Why can't TiVo record the World Series?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by BubbaDude, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. Oct 27, 2006 #1 of 131

    BubbaDude New Member

    Dec 29, 2001
    Livermore, CA
    I'm amazed. I've had two Series 1 Tivo combo units since 2001, and these sorry things still don't do basic functions correctly.

    Today I came home from work prepared to watch the World Series only to find that my Tivo, in its infinite wisdom, had decided it didn't need to record today's game because it had recorded the same program yesterday. Of course it didn't record a World Series game yesterday because there wasn't one - it had been rained out. So the game that was supposed to be played yesterday, Game 4, was played today and instead of looking at the program guide data and deducing that from the fact that it's a baseball game, Tivo belched and farted instead of doing what it was told.

    Now if this were the first time that Tivo's software had every encountered a rainout, maybe it wouldn't be a big deal, because after all, new software always has bugs in it. But this machine is five years old and the software has been updated a donzen times at least.

    So why is it that after all this time Tivo still can't figure out how to record the single most important televised event in all of Western Civilization? Is Tivo's management, software engineering department, and QA composed of girly men who only test the unit's ability to record the Oprah show? Are they a bunch of hippies who hate sporting events because they're too competitive and patriarchal? Is Tivo trying to make me watch Lifetime instead of sports? Or are they all simply a bunch of incompetant morons who should be let out to pasture?

    It's not just the World Series that gives this pathetic little device fits, it has a hard time with all playoff games. I have a keyword wishlist for baseball games with the word "series" in them, and even that is not reliable. If a game is originally in the schedule as "teams TBA" Tivo loses the note to self to record it after the teams are filled-in, even though the word "series" is still there. Retarded as hell.

    During the regular season, if a local game is on the schedule on Channel 36 as it normally is, but also on ESPN for the national audience, the ESPN showing is blacked-out locally. Tivo knows where I live, but it still, after all these years, isn't smart enough to record the game from channel 36 instead of ESPN. Totally dimwitted.

    I've reported these problems before and the standard response is "we can't help it because we depend on Tribune for the program guide." That's a load of crap.

    There are rules to sports broadcasting, and any company that wants to be successful with a DVR should have learned them by now.

    Before next year's world series, these machines will not be in my house.

  2. Oct 27, 2006 #2 of 131

    mick66 Dirty Burger

    Oct 15, 2004
    The 'verse
    Considering that you think this is so G.D. important - Learn to pay attention to the 'To Do List'. A TiVos recording capabilities are only as good as the guide data it receives. If the data is fubarred so are the recordings. If you are aware of this and still ranting after 5 years, it is not tiVo that is
  3. Oct 27, 2006 #3 of 131

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

    Sep 21, 2005
    Actually, that's true.

    And the most important sporting event on TV last night was a football game, not baseball.

    And what Mick66 said.

    Nice high quality rant, though.
  4. Oct 27, 2006 #4 of 131

    angra Old Fogey

    Apr 12, 2002
    I am not 100% sure it will help, but try setting your ARWL to "all episodes with duplicates" or however it is labeled. That should at least cut out the problem you had last night.
  5. Oct 27, 2006 #5 of 131

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    The logic needed to avoid the two flaws the OP is pointing out is not hard to envision.
  6. Oct 27, 2006 #6 of 131

    JohnBrowning Member

    Jul 15, 2004
    Plano, TX
    Retarded, dimwitted, and pathetic?? You should not be so hard on yourself simply because you don't know how to properly operate your TiVo. Perhaps you should read the manual.
  7. Oct 27, 2006 #7 of 131

    gonzotek tivo_xml developer

    Sep 24, 2004
    What will you be using that will do a better job of the task?
  8. Oct 27, 2006 #8 of 131

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

    Apr 13, 2004
    Hartsville, SC
    This is a problem, however I wouldn't be using wish lists. I'd use Season Passes on both channels with the priority given to the local channel. Sure you have to create a new SP each year but at least you'll get what you want. You'd also have to set it to record all with duplicates and keep until I delete. That way it would record everything and the most important even of the year wouldn't be lost. BTW, that was the Battlestar Galactica Premiere this season. ;)
  9. Oct 27, 2006 #9 of 131

    rainwater Active Member

    Sep 21, 2004
    TiVo is never going to be smart enough to know when a game was rained out. The problem is the way the guide data was structured. While it was still game 4 again, they should of marked it as a different game than the previous game that got rained out.
  10. Oct 27, 2006 #10 of 131

    angra Old Fogey

    Apr 12, 2002
    This is true, but all things considered, I think they would be better off doing a better job of educating their users how to handle these types of things than fiddling with the algorithm.

    especially since the OP has S1 units that will never get another software update.
  11. Oct 27, 2006 #11 of 131

    parzec Wizard of Oz

    Jun 21, 2002
    Charlotte, NC
    Tivo does depend on tribune guide data, however it would be easy for a mere tech at Tivo headquarters to make on the fly modifications to the game description so that the Tivo would still record the next game and not assume it is an identical game - ie. modify the text to read "game 4 - redo", etc. Then assuming your Tivo dials in or IP's every night, it would receive the new data in time for the next days game to not appear as a duplicate.

    To suggest that the OP needs to check his to-do list on a regular basis defeats the very notion of Tivo's "season pass - set it and forget it" concept. Web sites have Webmasters that keep track of problems with xml data, etc, and fix them immediately. There should be a full time Tivo-Master that tweaks the program information that is sent to all the Tivo boxes instead of blindly forwarding the tribune information.

    For what it is worth, I love my Tivos and don't watch baseball, but I agree with the OP that for the monthly service fee that is paid, Tivo should take steps to avoid this easily solved problem.
  12. Oct 27, 2006 #12 of 131

    Atomike New Member

    Jun 12, 2005
    I find it amusing that many people decry reality television as "worthless" and yet many believe televised baseball is something other than trivial drivel. Televised baseball is simply an obscenely repetetive reality show with low production values. Important? hahah. The most important in Western Civilization? I would imagine that every person who watched news coverage of 9/11 or of the Cuban Missile Crisis may wish to disagree with your crazy statements.

    Persepective has been lost. That being said, I'd be upset too if I cared even a little about the grade-school game of baseball.
  13. Oct 27, 2006 #13 of 131

    BubbaDude New Member

    Dec 29, 2001
    Livermore, CA
    I check the To-Do list daily, because I know TiVo is a whimsical machine. However, the To-Do list after the rainout of Game 4 said TiVo was prepared to record Game 5 on Thursday night, and sometime Thursday - when I was work - it changed its little mind. Nice try though, Micky.

    Regarding the guide data fro Tribune, I don't think that's the problem as much as what TiVo does with it. Tribune tells TiVo the WS is a live baseball game, and that should be enough of a clue to make the machine forget about tossing it off the To-Do list because it doesn't like the title. Hello, this isn't the first rainout in the history of the world, you know.

    Regarding using Season Passes instead of Wish Lists so I can prioritize, I can't do that because the show title in many instances is the matchup: something like "A's @ Angels" or "Angels @ A's" and it take hundreds of Season Passes to get all the combinations. I don't care to watch the Yankees and the Red Sox play, so I Wishlist on Oakland and baseball instead. There are also 6 channels that these games may be on - the local flagship. either of the Fox Sports BA channels, the local Fox channel for Saturday games, and both ESPN and ESPN2. So the straight Season Pass doesn't work here.

    Like HDTivo says, the logic to correct these problems is not hard to see, but the missing element is TiVo deciding these bugs are important enough to fix.

    In all three cases, the problem isn't in the guide data, it's in the false assumptions that TiVo makes when scheduling a program for recording (or not.) Why assume that a live baseball game is a repeat when it's not marked as a repeat? Why assume that ESPN is a better choice than the local channel for a baseball game? Why assume that a last minute title change that has nothing to do with the keyword means a show has to be dropped from the To-Do list?

    The only conclusion I can draw from this behavior is that TiVo hates baseball, so I'll have to see if MythTV and its buddies are equally biased against the highest expression of the human spirit.
  14. Oct 27, 2006 #14 of 131

    mitkraft Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    I'm just curious Einstein. Are you by any chance the genius who sued Mcdonalds because they didn't tell you the coffee was hot?
  15. Oct 27, 2006 #15 of 131

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.
    A simple solution to something like this is to set the recording up manually, with start time, channel, and length (which is your choice anyway, so no problems with extra innings...YOU take them into account).

    I'm not sure, but even with a manual recording, I think a subbed TiVo would display the programming info once the show's in the Now Playing file.
  16. Oct 27, 2006 #16 of 131

    CharlesH Member

    Aug 29, 2002
    One of the advantages the cable company DVRs have is that they can update their guide info in real time (if the cable company bothers to do the update). I wonder why TiVo hasn't put a flag in the response to TCO updates queries that networked TiVo's do every few minutes, telling it to call home for an "emergency" guide update?
    streich likes this.
  17. Oct 27, 2006 #17 of 131

    gonzotek tivo_xml developer

    Sep 24, 2004
    Good luck with the experiment! You'll almost certainly still end up having to babysit the scheduler and spending extra time and effort manually adjusting for situations like this one.
  18. Oct 27, 2006 #18 of 131

    Stu_Bee New Member

    Jan 14, 2002
    jeez. Obviously he was going over the top on purpose.
  19. Oct 27, 2006 #19 of 131

    BubbaDude New Member

    Dec 29, 2001
    Livermore, CA
    No, Tex, I'm the software engineer who was developing video server software for companies like HP and Sharp Labs when you still eating Happy Meals.

    Nice Kool-Aid you're drinking.
  20. Oct 27, 2006 #20 of 131

    BubbaDude New Member

    Dec 29, 2001
    Livermore, CA
    Maybe a little. But here's the thing, I have DirecTV combo units, and the main trick that DirecTV used to make itself a real business was to appeal to the sports junkie. They have all sorts of sports programming that's only available on their system, and sports is what they're mainly all about. Yes, they run channels that carry Oprah and West Wing re-runs, but DirecTV is mainly about sports.

    So given that TiVo had this partnership with them for five years or whatever, wouldn't it kind of make a little bit of sense for TiVo to fix the bugs in their system that make it a less-than-ideal solution for sports recording?

    I mean, if you're dating a vegetarian you're going to learn something about the vegetarian diet, right?

    This logic has never penetrated into the ranks of TiVo's engineering, presumably because they're too busy making their Burning Man costumes to fix any bugs.

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