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Old 01-07-2009, 02:17 AM   #1
TiVoPony
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Thumbs up Introducing TiVo Search!

Hi all!

Well, this is fun - I get to introduce you all to a new part of the TiVo Service. It's called TiVo Search, and it's a big step forward in finding and discovering new programs to watch.

Think of this as the next generation of search from TiVo - it's all in HD, and broadband and broadcast are integrated into a common interface. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

You'll find an all-new interface, completely redesigned in HD to give you more information quickly and easily. Search results take into account the popularity of programs and actors - type a single letter and you'll see the most popular matches listed first. HD airings and channels are given preference, it's simple to record your favorite shows in high definition. Graphics? There are actor photos, show photos, logos, movie posters...you're going to see a lot of graphics and images in the new interface. Find a favorite show - you can bring up all of the YouTube videos related to that program (it's like having DVD bonus features for everything on TV). Searching for that specific episode of a program? You can browse the new episode guide menu and choose to record just the episodes you want. You can even set up a Wishlist Search to record that episode the next time it airs. And lots of new ways to get recommendations of similar programs you might enjoy (notice that bar of images at the top of the screen? That's the discovery bar!).

There's a lot of new things to explore.

This is such a step forward that we want to get your feedback on it. So we're introducing TiVo Search as a beta feature. You'll find it listed under the Music, Photos & Showcases menu item on TiVo Central. We've set up two ways for you to share feedback with us. The first is via email (the first screen of TiVo Search gives you the details). The team here will be tracking those emails, it's a great way to get your feedback directly to the people building the product.

The other way is via the tivocommunity forum. TiVoCommunity has been a great resource for us over the years, and we've worked with them to add an additional forum area here specifically to discuss the new TiVo Search feature. This is the place to share your thoughts with other TiVo subscribers. Of course TiVo employees read the boards here as well, and I'm happy to be able to introduce a few new faces from TiVo - these are people deep in the development of this feature. Please give a welcome to TiVoPep, TiVoJerryG, TiVoAmber, and TiVoDataGuy (ok, TiVoDataGuy has been around for a long time...I'm pressing him back into regular service). Each has a different area of responsibility on the project - TiVoPep has a key UI role on the team, TiVoJerryG is the guy for general architecture, TiVoDataGuy for guide data and images and anything service related, and TiVoAmber and myself for general stuff (I own the roadmap - don't ask, I'm not telling).

We hope you'll enjoy TiVo Search and look forward to both your feedback and the discussions to come. Have fun!

Pony
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:55 AM   #2
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Very Nice idea this forum is. It is like I just joined TCF all over again. looking forward to seeing the search and talking details.
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:03 AM   #3
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A couple of additional notes -

The TiVo Search menus are all authored in high definition - they're designed to take advantage of the extra real estate HD screens afford. As a result the TiVo Search beta is only available to Series3 and TiVo HD DVR's. The Series2 DVR's cannot display high definition content, whether it's your favorite shows or the TiVo Search hi def menus.

TiVo Search also gains a lot of it's power via the TiVo Service. In order to use TiVo Search the service needs to be aware of some of the information on your box (for instance the items in your Now Playing List, or the thumb ratings you've given specific shows). As a result, you must have a privacy status of 'opt-in' to use TiVo Search. You can switch to opt-in status right on the box, you'll be prompted the first time you click on the TiVo Search menu item. If you choose not to change to opt-in you'll still have the original standard definition Swivel Search, but you won't be able to experience any of the shiny new features of TiVo Search. We don't use your personal information for any nefarious purposes, but TiVo Search does make use of that data up on our servers in providing you this feature.

And finally, TiVo Search is not compatible at this point with parental controls. If you're using parental controls you'll have to turn them off in order to access TiVo Search. There are some features within TiVo Search that allow the playback of programs, and without the ability to respect those parental control settings in this beta release we've chosen to err on the side of making them mutually exclusive. Otherwise we'd be offering a simple workaround to parental controls for those ingenious kids out there.

Cheers,
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:14 AM   #4
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Excellent work! Thanks for that. Here's Dave's take on things. Looking forward to using it!
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiVoPony View Post
The TiVo Search menus are all authored in high definition - they're designed to take advantage of the extra real estate HD screens afford. As a result the TiVo Search beta is only available to Series3 and TiVo HD DVR's.
If I tell my TiVoHD that I have a 4:3 smart screen TV and set output mode to Native, will I get the new TiVo Search? In what resolution?
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:33 AM   #6
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I have a TiVoHD, but it's hooked up to an old style, nonHD TV. I assume I still get access to these features.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:48 AM   #7
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Hello, everyone, and thanks, Pony, for the intro. I'm happy to be here, and I look forward to being part of some good, insightful discussion on the user interface design of TiVo Search.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:54 AM   #8
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Oh. My. God.

This sounds like it will be mind blowing. Can't wait to get home later to try it!

Thanks Pony!
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:50 PM   #9
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I think this is a excellent strategy for TiVo to introduce its new interface. There is a great opportunity to make this UI solid as part of the search engine prior to adapting the interface to other areas.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:48 PM   #10
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Pony,

Can you share any information regarding how the new search will eventually be integrated into the TiVo user interface? i.e. will it be a choice in the find programs menu or something like that?
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:58 PM   #11
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Just realized I haven't said hello yet... Thanks for the intro, Pony...

While I'm a new face here, I'm certainly not new to TiVo. According to MMA, I've been a TiVo Fanboy since I activated my original Lifetime Philips Series1 box back in early 2000. I don't know what took my a whole year from when the first TiVo box shipped until I got one for myself. While I sold that box to a friend, it's still up an running to this day (mod a few hard drive upgrades/replacements). Today, I have too many boxes at home to count, but most are attached to one TV.

I jumped when I had a chance to join the TiVo team, and now I've been working here just shy of 5 years. We have a great team of engineers that have been working their ***s off to develop this cool feature. I'm proud to be here representing all of them.

And, one more thing. Don't confuse me - "TiVoJerry*G*", with "TiVoJerry." I'm a developer and "the other Jerry" (as I call him) is our TiVo CS Engineer extraordinaire. You should see the confusion when we sit next to each other in meetings.

Have fun with TiVo Search!
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aindik View Post
If I tell my TiVoHD that I have a 4:3 smart screen TV and set output mode to Native, will I get the new TiVo Search? In what resolution?
Answering my own question, it outputs in 480i. Which it shouldn't, if the Settings UI is to be believed. The UI says 4:3 smart screen is "4:3 SD, 16:9 HD." This menu is HD, so it should be sent in its native resolution.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:50 PM   #13
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Hmm... "Please Wait..." for five minutes.

Second time it came up... slloooowwwww...
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:52 PM   #14
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And tried to make a seaon pass.. "An error occurred" with a bunch of code.

Guess I'll check back in a few months when this thing is ready...
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:09 PM   #15
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And tried to make a seaon pass.. "An error occurred" with a bunch of code.
Can you post what the "bunch of code" was? That would be helpful in trying to figure out what problem you're encountering.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:21 PM   #16
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Well I already cleared it and recreated it through normal search.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:30 PM   #17
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Ok went back, after 5 minuties of "Please wait" it dropped to live tv. Went back again, put in "Friday night lights", upcoming, arrow, get a season pass, options, first-run, record with these options.

It TOOK it. Now I have two, identical season passes. Does the TiVo Search not let you know if you already have a season pass? Or if there are conflicts?
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:06 AM   #18
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Tried several times tonight (9-10pm PST) and couldn't get in. I couldn't get into Netflix streaming either so looks like the HME server(s) must be down...
It was pretty obvious during Netflix launch that HME servers had capacity issues, so probably this addition and initial interest probably pushed servers to their limits again.

EDIT: Just tried launching Netflix again and this time actually got an error message instead of just endless Please Wait:
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:33 AM   #19
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Tried several times tonight (9-10pm PST) and couldn't get in. I couldn't get into Netflix streaming either so looks like the HME server(s) must be down...
It was pretty obvious during Netflix launch that HME servers had capacity issues, so probably this addition and initial interest probably pushed servers to their limits again.

EDIT: Just tried launching Netflix again and this time actually got an error message instead of just endless Please Wait:
Had the same problem last night...
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:37 AM   #20
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You don't, just got to Music Photos and More (or whatever) and you'll see it.
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:13 PM   #21
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A great addition to Tivo. I love the new search!
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:03 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiVoPony View Post
...As a result, you must have a privacy status of 'opt-in' to use TiVo Search. You can switch to opt-in status right on the box, you'll be prompted the first time you click on the TiVo Search menu item. If you choose not to change to opt-in you'll still have the original standard definition Swivel Search, but you won't be able to experience any of the shiny new features of TiVo Search. We don't use your personal information for any nefarious purposes, but TiVo Search does make use of that data up on our servers in providing you this feature.
...
Cheers,
Pony
I went to the Tivo Search Beta, but did not opt-in so it took me to Swivel search. My TV stayed in HD mode and swivel search displayed only on the left half of the screen and wrapped around itself on the left half of the screen when I searched on something. It probably should not have stayed in HD mode when going to Swivel search.
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Old 01-15-2009, 08:37 PM   #23
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Thread needs a stickum

The keey points made in this thread by TiVo employees need to be posted as a stickum.
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Old 01-15-2009, 09:50 PM   #24
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When trying to activate Tivo Search, the Tivo is telling me that my Parental Controls are on and that I need to turn them off. When I try to turn them off, Tivo indicates that I have KidZone activated, and that I can't use Parental Controls simultaneously with KidZone, so it does not let me turn any Parental Controls off. Is it possible my Tivo is incorrectly indicating that my Parental Controls are on? I definitely do have KidZone activated now.
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:00 PM   #25
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When trying to activate Tivo Search, the Tivo is telling me that my Parental Controls are on and that I need to turn them off. When I try to turn them off, Tivo indicates that I have KidZone activated, and that I can't use Parental Controls simultaneously with KidZone, so it does not let me turn any Parental Controls off. Is it possible my Tivo is incorrectly indicating that my Parental Controls are on? I definitely do have KidZone activated now.
Kid Zone must be Disabled for the Beta Search to function.

WARNING! If you disable KidZone (via the TiVo KidZone Menu Option 'Turn OFF TiVo KidZone') to play with the new search, all of your custom KidZone settings will be lost.

And remember to re-activate KidZone after you have played with the search... You had it on for a reason.
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:13 PM   #26
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Kid Zone must be Disabled for the Beta Search to function.

WARNING! If you disable KidZone (via the TiVo KidZone Menu Option 'Turn OFF TiVo KidZone') to play with the new search, all of your custom KidZone settings will be lost.

And remember to re-activate KidZone after you have played with the search... You had it on for a reason.
I'm using KidZone and TiVo Search works fine.
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:34 PM   #27
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Why do I have to turn off KidZone to use TiVo Search!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by soneil View Post
Kid Zone must be Disabled for the Beta Search to function.

WARNING! If you disable KidZone (via the TiVo KidZone Menu Option 'Turn OFF TiVo KidZone') to play with the new search, all of your custom KidZone settings will be lost.

And remember to re-activate KidZone after you have played with the search... You had it on for a reason.
I'm having the same problem with TiVo Search not working while KidZone is activated. I hope that's just some temporary glitch. KidZone is not the same thing as Parental Controls. With KidZone activated, if I'm not in the KidZone area I (the adult) should be able to use the TiVo Search feature.

Now, if I was in the KidZone area I would fully expect the TiVo Search to be disabled, but not when I'm outside of KidZone.

Is anyone else having this issue?

How do I get TiVo Search back without having to disable KidZone?
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:19 PM   #28
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One of these days maybe broadband will be useful to me, at home. Until then, I feel like I'm only getting a part of what I pay for with the TIVO. Not knocking all the things it does. Just saying that without broadband out here in the sticks, all these features are worthless to me, yet I pay the same.
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:31 AM   #29
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The criteria for related searches are incredibly loose. For example, when I searched for "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" and selected related items the following came up:

Bitter Moon - a contemporary drama about an American in Paris who falls in love with a young French woman...
Shadow of Fear: Harrison French's father-in-law is sick of footing the mortgage and his young wife is getting antsy....
Last Call: In a Sanyiago Chile apartment building a shady dealer and two American visitors await a phone call about a business transaction...
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (!)
The Brain Fitness Program (!)

This doesn't do us or the merchants any good.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:29 AM   #30
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Tried to use this for the first time in months this past weekend. Crashed after I scheduled one movie to record. Then I remembered why I stopped using it.

In my limited use, it's pretty, but not stable.
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