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Old 06-15-2012, 11:28 PM   #1
awax
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Longer Buffer

Does anyone know if TiVo ever plans to have a buffer longer than 30 minutes? The HR24 I had from DTV had something like 90 minutes. Heck, even the Series 2 DVR40 I had years ago could be "adjusted" to 90 minutes with no issues.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:08 AM   #2
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I ask for this whenever I see someone from TiVo. My ancient Comcast Pace DVR had a 2 hour buffer. I've never understood why TiVo doesn't make theirs longer, or at least give the user the option.
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:49 AM   #3
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I also don't understand the need for the longer buffer. The only reason would be if you sit down and decide to watch something that is in the buffer. But typically you should be recording that content anyway so there really isn't a need. I know in my use over the last eleven years it would be a very extremely rare situation for me to do this.
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:57 AM   #4
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I also don't understand the need for the longer buffer. The only reason would be if you sit down and decide to watch something that is in the buffer. But typically you should be recording that content anyway so there really isn't a need. I know in my use over the last eleven years it would be a very extremely rare situation for me to do this.
Agreed. If you are going to buffer for that long, you might as well record it.

The longer buffer was better when the storage space was smaller
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:32 AM   #5
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Depends on one's viewing habits. With my old DVR I would get up from the TV and go eat lunch or dinner and then come back and rewind to where I was. Or, I could pause the DVR and come back within an hour and continue watching. Just seems easier than going through the steps of recording and then finding it and getting back to where you were. I guess I'll have to adapt!

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I also don't understand the need for the longer buffer. The only reason would be if you sit down and decide to watch something that is in the buffer. But typically you should be recording that content anyway so there really isn't a need. I know in my use over the last eleven years it would be a very extremely rare situation for me to do this.

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Old 06-16-2012, 10:10 AM   #6
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Depends on one's viewing habits. With my old DVR I would get up from the TV and go eat lunch or dinner and then come back and rewind to where I was. Or, I could pause the DVR and come back within an hour and continue watching. Just seems easier than going through the steps of recording and then finding it and getting back to where you were. I guess I'll have to adapt!
I agree, I often pause the video and go on a walk to the store thats right near me.

I know I can hit record...but when you have a two hour buffer you could watch 6 hours of commercial free TV (if your getting 15 minutes worth of commercials each hour). With a 30 minute buffer you can only watch 1:30 minutes of commercial free TV.

When I was 13...god I feel old. I would pause on the Disney channel (they had only 10 minutes of commercials per hour) you could watch there channel all afternoon if you just let it buffer for two hours. That was with a Series 2 DVR.

I can also see why its irrelevant with the amount of storage a XL4 can have (480 hours personally) - I can't believe I still have full seasons of shows that started in september.
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:11 AM   #7
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Depends on one's viewing habits. With my old DVR I would get up from the TV and go eat lunch or dinner and then come back and rewind to where I was. Or, I could pause the DVR and come back within an hour and continue watching. Just seems easier than going through the steps of recording and then finding it and getting back to where you were. I guess I'll have to adapt!
Anything I might even consider watching I hit the record button. Just hit record and pause the program. You won't lose your spot. And the TiVo can stay paused for as long as you want. Hours, days, weeks, etc.
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:18 AM   #8
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Anything I might even consider watching I hit the record button. Just hit record and pause the program. You won't lose your spot. And the TiVo can stay paused for as long as you want. Hours, days, weeks, etc.
What if you want to watch more than just the current show on that channel? Its a hassel to hit record on the next 4 shows in the lineup if you just want to hit pause and go get your chore done.

Before I had a XL4 I used the extra tuner(s) to go to a channel I wanted to watch and would let it buffer up while I watch another program on live TV. Its because I didn't want to record the show, just watch TV without commercials.
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:31 AM   #9
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What if you want to watch more than just the current show on that channel? Its a hassel to hit record on the next 4 shows in the lineup if you just want to hit pause and go get your chore done.

Before I had a XL4 I used the extra tuner(s) to go to a channel I wanted to watch and would let it buffer up while I watch another program on live TV. Its because I didn't want to record the show, just watch TV without commercials.
I go to the guide and hit record. If there is ANYTHING I might be interested in, even if I'm sitting in front of the TV watching it, I ALWAYS record it. You never know if you will get interrupted, or how long you might be away. Or if you even want to continue watching it that day or ever. If it's recorded, it's there to watch later whenever you want. And if you never watch it you can delete it or let the TiVo delete it automatically.

Heck, you can even accidentally hit a channel number and you would then lose your buffer(if not recording) when it changes to the new channel.(Unless the new channel happens to be already on one of the other tuners)
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:23 AM   #10
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I really need a 90 minute buffer, i dont always check the guide when my wife and i leave the house, and quite often my wife will turn on the tv and will see a movie on the lifetime movie network that may of started an hour earlier that she wants to watch,so i always have to check the guide to see if they are showing it again.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:10 PM   #11
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There's a use case for a buffer option, no reason it can't be set for 4 hours.

You walk in, turn on the TV. A show you weren't recording is 2 hours long and you just came in during the last 15 minutes. This is one time that buffer would come in handy.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:17 PM   #12
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There's a use case for a buffer option, no reason it can't be set for 4 hours.

You walk in, turn on the TV. A show you weren't recording is 2 hours long and you just came in during the last 15 minutes. This is one time that buffer would come in handy.
This has happened to us many times.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:21 PM   #13
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I watch mostly news, and at unpredictable times. If there's a breaking story, I want to be able to go back in time more than 30 minutes. I shouldn't have to set up a Season Pass for every cable news show around the clock in order to do this.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:36 PM   #14
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I don't have a need for a longer buffer, for the most part, but I wonder if they could create a choice in the settings. Let you set your box for 30min, 60min, or 90min. It's probably not as easy as it sounds, though.

For me, I just set something to record if I'm not able to do a 'semi-live' with any given show/s. It seems like lengthening the buffer would just decrease the amount of available space, no? I could be wrong.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:38 PM   #15
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There's a use case for a buffer option, no reason it can't be set for 4 hours.

You walk in, turn on the TV. A show you weren't recording is 2 hours long and you just came in during the last 15 minutes. This is one time that buffer would come in handy.
That's a good point. One good thing about cable channels (I watch VERY little on network channels, outside of sitcoms and I have SPs for all the ones I like) is that there are usually additional airings.

When I have this happen I just search for another airing. But, sometimes I've not found one so it w/b kind of nice to have the choice to still pick it up in the middle.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:46 PM   #16
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It seems like lengthening the buffer would just decrease the amount of available space, no? I could be wrong.
Seems like it. A Premiere XL4 is quoted at 300 hours of HD recording. A 2 hour buffer would be less than 1% of that. I think I'd live.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:54 PM   #17
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Seems like it. A Premiere XL4 is quoted at 300 hours of HD recording. A 2 hour buffer would be less than 1% of that. I think I'd live.

Not that the percentage would be that much different--rounded up to 3%, in fact--but an XL4 would have a 2-hour buffer on each tuner, making a total of 8 hours we couldn't use for recordings. That said, if it were a user-selectable option I think it would be a good idea.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:59 PM   #18
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Good point, but having just a regular Premiere I only have the 320 hour hard drive. With HD channels I find that it's about 1% per half hour. so multiplied out times two tuners (in my case) a two hour buffer is 8% total.

Still not that much I suppose but I think the only way I'd want this to increase would be to have a setting choice with increments. I have a LOT of SPs, especially on my living room box, and sometimes I'm maxed out already with the combination of what is in 'my shows' and what is in 'to do'.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:36 PM   #19
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Depends on one's viewing habits. With my old DVR I would get up from the TV and go eat lunch or dinner and then come back and rewind to where I was. Or, I could pause the DVR and come back within an hour and continue watching. Just seems easier than going through the steps of recording and then finding it and getting back to where you were. I guess I'll have to adapt!
Easy solution: don't watch live TV. I haven't watched a "live" program in 12 years. There is absolutely no advantage to watching "live" TV, but there are quite a few disadvantages. If you have properly set up your TiVo, and there is something interesting on, the TiVo will record it. If it isn't interesting, why watch it?
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:38 PM   #20
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Not that the percentage would be that much different--rounded up to 3%, in fact--but an XL4 would have a 2-hour buffer on each tuner, making a total of 8 hours we couldn't use for recordings. That said, if it were a user-selectable option I think it would be a good idea.
I vote for an option to disable it. If the same option also allows one to increase the size of the buffer, I wouldn't complain.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:44 PM   #21
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There's a use case for a buffer option, no reason it can't be set for 4 hours.

You walk in, turn on the TV. A show you weren't recording is 2 hours long and you just came in during the last 15 minutes. This is one time that buffer would come in handy.
That's not a case for a buffer option. That is a case for the user to properly set up his TiVo. If it is a show in which you might be interested, then if the TiVo is properly configured, it will already be recording the show.

Note also the odds of such an event are vanishingly small. Out of perhaps 200 - 500 channels, the odds the two (four in the case of the elite) tuners being "inactive" but tuned to one of the top two most interesting programs out of the 200 or so available channels is typically less than 1%.
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:43 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by JoeTaxpayer
There's a use case for a buffer option, no reason it can't be set for 4 hours.

You walk in, turn on the TV. A show you weren't recording is 2 hours long and you just came in during the last 15 minutes. This is one time that buffer would come in handy.
I use the TiVO search and end up finding it on netflix or somewhere else. Or the TiVO is already recording the show. Since I enabled suggesstions on both my Elites, they are typically each recording four shows when I look at them. And I find the bulk of the suggestions it records are HD shows I would want to watch. Even the numerous Lifetime movies it records from suggestions.
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:51 PM   #23
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When I was 13...god I feel old. I would pause on the Disney channel ...
If the technology to pause live TV existed when you were 13, you are the opposite of old.
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Old 06-16-2012, 04:40 PM   #24
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Note also the odds of such an event are vanishingly small. Out of perhaps 200 - 500 channels, the odds the two (four in the case of the elite) tuners being "inactive" but tuned to one of the top two most interesting programs out of the 200 or so available channels is typically less than 1%.
For me, it's zero. I plan ahead, admittedly, a bit OCD.
Your 1% is incorrect. The tuners are not on random channels, they are on the last channel watched or recorded. And (not me) I'm sure someone turns the TV on (lifetime was an example one poster offered) with a channel with a show that grabs one's interest. This request is not at the top of my own wish list but I can see a case for it. That's all. To make my wife happy. Happy flows downstream....
By the way, this would seem a very minor SW update, the TiVo SW writers need to flip a few bytes and let them flow.
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Old 06-16-2012, 04:59 PM   #25
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I agree that a longer buffer would be useful. User adjustable (within reason) is probably best.

And I watch live TV all the time. I watch the news in the AM but do not record. I channel flip in bed at night for 15-30 min before I go to bed.

Bottom line...different users watch TV differently. TiVo allows that!
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:15 PM   #26
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[quote=rhettf;9139615]When I was 13...god I feel old. I would pause on the Disney channel ...QUOTE]

When I was 13 there was no Disney channel and there was no pausing TV. You couldn't even record anything. now THAT's old!
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:29 PM   #27
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My graduation gift from my parents was a Sony Betamax

I remember searching for blank videotapes and comparing the prices and trying to find out what was the best brand. Then VHS came along and I had a hard time budging over to that format. I never dreamed one day I would have a house full of Tivo's and all those tapes would be sitting in a landfill somewhere

I've always wished there was an option for a longer buffer on Tivo. With the size of hard drives now it wouldnt make such a big difference. Sometimes when I turn the TV on theres something on the news that I would like to be able to go back farther but cant.

I have noticed however, if the buffer on a Premiere is at around 40 - 45 minutes you can hit record and it will save all the way back to when the show began. I just noticed that recently. There must be a buffer to the buffer.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:13 PM   #28
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That's not a case for a buffer option. That is a case for the user to properly set up his TiVo. If it is a show in which you might be interested, then if the TiVo is properly configured, it will already be recording the show.

Note also the odds of such an event are vanishingly small. Out of perhaps 200 - 500 channels, the odds the two (four in the case of the elite) tuners being "inactive" but tuned to one of the top two most interesting programs out of the 200 or so available channels is typically less than 1%.
Just because a program isn't one of the top two or four "most interesting" (per whose definition?) doesn't mean I don't have an interest in viewing it from an earlier point in time. Also, since they fixed the commercial downloading that was present in my S2, the tuners no longer switch to some bizarre channel in the middle of the night - they're typically on channels that I already watch, not tuned randomly across 200-500 channels.

I like a lot of what TiVo does, but you seem to be saying that TiVo's algorithm is so good it can read my mind. Better yet, it can anticipate the contents of a program like a news report where a story may have little or nothing to do with the program's title or generic content description. I'd say you're drinking the Kool-Aid, but I don't think even TiVo is serving that.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:52 PM   #29
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The question originally posted was not "let me tell you why I need a longer buffer, so you can tell my why I don't".

It was...
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Does anyone know if TiVo ever plans to have a buffer longer than 30 minutes? The HR24 I had from DTV had something like 90 minutes. Heck, even the Series 2 DVR40 I had years ago could be "adjusted" to 90 minutes with no issues.

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Old 06-16-2012, 10:57 PM   #30
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I've always wished there was an option for a longer buffer on Tivo. With the size of hard drives now it wouldnt make such a big difference. Sometimes when I turn the TV on theres something on the news that I would like to be able to go back farther but cant.
I haven't had that many occasions where I wished I had a longer buffer.
I don't think TiVo will ever change it because they want to be able to advertise a set number in the hours of recording capacity.
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I have noticed however, if the buffer on a Premiere is at around 40 - 45 minutes you can hit record and it will save all the way back to when the show began. I just noticed that recently. There must be a buffer to the buffer.
From what I have read, this is because the Tivo records live TV in blocks of a certain memory size that is always longer than 30 minutes. When you hit record, the Tivo saves everything that was in that memory block.
The amount of extra programming saved depends on the source.
For example, you might only catch an extra 10 minutes with HD, while an SD channel will have the entire recording.
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The question originally posted was not "let me tell you why I need a longer buffer, so you can tell my why I don't".

It was...
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