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Guest Message by DevFuse

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How to Make PrimeTime Anytime even Better


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10 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:04 AM

Okay, I know some Dish people read these forums, so I'm giving away my $1mil ideas for free in the hopes that somebody listens.

1) Add PBS to the mix. Since you've already proven you can record 4 channels at once, why not add PBS? Or for people with CW/MyNetwork in their area, those channels as well? I understand it would take more hard drive space, so it should be a user-selectable option - something like "Add channel x to PTAT" in a settings menu. But it seems a shame to tie up a second tuner to record PBS shows.

2) Allow user scheduled PTAT slots - some people may want the local news from more than one station, or want to record 3 sports events on a Sunday afternoon, or want all the Sunday morning news programs. Instead of tying up tuners for each of those, allow a custom scheduled event to "Record all 4 Networks" off one tuner, leaving two others free for other things. Yes, this uses up hard drive space, but if the user chooses to use it for this, why not?

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#2 OFFLINE   dexware

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:54 AM

It won't take up more HD space as the one tuner records the entire transponder. I know of one area where PTAT records two market's locals as they are on the same transponder (one market is HD and one is SD). Of course you can't see the other market's locals in the recordings.

It will probably come in time as more markets get their PBS in HD.

#3 OFFLINE   Jon J

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:25 AM

The more I learn about PTAT the less I believe I would ever use it. We seldom watch more than two programs a week on ABC, NBC or Fox. So, having three hours a night of each network tying up a tuner when it could be recording another channel would not be an option I think I would choose. When I switch from DirecTV to Dish I'll need two Hoppers so I'll probably just program the six tuners individually to my taste.
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#4 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:12 PM

The more I learn about PTAT the less I believe I would ever use it. We seldom watch more than two programs a week on ABC, NBC or Fox. So, having three hours a night of each network tying up a tuner when it could be recording another channel would not be an option I think I would choose. When I switch from DirecTV to Dish I'll need two Hoppers so I'll probably just program the six tuners individually to my taste.


I thought the same thing, but I'm finding it useful. First, if the programs I want are in PrimeTime, I don't have to worry about setting it up to record. If they move around from day-to-day, same thing. And I've heard of shows, but never set up to record them, and now have sampled a few just to see what all the buzz was about. Since a lot of the programs I watch are on network television, it's nice to not have to set timers for each one.

I haven't had it happen yet, but I have heard of programs a day or two after they aired, and then I either missed it or have to watch it on my computer (not ideal) which almost always means watching commercials. Now, if I hear about a show after it airs, I still have it to watch the way I want to.

Adding Nova, Frontline and other PBS programs to the PTAT list would be nice, especially if they're already being recorded...

#5 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:03 PM

It only is capable of recording the 4 LiLs if they are on the same transponder. IF they put all of your HD LiLs on the same transponder... then they probably could expand to include more channels in the PrimeTime Anytime feature.

My "concern" about this feature in general, though, is for the nights that have delays due to afternoon sports events. On those nights you would not only have to tie up the tuner for PrimeTime Anytime but also another tuner for the channel that has potential overrun and needs more end-time padding.

IF all primetime shows always started and ended within the 8-11pm EST block, then it would be a much more useful feature.

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#6 OFFLINE   robinandtami

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:42 PM

I thought the same thing, but I'm finding it useful. First, if the programs I want are in PrimeTime, I don't have to worry about setting it up to record. If they move around from day-to-day, same thing. And I've heard of shows, but never set up to record them, and now have sampled a few just to see what all the buzz was about. Since a lot of the programs I watch are on network television, it's nice to not have to set timers for each one.

I haven't had it happen yet, but I have heard of programs a day or two after they aired, and then I either missed it or have to watch it on my computer (not ideal) which almost always means watching commercials. Now, if I hear about a show after it airs, I still have it to watch the way I want to.

Adding Nova, Frontline and other PBS programs to the PTAT list would be nice, especially if they're already being recorded...


I think it's going to be a great feature during that time of year when all the new series are coming out. It happens to me frequently that some new series will come out that I am interested in, and I forget to watch it or program it. Or even a series that you weren't interested in at all until you hear others talking about it, and think "I wish I'd have recorded that." It's a nice little do-over... at least for the big networks. I can see this being the wave of the future though where we'll be able to go back and watch anything we subscribe to at some point in time.

#7 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 05:30 AM

I think it's going to be a great feature during that time of year when all the new series are coming out. It happens to me frequently that some new series will come out that I am interested in, and I forget to watch it or program it. Or even a series that you weren't interested in at all until you hear others talking about it, and think "I wish I'd have recorded that." It's a nice little do-over... at least for the big networks. I can see this being the wave of the future though where we'll be able to go back and watch anything we subscribe to at some point in time.

I agree ... it is good for those "watercooler" shows that you may not hear about until the next day - when it is too late to set a recording. I've also found myself watching more programs from the networks ... when I pick up the remote and ask "what is on TV" there is 88+ hours of content ready to go.

As far as adding other local networks it would require some shuffling of channels (as was done late last year to prepare for the current offering). Each market would have to have its own transponder - putting four channels from one market and four from another wouldn't work if there were fifth and sixth channels to add.

I also dispute the "records an entire transponder" theory of operation. An entire transponder would be eight channels, at least 91/92 hours of programming saved over eight days plus any start early/end late for sports/events (if the scheduled time of any primetime show starts before 8pm, PTA starts before 8pm - if the scheduled time of any primetime show ends after 11pm, PTA ends after 11pm). 92 hours time eight channels would be 736 hours ... more than the 1TB DISH has set aside for PTA+VOD programs can hold. 92 hours times four channels is 368 hours ... leaving 132 hours for movies and other VOD (66 2 hour movies ... and I have 54 movies on channel 501 on my receiver).

Adding another HD channel would cut into that 132 hours. Adding two (CW and PBS?) would exhaust the non-customer part of the drive and require DISH to cut back the customer side of the drive from 1TB back to 500GB. A step backwards.


I would like to see some "brains" put into the record operation. If a transponder is set to record a show and another recording is scheduled for the same transponder it should not consume a separate tuner. That may get complicated if extended to all channels, but within the local networks such a plan is possible. Say a person recorded Jay Leno and also wanted David Letterman. The receiver would be smart enough to realize that those two channels are on the locals transponder and not spend two tuners on the recordings. And if the local PBS and CW are shuffled, timer based recordings of those networks could record to the customer portion of the drive but use the PTA tuner. Just a thought.

Edited by James Long, 05 May 2012 - 11:09 AM.
Too early - TB GB MB fixed


#8 OFFLINE   patmurphey

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:14 AM

Jim - a couple of corrections - PTAT records about 96 hours (plus over/under), 8 days x 3 hours x 4 networks. It rounds to a bit over 200 MB of HD.

"Brains" are already in PTAT, if you set timers for PTAT shows, it does not use additional tuners (shows skipped on the "Daily schedule"), but does save the shows to "My Recordings". S209 makes that even easier from within PTAT. The only time you need to use a tuner is if you need to set extra time (like the Sunday showing of Miami CSI that always ran late after 11). In that case you have to unskip the timer to trigger use of a tuner.

#9 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:19 AM

It rounds to a bit over 200 MB of HD.

Correction: 200 GB

#10 OFFLINE   patmurphey

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:58 AM

Correction: 200 GB


I had to give one back! :D Jim is usually right on the money.

#11 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:05 AM

Jim - a couple of corrections - PTAT records about 96 hours (plus over/under), 8 days x 3 hours x 4 networks. It rounds to a bit over 200 MB of HD.

That was messy ... sorry, I completely messed up the math there. For some reason my mind calculated the total PTA hours (wrong) and then multiplied by channels when the channels were already included. (Not to mention the TB/GB/MB mess.)

PTA is 22 hours of programming per channel in a week plus the eighth day plus any "early/late" for sports or other events. 8 channel PTA would consume at least 208 hours, which based on 1TB = 500 hours would consume ~416 GB. One would still have around 300 hours for VOD content ... which should be plenty.

"Brains" are already in PTAT, if you set timers for PTAT shows, it does not use additional tuners (shows skipped on the "Daily schedule"), but does save the shows to "My Recordings". S209 makes that even easier from within PTAT. The only time you need to use a tuner is if you need to set extra time (like the Sunday showing of Miami CSI that always ran late after 11). In that case you have to unskip the timer to trigger use of a tuner.

Not quite what I was asking for. I understand how recordings are marked skipped yet still "saved" in the main recordings area (in the early tests the content is really in the PTA area and only consumed "customer" space after the 8th day). And I understand how I can "spend" a second tuner to make up for the flaw in PTA not extending an extra hour for sports.

What I want is for the PTA tuner to be used any time two or more timers are set for local programming (the Jay Leno plus David Letterman example) ... using only one tuner for multiple programs. This would also include the +1 hour for sports ... without spending a second tuner.

For example ... a couple of weeks ago there was a NASCAR on Fox race that was scheduled to end at 11pm. PTA caught the race, starting early to catch the beginning. My normal timer skipped the race since it was PTA. The recording ended at 11pm. PTA should have extended for the +1 for sports but it doesn't do that.

Wasting a second timer is a poor option. The receiver should be able to understand that my timer is on the PTA tuner and record it to the customer portion of the drive with the +1 hour. When PTA finishes at 11pm the tuner could stay on that transponder for the regular timer.

Yes, I know how it really works - this is a FEATURE REQUEST, not a bug report. It would be nice if PTA was smarter. The BUG is that PTA doesn't extend itself for an hour when sports are on the schedule (even if earlier in the day, such as when NCAA basketball was scheduled to end at 10pm and the .10pm show ended up being cut off because it started late). The BUG needs to be fixed ... but it would be nice to see the FEATURE added.




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