability of the buffer is far lower than it was 10 years ago. The point is, the probability is a calculation - and a very simple one, actually - not an opinion.

    Your guess is wrong. The bufferhack utility has been available for many years, and all it does is make a few simple changes to the MFS file system to allocate more or less space to the buffer areas. It was developed circa 2002.
     
  9. Jun 18, 2012 #69 of 129
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    It is in no way a matter of opinion, any more than it is a matter of opinion that a man with $10,000 in the bank has more money than one with $10 in the bank. It is a matter of choice (again, not opinion) in which bank one decides to actually keep ones' money, but the size of the accounts is in absoluetly no way a matter of opinion. Neither is it a matter of opinion that choosing not to watch live TV at all will result in being able to watch more programs and missing fewer recordings. It is FACT; calculable, observable, and demonstrable. Choosing to waste ones' time and to miss a large number of great programs is entirely one's own decision, but it is not based upon opinion.

    Nothing about any of this subject has anything to do with opinions, any more than the fact 2 x 2 = 4 or the fact the maximum obtainable throughput of a standard 802.11g network is 54 Mbps, or the fact a mobius strip only has one surface.
     
  10. Jun 18, 2012 #70 of 129
    Ed_Hunt

    Ed_Hunt Pokerpro

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    "Nonsense. These are ENGINEERS of which you are speaking. We don't employ opinions whenever possible. We calculate. Sometimes we have to roll the dice, and sometimes we have to make subjective decisions, but those are very rare, except when developers create user interfaces. On the Tivo, the buffers are largely superfluous, and without them the system (which includes the user) is more effective and efficient. On most other DVRs, failing to have a significant buffer results in potentially missing a distressingly large fraction of programs, especially back in the days when there were only a comparative handful of channels available. Today, as I already mentioned, the probability space is much, much larger, so the specific applicability of the buffer is far lower than it was 10 years ago. The point is, the probability is a calculation - and a very simple one, actually - not an opinion."

    Your Train just went off the track. I know many Engineers and they all have opinions about everything.
    There are Math calculations involved in everything not the least is opinions. You can write an equation to suit anything you want to prove. We are expressing opinions as to do we want more buffer or not. There doesn't need to be any equation involved in do I want 30 minutes or more than 30 minutes as an option. No math involved only opinions as to do I want it. As far as being more efficient without buffers, no one is looking for more efficient, just more buffer space, talk about over thinking a simple subject, you really have way too much time on your hands. I understand you want everyone to read your posts and say wow is he ever smart. It ain't working partner. You are either talking over peoples heads or, and this is closer to the truth, just putting out a lot of white noise.
     
  11. Jun 18, 2012 #71 of 129
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Neither do I, not in the least. I let it rule the recording, which is what it is extremely good at doing. I rule the viewing, and don't waste my time getting in the way of the recording.

    Thumbs-up and wishlists, primarily, although once again, the *TIVO* does most of that. You are petulantly ignoring the fact I categorically stated I have never watched "live TV", not once, since I got a TiVo back in late 1999, yet my TiVos (four of them, now) faithfully record hundreds of programs a week. Some of them are even TV series. Not only was it possible to do so, it was far easier and took less of my time than slogging through more than 14,000 programs a week to find some I like.

    First of all, that statement presumes the user watches nothing but TV series. I watch rather few series, which means the TiVo (not me) has to search for new and different programs every day, not every few years. It does so with great facility and without bothering me very much.

    Thumbs-down. 'Takes about half a second.

    I had a six year old living with me for a few months, so on one of the TiVos, I seeded the Suggestions with a couple of cartoons and some thumbs-up. Within 3 or 4 days, the TiVo was recording dozens of cartoons every day without me ever selecting a single one. Of course, that did not automatically stop when he left, but a few thumbs-down and after a few days the flood shut off. Now that TiVo almost never suggests a children's cartoon.

    Oh, and just FYI, my family and I frequently eat snakes. Their flesh is delicate and delicious, and here in South Texas they are plentiful. My sister killed a rattlesnake in her yard yesterday. She gave it to my brother, and he and his family will probably eat it next week.

    Don't ever watch live TV, and you can walk away for hours, days, or even weeks (if you have a large enough hard drive) withouit missing anything. What is this obsession with Live TV? It offers nothing that can't be had more easily and effectively via other means.

    What is hard to understand about the fact if the TiVo is properly configured, it would already have been recording, and you would not have missed it, even if the beginning were 8 hours ago?

    Try reading what I write. When I get a new TiVo, I spend about two hours setting it up, creating wishists, etc. Then over a period of about six weeks I spend a few minutes every time I sit down to fine tune its training. After that, I rarely ever do anything but press <Play>, and occasionally offer a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. Once every two weeks, one one of my TiVos I do browse quickly through the list of HD movies offered over the next 12 days or so (typically about 5000 movie titles with about 30,000 showings) to see if there are a handful the TiVo has missed. Whenever a new movie comes out in the theaters I want to catch, I create a wishlist for it on one of the TiVos. That's it.

    Don't be moronic. The TiVo is nothing even remotely like Big Brother. It is closer to being Kato from the Green Hornet. A faithful servant and valet who can be given very broad and non-specific instructions that he then turns into luxurious offerings for the master.

    And keeping your wife happy is a bad thing? You must like sleeping on the sofa. Your point is valid to a certain extent, though. An individual TiVo does not handle multiple viewing content preferences all that well. This mostly means the recorded programs will be a large mix of all the preferences, meaning there will likely be a lot of programs you don't like, as well as a lot your wife does not like, but you do, and a bit more in the way of ones neither of you like. It's called a marriage, and it wasn't TiVo's idea for you to get married. Separate his and her TiVos (and kid's TiVos) are one possible solution. It is true as in the famous words of one TiVo owner, "Between my like of war films and the Military Channel and my wife's love of fashion shows and musicals, my TiVo is convinced I am a gay Nazi."

    Just BTW, I happen to like a number of the movies on Hallmark, and the TiVo has recorded 8 of them that were good enough to archive without my telling it to. I'm willing to bet, despite the snotty remark, that over a period of some years there are a handful on that channel that you would like very much, but your limited methods of handling the TiVo mean it is unlikely you will ever see them.

    I have programs recorded from 91 different channels that I deem special enough to keep on the server so they can be watched again and again, plus another 40 channels represented on the TiVos, and all but maybe 20 or so of the more than 2000 total programs are pretty terrific. From how many channels do your TiVos have programming you like? How many are available for you to watch immediately and in full when you sit down? You can treat your TiVo like it is nothing but a VCR with a lot of storage if you choose, but it is far, far more than that, and investigating the difference, rather than uttering fatuous platitudes will inevitably result in a far greater viewing experience.
     
  12. Jun 18, 2012 #72 of 129
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Of course we do. We are, after all, human, and even we do not have access to every fact in the universe. When we go to design something, however, we try as much as physically possible to leave our opinions out of the design except when it comes to aesthetics.

    That is not an opinion. It is a choice, or if you like a personal preference. Such need not necessarily involve either opinions or facts, or indeed any cognitive facility. Often they just involve habits. Few smokers these days fail to realize they would be much better off not smoking, or that smoking costs them a great deal of money. It is a habit, nothing more or less.

    Again, it doesn't involve any opinion, either, just a preference. That preference, however, can be predicated upon nothing more than what one is used to doing, or it can be predicated upon what will produce the best result. Which method produces the most efficient and effective result is not a matter of opinion. It can be measured and predicted. What someone likes (e.g.wants) is nothing but a matter of familiarity, and preferences can and will change with time. Few people, for example, like beer or wine the first time they try them. They are called "acquired tastes", but the fact is, all taste and all likes and wants are acquired. It is foolish to allow them to impact the quality of one's life, even for something as trivial as watching TV.

    Which does nothing to justify an engineer's investing his time and effort to produce a demonstrably inferior platform, and once again, it is not an opinion. It is a fact you want it and a fact I realize it is not a good idea.

    Then they are being very foolish. Owning a device and using it in a way that produces a result no one would desire is not in any way wise, no matter how comfortable one might feel with the old way of doing it. Again, look at the stats I posted above: more than 2000 programs from more than 130 different channels without my doing so much as picking up the remote. What's more, that list is composed of titles I consider to be almost all in the top 5% of programs created over the last 80 years.

    It doesn't require much thought, and yes it is quite simple: "live" TV is a waste of time and effort. Many of the responses in this thread, however, are the result of no thinking whatsoever, but are instead nothing but emotional responses. Sarcasm, enmity, derision, mockery, and of course desire are all in obvious evidence, but precious little thought.

    Part of the reason I have more time is I don't waste it selecting programs to record or in watching live TV. As it happens, it has been 4 days since I had a chance to sit and watch anything. Exactly what good was the buffer during that entire time? Few people, if any watch as much as 8 hours a day, so that means for even the most avid "live" TV watcher, the buffer does nothing at all but waste space at least 67% of the day.

    No. What I want, or rather don't want, is to see the TiVo development taking the perfectly vomitous direction it threatens to take. I look at the Premier, and I want to gag. Your preferences don't affect just you. They affect me, as well.

    Yet it is amazing, isn't it, that the engineers at TiVo appear to agree with me, at least for the time being. While we are on the subject of opinions, however, that statement of yours *IS* an opinion, but like almost all opinions (including mine), it is really of no consequence. If you want to impress me (although I suspect you may not care), then offer facts, figures, calculations, and confirmed observations, not opinions.
     
  13. Jun 18, 2012 #73 of 129
    morac

    morac Cat God

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    That's not a good analogy. Biting your nails is a habit. Cigarettes, or more specifically nicotine, is a proven addictive substance. Calling smoking "a habit, nothing more or less" is being naive. Equating learning to use the TiVo software "correctly" (i.e. your way) with trying to battle addiction is insulting on a number of levels.
     
  14. Jun 18, 2012 #74 of 129
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Wow. Just wow.
     
  15. Jun 18, 2012 #75 of 129
    JoeTaxpayer

    JoeTaxpayer Member

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    I know, huh? I was about to set this thread to 'ignore' but the tangents are getting more remarkable.
     
  16. Jun 19, 2012 #76 of 129
    PedjaR

    PedjaR Member

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    This "if the TiVo is properly configured, it would already have been recording" is not always true. Here's a simple example - not something far-fetched, but something that actually happened to me many times, and no doubt will happen again:

    • There are sport shows that last several hours (think grand slam tennis or olympics coverage). In the guide each one may be a 5 or 6 hour show.
    • Such coverage is frequently composed of mostly independent pieces (think several tennis matches, some of which are of a lot more interest than others), but frequently it is unclear as to when or if an interesting match will be shown.
    • I did make an auto-recording wishlist, which did capture the event. However, there is a tuner conflict with the last hour of the coverage, so it is not being recorded. I'd like to see the first 4 or 5 hours, though; I'd probably fast forward through it until I see an interesting match going on.
    • Tivo does not (to the best of my knowledge) have a way to specify that I want to record as much of a show as possible; it will record all of the show or none of it (except for the 5 minute clipping).
    • I do not want to set up a whole bunch of manual recordings; that is a hassle, and a continuing one at that (i.e I'd have to keep checking for conflicts and keep creating manual recordings).
    • I happen to sit by the TV, and I am curious as to who's playing tennis or whatever, so I'll know if I'll be interested in watching more (the conflict is two hours away). So, I tune in - not very hard to do at all, as there are very few channels that could be showing a particular event, so I can find it in the guide right away. Furthermore, maybe it is already on this channel as it was recording previous "episode" of the coverage (very likely for me, as typically such coverage is being shown several times a day, so in the evening it is still on the channel it was recording in the morning; I do not record suggestions to mess with this). Something interesting is going on, and I decide to watch it for a while. If TV was already on that channel (which, again, is fairly high probability for me), I would likely want to rewind a bit from the buffer; and a bit more than 30 minutes of the buffer would come handy. Also, hitting record here does not help due to conflict, I'd have to set a manual recording instead, which I do not feel like

    Please don't tell me that had I set Tivo properly this would not have happened, that I do not really want to watch the sport event and should watch something already recorded instead, or that I should change show priorities. Sometimes I feel like watching sports, and sometimes I feel like checking out on an event that is happening. The only thing that would help is a way to allow partial recordings; if that were possible, I would probably watch live TV close to never.
     
  17. Jun 19, 2012 #77 of 129
    DonaldBurns65144

    DonaldBurns65144 Member

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    I really don't see why buffer size is any of your concern. You seem happy with your Tivo units. Fine. Feel free to go off and enjoy your hundreds of recorded programs. I'm happy for you. Meanwhile, please let the rest of us discuss what we'd like to have in this imperfect world that the rest of us live in. Maybe we could even have a buffer that varies depending upon each person's personal choice? Discussion and differing opinions are still is allowed, I hope.

    I for one would like a buffer longer than 30 minutes.
     
  18. Jun 19, 2012 #78 of 129
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    You are wrong. Plain, out-right wrong. You are desiring to use your TiVo in a way that the TiVo engineers never imagined. In fact, they hoped and prayed no one would ever want to misuse their device (their device, not yours) in the way you are attempting. I would guess if their bosses would allow it, they would rather buy it back from you than see you propose such an outlandish, despicable use of their device.

    Want proof? Here it is...


     
  19. Jun 19, 2012 #79 of 129
    atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Amusing thread.

    Really?

    You want TiVo to spend time and resources on a feature that some people think is irrelevant. We all know that TiVo has limited time and resources so if they spend it on rewriting their code to give you longer/adjustable buffers we know something else gets delayed or not done at all. So yes your desire does effect everyone.

    But it is clear there is a subset of TiVo users that would like longer/adjustable buffers. My advise is, if this is important to you contact TiVo and tell them. If enough people do that it may move up on (or be added to) TiVo's to do list.

    But honestly you probably will get more bang for you time by just learning how to utilize your TiVo's current features to minimize watching "live" TV and thus not need any buffer.
     
  20. Jun 19, 2012 #80 of 129
    sharkster

    sharkster Well-Known Member

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    Wow, tough room! I don't see why some people can't wish for choices that would work better for THEM with THEIR equipment. I'm fine with the 30 minutes, for the most part, but I certainly don't see a reason to begrudge others their needs.

    I wouldn't want a forced increase of buffer time, but choices are always good.
     

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