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Old 06-22-2013, 07:09 AM   #1
Emacee
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Thumbs down Slate: Tivo Inferior to European DVRs

You got to see this. No live padding in Europe. The DVRs know when shows actually start and actually end.

Quote:
Why Do Americans Have the Worst DVRs?

Our digital recorders cut off the last minutes of sporting events and our favorite shows. That doesn’t happen in Europe.

www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2013/06/accurate_recording_the_one_amazing_feature_that_makes_europe an_dvrs_so_much.html
No clipping either because broadcasters don't follow the scheduled times and try to make programs run together - starting them 30 seconds early or ending them 40 seconds late.

Key Points: European countries have an embedded signal saying what program is on. Tivo's can use that signal to start and end recordings on time. US networks don't want us to have this for some reason.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:59 AM   #2
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As the article points out (and plenty of experience with networks screwing around with start/end times show), the US-based content providers don't want DVRs to work great. They would prefer that DVRs never existed, for obvious reasons, so anything they can do (or not do) to make them painful to use is a good thing.
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:46 AM   #3
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Slate: TiVo’s vice president of product marketing Jim Denney: "We don't have a whole lot of people saying, 'My God, I wish we could do this.'"
The same thing can be said about a DVR without a service fee. An unencrypted signal with the live event content information would be great as it could also allow automatic recording using a keyword or phrase with no need for a service fee.

I just wish TiVo Inc. would market a DVR that has a high one time cost (but less than the lifetime charge) that has only manual VCR-like recording with no guide. As long as there is little demand, and as long as people are willing to pay up to nearly $1000 for a single TiVo (sometimes over $1000 with the monthly service fee), it is not going to happen.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:28 AM   #4
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I'm with slowbiscuit on this one. Once American providers realized that they could screw your DVR's functionality just by providing false info they would be all over it. Discovery and CNN are already doing a pretty good job in that regard by deliberately providing no episode info on reruns or marathons of some of their shows, defeating First Run Only SPs.

Let's say FOX (for example) decided to keep your DVR from switching to ABC at 8:00pm for Body of Proof. Send a fake signal claiming that you're running 2 minutes late and voila, no Jeri Ryan or Dana Delaney for you.

It would take new regulations, constant monitoring, and massive fines to prevent that. Can anyone really see the FCC pulling that off?

I'll stay "inferior", thank you very much.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:50 AM   #5
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Let's say FOX (for example) decided to keep your DVR from switching to ABC at 8:00pm for Body of Proof. Send a fake signal claiming that you're running 2 minutes late and voila, no Jeri Ryan or Dana Delaney for you.
If your DVR is trying to switch at 8:00PM for "Body of Proof", then ABC is sending out the wrong signal since that is at least an hour early (2 hours in the East). Not to mention that the final new episode has already aired.

How exactly does this relate to the comparative quality of European and U.S. DVRs? Josh Levin is an idiot.
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:52 PM   #6
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How exactly does this relate to the comparative quality of European and U.S. DVRs? Josh Levin is an idiot.
The analogy used for comparison was hiring someone to cut your lawn and having to specify up front how long it will take, and having a partially cut lawn, if the time you estimated isn't enough. He's not talking about the quality of the recordings. He's talking about the inability to obtain complete recordings for some shows, particularity live sports events.
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Old 06-22-2013, 01:20 PM   #7
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The analogy used for comparison was hiring someone to cut your lawn and having to specify up front how long it will take, and having a partially cut lawn, if the time you estimated isn't enough. He's not talking about the quality of the recordings. He's talking about the inability to obtain complete recordings for some shows, particularity live sports events.
*Sigh* So U.S. DVRs are inferior because they can't utilize information that isn't available in the U.S.? The analogy would be if you wanted me to tell you how much it would cost and how long it would take based on a certain size and configuration of your lawn and it was actually larger than you told me it was. "What do you mean, you're not sure where the property line is so I have to mow what may be on someone else's property?"

I have a TV in storage that could display the information embedded in the signal supplied by the station - start time, run time, program name, episode name, etc. It was rarely complete or accurate.
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
If your DVR is trying to switch at 8:00PM for "Body of Proof", then ABC is sending out the wrong signal since that is at least an hour early (2 hours in the East). Not to mention that the final new episode has already aired.
I was just making up an example and I've been TiVo-ized so long that I could care less what night or time it airs, but if I missed an episode I'd be miffed.

Broadcasters here wouldn't even blink before gaming a system like that. In Europe with (mostly) commercial-free TV it's probably a different playing field. Is anyone else out there with a "First Run Only" Season Pass to Mythbusters or Deadliest Catch sick of deleting 20 reruns a week from the To Do List?

I'm not saying that TiVo couldn't do a MUCH better job of handling last-minute changes due to sporting events or news specials, but letting the broadcasters control the system would be a cluster f***.
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:07 PM   #9
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I was just making up an example and I've been TiVo-ized so long that I could care less what night or time it airs, but if I missed an episode I'd be miffed.

Broadcasters here wouldn't even blink before gaming a system like that. In Europe with (mostly) commercial-free TV it's probably a different playing field. Is anyone else out there with a "First Run Only" Season Pass to Mythbusters or Deadliest Catch sick of deleting 20 reruns a week from the To Do List?

I'm not saying that TiVo couldn't do a MUCH better job of handling last-minute changes due to sporting events or news specials, but letting the broadcasters control the system would be a cluster f***.
If you follow the “accurate recording,” link and read that article, you'll discover that it isn't quite as great as Mr. Levin would have you believe. Plus he seems only concerned with missing the ends of sporting events,not the beginning and ends of regular shows. And even he admits in the actual article that U.S. DVRs could do it if the data was available but that U.S. providers have no plans to provide it.

I reiterate, calling U.S. DVRs "inferior" based on this is idiotic.
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:49 PM   #10
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NBC and Comedy Central are two great examples of networks who refuse to start and stop their shows on time. They obviously know it's a problem for DVR users and they do it anyway. Considering NBC's ratings lately, you would think they might rethink this strategy.
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:50 PM   #11
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my local abc station starts their local news at 3:57 p.m. instead of 4:00 p.m. everyday. TIVO NEEDS TO LET US START OUR RECORDINGS EARLIER!!! and not just let us recorder our programs later!!!,Becaus i always miss the first 3 minutes of the local news and i'm tired of clipping a lot of my primetime shows!!
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by celtic pride View Post
my local abc station starts their local news at 3:57 p.m. instead of 4:00 p.m. everyday. TIVO NEEDS TO LET US START OUR RECORDINGS EARLIER!!! and not just let us recorder our programs later!!!,Becaus i always miss the first 3 minutes of the local news and i'm tired of clipping a lot of my primetime shows!!
You can start a show earlier and/or later now
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:09 PM   #13
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NBC and Comedy Central are two great examples of networks who refuse to start and stop their shows on time...Considering NBC's ratings lately, you would think they might rethink this strategy.
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Originally Posted by celtic pride View Post
my local abc station starts their local news at 3:57 p.m. instead of 4:00 p.m. everyday...
Yes, this is a strategy of the TV stations, but it is not to foil us TiVo users. Starting the news early is a way of keeping people from changing channels, because they have got you hooked. Same with other programs, start early, and they hook you in. It is a ratings game, plain and simple. Why do you think there are all the teasers right before a program starts?
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:31 AM   #14
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my local abc station starts their local news at 3:57 p.m. instead of 4:00 p.m. everyday. TIVO NEEDS TO LET US START OUR RECORDINGS EARLIER!!! and not just let us recorder our programs later!!!,Becaus i always miss the first 3 minutes of the local news and i'm tired of clipping a lot of my primetime shows!!
You can start a recording up to 5 minutes early. TIVOS HAVE HAD THAT ABILITY FOR A LONG TIME!!!!!!!

The next time you consider "shouting" in a post, I suggest you know what you are shouting about.
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:50 AM   #15
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Heck, I think the pad option was something available since the series 1 - it might not have been in the very first version, but it's been around for at least over a decade now.

Anyhow, the best thing stations have done to screw DVR users over has been to back-to-back programs. Where the ending of one program is followed by the beginning of the next with zero ads in-between. So you're always cutting a show off somewhere. And it keeps the ads from being a convenient cut point.

I notice cable channels like Discovery and History do it, but the networks don't, for now...
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:51 PM   #16
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Sometimes the networks play games with the start/end time to get commercials to be counted in the more highly rated program. The cost of a commercial is tied to the ratings of the program it is in.

But the bottom line is that the networks are incentivized to make life difficult for DVR owners, who do evil things like skip commercials and make all their scheduling strategies irrrelevant.
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:36 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Emacee View Post
You got to see this. No live padding in Europe. The DVRs know when shows actually start and actually end.
Just to be picky, the article is about DVRs in general, and the difference between Europe and the US. Not TiVo. So why would you say "Tivo inferior" rather than DVRs inferior? Not a big deal, but it is a misleading subject line.

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Originally Posted by celtic pride View Post
my local abc station starts their local news at 3:57 p.m. instead of 4:00 p.m. everyday. TIVO NEEDS TO LET US START OUR RECORDINGS EARLIER!!! and not just let us recorder our programs later!!!,Becaus i always miss the first 3 minutes of the local news and i'm tired of clipping a lot of my primetime shows!!
As many others have pointed out, this is a commonly used feature of TiVo's, and has been present for well over a decade. You seriously didn't know this existed?
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:03 PM   #18
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Just to be picky, the article is about DVRs in general, and the difference between Europe and the US. Not TiVo. So why would you say "Tivo inferior" rather than DVRs inferior? Not a big deal, but it is a misleading subject line.
Why? because this is a Tivo centric forum (check the URL if in doubt) and Tivos are just a subset of U.S. dvr's and are not specifically excluded from being inferior.
What say is misleading is the title of the article because the article is really about how U.S. broadcasters don't use the real time start/end flagging used in other countries and not about the quality of U.S. dvr's.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:05 PM   #19
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Why? because this is a Tivo centric forum (check the URL if in doubt) and Tivos are just a subset of U.S. dvr's and are not specifically excluded from being inferior.
I agree, it's a sensationalist headline. It's true of all US DVRs. Is it true of all TiVos?
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:09 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by celtic pride View Post
my local abc station starts their local news at 3:57 p.m. instead of 4:00 p.m. everyday. TIVO NEEDS TO LET US START OUR RECORDINGS EARLIER!!! and not just let us recorder our programs later!!!,Becaus i always miss the first 3 minutes of the local news and i'm tired of clipping a lot of my primetime shows!!
This feature has been available for many many years but even before it was available you could set up a repeating manual recording that starts at 3:55, so there was never a reason to think you had to miss the first 3 minutes every day.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:05 PM   #21
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Heck, I think the pad option was something available since the series 1 - it might not have been in the very first version, but it's been around for at least over a decade now.

Anyhow, the best thing stations have done to screw DVR users over has been to back-to-back programs. Where the ending of one program is followed by the beginning of the next with zero ads in-between. So you're always cutting a show off somewhere. And it keeps the ads from being a convenient cut point.

I notice cable channels like Discovery and History do it, but the networks don't, for now...
Unfortunately, the Networks do "DO THIS". How? By continuing the show while the credits roll. I've complained about it here:

When the credits roll on a TV show...
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:51 AM   #22
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Unfortunately, the Networks do "DO THIS". How? By continuing the show while the credits roll. I've complained about it here:

When the credits roll on a TV show...
Well, that's slightly different. The networks usually put in a couple of ads between the end of one show (after the credits are over) and the start of the next, so the DVR has a nice cut-point. But Discovery and History butt the shows together so you always cut one end off.

Anyhow, show-over-credits is probably at odds with running trailers and followups and ads - if a show does this, the network can't stick an ad while the credits roll. Especially one in-between the show ending and the next week preview.

Then again, the only network TV I watch is CBS and FOX, and the shows I do watch don't do this...
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:37 AM   #23
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Well, that's slightly different. The networks usually put in a couple of ads between the end of one show (after the credits are over) and the start of the next, so the DVR has a nice cut-point. But Discovery and History butt the shows together so you always cut one end off.

Anyhow, show-over-credits is probably at odds with running trailers and followups and ads - if a show does this, the network can't stick an ad while the credits roll. Especially one in-between the show ending and the next week preview.

Then again, the only network TV I watch is CBS and FOX, and the shows I do watch don't do this...
I can't recall ads between the network shows I watch. The credits go right into the next show routinely, causing problems with catching the end of one show and/or the start of the next.
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:38 PM   #24
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I can't recall ads between the network shows I watch. The credits go right into the next show routinely, causing problems with catching the end of one show and/or the start of the next.
PRecisely what I meant.

Lots of shows do this.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:23 PM   #25
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You can start a recording up to 5 minutes early.
Arbitrarily limiting padding to a fixed list of numbers is pretty stupid, though.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:25 PM   #26
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Slate: Tivo Inferior to European DVRs
Thread title fail, the issue is not Tivo, but US broadcasting that's the core issue, and yes I read the article, which has a much more accurate title of "Why Do Americans Have the Worst DVRs?"
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:26 PM   #27
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Arbitrarily limiting padding to a fixed list of numbers is pretty stupid, though.
How so?

If you could pad the beginning of a recording by as much as 24 hours in 30 second increments, it would still be an arbitrary limit. How could it be done in a non-arbitrary way?
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:18 PM   #28
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If you could pad the beginning of a recording by as much as 24 hours in 30 second increments, it would still be an arbitrary limit. How could it be done in a non-arbitrary way?
You specify minutes by having a keypad (without letters, obviously) with a fillable field, just like wishlists have for specifying words in show titles. If you want 5 minutes, just click on "5" and finish. For 43 minutes, click "4", then "3", then finish. 2160 minutes? Click ... you get the idea.

I don't know why you'd want exactly 43 minutes of padding, but I see no reason to limit you only to padding I think is useful. I, after all, cannot imagine every user's use case.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:18 PM   #29
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I just wish TiVo Inc. would market a DVR that has a high one time cost (but less than the lifetime charge) that has only manual VCR-like recording with no guide. As long as there is little demand, and as long as people are willing to pay up to nearly $1000 for a single TiVo (sometimes over $1000 with the monthly service fee), it is not going to happen.
Tivo Basic was the closest anybody's ever come to that.

Plus, why do you want it to be from Tivo if you want to do the recording yourself? Why not just use Windows Media Center and a CETON cablecard tuner, or (???) something similar on Linux?

(I can't believe I recommended something on Windows!)

BTW, I'm someone who originally wanted to use my S1 subscriptionless. Up until analog cable went away, I used my Toshiba XS32 as a "digital VCR" for conflicts. (I still use it basically every day to dub stuff FROM my Tivo and watch faster than realtime.. I wish the Tivo app would let me watch stuff faster than realtime with sound, then I would have to do less dubbing.)..

But I realized I liked the service, even though there are tons of things I'd improve.. it "sucks less" than everything else I've seen, however.

I *still* agree with you that a reasonable "manual VCR like recorder" would be a good thing to have, though (1) I don't think it would sell well, and (2) would be even harder to do with the cablecard regulations (security of recordings and such).
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:52 AM   #30
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I just wish TiVo Inc. would market a DVR that has a high one time cost (but less than the lifetime charge) that has only manual VCR-like recording with no guide. As long as there is little demand, and as long as people are willing to pay up to nearly $1000 for a single TiVo (sometimes over $1000 with the monthly service fee), it is not going to happen.
No need for Tivo to make a product like that. There are several products already out there that can do that and/or use PSIP data for scheduling. Go to AVS Forum and look at the HD Recorders forum to find out about them. They're usually pretty cheap and require an EHD. But there are people out there who use them and like them.
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