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Old 12-14-2012, 05:40 PM   #391
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In that scenario the server at your office is doing all the heavy lifting and storing all the data. If the server goes down you can't access your email. That's really no different then having a single 6 tuner DVR with extenders placed around the house. The DVR is the server and the extenders are your PC...
there's a crazy little checkbox in outlook when you set up exchange that handles getting disconnected from the server- it's called cached mode.

but apparently every software engineer Tivo employs (or outsourced to) was asleep in class the day they reviewed using a cache so i see why you assume they wouldn't do that.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:49 PM   #392
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For series 4 TiVos all the hooks are already available to build your own master scheduling system that pools multiple series 4 units together based on the RPC protocol (that iPad/Android systems use). In such a system you would not need any season passes or wishlists on the TiVos themselves, rather the master scheduler would have all the season pass and wishlist information and simply schedule 1 time recordings on available tuners to it. Not something I would be keen on working on but it is possible.
...

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Under my scenario there would be a non-TiVo box (PC) running the software and controlling everything. That way all the season passes, wishlists, etc. are independent of a TiVo and easily backed up. The TiVos themselves essentially become dumb clients storing shows to be watched.
I've often wondered why Tivo didn't just use their servers and the cloud to accomplish something along those lines. The boxes clearly are built for always on connections and removing a bit of the heavy lifting from the boxes might give them more freeboard on the devices to optimize things to cache some stuff to improve menu speed and deal with data interruptions.

Looking at some of the 'blended' things google does with their mobile client software and their own servers could give some inspiration. Google nav, gmail, voice recognition, etc all do the heavy lifting in the cloud but do some basic stuff on the device so it's generally seamless even on a mobile device with spotty connections.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:56 PM   #393
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there's a crazy little checkbox in outlook when you set up exchange that handles getting disconnected from the server- it's called cached mode.

but apparently every software engineer Tivo employs (or outsourced to) was asleep in class the day they reviewed using a cache so i see why you assume they wouldn't do that.
TiVo could cache the names and data of shows on remote TiVos, and I'm sure that would help speed up the process of aggregating all My Shows into a single list. However that doesn't help with scheduling or recording. Scheduling and recording happen on that specific TiVo and if the link between that TiVo and the host is broken, for whatever reason, the schedules may fall out of sync and cause the wrong show to record or something to get missed. This is not a simple host/server relationship like the email scenario you're describing. That's more like the TiVo/Mini relationship. The TiVo is the server and the Mini is the computer with the cached data. Cooperative scheduling amongst multiple TiVos is much, much more complicated then that.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:01 PM   #394
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I've often wondered why Tivo didn't just use their servers and the cloud to accomplish something along those lines. The boxes clearly are built for always on connections and removing a bit of the heavy lifting from the boxes might give them more freeboard on the devices to optimize things to cache some stuff to improve menu speed and deal with data interruptions.
Because it's so much easier, and more reliable, to simply build a box with more tuners. Relying on a network connection of any type, especially an internet connection, for time sensitive scheduling is just asking for trouble. From a support perspective it's so much simpler to just build a box with more tuners. Then if it fails it's always on the users end and relatively easy to diagnose.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:03 PM   #395
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It's soooo much easier to just consolidate all the tuners into a single box. Plus it's cheaper for the user because they only have to pay for one subscription and one CableCARD.

The only advantages of having multiple units are possible protection against failure, but I suspect that failure would be more common with such a system because there are so many variables involved.

Dan
Maybe Tivo should make an OTA box with 4 tuners then.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:08 PM   #396
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While being limited to a 2 tuner box because of OTA is a valid reason to "want" cooperative scheduling, it doesn't negate the difficulties in implementing it or make TiVo any more likely to do so. The market for OTA just isn't there to support a 4 tuner OTA only box. Maybe someday they'll release a box with 4-6 tuners that can support cable and OTA, like the current 2 tuner Premiere, but I just don't ever see them releasing a 4 tuner OTA only box and with the current hardware platform that would be the only way to do it.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:09 PM   #397
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TiVo could cache the names and data of shows on remote TiVos, and I'm sure that would help speed up the process of aggregating all My Shows into a single list. However that doesn't help with scheduling or recording. Scheduling and recording happen on that specific TiVo and if the link between that TiVo and the host is broken, for whatever reason, the schedules may fall out of sync and cause the wrong show to record or something to get missed. This is not a simple host/server relationship like the email scenario you're describing. That's more like the TiVo/Mini relationship. The TiVo is the server and the Mini is the computer with the cached data. Cooperative scheduling amongst multiple TiVos is much, much more complicated then that.

Dan

i'd agree- there's a big difference between host and server like exchange/outlook and something that's more peer to peerish like cooperative scheduling. But my point is hiccups in networking can be dealt with with caching or some other well thought out means.

I DO understand none of this is simple but just look at the work that volunteers in the community do and it's sad that tivo with paid resources can't get anything done in a timely manner. Tivo just doesn't seem to make a significant effort to "wow" anyone anymore (with DVR features at least)- And I realize it's just my perception but i'm certainly not alone in the feeling.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:18 PM   #398
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Because it's so much easier, and more reliable, to simply build a box with more tuners. Relying on a network connection of any type, especially an internet connection, for time sensitive scheduling is just asking for trouble. From a support perspective it's so much simpler to just build a box with more tuners. Then if it fails it's always on the users end and relatively easy to diagnose.

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blah blah blah (is my childish way of saying- Yeah I understand what you are sayiung and wouldn't disagree but i want a pony!- lol).

It's a lot simplier to call my grandmother on a wired analog phone too (if I could find one)- but i have a digital smart phone to do it and it gives me a bajillion more options and features compared to the 1970's analog corded phone technology.

So to be serious- while it would take some significant planning - it would open them to many more things if they were hooked in to the cloud more. Slingbox like features off the web (maybe they are afraid of...) , the ability to use multiple boxes behave as a hive as above, the sorts of things the tablet apps make possible, online backups of data, seemless moving from an old box to a new or moving to new locations, maybe they could even do online storage of people's archived content in the future, who knows what else....

So sure tivo is the best year 2000 techology dvr available at retail, I'd love for it to do more.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:19 PM   #399
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While being limited to a 2 tuner box because of OTA is a valid reason to "want" cooperative scheduling, it doesn't negate the difficulties in implementing it or make TiVo any more likely to do so. The market for OTA just isn't there to support a 4 tuner OTA only box. Maybe someday they'll release a box with 4-6 tuners that can support cable and OTA, like the current 2 tuner Premiere, but I just don't ever see them releasing a 4 tuner OTA only box and with the current hardware platform that would be the only way to do it.

Dan
is it possible that they could add external usb OTA tuners to a 2 tuner box? Maybe that's a solution for the OTA folks?
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:26 PM   #400
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In that scenario the server at your office is doing all the heavy lifting and storing all the data.
Not exactly I have a full mirrored copy in my laptop that is why it works seamlessly even on slow network connections I am always opening local files. When new email comes in I don't see it until it has actually download to my laptop. If something happens to my laptop I can access the exchange server from any of our company computers and everything is there exactly as it is on my laptop and if I am going to use another computer regularly I can set it up to mirror my exchange data also.
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If the server goes down you can't access your email.
mostly wrong the only thing I would not have access to is new email that I haven't received yet.

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That's really no different then having a single 6 tuner DVR with extenders placed around the house. The DVR is the server and the extenders are your PC.

Really think about what multiple TiVo cooperative scheduling would entail. The only way for scheduling to work properly would be to have one TiVo act as the central host, with the other TiVos acting as dumb tuners. What happens if the host goes offline or loses communication with one of the dumb tuners? TiVo's scheduling system is not real time, it would not be able to compensate for the loss of a tuner if it happened close to a scheduled recording.

It's not that such a system is impossible it's that it's so unreliable with so many points of failure it would be a nightmare to support. Moving all the tuners into a single box with dumb extenders around the house is a much easier system to manage. If one of the extenders goes offline or loses connection with the host then it does not effect recordings. And if the host goes offline then you're really no worse off then you would be if the host went offline in a cooperative system.

Now basic cooperation, such as offering to schedule a program on another TiVo if there is a known conflict or even aggregating the My Shows lists from all TiVos, would be possible and wouldn't negatively effect the user experience. So that sort of thing I could see happening. But a complete system where multiple TiVos act as one I just don't see happening.

Dan
Well there is allot to be said for simple and one box is simple but I would hope TiVo is thinking outside of the box . The area of a whole home DVR/Video delivery system needs some real innovation.

I actually think the best place for tuners is in a box of their own. Think about it with Wifi, Ethernet, USB, eSata, etc. what exactly is the "box" anyway?

If tuners were moved out of the DVR it would allow TiVo to support both cable and OTA equally, offer a flexible number of tuners, and maybe make it worth it to go to the FCC to force open the satellite systems one way or the other (a universal system or opening their own systems to third party devices).

I understand that component systems cost more than an all in one device but there is no reason TiVo couldn't provide a premium system along with more basic options.

P.S.: All also understand that what I wrote above is nothing more than a pipe dream. But sometimes dreaming is fun/good.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:19 PM   #401
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TiVo could cache the names and data of shows on remote TiVos, and I'm sure that would help speed up the process of aggregating all My Shows into a single list.
And if they would cache the program info and icons, then the Premiere would also not have to depend on the internet and their servers for most every move in the user interface, even just trying to watch programs YOU ALREADY RECORDED! This would GREATLY improve the user experience by improving speed, stopping hesitation, and improving reliability. But wishing won't make it happen
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:55 AM   #402
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Not exactly I have a full mirrored copy in my laptop that is why it works seamlessly even on slow network connections I am always opening local files.
Creating a completely mirrored copy of every show recorded isn't possible. It would require huge amounts of storage and some show couldn't even be transferred because of copy restrictions.

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mostly wrong the only thing I would not have access to is new email that I haven't received yet.
And in the case of email you'll still get that email later when the server comes back online. But in the case of a DVR you might miss a one time chance to record something because the TiVos couldn't communicate. The network between two TiVos would be much more critical then th connection between you and your email server because if the server goes down the email is still sitting out in the cloud somewhere and can be deleivered later.

External tuners might be a solution, but there still a possibility of them being removed at the last minute and the scheduling logic not being able to correct for the change.

The best solution is really to have one box that controls all the recording. I know it creates a single point of failure, but it's still safer then having multiple points of failure that could bring down the whole system. I still think that the one box + extenders is a better option thatnwill satisfy almst everyone and would be much easier to deelop and support.

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Old 12-15-2012, 02:56 AM   #403
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And if they would cache the program info and icons, then the Premiere would also not have to depend on the internet and their servers for most every move in the user interface, even just trying to watch programs YOU ALREADY RECORDED! This would GREATLY improve the user experience by improving speed, stopping hesitation, and improving reliability. But wishing won't make it happen
Well that's a different sort of caching, and something I completely agree with.

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Old 12-15-2012, 06:51 AM   #404
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Creating a completely mirrored copy of every show recorded isn't possible. It would require huge amounts of storage and some show couldn't even be transferred because of copy restrictions.


Dan
I think that Boxee is attempting to do just that. So, does Boxee just have more resources or something?
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:43 AM   #405
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http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2275

A number of Mini-related error code definitions were added to Tivo's support pages recently. In all the silence, I guess I find even the tiniest stuff amusing. Or I'm just impatiently searching for nuggets. Either/or.

---
V70 Error Code

Ineligible DVR Selected

You have selected a DVR that is not eligible to be a Host DVR for TiVo Mini for one of the following reasons:

It is not a Series 4 or newer model.
It does not have more than two tuners.
It has not made a recent connection to TiVo Service.
It is not on the same TiVo account as TiVo Mini.

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Old 12-16-2012, 12:23 PM   #406
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Well my patience grew thin waiting for the Mini to be released, so I took advantage of the recent sale. I bought a new 320GB Premiere with lifetime & 3 year warranty for $503.57 for my bedroom. I will use it to stream from XL4 in my living room & to watch live TV for the news. I will decide once the Mini is released if it will be worth it to sell the 320GB & sacrifice a tuner on my XL4.
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:03 PM   #407
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I think that Boxee is attempting to do just that. So, does Boxee just have more resources or something?
Is Boxee a DVR? i thought they were a streaming device. I don't really no anything about Boxee or what they are doing, so I can't comment directly. However i do know that if the CCI byte is set they are not allowed to copy programs between devices. It's a violation of the CableCARD rules and the device would never get approved by Cable Labs.

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Old 12-16-2012, 03:26 PM   #408
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Is Boxee a DVR? i thought they were a streaming device. I don't really no anything about Boxee or what they are doing, so I can't comment directly. However i do know that if the CCI byte is set they are not allowed to copy programs between devices. It's a violation of the CableCARD rules and the device would never get approved by Cable Labs.

Dan
From what I understand they are introducing an OTA networked DVR.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:19 PM   #409
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Creating a completely mirrored copy of every show recorded isn't possible. It would require huge amounts of storage and some show couldn't even be transferred because of copy restrictions.



And in the case of email you'll still get that email later when the server comes back online. But in the case of a DVR you might miss a one time chance to record something because the TiVos couldn't communicate. The network between two TiVos would be much more critical then th connection between you and your email server because if the server goes down the email is still sitting out in the cloud somewhere and can be deleivered later.

External tuners might be a solution, but there still a possibility of them being removed at the last minute and the scheduling logic not being able to correct for the change.

The best solution is really to have one box that controls all the recording. I know it creates a single point of failure, but it's still safer then having multiple points of failure that could bring down the whole system. I still think that the one box + extenders is a better option thatnwill satisfy almst everyone and would be much easier to deelop and support.

Dan
the boxes could cache their "marching orders" the tivo server doesn't need to speak to them every milli-second. (just like a master/slave dvr wouldn't need to be in non-stop communication with every box).

It's all hypothetical and tivo will never go there- but it's totally possible that tivo servers could run a job once a day to figure out what all the boxes in a particular houses should do for the next week or two. Each night when tivo recalculates the guide data they could put the boxes in line to recalculate each house and then send new marching orders.

If you went to go make a change locally then just like now the server would be contacted (to pick up pictures and info etc) but rather then think localy the box would prompt the server to re figure what to do on each client box.

sure one box can die or something, but if you spend hours figuring out how to spread things out yourself a box could die and mess up your plans too. If you saw it you could make a quick change and that would force a connection and new marching orders to be distributed- just like now if one box dies you scramble with your existing boxs to redo things.

As an example of a positive- such a server based system could let TiVo do things like know who has a particular live event scheduled and if there was a free tuner after- then if the game (or whatever) goes long the server could quickly just connect to the effected households and add minutes to the recording. To do that now- tivo has to send a notification to every single box for every single game and hope the box has free brain power at the moment to 'think about it' and try to add time if possible. Assuming that's anything like trying to reorder season passes in real time like in the old software- you might miss 5 minutes of one recording or another while a local box is trying to figure out what to do.

there's pluses and minuses to everything. Now it seems like tivo has figured out how to only leverage minuses (with local or server actions) and not leverage potential pluses (like local caching of one sort or another- or using a remote server to do some of the heavy lifting).
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:38 AM   #410
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From what I understand they are introducing an OTA networked DVR.
OTA can't be protected, cable can.

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Old 12-17-2012, 03:50 AM   #411
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the boxes could cache their "marching orders" the tivo server doesn't need to speak to them every milli-second. (just like a master/slave dvr wouldn't need to be in non-stop communication with every box).
I never said it was impossible. I said it would be much more difficult then people realize and that doing such a thing would create way more points of failure for the system then consolidating all the tuners into a single box. One user suggested that by spreading out the recordings among multiple boxes you'd be mitigating the damage caused by catastrophic failure. I was pointing out that by doing so you're creating more potential for minor failures that would be more frustrating to every day use. Networks are flaky. Sure the chances of completely missing a show are small if you schedule recordings ahead of time, but if the number of tuners available at any given moment can change due to network outages it can effect the scheduling logic and the user experience when they look at the To Do List or Recording History. In a perfect world such a system would work fine and would be seamless to the user. But when it comes to networking it's never perfect. And it's just so much simpler and less error prone to put all the tuners in one box and then stream the shows around the house via the network and dumb terminals like the Mini.

I understand that cooperative scheduling is entirely possible, I just disagree that it is something TiVo should even consider doing. A simple dialog that pops up when there is a conflict and offers to schedule a recording on an alternative TiVo... sure. A full blown system with a unified scheduler... no.

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Old 12-17-2012, 08:19 AM   #412
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Is Boxee a DVR? i thought they were a streaming device. I don't really no anything about Boxee or what they are doing, so I can't comment directly. However i do know that if the CCI byte is set they are not allowed to copy programs between devices. It's a violation of the CableCARD rules and the device would never get approved by Cable Labs.

Dan
I've had a BoxeeTV for several weeks. It's constantly uploading content from recordings to the cloud. It can get OTA and unencrypted QAM. Currently only OTA works with the DVR service. QAM can only be viewed live right now.(unless it changed recently.. I haven't checked it yet)

I have hundreds of episodes of shows, news, etc right now in the cloud. They don't make the organization of the recordings easy and in turn makes there no reason to delete anything since they supposedly offer you unlimited storage.

So far I have 454 recordings from my BoxeeTV in the cloud. Some 30 minutes long and some several hours long and everything in between.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:50 AM   #413
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the boxes could cache their "marching orders" the tivo server doesn't need to speak to them every milli-second. (just like a master/slave dvr wouldn't need to be in non-stop communication with every box).
The problem with that is that the marching orders should change if a TiVo goes offline. Unfortunately, the 'best' solution depends on whether the TiVo simply dropped off the network or if it's actually unable to record; and there's no way for the other TiVo's to know which is true.

I'll give a simplified example; assume 2 TiVos, each with 2 tuners. At 8pm there are 3 shows scheduled to record, both TiVos know this and know the recording priority A, B, C. Assume TiVo 1 is scheduled to record the two highest priority shows (A & B) while TiVo 2 picked up the spare (C)

Now at 7:55 the connection to TiVo 1 drops; what does TiVo 2 do?
It's got two basic options - stick with the old plan and hope TiVo 1 picks up the higher priority recordings or dump C to be sure A & B get recorded.

If TiVo 1 lost power, then arguably choice 2 is better. You get the two shows you've said are more important, at the expense of show C.

But if the network went down, but both TiVos were running you're probably going to be annoyed you got two copies of A and of B, but no recording of C.


And the network just going down while both TiVos are up isn't that crazy an situation if wifi is in the mix. At least as my house someone making popcorn in the microwave will kill the wifi temporarily. Oops.


You've also got the issue (although less likely to be time critical) of over-scheduling recordings on the TiVo while off-network. Although you could prevent this by refusing to schedule more recording than you have local tuners unless you can actively talk to the other TiVo to pass the extra along. (Although that just brings up a different user interface annoyance)


None of this is insolvable, but it all make this more complicated (and potentially more confusing to users) than a simple 1 master + several extenders setup.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:54 PM   #414
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starting to see more and more tivo mini references...


http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2494

look at the supported devices for the apps... tivo mini is listed for them
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:06 PM   #415
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Common already! I'm tired of waiting on this thing! I had decided to hold off on a bedroom tv in our new place until this thing came out. I'm starting to rethink that decision.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:58 PM   #416
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It's clear that cooperative scheduling between multiple TiVo's in a peer to peer fashion or a unfied NPL are NOT in TiVo's plans. They are very clearly moving to a master/slave configuration with a single TiVo Premiere 4 as the master and the TiVo Minis as the slave.

All the season passes, scheduling and recording is to be handled normally by the master TiVo, and the Mini's can only modify/play/delete those recordings and manage the season passes and scheduling through RPC.

I would have rather liked to see something like a unified NPL and tuner pooling, I'm fine with this approach as long as the Mini's are subscription free, and they release a newer model with beefier hardware, 4-6 tuners and built in TiVo Stream functionality.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:18 PM   #417
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This model makes sense. I, too, would like to see a 6 tuner model with built in Stream capability and the ability to run 2-3 Minis.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:23 PM   #418
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It's clear that cooperative scheduling between multiple TiVo's in a peer to peer fashion or a unfied NPL are NOT in TiVo's plans. They are very clearly moving to a master/slave configuration with a single TiVo Premiere 4 as the master and the TiVo Minis as the slave.

All the season passes, scheduling and recording is to be handled normally by the master TiVo, and the Mini's can only modify/play/delete those recordings and manage the season passes and scheduling through RPC.

I would have rather liked to see something like a unified NPL and tuner pooling, I'm fine with this approach as long as the Mini's are subscription free, and they release a newer model with beefier hardware, 4-6 tuners and built in TiVo Stream functionality.

I dont think so.. Based on Comments from Magaret on Twitter they are planning on collaborative playlists and scheduling. But it wasnt coming until the next Sprint Update
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:34 PM   #419
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The problem with that is that the marching orders should change if a TiVo goes offline. Unfortunately, the 'best' solution depends on whether the TiVo simply dropped off the network or if it's actually unable to record; and there's no way for the other TiVo's to know which is true.

I'll give a simplified example; assume 2 TiVos, each with 2 tuners. At 8pm there are 3 shows scheduled to record, both TiVos know this and know the recording priority A, B, C. Assume TiVo 1 is scheduled to record the two highest priority shows (A & B) while TiVo 2 picked up the spare (C)

Now at 7:55 the connection to TiVo 1 drops; what does TiVo 2 do?
It's got two basic options - stick with the old plan and hope TiVo 1 picks up the higher priority recordings or dump C to be sure A & B get recorded.

If TiVo 1 lost power, then arguably choice 2 is better. You get the two shows you've said are more important, at the expense of show C.

But if the network went down, but both TiVos were running you're probably going to be annoyed you got two copies of A and of B, but no recording of C.


And the network just going down while both TiVos are up isn't that crazy an situation if wifi is in the mix. At least as my house someone making popcorn in the microwave will kill the wifi temporarily. Oops.


You've also got the issue (although less likely to be time critical) of over-scheduling recordings on the TiVo while off-network. Although you could prevent this by refusing to schedule more recording than you have local tuners unless you can actively talk to the other TiVo to pass the extra along. (Although that just brings up a different user interface annoyance)


None of this is insolvable, but it all make this more complicated (and potentially more confusing to users) than a simple 1 master + several extenders setup.
Good example and the exact type of problem I was trying to explain. (yours was much more clear)

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Old 12-17-2012, 06:52 PM   #420
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I dont think so.. Based on Comments from Magaret on Twitter they are planning on collaborative playlists and scheduling. But it wasnt coming until the next Sprint Update
I got the impression more that they would like to do that, but technically it isn't something that could easily be added. It doesn't seem to fit their current design so it would require thinking the whole process.
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