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Tivo Mini tuner sharing ("piggybacking")

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by aryndub, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. stuartv

    stuartv New Member

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    Dec 12, 2013
    Okay. That works. Mostly. It does not work as well as just explicitly letting multiple devices share a tuner (by transparently hitting Record for the user). Reasons I say that:

    - If all tuners are busy and I want to watch something live from a Mini, I simply can't. Unless I just happen to know that one of the tuners is already tuned to what I want. And that tuner has explicitly intiated a Record. It would be EASIER for the user if, when you tried to tune something on a Mini and all tuners were already busy, it would inform the user that all tuners are busy, show the user what each tuner is doing, and give them the option to "attach" to one and start watching whatever that tuner is tuned to - regardless of if somebody else is watching it. That tuner is already recording to a 90-minute buffer, right? So at that point, I could even rewind up to 90 minutes, maybe, if I wanted.

    - if I'm recording something and watching it near-live, and all other tuners are busy, somebody else could start watching my recording from another TV and be watching near-live also, without my knowledge. If I then switch over to another channel, I'll have to stop my recording or one of the others that is happening. If I choose to stop mine, I will inadvertently kill the program for the other person that is watching. In contrast, if sharing was explicitly supported, when I try to change channels, the device could prompt me that another Tivo device is watching the same tuner and allow me to pick a different recording to cancel (i.e. I switch to another tuner, so the other watcher is unaffected), cancel the current recording but KNOWING that I'm killing another person's viewing too, or simply let me Cancel and stay on the current channel. In other words, it gives ME all the info I need and lets ME decide, instead of being locked out of certain choices.

    Sharing a tuner to watch live is not really any different than sharing a recorded program to watch on 2 devices simultaneously. Even live TV is recorded (just into a rolling buffer with a fixed length). So, the concerns about each one being to do its own pause/rewind/ff seems unfounded. The only issue I can see is controlling what the tuner is doing. And for that, I don't see why any Tivo device (Roamio or connected Mini) shouldn't be able to explicitly control the tuners. You're talking about people in the same house, right? If all the tuners are busy, and somebody wants to change one, why should it be locked to the device that tuned it? What's wrong with relying on Mom or Dad to check with the other people in the house to determine what tuner to change (if all the tuners are busy and they want to change one)? That seems better than having tuners locked to individual devices (to me).
     
  2. tatergator1

    tatergator1 Active Member

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    From Tivo's perspective, I think what you're advocating is drifting into "Power User" features with too limited of an audience to make it worth their time to develop the necessary software for these features. All of them are certainly possible since all video that is output from a Tivo is coming from the hard drive.

    More options/features/customization are great, but Tivo has limited resources and it's just not in their interest to allocate development time to these features.
     
  3. stuartv

    stuartv New Member

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    Dec 12, 2013
    Maybe so. But, it seems like they already somewhat support this idea. I mean, you already get prompted to choose when you try to change a channel and it would interrupt a recording. It already lets you choose what recording to cancel, or to not change channels after all.

    And it already lets multiple users view the same content from the HD at the same time. So, it doesn't seem like a big stretch, for Development or for users to understand how to use in an intuitive way. But, I could certainly be wrong.

    At this point, I am super happy with how far Tivo has come since my DirecTivo box. The Roamio and Mini setup, plus Streaming is all HUGE and I really hope I can "sell" the "boss" on the idea of going this way for our new house. :D
     
  4. s10023

    s10023 New Member

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    Nov 12, 2013
    everything stuart says is right on. sharing tuners is clearly more complicated to implement on tivo's end but not rocket science, and would be a great upgrade.
     
  5. stuartv

    stuartv New Member

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    Dec 12, 2013
    Thanks, s10023.

    And, tatergator, if all your tuners are in use, and a user fires up a Mini and tries to tune to a channel that one of those tuners is already tuned to, it doesn't seem like a Power User feature to me to have that Mini simply WORK (i.e. start showing the user the channel they asked for), instead of entering whatever failure mode they do now ("Sorry. No tuners available. Try again later." ?). I mean, it seems like all the devices have to do is automatically start doing a Record on that tuner, and then start playing the recording on the user's Mini, but fast-forwarded to the "end". Then, if nobody explicitly told it to Record that program, it could automatically throw the recording away when all the Tivos stopped using it.
     
  6. teklock

    teklock New Member

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    What you're saying does make sense. I always have tuners so it's not an issue for me, but it does seem like something that should already be there.
     
  7. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    But that means if you are in front of your tv and watching live-tv, all of a sudden you can find that you've lost control of what you see (because someone else starts watching your show) and can't change the channel. Tat's something that cannot happen without you knowing about it and agreeing in the current implementation. That's not a happy family situation!
     
  8. stuartv

    stuartv New Member

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    Dec 12, 2013
    Ummm, no. What I said was that, when you try to change the channel, you could/should be prompted to choose what tuner you want to use to tune into the new channel (assuming they are all in use). The prompt should show you what each tuner is currently doing (including showing if your current tuner is also streaming to another Roamio or Mini) and let you pick which tuner to change (or Cancel your channel change request).

    In other words, pretty much just like it would do now if all tuners were recording and you tried to change channels.
     
  9. stuartv

    stuartv New Member

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    Dec 12, 2013
    Anyway, it's moot for me, now. Last week I thought I was going to get Comcast TV in my new house, so I was really trying to decide between a Comcast DVR or a Roamio (I have loved my Tivos in the past). Then I realized I could get DirecTV. I checked it out and it's MUCH cheaper than Comcast (they gave me some huge "returning customer" discounts - all my equipment was free!). And their Genie DVR setup seems to offer everything that the Roamio setup does, plus they claim to support streaming to Android tablets in addition to iPads, where Roamio Stream only works for iOS devices (at least, according to the info I could find online). We're mostly Android in my house, so that's a definite bonus.

    So, I'm not looing at Roamio any more for now, and signing off these forums.

    Y'all enjoy, take care, and have a merry Christmas!
     
  10. Palumbo

    Palumbo New Member

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    Apr 14, 2017
    Should have read this old thread before buying the Mini... Stu was so right!

    I like my Roamio plus over the old Hopper.... But the Hopper shares tuners! Duh! Why has Tivo not fixed this age old problem?

    Or have they and just need to read a newer thread?
     
  11. Palumbo

    Palumbo New Member

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    Apr 14, 2017
    Ok, so I do some research and maybe there is a workaround...

    The real problem is that my wife has become tuner-spoiled by the roamio, and refuses to watch commercials. If her live show goes to commercial, she will pause and go to a new tuner and watch something else. Quite often we will use 4-5 different tuners to cache live TV. The Mini will not do this.

    The only work around I could give her is to hit record on what she is watching, and then go back to live tv and she will be on a new tuner. Also, it seems that new tuner will even stay paused while she goes back to the recording.

    Clumsy, but it works. And it is sort of possible to pause live TV in one room and resume in the other. Sort of.

    Still, this misses the mark for me. The Hopper came out years ago, and this feature was a big selling point.

    So - it is certainly possible to share tuners, and it's much more clean and efficient for homes with multiple Mini's... what is the hold up?
     
  12. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    People are welcome to want what they want and use Tivo how they prefer. IMO half the benefit of a Tivo, especially with Comskip, is to avoid the need to watch commercials (agree with your wife there) and deal with active tuners (not here), so why not watch a recording? Seems like the perfect use case for a mini.
     
  13. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    In the ATL
    You've got a user problem, not a Tivo Mini problem.
     
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  14. Palumbo

    Palumbo New Member

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    Apr 14, 2017
    Lol. Maybe true.

    I stand by my stance that this is lazy programming. There is a whiny programmer in meetings at Tivo that continually insists that the best way to handle a Mini is to give it a dedicated tuner. He's even more whiny than me.
    New guy says, "We need to make the Mini user experience more fluid with the host system by integrating the tuner acquisition code between the two systems"
    Whiner says, "The issue is the host protocol uses a floating point algorithm to associate tuners, and the Mini directly streams content via port mapping. Sharing the acquisition sequence between systems will generate so many synchronization faults that it will never work!"
    Top brass acts like they understand whiner and agree it's a bad idea. Stupid FNG.

    ... my point is that this functionality shows a pretty severe lack of creativity. Time for new blood in the Tivo programming den.

    @jrtroo - IMHO, a user shouldn't even realize they are using a Mini. Why would the use case be different from any other TV?
     
  15. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    Chicagoland
    Because it's a mini and not the main box which controls all the tuners. To do this for a multi-mini scenario quickly becomes unweildly for only a 4/6 tuner host. It is clearly by design.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017 at 2:30 PM
  16. mulscully

    mulscully Member

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    Malvern, Pa
    I have a Roamio and a Premere XL4 and 3 (Soon to be 4 ) Minis and I am a programmer. I could see the set up that Palumbo wants as becoming very complicated for my setup. The feature I would rather have is if there is a conflict on one of my Tivos, for it to tell the other to record it.. That's the feature I don't understand why we don't have it yet. Even better would be if after the 2nd tivo records it, it automatically transfers it to the conflicted Tivo.. WHAT A WONDERFUL WOULD THAT WOULD BE :)
     
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  17. Palumbo

    Palumbo New Member

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    Apr 14, 2017
    Old setup was 2 Hoppers and a 2 Joeys, or whatever they're called. All tuners from both main units are accessible at all 4 locations. The only time you notice a conflict is if you try modify a tuner that someone else is using. I used the "pause it here, resume it there" feature all the time. And yes, you can assign recording to any tuner from any box. They all just look at the available pool - if you will.

    @mulscully - let's say you have 10 tuners and 6 locations to use them. It is too complex to give control of a tuner to a certain location while others can access it? You can look at it like file permissions on a network server... well, because that's what it is.

    I think the problem is not that it is difficult to do - but deciding how to implement is difficult. Many arguments like this, ending with the boss making broad illogical statements and using words like "unweildly" ... and maybe there is not a big $ benefit for them.
     
  18. Palumbo

    Palumbo New Member

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    Apr 14, 2017
    Maybe this will make a better point.... The statement from their website which is clearly false advertising:
    "Take TiVo into the bedroom. Or any room. Attach a Mini to all the additional TVs in your house and get a Tru Multi Room™ experience, so there’s nothing you can’t do in the bedroom that you can do on the couch."

    Don't get me wrong... i still want the Mini and like it - But let's not ignore the facts. It took my wife 2 minutes to find out what she couldn't do in the bedroom but could do on the couch :laughing:
     
  19. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    In the ATL
    Well yeah, but this is the same marketing team that called the Premiere the 'one box to rule them all'. Or something to that effect, implying that you wouldn't need another box for apps. What a joke that was.

    The gist of the marketing is correct in this case, even though it's not 100% the same with a Mini as with the host Tivo. Using a Mini is as good as it gets for an extender IMO, you're in a small minority complaining about edge cases.
     
  20. Palumbo

    Palumbo New Member

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    Apr 14, 2017
    Yes. Let us count the lies...

    "Add the TiVo® Mini to your other TVs in your home and get the same experience in every room"

    "Pause a show in one room and resume it in another"

    "Additionally, the remote in the TiVo App cannot control TiVo Mini."

    OK, I don't mind the last one so much... and maybe "show" refers to recordings?...

    An educated customer is a happy customer. Wife literally asked me if it works just like the main unit - so I said yes, of course! Tivo made me a liar! :triumph:
     

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