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Explain it to me: TiVo/DirecTV easier to use...

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Earl Bonovich, Oct 8, 2007.

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  1. Oct 9, 2007 #81 of 302
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    I agree, and...

    (a) I REALLY agree
    (b) not as interesting to me, but I see your point
    (c) since there is no MPEG4 TiVo it's not fair to compare the two. I find the trickplay on SDs roughly the same. If you're talking about the press-and-hold remote features, I heartily agree.
    (d) this is rolling out now.
    (e) OH YEAH!!!! Said it before, I want DIRECTV to designate codes for slow, skip-to-tick, 1-button CC, etc. for use in a future home theatre remote (which I hope they develop) In the meantime, send the codes to Logitech, Philips, and other home theatre remote manufacturers.
     
  2. Oct 9, 2007 #82 of 302
    MikeR

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    Thanks for the clarification Stuart. That is what I was implying with my poor engineering english.

    I also believe this is one factor that some do not take into account when comparing UI. MPEG4/HD/multiple sound formats add to the complexity.
     
  3. Oct 9, 2007 #83 of 302
    Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    Lower...
    I generally agree with you here. I often quote the same example... about the first Word Processor you've learned being the one you measure any new one by. But I have found that sentiment is only relevant for initial impressions. Generally after someone has lived with the new application on a day to day basis for a while, that feeling wanes and the new app soon becomes that person's new standard.

    That's the case for me and the HR20. I haven't touched a TiVo since March and I use the HR20's an average of 2 hours a day. My ideal DVR would be a hybrid of the two, of course, cherry-pickling the best features of both.

    My biggest gripes with the HR20 right now are all potentially fixable by D*: the feeling of "unreliability" due to the recent spate of missed-recordings, which I'm sure will get resolved soon, now that D* is aware of the extent of the issue; anemic SEARCH/AUTORECORD capability and abbreviated GUIDE data; inability to PAUSE the LIVE buffer and return to it from a recording; and less than rock-solid trick play (Press-hold unreliable, stacked ADVANCES running too long, etc.)

    I just want a rock-solid, reliable TV search, recording and playback machine! I could care less about "frills" like the ACTIVE CHANNEL, VOD, MRV, interactive programs and networked audio/image playback. IMO, these are all dead-weight features that are complicating and distracting D* from building the best TV-viewing box out there. I'm probably being generous by estimating that less than 25% of the HR20 user-base will use any one of these "frills" except to try them once, so why penalize the 75% who just want a dedicated search, record, playback machine by making it more complicated and unreliable?

    Just my .02. /steve
     
  4. Oct 9, 2007 #84 of 302
    kmill14

    kmill14 Godfather

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    Just as an FYI....I rarely ever use the colored buttons. I have a Harmony remote, so they are programmed up on the top section, but I never seem to have a need for them. It could also be said that its not always obvious when I could or should use them.
     
  5. Oct 9, 2007 #85 of 302
    kmill14

    kmill14 Godfather

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    A stinking MEN.
     
  6. Oct 9, 2007 #86 of 302
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Please... :backtotop

    Regarding what makes either-or easier to use, then the other.

    If you want to vent about some of the issues for either product... start a new thread.
     
  7. Oct 9, 2007 #87 of 302
    wisem10

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    In many cases there is a trade off. However, with well a thought out interaction model it is possible to design a system that can sufficiently accommodate the needs and learning curve of both neophytes / technophobes and the early adopter / technogeeks (like me). A simple example: within most any Word processor you can copy selected text by choosing File > Copy from the menu. This is the more "intuitive", yet step intensive action. This faster, yet not intuitive action is to use Ctrl-C.

    The fact is that the majority of the people in these forums are more of the technogeek variety, while the majority of the population are certainly not (witness the super long lines at a movie theater ticket window while a nearby kiosk has no one using it).

    I'm pretty confident that my 60 something year old mother could sit down and start using the Tivo almost immediately, however she would likely give up on the HR20. Also, a friend of mine who is quite intelligent but does not have the patience or desire to read through forums like these, or play around with his DVR to figure it out, owns an HR20. He had no idea that he could set custom channels, and I have to go over to his house later today to show him how to make other changes to the DVR.

    Not to mention there is often a different mental model (i.e., what is / isn't intuitive) between users with different backgrounds and perspectives on design. There was a published research study (Human Factors journal circa 1980's), in which engineers, psychologists, and "housewives" were shown a diagram of a four burner stove with four unlabeled control knobs along the front. Each groups was asked to label the knobs according to which burner that they would expect it to control. On average, within each of the three groups they had the same label scheme, but between the groups they were different.

    To accurately assess the usability of the HR20, Tivo, or any consumer device or software is to find a representative sample of users and observe them as they work through a set of frequent and / or important tasks.

    I'm not even sure where I was going with this post. :) But since I already invested too many keystrokes into it, I'll post it anyway. (Too much coffee and time on my hands today.)

    - Mark
     
  8. Oct 9, 2007 #88 of 302
    Thaedron

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    I agree that the D* interface is faster. That doesn't make it easier to use.

    For me it boils down to the ability to use the device without ever looking at a manual. I picked up the Tivo remote some 7-8 years ago and started using it without the aid of a manual or having to hunt around for things, the menu hierarchy was simple and intuitive to navigate. Now granted I may be "trained" on Tivo, but there have been a couple of things on my HR20 that after I found buried in a menu, I've commented "what on earth posessed them to put that there."

    I think the D* interface is good, but it's not as well refined. It would be better if the push and hold mechanism went away and if they fixed half a dozen items on the wish list (especially going back to the point in 'my playlist' where you last were instead of always going to the top, grrr...). :D
     
  9. Oct 9, 2007 #89 of 302
    Lord Vader

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    But how does one actually set the defaults? Every time I set up a Series Link, I have to change the options to what I want them.
     
  10. Oct 9, 2007 #90 of 302
    Earl Bonovich

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    When in the full screen Record screen (Aka via Record Series, Or Record Once)

    Hit Menu... there is an option for Recording defaults.
    Change your Defaults...
     
  11. Oct 9, 2007 #91 of 302
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member

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    Thanks. I'll give that a shot.
     
  12. Oct 9, 2007 #92 of 302
    bidger

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    There were a few things I had to learn with TiVo, not all specific to TiVo, some pertain to DVRs in general:

    1) TiVo can't anticipate when a Sporting event will end, you need to pad the recording. Found that out with the first MNF game I recorded.

    2) If the Guide data for a certain show is insufficient, TiVo records every airing of that show.

    3) The networks don't care if you miss the last few minutes of a show, so once again, you need to pad.

    4) The interface to the integrated TiVo DIRECTV unit is different from the standard receiver and the folks who hadn't seen the TiVo interface before having the unit installed had to learn to adjust.

    In short, I don't believe there's a device on the market that doesn't require some learning in order to use to their maximum efficiency and capability.
     
  13. Oct 9, 2007 #93 of 302
    CTJon

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    Been stated before but if you're counting answers.

    1) The remote - definately not intuitive in places - to get a "to do" list you have to press list then the yellow button (how would someone without a manual or a guide figure that out) and if there is another way I don't know it.

    2) Some of the processes you can go back from, some you have to exit and some you have to go over and scroll down to done. I know improvements have been made but make it consistant and do the exit or back.

    3) The size and amount of shows shown in the guide. 1.5 hours and the few lines is too few. Or make it an option to show more.

    4) -- to delete - I guess this goes in item 2 but be serious.
     
  14. Oct 9, 2007 #94 of 302
    Earl Bonovich

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    Umm... on the bottom of your MyPlaylist, there is a YELLOW button icon, with the words ToDo list next to it...

    As noted in other places, this has already been changed...
    On the HR20 and now the R15 platform... pretty sure the HR20 changes are already national... if not they will be in the next national release..
    (Oh, and those are also on the bottom of the respective screens with a RED Button icon, with the word DELETE next to it)
     
  15. Oct 9, 2007 #95 of 302
    wisem10

    wisem10 Cool Member

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    I think that the point is that there is nothing intuitively obvious about a yellow button taking a user to the To-do list from the List view. Just because there is instructional text at the bottom, does not make it intuitive nor even easy to remember.

    - Mark
     
  16. Oct 9, 2007 #96 of 302
    cartrivision

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    It IS hidden. There is no way that the typical user would know it's there.

    It's great to have a shortcut there to get to the default recording settings (in addition to also putting it under the setting menu where you would expect a "setting"), but if the UI was designed by someone even remotely qualified and experienced in UI design, there would at a minimum, text on that screen that says "Press Menu Button to Set Defaults for Future Recordings"...... What a concept!!!!!! Tell the user that an function is there and how to use it.... and without reading the manual. It's simple blunders like the above that tell me that the people making the UI design decisions have absolutely no qualifications to be doing so.

    Here’s my mantra.... D* needs to hire an experienced UI design engineer with the proper education and training in that field to oversee the UI design.
     
  17. Oct 9, 2007 #97 of 302
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Umm... So hitting LIVE TV button twice, to toggle between tuners on the DirecTivo... is "intuitive"... ? Or TiVo-1 to go to one menu; TiVo-2 to go to another....

    Sorry that instructions are on the screen... and that using it daily it doesn't get stored in the memory banks...
     
  18. Oct 9, 2007 #98 of 302
    Sirshagg

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    :up: :up: :up:
     
  19. Oct 9, 2007 #99 of 302
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Fine it is hidden, because they don't have a full screen menu that provides you will every single possible option... so no one could possible miss it....

    From this day forward: burn the manuals... no one should ever be expected to read the instructions on how to do something..... no more manuals. no more instructions...

    Gosh forbid, that someone might have to look at the instructions for something.

    Sorry... braking my own rule here.... back to more reasons on why one is easier/then the other....


    I personally think it is EASIER to not clutter the screen with a full menu screen, and have context sensitive screens, based on where you are... but hey... that's me... and why I find it easier.
     
  20. Oct 9, 2007 #100 of 302
    Sirshagg

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    Learned something new - and I've wanted this.

    Way to hide it D* :down:
     
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