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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 #101 of 302
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    #1 Recommended thing, I will tell ANY new users of the HR20.

    While you are getting used to the system.. hit menu every once and a while, so you can see all the options that are available to you.

    There are a LOT of option in there, especially in MyPlaylist...

    Maybe there should be a full size sheet of paper (the size of the box)...
    With that statement... to help those that don't want to read the manual...
     
  2. Oct 9, 2007 #102 of 302
    kmill14

    kmill14 Godfather

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    Earl, this is a perfect example of how I think HR-20 has complicated a number of processes. The Menu system to me is like a very bad Interactive Menu system you get when calling some customer service or another.

    Who's going to know they can change these defaults if they don't read thru these forums in detail?
     
  3. Oct 9, 2007 #103 of 302
    judson_west

    judson_west Godfather

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    I feel there are a number of pluses to the TiVo interface:

    1) Amount of information, relevant to what you are trying to do, displayed on the screen. For instance, the TiVo Guide has the most guide information, but even still the DirecTV guide (aka grid guide) has a lot of information displayed. I understand that the PIP is a WOW factor, but when I go to the guide, I want to see information.

    2) The arrow buttons get you to almost any place within the UI and you rarely have to press the SELECT button.


    On the DirecTV side of the house, there are a couple of pluses there too:

    1) Tabs. There are a number of areas that use tabs for displaying additional information/settings in groups.

    2) Pop-up windows. Where TiVo may have resorted to using a full screen to prompt you for information, DirecTV uses pop-up windows.
     
  4. Oct 9, 2007 #104 of 302
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Granted I am not a major fan of the manual, and do think it should be completely overhauled...
    But it is there...

    Page 37 of the manual...
    Quick Menu over a Record Options screen:

    And there is a reference to it earlier on on page 19:
    One-Touch record with Defaults.
     
  5. Oct 9, 2007 #105 of 302
    houskamp

    houskamp Active Member

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    Any chance that they would add all the "defaults menus" to the setup menu? They could add one section just for all of these, that way they are all in one place..
     
  6. Oct 9, 2007 #106 of 302
    Sirshagg

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    Earl, no offense intended but (my $.02) the comment under your name "I think like an engeneer" is the problem. The people doing the design on the HR20 don't seem to think like the people who will be using it. The folks that designed the Tivo UI do (at least more so).
     
  7. Oct 9, 2007 #107 of 302
    msmith

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    This exactly matches my opinion.

    I do computer applications software for a living. You can tell the difference between a program that was designed to be used by technical people and one designed to be used by Joe Average.

    Intuition is entirely different for technical people than it is for regular people. Technical people expect menus to be organized by functional areas and I believe that non-technical people expect things to be more like "often used vs. setup". Technical people like efficient use of real estate - non-technical people prefer lots of "white" space.

    The Tivo seems designed for Joe Average (and particularly for Jane Average), while the HR20 and the Directv Plus system in general seem designed by engineers for people who want feature-rich systems while accepting the occasional hiccup.
     
  8. Oct 9, 2007 #108 of 302
    Tom_S

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    I have used TiVo for years and the HR20 for 10 months. As far as ease of use I find both equal as far as navigation, TiVo an edge for trickplay(Damn whoever came up with press n' hold), HR20 an edge for speed.

    I like the grid guide better, even on the TiVo. The Tivo guide blows as far as I'm concerned, if I'm surfing the guide I want to know whats on NOW, not in 6 hours, and not only for 1 channel, jeez.

    BTW, I never knew about the recording defaults. That is big, I do have one suggestion, a default to put the new recording at the top priority.
     
  9. Oct 9, 2007 #109 of 302
    raramaker

    raramaker Cool Member

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    I'll give you my top reasons TiVo has a better interface - although neither is perfect.

    1) Single menu structure with one key access. This means I don't have to press all the keys on the remote to find a function (color buttons, LIST, MENU, GUIDE, etc). The keys are great as a short-cut, but not as separate menu structures.

    2) Searching the guide. Despite the overall slowness of the TiVo system, it is still faster at scrolling thru the TiVo-style guide and letting me find a program to record.

    3) Wishlists/search still does not work well on the HR20. A category-only wishlist - not possible. Record all season premieres - not possible. Autorecord for an NFL team records NFL Sunday Ticket over the network game even though I don't get Sunday Ticket and the HR20 knows it.

    4) 30-second slip (HR20) is much slower then 30-second skip (TiVo).
     
  10. Oct 9, 2007 #110 of 302
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    FYI: That is how it is done on the R15... and one of the top disliked features of the system, when it was first released.

    It has it at the bottom now on the HR20, and after the Series Link is set, you can go the prioritizer, highlight it and hit the YELLOW button (Which is noted on the bottom), to allow you to quickly jump it to the top.

    If you think about it... how often, after your initial setup... you are finding new recordings that you want to trump your entire organized priortizer lineup ?
     
  11. Oct 9, 2007 #111 of 302
    Tom_S

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    OK, I can live with that. I know on the TiVo when setting up a season pass after 1 of the many infuriating confirmation screens it asks to GET ALL of the episodes. This places it at the top priority. But I usually reorder my series links after setting up additional recordings, so I guess I can stay the way it is.
     
  12. Oct 9, 2007 #112 of 302
    tiger2005

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    Agree to point #1.

    As far as the Guide, your statement points to why the TiVo UI is better in this area. TiVo gives the user the CHOICE of which Guide to use. There doesn't have to be a 'take it or leave it' approach. As Earl has said many times, he doesn't like the TiVo Guide, but using the TiVo UI he didn't have to. I will never like the Grid Guide employed on the HR20 or the TiVo, BUT I had the ability to change it, which mean't it was really a non-issue in my mind.

    I've had the HR20 for over a year now and I never knew about the recording defaults. THAT is one of the reasons I prefer the TiVo interface. Most things are not hidden as much as they are on the HR20. This is why the GF will never like the HR20, too much to know and learn. The TiVo doesn't require this sort of time investment. And in reality this is the type of UI D* should be striving for because this brings a much wider audience to the DVR and more $$$ for D* IMO.
     
  13. Oct 9, 2007 #113 of 302
    Stuart Sweet

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    If the HR20 didn't have vastly more capability than any DirecTivo I would agree with you but with great power comes great responsibility... er, responsibility for reading the manual.

    There are so many more features that a DIRECTV receiver has like active content, media sharing, On Demand (currently in testing), etc. and so many more ways of doing some of the common things, well at some point it justifies a time investment to learn how to do it. We all made a time investment going from yellow legal pads to Microsoft Word, and I make the same comparison.
     
  14. Oct 9, 2007 #114 of 302
    Drew2k

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    Forget the onscreen instructions (LIST + YELLOW). TiVo has To Do list on a sub menu, and so does the HR20. MENU > Help & Settings > Scheduler > To Do List. Boom.
     
  15. Oct 9, 2007 #115 of 302
    kmill14

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    I would be curious to know how Tivo handled all these additional features on their stand alone boxes. My guess it didn't add significant layers of complexity to the menu system, as the HR-20 has.

    I think the person who described the HR-20 as an engineer's design is spot on, where the Tivo is more of a Customer's design.
     
  16. Oct 9, 2007 #116 of 302
    raott

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    But that helps make the point that others have made, think like an average user and ask what in the world is the "Scheduler" and the "To Do" list doing under "Help and Settings" - ie the same place I set up my screen display, check my sat signals etc.

    Note - I do not know if Tivo was any better in bringing up the to do list, seems like it was also buried somewhere I wouldn't have expected but I haven't used it in quite a while so don't remember for sure.

    My only othe complaints are anything involving "press and hold" on the remote and of course, the lack of DLBs, which because of the fact that I have to do some archaic workaround keep a buffer on two shows, makes Tivo easier to use.
     
  17. Oct 9, 2007 #117 of 302
    Drew2k

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    So if a user is "lost" looking for the To Do list and can't see the "YELLOW - To Do List " hint on the playlist, and they can't figure out how to get it and won't open the manual ... you're right - they probably would never choose the "Help" option on the menu. Because if they did, they would see "Scheduler". I can argue that putting Scheduler under Settings is appropriate, because when I set up a recording ... what was that? "Set up?" Yup ... it's a setting I made. Also, to say that "Scheduler" is not easily associated with "To Do" is a stretch.

    (To correct one thing I didn't catch earlier - your display settings are actually one level down from the menu where Scheduler is located.)

    As I said earlier, the big difference between UIs is that TiVo uses full screen menus for everything, obstructing the primary purpose of the DVR (to watch stuff), while DIRECTV places menus over what we're watching. That means DIRECTV is using shorter words, while TiVo uses almost complete sentences.
     
  18. Oct 9, 2007 #118 of 302
    kmill14

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    No offense, but it makes no sense to me to have the "Scheduler" sub-menu under Help and Settings. To me, Help and Settings is for...Help and Settings.

    Tivo > Menu > Pick Programs to Record > To Do List

    That makes a lot more sense to me.
     
  19. Oct 9, 2007 #119 of 302
    wisem10

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    You're right, hitting the Live TV button to toggle between tuners is not intuitive. Nor is the arrow up (I think) to switch formats. I was not saying that the Tivo is completely intuitive, nor was I saying that the yellow button / to do is a bad design. I simple said that clicking on a yellow button from within the List is not intuitive (i.e., the yellow button provides no affordance that suggests this function; thus, no one would ever click on the yellow button if the instructions were not there).

    I was simply trying to make an objective observations. I'm sorry if my comment offended.
     
  20. Oct 9, 2007 #120 of 302
    Tom_S

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    But some things are eh? In this case on the HR20 this was a little harder to find but obviously I didn't miss it much. Like I said and you concurred, the navigation is about equal.
     
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