Petition: Channel Guide, upgrade re-vamp

Discussion in 'TiVo Suggestion Avenue' started by bobster954, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. bobster954

    bobster954 Member

    99
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    Aug 15, 2011
    Petition to upgrade to a new type of channel guide and surfing option!!!!


    Something that has always bothered me was the lame way the guides for all services are. They were that way in 1981 also...lame lame.


    How about:

    1) Allowing us to move the channels around the guide, grouping news channels, sports channels etc?

    Go to edit mode, then pick a channel and move it up/down single or by page.
    They would all keep their numbers, but would be movable in the list so we could browse groups?


    It is annoying to have msnbc, cnn, fox, and some others on channel 28-32, but then fox business at 106, and bloomberg at 251. WOuld it not be nice to grab them closer? Cspans are all over the place too.

    I imagine this would allow different views for the guide...
    1- normal view like it is now
    2- grouped view
    3- some kind of favorite/grouped mix

    I would really love to move all the shopping and other junk way out of the way.


    history and bio channels all together? Heaven
    movie channels all in a group to flip through? Heaven


    Lastly, this should also go beyond the guide. If you have selected 'grouped view' you should also be able to surf from channel to channel with that same setup (and be able to switch to normal).


    This way if I group my news listed earlier, went to group view in the guide, and then watched channel 30 I would have msnbc. Changing the channel up one, but not using the guide, I would get bloomberg (251), up one more, 31 cnbc, then up one more 32 fox then up one more 106 current, etc.

    much easier to surf, see what is on, and just awesomeness.


    get the guide out of the eighties!!!!!!
     
  2. generaltso

    generaltso Well-Known Member

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    Nov 3, 2003
    Vermont
    What's the point of surfing when you have a TiVo? I can honestly say that I never use the guide.
     
  3. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    Agreed. The guide (there are at least three of them) is a waste of time. I never use them. 'Haven't in over 11 years The idea of a guide was something developed in the 1950s when everything was in the newspaper or a magazine, when more than 2 channels were on the air, but not hundreds, and not 24 hours a day. It's the whole notion of using a guide at all that is obsolete, not any particular implementation.

    Using the guide serves no real purpose.

    Surfing is also a waste of time. You have a TiVo. It can find everything you want for you. 'No need to search anything, other than the NPL.
     
  4. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    Feb 4, 2008
    Chicagoland
    why dont you contact your cable company. i think tivo has more important things to do.
     
  5. bobster954

    bobster954 Member

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    Aug 15, 2011
    none of you actually use your tivo/cable provider to watch tv?
    I have 300+ channels and I like to see what's on different ones.
    Heck, I switch from cnn to msnbc to cnbc all day long sometimes...and fbn, etc.

    (and I am using my tivo to do that).

    Its cool that you guys do not use the tivo to surf channels or the guides to see what is on. I guess I am just old school. I am paying for the channels and I like to see what is on.

    :D:D:D
    how does having a tivo mean you never surf (go from channel to channel) or ever have to use a channel guide to see what is on? LOL. Does it psychicly read your mind and figure out what you feel like watching?

    :eek::eek::eek::eek:
     
  6. bobster954

    bobster954 Member

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    Aug 15, 2011
    I only found one guide on my tivo, did not know of others. I do know I can make favorites.

    as to surfing, I usually flip around all the time with news channels, weather reports, and just pop around sometimes. Do you just watch just one channel and nothing else the whole time?



    Did not realize such hate was out there for people who use the channel guides or that flip around (surf) channels and watch different things at once.

    yikes. I hope they do not get rid of the ability to flip channels (especially the 'prev' ) or the channel guide. I would personally go right back to a dvr that had that so I could enjoy my tv experience...wow.


    well, tivo, the petition is dead, don't allow mods I guess as I may be the only one who would want them...wow.
     
  7. bobster954

    bobster954 Member

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    Aug 15, 2011
    that is just being a troll with that comment......thanks for your input, but maybe you might just want to jump in a lake instead.
     
  8. Eccles

    Eccles Mostly harmless

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    Dec 27, 2001
    Austin, TX
    I almost never watch live TV or channel surf; my wife was a channel surfer until we got our first TiVo, now she's a convert; my mother-in-law still likes to surf. So our household covers the full spectrum. I guess we're lucky here in Austin because Time-Warner already groups similar channels - the 400's are one thing, the 500's another, etc.

    However, they also duplicate the analog channels below 100, and the HD channels in the 1500+ range, which, along with the pseudo-duplication of SD vs HD, means that searching for a new program often returns four or more hits. I know it's possible to go into "Channels I receive" and deselect the duplicates, but because there's no way to sort the channel list by callsign, that process is long and tedious. So my suggestion is to make the channel list sortable by callsign as well as by number, to make this task infinitely easier.
     
  9. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    I'm not quite sure what you mean. The TiVo has the time and resources to scan through the many thousands of programs available every week and choose a very large, but manageable and select chunk of those I like to record. For the user to do so requires many, many hours of searching through endless reams of what is mostly just junk to find the 1 or 2 programs out of every 50 or so that the user might like to see. Every time I sit down at my TV, the TiVo already has recorded hundreds - thousands, actually in my case - of programs I want to see, and almost none I don't.

    300 channels times 24 hours divided by an average of 90 minutes per program is 4800 programs per day, or over 33,000 programs per week. If you are a very fast speed-reader, just reading that many names - not deciding whether to record or not, but just reading them - will take at least 1 - 2 hours. Trying to decide whether to record each one or not, not to mention trying to remember whether #27,877 is one you already set to record, is an overwhelming task. For a human, that is. It takes a TiVo a few minutes. What's more, the Tivo is much more accurate at catching the things one might like. It isn't perfect, of course, but with several dozen being caught every day, missing one or two is not the end of the world, nor is selecting one here and there a user would not have done manually.

    Why? The important question is, "Are the ones you want to see readily available to you?" It doesn't matter in the least whether you know something is going to come on or not, only that it gets recorded. If it gets recorded without your having to bother to find out when and where it was aired, so much the better.

    It is also at best useless and at worst a little depressing to know - and especially to sift through - all the total crap on those 300 - 400 channels.

    In a sense, yes. Of course, it doesn't know what you might feel like watching this particular moment. If you are like me, what I want to watch changes with my mood, my companions, and my level of exhaustion. In general, however, it can be said that I tend to like certain things, and those preferences can be communicated to the TiVo. From there it makes sometimes astoundingly good selections of things to record that it calculates I might like. This has the effect of changing that pile of more than 33,000 programs available at odd and sundry times throughout the week, the vast majority of which are pure garbage as far as I am concerned, into a much more manageable pile of 100 or 200 programs, 95% or more of which I would find interesting at one time or another, all available whenever I choose to watch, not on some broadcaster's arbitrary schedule. Of course, the pile that I like and the pile that you like may be completely different. That's why there is so much on the CATV lineup, but it is also where the Tivo comes in. Your Tivo can know what you like and mine knows what I like. They get rid of the rest.

    There are a number of ways these desires can be communicated to the TiVo, each of which has a specific paradigm associated with it.

    1. Title Search. The name is a bit misleading. It's true one can use this to search for a specific title, but it has much more powerful capabilities than just that. I use it a lot (about once every two weeks), but I never use it to search for a title. Instead, I go to Seach by Title => HD => movies => no sub-category => 0. This brings up a list, starting at the very top, of all HD movies (no per-channel duplications) airing in the next two weeks. I browse through the list from top to bottom, and any that I like that the TiVo has not already selected, I select to record, usually the earliest showing. This turns a process that could take hours every night to about 20 minutes every 2 weeks. If one is a basketball fan, for example, one could select Search by title => Sports => Basketball => 0, and every basketball game to be aired in the next two weeks will pop up. Finding that list manually can take a distressingly long time, and one is very likely to miss some. Using the Title Search, it takes less than a minute.

    2. Season Passes. In their simplest form, this will record every episode of a TV series on a particular channel. One can expand these capabilities, however, by selecting First Run Only, First Run + Reruns, or First Run + Reruns + Duplicates. The latter can be handy when there are regular conflicts between three or more shows, but at least one of them is aired more than once per week. Every Season Pass has a priority in the Season Pass list. Given a conflict between three programs airing at the same time, the lowest priority program will be skipped or clipped. If this series episode airs again later that night or later in the week, the latter broadcast will still be recorded if one has selected All with Duplicates.

    3. Wishlists. This is an exceedingly powerful filter. One can be very specific or very broad in one's selection criteria. In fact, using a Wishlist, one can roughly recreate a Season Pass. The Season Pass is probably easier to use for this function, but it is possible you might find a use for a Season Pass analog, especially in a case where a favorite program airs on multiple channels. A Season Pass only records on a specific channel. Wishlists are agnostic of channel assignments. Using a Wishlist for a favorite actor, director, or combinations of actors and / or directors, one can even arrange to record movies or TV series that haven't even been written, yet. I have several actor Wishlists which will select or automatically record (at my discretion) every film or TV program starring that actor. I also use them to tell the TiVo I want to record newly released movies that are not out on cable, yet. When Iron Man came out, I immediately created a Wishlist for it. About a year later, the Tivo recorded it. Ditto the three Mummy films with Brandon Frasier. I also have a Wishlist for Scavenger Hunt. In the 11 years I have owned TiVos, this (funniest of all if you ask me) movie has never aired on Cable. Ever since TiVo introduced the Wishlist about 9 years ago or so, I have had at least one Wishlist for Scavenger Hunt at all times. Whenever it hopefully does air, I can be confident it will be recorded, no matter how obscure the channel or how ungodly the hour. I don't have to peer steely-eyed up and down the guide every night to make sure I don't miss it.

    4. TiVo Suggestions. This is also an exceedingly powerful feature, and like the Title and Wishlist searches, it has some extremely subtle and flexible capabilities. In its simplest form, the Suggestions list is built from one's viewing habits and especially the Thumbs-Up and Thumbs-Down keys. The user can specify up to three thumbs up or down for every show one views. One does not have to watch the show, it can be done from the show information screen where one can select to play or delete the show, among other options. The TiVo Suggestion search engine takes these inputs and correlates between actors, directors, genres, and similar programs. See the detailed information list for a program by pressing the <Info> key. Over a surprisingly short period of time, with judicious use of both the Thumbs-Up and Thumbs-Down opinion poll, the TiVo can begin to speculatively record (or just list, if you prefer) programs which it guesses you will like. It can get astoundingly good. (Of course, as one TiVo owner put it, between his giving Thumbs-Up to every war picture and military documentary and his wife giving Thumbs-Up to every romance picture and musical, his TiVo is convinced he is a gay Nazi. :D )

    Suggestions, Wishlists, Season Passes, and manually selected programming can also interact in a very powerful way to automatically and skillfully manage one's recording list with little or no intervention from the user. For example, there are a number of old series I really like to watch from time to time. It's nice to have a bunch of episodes of them laying around, as it were. I provide this by selecting two or three thumbs up on one of their episodes. When the Tivo requires space for additional recording, it will automatically delete the "least important" programs if it needs to do so. The TiVo will never record a suggestion over a scheduled or manually selected program, no matter what. It will first overwrite any deleted programing, oldest first. Then it will record over the oldest suggestions. Next, it will record over the oldest expired scheduled program, but only if the new program is a scheduled program. If there are no deleted, speculative, or expired programs then the new program will not be recorded.

    Phew! That was long, but it is a rich and many-tiered subject, of which this seemingly verbose treatise has barely scratched the surface.
     
  10. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    The Swivel Search is a kind of guide, really. However, there are two guides available over the top of Live TV. Press <Enter> when either guide is up and you can select between the Live Guide and the Grid Guide. You can also filter by genre, and limit the channels to those you have marked as favorites, those you have marked as received, or all channels.

    As Eccles said, however, I never watch "Live" TV. It's a waste of time. Since I don't watch "Live" TV, the regular guides aren't available to me, so I could not use them, even if they were useful in the first place.

    Take note of what I said above, though. The one search that I use manually "a lot" is one which only requires about 20 minutes of my time every 2 weeks or so. The result of this and all the ones I never even touch once they are created is easily 100 - 200 or more perfectly wonderful programs recorded every week - far more than I could ever manage to watch. Using a guide, any guide, there is no way one may select anywhere nearly that many programs to record in ten times that amount of time. Think about that. Twenty minutes versus two hundred minutes to select considerably fewer programs and probably miss many of the best of them. Wouldn't you rather spend that time watching programs than selecting ones to record?

    I never watch any channels, at all. I select a program (one out of more than 2000 on one of my TiVos or on the video server) in the NPL, and I watch it. If I decide I don't like it - which is fairly rare - I delete it and select another. If there is a commercial - usually not, as I avoid any programs that have ads - I <FF> through it. If I like it, I watch it. If it's something I like but find I am not in the mood at the moment, I stop it and select something else. What would be the point of surfing? Flipping between two recorded programs is absurd. If there is something interesting on, it's almost surely being recorded, but statistically it is unlikely there is not something already recorded that is not better. If there is nothing being recorded, then it is highly unlikely there is anything worth searching for in the lineup, and certainly not any better than what is already recorded. Why go searching in the wilderness for silver when you have a pile of gold sitting at your feet?

    I wouldn't say, "hate". Do you consider a person who uses a shovel to dig a ditch when a backhoe is sitting right there to be wise, though? Things such as surfing and guide browsing are a matter of habit, not of intelligent or effective program selection. We've seen people again and again talk about their "viewing preferences", but this is not about viewing programs, it is about selecting programs. Under the old systems, viewing had to be a big part of selecting. One was compelled by the very obtuseness of the guides to seek randomly though the channels for something to watch, even back when the guide was somewhat useful. The TiVo can not only completely divorce any viewing from the selection process, it can virtually eliminate the need to do any searching at all, at least in the sense of trying to find something interesting to watch.

    How is it any way enjoyable to wade through one program - probably commercials - after another that you do not find interesting enough to watch in a (usually vain) effort to find something that is interesting enough to watch? How is it more enjoyable to miss most or all of an interesting news clip when you have switched away to some other channel, rather than record the news on up to 2 channels and <FF> through the uninteresting stories, never missing any part of an interesting one?

    By definition, if the program were interesting, you would not be flipping away from it. With the TiVo, virtually every program you watch can be interesting, even riveting. When every program you select is the video equivalent of a book you can't put down, why would you ever change channels? Again, more than a recording device, the TiVo is a filter that in large measure gets rid of any programs so boring that you would ever be inclined to flip away from them.

    No, but your request is typical of someone, often a new user, who simply does not recognize what a powerful and fundamentally different beast he has purchased. This understanding does require some careful thinking and experimentation on the part of the user, but failing that it is indeed very much like thinking a PC is just a modern typewriter.

    Put it this way. I can pick any one of over 2000 programs, almost every single one I already know is rated (by me) 3 stars or better, and every one starting and stopping when I say from the NPL, or I can go searching through more than 400 channels - assuming the Tivo isn't already recording two things, which it more often than not is - the vast majority of which are showing nothing but dog pookey, and what few are not are usually already half over. Is that really a tough choice?
     
  11. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    Feb 4, 2008
    Chicagoland
    no. tivo has not offered this this in its history. if you really want this feature im suggesting that you request it through multiple sources. my local providor offered it years ago, only to abandon.
     
  12. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

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    Sep 20, 2006
    New Jersey
    To the OP, why not just use the Guide filters? Then you can have only news programs show up in your guide to flip through, with current news programs highlighted.
     
  13. bobster954

    bobster954 Member

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    2
    Aug 15, 2011
    yea, but if you are channel flipping I would have to go to the guide and filter it, then move down to the channel and then select.

    if you allow grouping, then I can just hit the channel up and down and just go through them with just one click without using the guide.

    the grouping would be an option to not just view the channels that way in the guide, but actually work that way when surfing with the remote up/down button.

    The only thing I can do now is simply delete from the channel list all the garbage channels, at least for the guide...

    I wish I had a visual guide to show you what I mean.
     

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