Is TiVo Really This Stupid???

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by Enigma869, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. Enigma869

    Enigma869 New Member

    Jul 5, 2005


    Good Evening All...

    I used Replay TV quite happily for about 5 years before purchasing my first TiVo. I only made the jump because Replay TV appears to have no interest in HDTV. I purchased the HDTV DirecTV unit about 6 months ago. After 6 months, I am still astonished at how slow these guides are. For those of us who don't want every single show automatically recorded, it takes an hour to set up a days worth of recordings. Am I the only one who finds this ridiculous? This seems beyond absurd to me. Why is it that ReplayTV units aren't afflicted with this problem?? How is it that no software download has been made available to correct this problem that they must get thousands of complaints about??? Do they simply not care?? I just can't imagine an issue of this magnitude being completely ignored on such a widely used platform. I must say that although I am elated to be able to record in HDTV, the user interface on the TiVo in quite amateur when compared to ReplayTV. I've tried really hard to love TiVo since I adopted it six months ago, but, I have NEVER in my life been more annoyed by a problem with any electronic device I've ever purchased. Does anyone know if there ever might be a fix for this?? Finally, does anyone know if DirecTV's new PVR has overcome this insane issue??? Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.

    John from Boston
  2. darthrsg

    darthrsg New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    post 911...
    they say to put the tivo on 2 SD channels before setting up recordings.
  3. aztivo

    aztivo Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    this is not TIVO it is D*
  4. miss_my_utv

    miss_my_utv New Member

    Sep 29, 2005
    Are you complaining about the "guide", or the slow response to setting a recording?

    No doubt, the speed to set a recording is very annoying. As is the default guide (grid guide?). But the alternate guide (list of channels on the left side, several hours of shows on a highlighted channel to the right side) is just fine speed-wise to me.

    I'm sure someone else can fill you in on the real names for the guides, and how to change them (if you don't know), since I can't remember them...
  5. sageone

    sageone The Photog

    Feb 23, 2005


    I would agree with my fellow a certain extent. The guide with the current shows on the left and the line-up of future shows on the right is great. However, what I am dissapointed in is the speed of Tivo's navigation. It does hang sometimes. The HME navigation is even slower. I also galleon to use music playlists. That's even slower. Tivo is a great product but I have said this many a times that I think they rushed the idea to market and not the actual product. What I mean by that is Tivo could be a helluva a lot better just in it's basic sense. Now, adding access to the web or web services, movie tickets, weather, photos, games, etc., etc. I would expect that stuff to be a tough to deal with at first then improve as time goes by.

    The best thing I like about Tivo is the fact that I can transfer mpegs from my PC to my tivo, i.e. downloaded movies (no need to burn to svcd or dvd since I can pump them right through tivo).

    Anyways...sorry for the rant. To answer your question, there is no solution to your problem. Every upgrade to the Tivo OS always seems to bring another bag of problems.
  6. BillyT2002

    BillyT2002 Crush!Kill!Destroy!

    Oct 19, 2002
    Waterville, ME
    Don't blame TIVO. TIVO needs permission from DirecTV to issue any updates to the DirecTIVO boxes. Blame DirecTV for any problems with the Hughes HR10-250. Still, despite it's problems the HR10-250 is a better receiver now than anything else DirecTV will ever potentially come up with. That's my opinion.
  7. NoCleverUsername

    NoCleverUsername New Member

    Jan 28, 2005
    I find it's generally more efficient to schedule recordings via other means than through the on-screen guide. This is true of any TiVo, not just the DirecTV w/ TiVo units.

    Search by title, by time, channel, wishlists, etc.

    But I have no personal experience with HD TiVos, so I don't know if they are the same or worse.
  8. Guindalf

    Guindalf Now with added dalf

    Jun 13, 2001
    I'm sorry, I don't mean to be argumentative, but this is the most ridiculous statement I have ever read!

    How do you KNOW that D* are not going to come up with a better receiver? I agree that it's unlikely, given their track record and the basis they are building on, but I find it very "the world is flat" to say what you said.

    My sister in England has the Sky+ NDS receiver and I used it on my visit there three years ago. I thought it was cr*p. I've read the reviews and bug complaints about the R15 on this forum and also over on dbstalk. I'm not impressed so far. However, I won't make any statements like "D* will never get it right" or "TiVo can't be improved upon by non-TiVo software!"

    TiVo (and D*) have introduced many software version upgrades that have both added and removed functionality. When I read the forum, I see there are a lot of improvements that could be made - whether they will or not is beside the point.

    What I don't see is anything telling me that D* are going to stop upgrading and improving their product. One day, who knows, maybe the the D* offering will equal or overtake the TiVo powered unit. Until I see solid evidence to the contrary, I will keep an open mind.

    Oh, and for the record, I love my TiVo powered receivers (HD & SD) and do not intend to change them unless I have to. I'd love to get my hands on a HD NDS DVR and play with that, but as previously stated, I won't be dismissing it for at least two to three years or after solid testing and evaluating.
  9. Enigma869

    Enigma869 New Member

    Jul 5, 2005
    I would suggest TiVo first figure how to make a basic PVR function before adding more functionality! Hell, the PC I owned back in the late 80's was fast enough than this thing. Now, to the others who blame D* for this problem and not TiVo...perhaps that's the case. As I stated, this is my very first experience with TiVo. If the non-D* and non HD units are faster, I guess it is a D* problem. I thought I had read elsewhere that this slowless was a problem that afflicted all TiVo boxes. In any event, I don't dislike the TiVo. I think Replay TV has a slightly better interface (i.e. you can look up movies based on a 5 star system, which is a neat feature). I just cannot believe how slow this thing is. I will make an effort to change the guide. I have attempted locating shows (as suggested here) through the "Find Program to Record" option, and I don't find it any faster. I'm just amazed that there are times I can schedule a recording, walk out of my media room, come back 6 minutes later, and that foolish "Please Wait" is still on the screen. On Replay TV, you could schedule a week's worth of recordings in 10 minutes...that's how fast the menus were. I guess I just don't understand how one company can figure this out and a much larger company (whether it's TiVo or D*) just doesn't seem to get a basic concept. Does anyone know if this issue has been resolved with D* new HD PVR? As always, any and all feedback is most appreciated.

    John from Boston
  10. BillyT2002

    BillyT2002 Crush!Kill!Destroy!

    Oct 19, 2002
    Waterville, ME
    You clearly missed the fact that I was stating my opinion. I even stated as such in my post, but most people clearly don't read an entire post before they respond. ;)

    Yes, it is my opinion that DirecTV (nor will DISH Network) ever really get it right in the DVR software development department. This is because they are not a software house (their business is not in developing good software. This is also not to say that all software focused companies develop good software because most do not.)

    They are a video distribution company which is what they do best. Therefore it is my opinion that they will never really spend the money to bring in the talent necessary to write good software to run any of their in-house built receivers. TIVO on the other hand is a software and hardware company and that is why a lot of people love the TIVO experience.

    A lot of people also loved the Ultimate TV experience precisely because the software was written by Microsoft which is another company that although it has it's naysayers, can sometimes write really good software too.

    Until DirecTV brings in a talented software development staff (which will cost them a lot of money), which practices agile and test-driven (both unit and acceptance testing) development principles, they will never get the software right in their in-house DVR.

    That is my opinion and I'm sticking to it.
  11. Mark Lopez

    Mark Lopez Just click ignore

    Jan 1, 2000
    Hondo TX
    Sorry, but I'm not buying that statement. I've owed a Tivo pratically since the day they came out and in the past 6 years, the software has not evolved anywhere near where it should have given that time span. When the HD TiVo came out a year ago, it already 'should' have had all of the bugs worked out. Instead it retained most of the slowness, etc. that was there since day one.
  12. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

    Sep 6, 2004
    That may only be an opinion, but it is widely held by many of us. And it is supported by the sorry track record of every other PVR maker in the world, which pales in comparison to Tivo. If history is any indicator, there is little reason for optimism regarding the NDS PVR, and your reasoning as to why is probably right on target, in MY opinion.
  13. Guindalf

    Guindalf Now with added dalf

    Jun 13, 2001
    Actually, I DID get that - If you look at the quote I pulled, I purposely left that part in there.

    I agree with most of your response and, although you may be right, it is not what you said in your original post. You stated that the HR10-250 is a better receiver than anything D* will potentially come up with, and, even as an opinion, that is blinkered thinking to say the least.
    I know it's unlikely, but it is possible that some whizz of a programmer arrives at NDS straight from school and produces THE product that blows TiVo, Replay TV and everything else away! I'm not disagreeing with your thinking. I'm merely stating that to close your mind to the possibility that something could come along that's better is ludicrous.

    Personally, I like my D* TiVo and I'm in no rush to change. However, I will not join in and say that the R15 "could not possibly be as good" as my TiVo. Even if it's sadly lacking today, an upgrade *may* be around the corner that changes all that.

    Now that's MY opinion. :cool: ;)

    Merry Christmas.
  14. BillyT2002

    BillyT2002 Crush!Kill!Destroy!

    Oct 19, 2002
    Waterville, ME
    Sometimes I say what is ludicrous precise because my mind travels at ludicrous speed. ;)

    If I were to open my mind and actually believe in some remote possibility that NDS could get some whizz bang programmer right out of college who will singlehandedly turn the software around and make it the gee whiz best thing since sliced bread, I'd have to be far less cynical than I am now. ;) I'd probably also really believe in the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus too. ;)

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not a pessimist by any means, but at 42 I'm more cynical than ever and if anything I'm the drowning optimist.

    I still doubt that the R15 is ever going to have software that I will find acceptable in it. ;)

    I'm not too sure I believe in whiz bang programmers coming right out of college anymore, either. Most of the kids I see coming out of computer science departments in colleges these days have no clue what a pointer really is or how to allocate or deallocate memory or even why they would want to.

    The problem with whiz bang programmers out of college, even if they are really whiz bang is that they have no experience developing applications for users. They have no skill set to define what the average user really wants. They are great at following a specification to the letter provided to them by some suit which defines for them what the user wants. However 9 times out of 10 the suit has no clue what the customers want either. (This is not to say that the customers really know what they want in every case either. In a lot of cases they do not. However, to write good software you have to consider their input at least. You have to get a user story from them; even if you have to help them define it somewhat. Then once you think you've nailed down what it is they want, you have to get them to buy into it to so that you can properly set their expectations. Good software is developed in phases starting with getting input from the user.)

    It's a classic case of the inmates running the asylum. ;)
  15. Morris Herman

    Morris Herman Mac user since 84!

    Feb 24, 2003
    I have posted many posts on this subject and even after all of these years, we have nothing in the way of speed improvement. The Guide speed can, as many have stated, be made tolerable by switching to the two sided view (current on left, future on highlighted channel on the right).

    However, the simple fact of recording a current program or scheduling a recording from the Guide, takes a lot of time.

    When you know that a current computer works on machine instructions at gigahertz speeds (1 billion per second), how many instructions does it execute in 6 minutes? That is 1 billion X 60 X 6 = 360 billion instructions. There may be some hard disk delays involved but those should be minimal since all we are doing is generating a request to perform the recording in a database.

    The Tivo computer is slower than current computers, so let's take a 50% cut for that to 180 billion instructions in 6 minutes. The code is written in a high level language (Unix) so let's take a 1000 to one reduction (extremely high reduction) in instructions and we have 180 million instructions.

    I started in Software Engineering back in the late 60's and I have to scratch my head to come up with a reasonable scenario for why it would take that many instructions to add a new entry to a database. I am making an assumption that gigabytes of data are not moved at the time of the programming request. A sophisticated hard disk data management system should obviate moving the data but rather pointers to the data should be modified.
  16. jbradway

    jbradway New Member

    Sep 30, 2001
    Sacramento, CA
    Actually his statement is pretty accurate. There are software updates that would improve the HR10-250, but Directv has elected to not distribute them. Tivo has zero control over the distribution of updates. D* probably feels it is in there best interests not to distribute updates for a box that is slated for replacement.
  17. Budget_HT

    Budget_HT Heavy User (of TiVo)

    Jan 2, 2001
    Renton, WA
    It seems to me, IMHO, that the TiVo-based products offer excellent features and functions and ease of use, but fall seriously short in the system performance area; in other words, good stuff but too slow.

    OTOH, the competing products offer far better performance but fall short in the features, functions and ease of use area; in other words, faster but not-as-good stuff.

    The complex logic used to search for and proactively manage potential recording conflicts and storage space conflicts adds to the painfully slow TiVo performance. Much of this logic is applied when a user is scheduling recordings, so those transactions are slower than others on the TiVo unit.

    Another factor is the unending need to contain and reduce the costs of manufacturing the TiVo units to keep them reasonably priced as perceived by a prospective buyer. So another performance-affecting trade off here is the lack of using latest and greatest (and fastest) subcomponents because of their higher cost.

    So, we are faced with the unfortunate situation of balancing functionality, ease of use, performance and cost of ownership (first cost and monthly fees).

    For me, I am not willing to give up functionality (for me), nor ease of use (for my wife), so I choose to sacrifice in the other areas. Of course, what works for me does not work for everyone else.

    I am quite satisfied with my SD and HD DirecTV with TiVo receivers. Based on what I read here and elsewhere about other PVR products, I see little hope of any other DVR/PVR provider "catching up" with the TiVo quality and reliability of always, always recording what I have asked for.

    I am, however, very curious about a rumored announcement from Apple Computer regarding PVR/DVR capabilities integrated with the Mac platform. Apple is another company that "gets it" when it comes to ease of use and well-thought-out features and functionality.

    These are my personal opinions. Use them or ignore them as you see fit.
  18. Redux

    Redux No intent to annoy

    Oct 19, 2004
    It's always been puzzling to me that with all the knowledgable Tivo users on this forum & the others for all this time, we don't have a clear understanding why a few people are getting such slow performance.

    I'm sure these people are not lying or sabotaging their machines through ineptitude; it is clearly a real problem. But with the dozens of DTivos and SA Tivos I've owned over the years the closest I've seen to what these people describe was setting up & sorting season passes on DTivos running 4.x. That could be just awful. And on my wife's 500GB, when she fills it to the brim and refuses to erase anything until it absolutely refuses to record anything new, it slows to a crawl. On those occsasions when a member of my local community complains about it, by the time I look at it, it's always fine. "You should have seen it last night!" I think it's an airborne, short-live virus that disappears in daylight.
  19. BillyT2002

    BillyT2002 Crush!Kill!Destroy!

    Oct 19, 2002
    Waterville, ME
    There is a pretty easy workaround to the speed problem on the HR10-250 HD DirecTIVO unit. You should clear your thumb ratings. This will speed things up. Personally I don't use the thumb ratings at all and clear them every month or so. I also turned off the option that enables TIVO to automatically record programming for me based upon what it thinks I might like to watch. My HR10-250 runs really fast and I have almost 50 season passes set up.
  20. merlin803

    merlin803 New Member

    Dec 11, 2005
    Dumb question, but how do you clear them?

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