TiVo Alternatives?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Saturn, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. Oct 22, 2019 #341 of 1017
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    It's a weird and misplaced service to me, but we'll see. I don't know how they compete against a MUCH more fully featured offering from DISH.

    Mobile has some high-value customers on boats and RVs, as well as full time RVers, NASCAR, and some other applications. Many commercial establishments don't have broadband, they are using DSL or slower VDSL for POS terminals. A lot of those places are doing 6+ channels at a time, requiring dozens of mbps just for video, often more. Many large casinos, airports, etc, have extensive networks in place, but don't want TV traffic on them, or they are managed by someone different, and DirecTV fills in the need for TV. In many of those applications, no cable is present at all, even though it's available in the surrounding area. Add in rural on top of those two, and you've got a decent customer base for DBS.

    They need to get their dish aligned properly. Nonetheless, there are a ton of places like that.
     
  2. Oct 22, 2019 #342 of 1017
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Or just switch to Comcast once it offers access to all the sports programming they need.
     
  3. Oct 22, 2019 #343 of 1017
    mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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    You forgot to add "If you refuse to use the voice controls."
     
  4. Oct 22, 2019 #344 of 1017
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    And get some nice blurry sports channels?

    You should not have to rely on voice commands just because the normal UI is poorly designed and overly clicky.
     
  5. Oct 22, 2019 #345 of 1017
    mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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    So why is literally every device maker adding voice control to every device under the sun? "Most" people find it very convenient. Clicking through a bunch of menus is the past.
     
  6. Oct 22, 2019 #346 of 1017
    Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    It's a stupid gimmick for stupid people.
     
  7. Oct 23, 2019 #347 of 1017
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    I agree that for simple commands voice is slow, inaccurate and gimmicky, i.e., "Alexa, turn the volume to forty percent". That takes about a second using the volume button, but 5 seconds if you speak it. But voice saves a ton of time when doing searches and complex navigation. Some things that would take me literally minutes to type on an onscreen keyboard only take seconds to say. As for saving navigation button presses, I love being able to say, "record the Simpsons" instead of searching or browsing to the next showing in the guide and clicking record.

    So I use voice mostly as a qwerty keyboard replacement, not a remote replacement. A necessary evil on remotes with hardly any buttons.
     
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  8. Oct 23, 2019 #348 of 1017
    shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    They are recording everything you say so they can target you with ads for things they know you are more likely to purchase. There is no mute button for the microphone.
     
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  9. Oct 23, 2019 #349 of 1017
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    My Fire stick remote only listens when you press the button. I’d never use one of those boxes that’s always listening. Huge invasion of privacy.
     
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  10. Oct 23, 2019 #350 of 1017
    ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    Agree it is stupid, but not sure about the people using it. Voice commands should be for situations where your hands are unavailable, like driving. Also, calling is easier and more efficient than texting in most cases, but most people I know don't make phone calls unless they have to. A one minute conversation via phone could take an hour over SMS. What is weird is people are increasingly willing to talk to their devices and less willing to talk to each other.
     
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  11. Oct 23, 2019 #351 of 1017
    mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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    Or maybe those people who are stuck in the past are the stupid people. Seems stupid to click through a series of screens instead of just saying it. Speaking is as natural as it can be.
     
  12. Oct 23, 2019 #352 of 1017
    mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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    It's the same way with the X1. Those saying that they are being listened to are confusing remote controls with those personal assistants. When some refuse to use a popular tech it's usually because they don't understand it. "Not gonna use those new phones with buttons. The beeping causes cancer. I'm sticking with the rotary dial!!" :D
     
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  13. Oct 23, 2019 #353 of 1017
    ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    If and when voice command works, it might be great, but knowing something will work exactly right on the first try with a few presses of buttons might be preferable to people who already have to fight with constantly changing, often non-intuitive technology all day long. I use Siri while driving for navigation and messaging and occasionally while dictating a text while walking, and those seem to work fairly reliably. I've tried Alexa and Google Assistant on my Fire and Dish devices with much less success. I can't even get Alexa to open the live channel guide reliably on my Firesticks -- something I'd consider a simple task.

    IMHO, voice commands have become an excuse for those responsible for UI design to be lazy. Not necessarily the designers themselves, who are probably overworked and understaffed, but the product managers, etc. Why make something intuitive and efficient when we can just add a voice command for it?
     
  14. Oct 23, 2019 #354 of 1017
    mschnebly

    mschnebly Well-Known Member

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    True, the assistants are far less accurate. The X1 remote is one of the most accurate voice controls I've ever seen. When I was using it, it was dead on every time. The X1 UI is not real pretty but the voice part is very well done. They cant really be compared assistants except that you speak to both.
    At some point there really wont be a need for a polished UI. As the younger folks grow up the UI will be a last resort and voice will be really good and all that's needed.
     
  15. Oct 23, 2019 #355 of 1017
    ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    Well, that is what Star Trek said would happen, so it probably will. I expect they will get a lot better with time.
     
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  16. Oct 23, 2019 #356 of 1017
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Most people wouldn't notice the difference in HD PQ between DTV and Comcast (especially when seated at a typical sports bar viewing distance). But everyone notices when the picture completely goes out due to rain fade right in the middle of a key moment in the game.
     
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  17. Oct 23, 2019 #357 of 1017
    bobfrank

    bobfrank Active Member

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    Are you sure it only listens when you press the button? Maybe it listens all the time, but only responds when you press the button.
     
  18. Oct 23, 2019 #358 of 1017
    greer1999

    greer1999 New Member

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    Trying out Channels DVR with OTA and TVEverywhere. Gotta say - pretty impressive so far!

    I figured the response would be pretty bad considering it is all over the network etc but using my Fire TV and the Channels app it much more responsive than my Tivos ever have been.

    May just be a keeper!
     
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  19. Oct 23, 2019 #359 of 1017
    mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Highly unlikely. If it is, it's the most energy efficient device ever made. For 2 AAA batteries to run the mic 24x7 for 12 months at a time while constantly transmitting the audio stream to my Fire TV for analysis (which is off most of the time) would be quite a feat.

    The only numbers I could find indicate that that the most efficient RF transmitter in a consumer remote is about 5mA, and a really efficient condenser mic maybe 1mA, not to mention the A/D processing going on. We've got 2000 mAh in a set of AAA's. So a remote that's active 24x7 would kill the batteries in about 2 weeks rather than the 52 weeks I typically get.
     
  20. Oct 23, 2019 #360 of 1017
    Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    There is an option to allow Alexa to listen for the command "turn on TV", but that's a different Alexa device listening all the time, not the remote. The remote does not receive audio unless you press the microphone button while the remote is connected to a Fire TV device. And as @mdavej notes, there's no way the batteries in that little device would last so long if it was constantly transmitting audio.
     

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