Clock offset(+/-) option

Discussion in 'TiVo Suggestion Avenue' started by worachj, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Sep 3, 2014 #1 of 15
    worachj

    worachj Well-Known Member

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    All the show start times are delayed by my cable company and are 10 seconds behind TiVo’s clock. The 10 second delay requires me to pad every show to catch the last seconds.

    It would be nice to have a user defined clock offset (+/-) option so that it could be used to advance or delay TiVo’s clock. That way I wouldn’t need to pad every show to catch the last seconds of programs and it would free up tuners because of less program overlaps.

    The clock offset option would allow me to sync TiVo’s clock with the cable companies start times.
     
  2. Sep 3, 2014 #2 of 15
    bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    The biggest problem is that it isn't ALL the programs are delayed, but it is a few key programs that seem to be intentionally delayed.

    They like to do this on their big shows - like the The Big Bang Theory on CBS, they swing back for a punchline at the last possible programming second and I am convinced it is designed to defeat DVR's! :) (And to keep you on the channel to watch the next show in queue)

    When I notice a problem in a Season Pass, I add a minute - but it is annoying.

    Would I use a global offset? I don't know, I have six tuners so I probably wouldn't have a large number overlap conflicts. It would have been death on a 2 tuner TiVo.
     
  3. Sep 3, 2014 #3 of 15
    worachj

    worachj Well-Known Member

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    On my cable system ALL programs are delayed, so in my case the clock offset would make a huge improvement. Padding should only be needed for shows that have unexpected end times, not every show recorded.
     
  4. Sep 3, 2014 #4 of 15
    telemark

    telemark Active Member

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    I agree, it's be nice if the clock offset were corrected.

    I suspect it's caused by 2 round trips to satellites and the multiplexer compression.

    The only problem I know of in doing so, is I get three different delays, depending on which/what kind of channel, OTA (ATSC), OTA over Cable, or Cable channel... But something in the middle would still be better than the current state of affairs.
     
  5. Sep 4, 2014 #5 of 15
    EvilMidniteBombr

    EvilMidniteBombr what bomz at midnite

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    Possibly a better option would be to add a 15 & 30 second padding options to the Season Pass.
     
  6. Sep 4, 2014 #6 of 15
    nooneuknow

    nooneuknow Well-Known Dismembered Member (Lurk Mode On)

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    I've been begging for the ability to do this. Often, all I need is 5 seconds at the end of some problem programs.

    I was doing fine with the function that didn't require more tuners in order to have overlap, and just padded a minute begin/end each. Then TiVo turned it off and I had to unpad them all again. I am aware it was a big issue for some people.

    Padding in increments less than 1 minute would do fine for me. I think TiVo's code is too set in its ways, and they are having trouble changing things without starting over...
     
  7. Sep 4, 2014 #7 of 15
    worachj

    worachj Well-Known Member

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    By syncing the clocks NO padding is needed, everything is recorded as intended. The last 10 seconds will not be missing. Time sync eliminates the need to pad everything that's recorded.

    Padding should only be needed for shows that have unexpected endings, like sports or live events.
     
  8. Sep 4, 2014 #8 of 15
    nooneuknow

    nooneuknow Well-Known Dismembered Member (Lurk Mode On)

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    As others have stated before, this is not "one size fits all", because like the others, I have plenty of shows that record exactly how I want them to, with no padding, and I don't even get the end of the last show, or the beginning of the next in them. Moving the TiVo clock would break those that work for me.

    < 1 minute padding, or bringing back the feature that could pad recordings without requiring more tuners, is what I need. I'm not alone.

    Just because you have some perfectly synced provider, as you imply, and what's off is the TiVo clock, doesn't make what helps you something that will help everybody else.

    Part of what keeps the TiVo ecosystem protected is the RTC, and TiVo might jeopardize the security of their system if they start adding user-controllable ways to adjust the clock. If not for this, I'd say "Fine add both options, and we will all be happy".

    My TiVo logs are loaded with errors about the time/stream sync being corrupted. The source: low bitrate music channels I tune to to lessen the workload of my hard drives. The TiVo expects a certain bitrate, but it's not getting it, throwing a flood of warning, danger, corrupted, errors in the logs, while the channels it says that about work just fine. It just gets wonky if I try to rewind them too far in the buffer (past 30 minutes), without pressing record first.

    Given that "timing is everything", I think hell will freeze over before TiVo gives users any control of the clock. They might try to sync better from their end, but never something where I could set TiVo A to +1 and TiVo B to -1, and leave TiVo C as-is, which would be "the small picture". Think about "the big picture".

    Even the freaking logs are in GMT, making it a nightmare to pinpoint things.

    Talk about nightmares, what would TiVo's precious analytics do if all TiVo users could bump their clocks +/- 1 or leave them be.

    As great as this idea sounds, in theory, and conceptual, to a user, it would probably take down the TiVo service if left to the users. It has to be controlled by TiVo, and the best they can try for is better accuracy for all.
     
  9. Sep 4, 2014 #9 of 15
    bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    I agree with nooneyouknow - but I want to add.

    What is happening isn't a clock shift issue... It is a tendency of programmers to run the current program into the next time slot to keep viewers on that channel for the next program.

    Back in the day there was a defined 4 minutes and 4 seconds between programming. Enough for two full commercials or multiple shorter commercials. What programmers discovered is people would use that time to channel surf and they would loose people between a popular show and something they were trying to build market share with.

    Now, they have pushed that even further, (Friends started this) by putting the final punch line into the first 10 seconds of the next shows time slot.

    Some of the third tier channels are offset by a full minute or more. No single setting is going to fix this.

    We have the benefit now of more tuners, I would like more fine grained padding available by the 1/4 minute should be acceptable. 15, 30, 45, 1, 5, 10' etc...
     
  10. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow Well-Known Dismembered Member (Lurk Mode On)

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    Playing devil's advocate here: Suppose it's possible that worachj's situation is as described, in his case. TiVo should be able to try to correct it, from their end, if they can be sure it's going to bring all TiVos in that market closer to being accurate. [/end devil's advocate] If they determine it's not a market condition, they won't have any incentive to do anything about it. That only leaves the options he refuses to accept. But, TiVo would be right not to make any changes regarding the clock.

    I agree that many networks are "gaming" DVR users. It's worse if the DVR isn't synced by the cable provider, and the guide data isn't slotted by the cable provider. Remember that TiVo has to do things "outside the box", since they are denied access to some of what the cablecard would provide, if it was in a leased box. MSOs can keep their box's clocks accurate, and can change the program slotting on the fly, adjusting for what TiVo users have to pad for.

    Discovery and affiliates are some of the worst for intentionally messing with what they provide to Tribune, who provides retail DVR guide data, and does not update on the fly. Some networks can somehow run all the programs you don't care about, in their allotted time slot. Yet, your favorite programs are cut short, and you miss the part that turns the ending on it's head. This has to be deliberate.

    I'm starting to cancel my SPs on Discovery and affiliates, as they do things like run marathons of "How it's Made" and "How Do They Do It", and make sure the guide data tricks the DVRs, especially TiVos, into recording repeats, on a FRO SP. If you don't push these to the very bottom of your SPL, you could miss something you actually want to watch, due to a conflict that wasn't there the last time you checked.

    I recorded The Simpson's FXX marathon in SD (which I think is still going on). I kept checking for conflicts, and seeing none, yet I missed about a dozen episodes due to conflicts that did not flag as conflicts. While I really could care less about The Simpsons, and just figured someday I might give it another try, I'm still angered by my TiVo not showing any conflicts. I did note that the episodes were suffering from being clipped at the ends, but the end would be on the next ep beginning, and too short for a 1 minute pad to not shift the problem the other direction.

    I record enough on TNT, FX, FXX, and USA to know that some programs will always be clipped at those last critical seconds, while others will not. That's not the TiVo clock, and falls perfectly in line with what you describe and how you see it as.
     
  11. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    not to make light of the op's frustrations, but i read this and similar posts with confusion - i'm always amazed by the accuracy of the timing of my tivo. sure, there will always be an exception or two that i have to pad by a minute, but this is very rare, and can usually be traced back to network scheduling, not tivo timing.

    take bbca for example - no matter what show is recording or when, it always starts and ends during the credits, each and every time, never an exception - i find this amazingly consistent.

    i would be in touch with tivo and my service provider to get this fixed asap if it were happening to me daily.
     
  12. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow Well-Known Dismembered Member (Lurk Mode On)

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    I agree. I just didn't want to (be the one to) say "there's nothing wrong with the TiVo clock".

    Any amount it might off by, likely due to latency, is likely to be off everywhere, on every TiVo. If I knew exactly how TiVo keeps their clock set (possibly a number of ways, combined), I could expand further.

    I always found it amazing how computers are the worst at keeping time, even between syncing intervals, while one of the best devices at keeping time is a simple old-school clock-radio alarm clock. How do they keep their time? They use the 60hz cycle of the power grid as the heartbeat for the clock. Apparently, the electrical grid is that reliable, in that regard.
     
  13. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow Well-Known Dismembered Member (Lurk Mode On)

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    I was looking at my TiVo logs and kept finding instances of recordings "started late" anywhere from under 500ms to over 1000ms (the latter meaning 1 second, or more). That sounds more like something easily perceived as the TiVo clock being off by at least ~1 second. Exactly why mine are logging late recording start times, I don't know. I don't fluently speak TiVoLog. But, if the start time is logged as late, that could certainly have an effect on the ending times being off.

    Yet another chicken & egg scenario. Does the late start entry mean the clock is off? If so, does it mean the TiVo should be adjusting itself to correct for it, but isn't? If so, why isn't it? OTOH, it could have nothing to do with the clock being off, and simply be relative to a correct clock. If so, why is almost every recording starting late? Is there a threshold that needs to be crossed before the TiVo takes pre-emptive action?
     
  14. MHunter1

    MHunter1 TiVo Bug Hunter

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    The sad thing is TiVo has known for years that our shows are being truncated because it anonymously tracks our viewing habits with their StopWatch service, similar to Nielsen ratings.

    http://www.traglobal.com/who-we-are/

    If TiVo knows which exact frame we're pausing on, it must know thousands of viewers either get bored at the last 10 seconds of every episode of a particular program or that program isn't broadcasting those last few seconds.
     
  15. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow Well-Known Dismembered Member (Lurk Mode On)

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    Yes, exactly, that's what I meant by "what would happen to TiVo's precious analytics services if we were able to offset individual TiVo clocks" (paraphrased).

    TiVo wants to know exactly where we use trickplay buttons, and how many times we re-watch a "wardrobe malfunction", if in slow motion, and even if we come back three days later, to watch it again. This is the seedy underbelly of their business model. They know every button we press, at exactly the moment we press it, and what frame it is at. They aggregate this data, and sell it. If you are "opt-in", rather than "opt-neutral", as most TiVo users are baited into, in order to be able to use something on the TiVo, your data they collect can trace right back to the TSN, and the account that TSN is registered to.

    TiVo knows when we watch porn, and what parts we really like about it (not me, I don't use my TiVo for porn).

    Opting-out is by phone only, but not easy to do. It also will likely lock you out of some of the OTT apps. Calling support, or reporting an issue will lead you back to having to opt-in, with TiVo claiming they need to personally identify your TiVo and you to help you. Yeah, right. Like they ever make your box completely anonymous, and can verify you have active TiVo service...
     

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