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View Poll Results: How Important is This to You?
It's so important that I'd pay extra for it. 159 9.17%
It's important but I wouldn't pay extra for it. 1309 75.53%
Not important, but I'd probably use it if it was free. 219 12.64%
I'd probably never use it one way or the other. 46 2.65%
Voters: 1733. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-12-2002, 11:44 AM   #1
Samsara
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The Free Space Indicator Thread

Below are some of the previous threads on this subject, but if you have something to add, please use this thread.

Exactly how is a "Free Space Indicator" confusing?
Free space remaining indicator
Why don't they include a free space function?
Free Space Indicator Proposal
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Old 01-17-2002, 11:47 AM   #2
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Nearly 91% would use it, if available? That's MUCH higher than even my optimistic brain could imagine!

Is Tivo listening???

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Old 01-17-2002, 01:20 PM   #3
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So much depends on its implementation so as not to cause an increase in the number of help desk calls that the poll isn't all that useful.
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Old 01-17-2002, 01:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by HTH
So much depends on its implementation so as not to cause an increase in the number of help desk calls that the poll isn't all that useful.
Agreed. I would like to see a simple percentage status bar. Or maybe even a pie chart. Do NOT show minutes of any sort, only MB or percent MB.
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Old 01-17-2002, 02:12 PM   #5
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Originally posted by SteakMan
Agreed. I would like to see a simple percentage status bar. Or maybe even a pie chart. Do NOT show minutes of any sort, only MB or percent MB.
Please excuse me while I remove these keycaps from my forehead.
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Old 01-17-2002, 03:28 PM   #6
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Just messin with ya HTH

Sorry, that's the closest that I'll come to trolling
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Old 01-17-2002, 04:09 PM   #7
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Show something. Show anything. Start with something as simple as your like, TiVo, but start with something.

I'm afraid someone at TiVo reads some of the involved suggestions and thinks "who but a computer programmer is going to understand that."

So, TiVo, don't give us the ultimate, but give us something.
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Old 01-17-2002, 05:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by beejay
Show something. Show anything. Start with something as simple as your like, TiVo, but start with something.

I'm afraid someone at TiVo reads some of the involved suggestions and thinks "who but a computer programmer is going to understand that."

So, TiVo, don't give us the ultimate, but give us something.
Good news! They did! Turn on suggestions, and after a few days the suggestions will consume most of the free space.
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Old 01-22-2002, 10:32 PM   #9
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by dnyberg
As part of such a software upgrade, please do away with the current scheduling algorithm's behavior of refusing to record something (or to change its delete time) because "there's not enough space". Rather, it should say something along the lines of "at this time I project there will not be enough space" for a given recording. After all, the unit can't know that in 3 hours I'll delete 10 hours of programming, so it has no business issuing a flat refusal to record something 24 hours from now.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sure it can, as long as you tell it you will by adjusting the expiry of that 10 hours worth of shows and not set everything S/KUID.

If your numbers are realistic and you're really going to delete 10 hours worth of programming in the next three, just do it and then schedule your shows.

============================================

No.

I just saw a promo for some show that's interesting, and I want to tell Tivo to grab it. It refuses, saying that based on automatic operations only, there won't be space. Too bad. I'm part of the equation here too; my desires are what count. The *only* thing that counts, in fact. I bought the machine, I pay the sub, what I desire is what it should do.

If I tell it to schedule something for recording, it should have one and only one response: Yes Master! (It can point out that by that time there *may* not be space, but that's just an advisory.)

Suppose it's a show 3 days out, and I'll be saving to tape tomorrow. Am I supposed to delete the things I would save, just to satisfy the machine?

Am I supposed to scribble post-it notes for later, after I've done the save-to-tape operations?

No. Neither of those. If, 3 days from now, there's insufficient room, then nobody can blame the machine for not making the recording. But there is absolutely no legitimate reason for it to refuse to accept instructions regarding its list of operations to *try* to perform. Not one. *No* reason, period.
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Old 01-23-2002, 06:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by dnyberg
I just saw a promo for some show that's interesting, and I want to tell Tivo to grab it. It refuses, saying that based on automatic operations only, there won't be space. Too bad. I'm part of the equation here too; my desires are what count. The *only* thing that counts, in fact. I bought the machine, I pay the sub, what I desire is what it should do.

If I tell it to schedule something for recording, it should have one and only one response: Yes Master! (It can point out that by that time there *may* not be space, but that's just an advisory.)

Suppose it's a show 3 days out, and I'll be saving to tape tomorrow. Am I supposed to delete the things I would save, just to satisfy the machine?

Am I supposed to scribble post-it notes for later, after I've done the save-to-tape operations?

No. Neither of those. If, 3 days from now, there's insufficient room, then nobody can blame the machine for not making the recording. But there is absolutely no legitimate reason for it to refuse to accept instructions regarding its list of operations to *try* to perform. Not one. *No* reason, period.
If you didn't have so much marked as "Keep Until I Delete" your Tivo would simply warn you that one or more shows will have to be deleted earlier than planned, then allow you to schedule your new show, and assuming you deleted enough stuff between now and the time the new show aired, nothing would have to be deleted.
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Old 01-23-2002, 08:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by dnyberg
If, 3 days from now, there's insufficient room, then nobody can blame the machine for not making the recording. But there is absolutely no legitimate reason for it to refuse to accept instructions regarding its list of operations to *try* to perform. Not one. *No* reason, period.
But you WILL blame the machine for not making the recording. It said it would, but it didn't.

You expect to tell a TiVo "Record everything on channel 4 forever, and I mean Everything and Forever." and not have it complain?

Didn't you watch 2001:ASO to see what happens when you give conflicting instructions? Next thing you know your pod bay doors won't work, and THEN where will you be?
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Old 01-23-2002, 11:48 AM   #12
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Originally posted by dnyberg
Suppose it's a show 3 days out, and I'll be saving to tape tomorrow. Am I supposed to delete the things I would save, just to satisfy the machine?
No, you'll just change the shows you'll be saving to tape tomorrow from SUID to be kept for only 1 or 2 days. In that way you are telling the TiVo that they will be gone by the time the show 3 days out would be scheduled to record. And then your TiVo will allow it to be scheduled.

Why mark something SUID when you're going to delete it tomorrow? Where's the logic in that? How can you expect TiVo to know you're going to delete them tomorrow unless you tell it so?

Here's a reasonable suggestion: when there gets to be so many SUID recordings that some shows aren't being scheduled and listed in the Recording History with the reason of to insufficient space available, the TiVo should give you a PTCM saying that you are acquiring too many SUID programs and that scheduling functionality will be impaired unless you change some to have finite expiry times. That will make it clear it's the user's own damn fault for abusing S/KUID and get him to stop recording everything that way.
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Old 01-23-2002, 12:16 PM   #13
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I set things suid for a reason (actually a couple of reasons):

1) a bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush. I don't want it deleting something it has, for something that may not ever arrive (rain fade, power outage, etc).

2) I may not get around to save to tape as I intend, or I may forget, or whatever. If I start setting things "2 days", I may lose them. That's the whole idea. So I set things I'm willing to lose to "save 2 days or delete when space is needed", and I set things I don't want to lose as "keep until I delete".

If that means it *may* not be sure about whther it will have space for something in the future, I'm perfectly happy for it to say "I may not have space starting 12 hours from now" in an advisory (or when I'm giving it instructions). I don't want to have to change the storage of a bunch of sored programs in order to get it to accept instructions, then have to go back and change them back. (If it'll let me change them back, anyway.) It should follow my instructions as best it's able, not tell me it refuses this or that because it thinks I'm too stupid to realize HD is a finite resource. And FWIW, a forward-projecting gas gauge, as I suggested above, would help this situation whether they fix the refusenik behavior or not.

The bottom line is that it's my servant, not the other way around, and the software should reflect that.
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Old 01-23-2002, 04:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by dnyberg
It should follow my instructions as best it's able,
It is.

Quote:
The bottom line is that it's my servant, not the other way around, and the software should reflect that.
If you use it in a compulsively paranoid manner, it will be compulsively paranoid back at you. Only one of you is able to back down.

You need to relax and either record less or watch-and-delete more TV. This weekend, watch and delete programs all day long. If you only watch stuff with commercials and skip over them you should be able to clear off 40 hours of SUID programming over two days. Then swear off scheduling any Season Pass or Wishlist as KUID and use SUID rarely. Then you should be able to use your TiVo in a more relaxed manner. If you only push expiry ahead little by little, you won't have problems scheduling programs later.

Meanwhile, consider that it's possible that your problem isn't that TiVo isn't letting you record more; it's that you are already recording more than you can watch. It sounds like a classic case of overrun avec TV.
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Old 01-23-2002, 05:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by HTH
Meanwhile, consider that it's possible that your problem isn't that TiVo isn't letting you record more; it's that you are already recording more than you can watch. It sounds like a classic case of overrun avec TV.
Naw, I think the problem everyone (who is complaining about it) has, is that they are still in VCR thinking mode, while the TiVo is trying to do so much more.

The manual should have printed in giant letters: "Scheduling recordings as SUID will reduce your available space by the amount of the recording AND reduce your space available for scheduling future recordings."

And maybe: "While it can, the TiVo was not designed to save recordings indefinitely."

I still wish that it would allow over-scheduling, but now that I see how SUID really works, I think that would take a major overhaul of the logic everywhere else as well. I'll put up with it as it is thank you.

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Edit: I forgot about Bret's explanation. I bet that could be implemented without much of an overhaul

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Old 01-23-2002, 05:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by dnyberg
I set things suid for a reason (actually a couple of reasons):

1) a bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush. I don't want it deleting something it has, for something that may not ever arrive (rain fade, power outage, etc).

2) I may not get around to save to tape as I intend, or I may forget, or whatever. If I start setting things "2 days", I may lose them. That's the whole idea. So I set things I'm willing to lose to "save 2 days or delete when space is needed", and I set things I don't want to lose as "keep until I delete".
dnyberg,

You're obviously free to use your Tivo as you see fit. But I doubt you'll ever get an update that lets you force Tivo to schedule a show when it calculates that there won't be room for it. Because, like HTH said, people would immediately start complaining when their shows that they schedule don't record.

Maybe you agree with my suggestion... that is to have the Tivo tell you that new recording won't fit, but add it to the Recording History, and automatically add it to the To Do List if you free enough space in time. That way, the fundamental meaning of the To Do List will remain the same (these things WILL record barring power failure, guide changes, user modifications, etc.), and people who mark too much stuff as SUID will be able to overschedule to at will! As long as the warning is clear that the overscheduled recording is not guaranteed to record.

Quote:

If that means it *may* not be sure about whther it will have space for something in the future, I'm perfectly happy for it to say "I may not have space starting 12 hours from now" in an advisory (or when I'm giving it instructions). I don't want to have to change the storage of a bunch of sored programs in order to get it to accept instructions, then have to go back and change them back. (If it'll let me change them back, anyway.) It should follow my instructions as best it's able, not tell me it refuses this or that because it thinks I'm too stupid to realize HD is a finite resource. And FWIW, a forward-projecting gas gauge, as I suggested above, would help this situation whether they fix the refusenik behavior or not.

The bottom line is that it's my servant, not the other way around, and the software should reflect that.

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Old 01-28-2002, 12:40 PM   #17
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I would also love to see some kind of "free space indicator" also.
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Old 03-04-2002, 11:53 AM   #18
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I could get by without a free space indicator if I could just get some simple info without having to manually add it all up.

On the Sytem Info screen it would be nice if it listed:
1). Number of hours worth of material currently in Now Playing - Tivo Suggested Recordings
2). Number of hours worth of material currently in To Do List - Tivo Suggestions

On my ~259 hour unit this would be a great help.

Of course soon I'll also want batch save to VCR and/or editting..

Yes, I know I can do the math for both 1 and 2, but why should I when the DTivo already knows the answer. Plus think about it. ~259 hours is ~518 half hour episodes of various TV shows, or ~129 two hour movies. Really sucks trying to keep a count on that when the hardware already does so.

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Old 03-11-2002, 12:54 AM   #19
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All I want is an indicator like this ...

Your TiVo currently has XX hours of free space left at the default recording level. (This does not include any programs scheduled for future recording.)

I can't beleive this is too much to ask. The key here is currently. All we really want to know is based on what is recorded NOW, how much space is left. Nothing else really matters in the grand scheme, since suggestions get deleted to make space, programs will get bumped to make room, and S/KUID fux0rs the entire thing.

Yes, it's 100% a touchy-feeling thing. The number is fairly meaningless. That doesn't make me WANT it any less.
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Old 03-11-2002, 05:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by SuperRob
The key here is currently.
s/key/problem/

The number is functionally meaningless, but that won't prevent people from assigning a meaning to it.

Imagine all the tech support calls coming in from people who want to know why they can't schedule their 23rd future movie recording when their TiVo is only 48% full now. It will be more than those that call now not knowing why it won't record more, because they'll feel they have hard evidence on their side that TiVo is wrong and they should be able to schedule it.
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Old 03-12-2002, 07:17 PM   #21
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Originally posted by HTH
Imagine all the tech support calls coming in from people who want to know why they can't schedule their 23rd future movie recording when their TiVo is only 48% full now. It will be more than those that call now not knowing why it won't record more, because they'll feel they have hard evidence on their side that TiVo is wrong and they should be able to schedule it.
I've never done user support for average-and-below users (just engineers and technicians, lucky me), but I can't imagine that this would automatically lead to a huge increase in stupid-user calls. Yes, I know there are plenty of incredible idiots out there. Has it been documented that TiVo gets lots of calls now from people who don't realize why future recordings won't fit? Is there reason to believe some large disclaimer like 'number given is for the CURRENT TIME ONLY and DOES NOT reflect any space to be used by future recordings" wouldn't be at least somewhat effective?

This is a feature that a lot of people have asked for and genuinely feel would be useful to them (despite the vehement denials from others that anyone actually needs it), and wouldn't be at all hard to implement. Does TiVo stop adding useful features for fear of morons?
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Old 03-12-2002, 07:36 PM   #22
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Has it been documented that TiVo gets lots of calls now from people who don't realize why future recordings won't fit?
Well, if you think the number of people who know enough about how to use computers enough to post messages to this forum asking why on the forums as a gauge of the more intelligent users....

Quote:
This is a feature that a lot of people have asked for and genuinely feel would be useful to them (despite the vehement denials from others that anyone actually needs it), and wouldn't be at all hard to implement. Does TiVo stop adding useful features for fear of morons?
I put it that it isn't useful, and can be harmful by its nature to be misleading.

If you just want to have a warning when your TiVo drops below so many hours of space free, set up a recording at the desired quality and duration, let it expire, but don't delete it. If it ever disappears from Now Playing, that's your early warning system. DirecTiVo owners, pick something to record with average or maximum visual activity for bitrate estimation. (This is most effective if you don't let anything else expire.)

In the meantime, the expiry system is a sufficient indicator of capacity usage.
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Old 03-12-2002, 08:02 PM   #23
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Originally posted by HTH
I put it that it isn't useful, and can be harmful by its nature to be misleading.
93% of the folks who answered the poll here DID think it'd be useful at least some of the time, even if they weren't all willing to pay for it. I'll admit the forum here is way short of a good random sample of TiVo owners, but are they ALL mistaken?
Quote:
If you just want to have a warning when your TiVo drops below so many hours of space free, set up a recording at the desired quality and duration, let it expire, but don't delete it. If it ever disappears from Now Playing, that's your early warning system. DirecTiVo owners, pick something to record with average or maximum visual activity for bitrate estimation. (This is most effective if you don't let anything else expire.)

In the meantime, the expiry system is a sufficient indicator of capacity usage.
For you, no doubt it is. Declaring it so doesn't make it so for everyone else. Not everyone thinks the same way. I thought when I first got my TiVo that I'd come around to the 'not really needed' way of thinking as well, but I haven't. I still want a free/used space indicator. I don't want an early warning system, or a gut feeling of how much space there is from counting up suggestions, or any other kind of time-consuming work-around.

They can put the thing on the system information screen, visible only if backdoors are turned on. Or if they open up the system enough in the development program I'll write my own - would you care to wager my app or someone else's like it wouldn't be among the top TiVo add-in downloads, with at least a 4-cows rating at Tucows?
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Old 03-12-2002, 08:17 PM   #24
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JPriller, I think it's already been written, actually. I don't recall what it's called, but a search in the Underground forum should find it...
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Old 03-12-2002, 08:21 PM   #25
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Originally posted by BrettStah
JPriller, I think it's already been written, actually. I don't recall what it's called, but a search in the Underground forum should find it...
Yeah, I hadn't thought about the underground. But mine's going to be like this (only I'll get the colors right this time).
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Old 03-13-2002, 03:23 PM   #26
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93% of the folks who answered the poll here DID think it'd be useful at least some of the time, even if they weren't all willing to pay for it. I'll admit the forum here is way short of a good random sample of TiVo owners, but are they ALL mistaken?
The poll has its own problems, including a presumption that there should be such an indicator. Where are the options for, "There should not be a free space indicator" and "What, are you blind? The expiry model is the free space indicator!" How many people have not voted because an option to choose to deny the creation of a FSI wasn't offered?

And how many voters actually gave much thought to how they'd use such a quantified FSI and how useful it would be vs. those who would misinterpret its meaning?

I have one TiVo that is reasonably full of SUID and non-SUID episodes of Red Dwarf with more recorded 4 times a week (scheduled non-KUID). I often push forward some episodes to expire later. I know that when it tells me a show will have to be deleted as soon as the next one in the To Do List is scheduled to record is telling me the TiVo would be full if I made this change and didn't allow it to make this other change.

That TiVo is never truly full because it isn't straightjacketed and can always offer to delete something else earlier in order to record something.

I don't need it to tell me there are 54 minutes free. It tells me what I need to know when I need to know it. I don't use it in ways that prevent it from determining the best way to accede to my wishes.

Just what does a FSI tell you that you need to know that you can't get already? I'm not talking the feel-good knowledge of knowing you have so much space free; what practical benefit do you gain? If there's enough space to record what you want to schedule, what do you care how much there is? If there's enough space, there's enough space. There's no reason to quantify it.

The only time the amount of free space should ever matter to you is if there's not enough to do what you're asking it to do. And it tells you that at that time already. More than that, it tells you how much is available in the future and how it will make more available for you at that time as it relates to what you're trying to do.

Quote:
I don't want... any other kind of time-consuming work-around.
Even if you do get a FSI that tells you exactly how many minutes of space you have available at the moment called "now" at various quality levels (or, in the case of DirecTiVo, best, worst, and average quality bitrates), you're still going to consume time trying to figure out how that relates to the contents of your To Do List for as much as two weeks of content to determine if you can record something. You're not saving yourself any work.

But if you just use expiry correctly, don't overuse/abuse S/KUID, don't let anything stay marked yellow that you care about, and absolutely don't let anything you want to keep get marked with a bang, you'll know everything you need to know to maintain your TiVo's content, and will be informed when you make adjustments when complying with them requires TiVo to make further adjustments and what those adjustments are.

I would have thought this subject settled long ago when a prominent FSI proponent practically argued in favor of even allowing such a FSI to display negative values (i.e. overscheduling)!
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Old 03-13-2002, 04:27 PM   #27
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Originally posted by HTH
But if you just use expiry correctly, don't overuse/abuse S/KUID, don't let anything stay marked yellow that you care about, and absolutely don't let anything you want to keep get marked with a bang, you'll know everything you need to know to maintain your TiVo's content, and will be informed when you make adjustments when complying with them requires TiVo to make further adjustments and what those adjustments are.
I couldn't agree with this more, though I could care less if FSI were added or not. A FSI would be useless to me because it will alway read full, and that's the way it should be. My TiVo always has the maximum number of choices possible for me in the Now Playing screen.

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Old 03-13-2002, 05:33 PM   #28
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How many people have not voted because an option to choose to deny the creation of a FSI wasn't offered?
I don't know. Not many who felt strongly enough about it to complain about its absense. I'd create another poll, but I imagine the moderators are quite understandably tired of the subject. And maybe the people who wanted a "NO I DON'T want it!" option were as well.
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And how many voters actually gave much thought to how they'd use such a quantified FSI and how useful it would be vs. those who would misinterpret its meaning?
I don't know that either. Without asking them all individually I don't know how you'd get an answer to that. As for the posters here, I don't think any great percentage of them would misinterpret a 'how much space you've got RIGHT NOW' indicator.
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Just what does a FSI tell you that you need to know that you can't get already? I'm not talking the feel-good knowledge of knowing you have so much space free; what practical benefit do you gain? If there's enough space to record what you want to schedule, what do you care how much there is? If there's enough space, there's enough space. There's no reason to quantify it.
I don't see anything wrong with 'feel good' knowledge, but I can understand why TiVo would wish to devote its development resources elsewhere (to folders, say). And while I think a plain free-space indicator would be useful on occasion, what I really want is this.
Quote:
The only time the amount of free space should ever matter to you is if there's not enough to do what you're asking it to do. And it tells you that at that time already. More than that, it tells you how much is available in the future and how it will make more available for you at that time as it relates to what you're trying to do.
Maybe I'm not sufficiently TiVO savvy yet and have missed something - not impossible.

A real-world scenario then. I'm going on vacation for a week and some, and my 118-hour SA TiVo is (how full? no idea, I suppose I could add up the shows in a spreadsheet) and a lot it is stuff I haven't watched yet and don't want to lose. There's another of TNN's ST:TNG marathons while we're gone and my wife wants to keep all of them, I wanna bump the 'keep' number of a dozen SPs from 3 to 5 and a half dozen from 5 to 'all', and set KUID on the few I and/or the wife really care about. I'm turning off suggestions, because I've been bit by the early-deletion bug and don't care to be again.

I've got a nice big TiVo, I guess it'll all fit... but where do I look and what all do I do to determine whether or not everything I want recorded and kept will (barring the heartbreak of signal loss) be there when I get back from vacation? I can't think of any way that doesn't involve lots of effort, but I'd be thrilled to find out I'm being stupid.
Quote:
Even if you do get a FSI that tells you exactly how many minutes of space you have available at the moment called "now" at various quality levels (or, in the case of DirecTiVo, best, worst, and average quality bitrates), you're still going to consume time trying to figure out how that relates to the contents of your To Do List for as much as two weeks of content to determine if you can record something. You're not saving yourself any work.
If I did it that way, no. But I want the TiVo to do all that for me and give me a graph. I know it's not ever going to be a high priority with TiVo, so I'm willing to write it myself once the development program gets going. I guess the reason I'm spending time arguing about it isn't to convince TiVo they have to give me one, or to convice you that you need one, but to convince you that even if you don't want one, I still do, and not just to feel good.
Quote:
I would have thought this subject settled long ago when a prominent FSI proponent practically argued in favor of even allowing such a FSI to display negative values (i.e. overscheduling)!
Now that's just silly.
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Old 03-13-2002, 06:31 PM   #29
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JPriller... you don't want a Free Space Indicator (at least not the classic "You have this amount free right now"). You (based on the chart you linked to) want to know when your Tivo will fill up (i.e., when will you start losing things).

Am I right?
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Old 03-13-2002, 06:42 PM   #30
JPriller
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Originally posted by BrettStah
JPriller... you don't want a Free Space Indicator (at least not the classic "You have this amount free right now"). You (based on the chart you linked to) want to know when your Tivo will fill up (i.e., when will you start losing things).

Am I right?
Correct. A pure free-space indicator would also be nice, but as HTH has correctly divined it'd be more of a feel-good thing. I want to be able to look at one thing in one spot, and be able to see fairly quickly when stuff I want to keep around is going to get zapped or when new stuff I want to get won't fit. My graph idea, an X-day-forecast of space usage, is my first approximation of that.

If you're about to tell me I can get all of that information now in some simple way I've overlooked, I'll gladly sit here while anyone who wants to calls me an idiot.
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