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DirecTV Plus DVR: Search Features


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14 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 08:28 AM

Let's continue the discussion of how the DVR Plus units do their searching... here.
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#2 OFFLINE   mpoyner

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 07:34 AM

Lost buffer isn't the only drawback. It's just the most visible. There's also SL limits, lack of true wishlists.


What does this mean? How does this box deal with wishlists? Why is it not true wishlists and is this an inferior version than how Tivo does it?

Also, is it a possibility that a software update for this thing could happen soon after launch to add the tickmarks functionality. To me, that is a laughably inept design for a DVR. Why in the hell should you have to do normal fast-forwarding to get to the end of a 3.5HR football game, etc? That's ridiculous to not have that included.

#3 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 07:47 AM

What does this mean? How does this box deal with wishlists? Why is it not true wishlists and is this an inferior version than how Tivo does it?

Also, is it a possibility that a software update for this thing could happen soon after launch to add the tickmarks functionality. To me, that is a laughably inept design for a DVR. Why in the hell should you have to do normal fast-forwarding to get to the end of a 3.5HR football game, etc? That's ridiculous to not have that included.


It doesn't really "deal" with WishLists... there are some Keyword search options, with auto-record... but it just isn't the same... especially for a power WishList user.

As for the SkipTo Tick.... that is a software thing, that could be added at a later time..

Actually to get to the end, you can just hold the forward advance button for a few seconds and you jump straight to the end.
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#4 OFFLINE   walters

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 07:59 AM

What does this mean? How does this box deal with wishlists? Why is it not true wishlists and is this an inferior version than how Tivo does it?


This particular peeve is better served by ad301. I suspect he may chime in before long (I suspect he has a "wishlist" wishlist on these forums :)). Until then, here's a good summary:
http://www.dbstalk.c...376&postcount=8

One of the biggest problems with autorecord finds, really, is the 50 SL limit. It's nice to be able to make dozens (or for some people, hundreds) of very narrow wishlists (e.g. a particular movie or a specific episode of a show) and just wait for them to fire. It's great when that wishlist you set two years ago and forgot about finally ends up in Now Playing. You can't do that when you're limited to 50 SLs (including autorecord searches).

#5 OFFLINE   ad301

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 08:06 AM

Disclaimer: I do not have an hr20, this reply is based on the r15. Earl has indicated that the hr20 seems to be functionally unchanged from the r15 in this area.

What does this mean? How does this box deal with wishlists? Why is it not true wishlists and is this an inferior version than how Tivo does it?

The r15 does not allow you to save searches for an indefinite time. It has a limit of 25 on recent searches, meaning that once you've done 25 searches, the oldest one is lost the next time you run a search. You can, however, delete a search you no longer wish to keep, to pare down the list of recent searches. You can save a search by making it an auto-recording search, but there is a limit of 50 items in the prioritizer, which includes all series links as well as auto-records. And, unfortunately, there is no way to simultaneously check all searches, whether recent or saved as auto-recording. If you wish to review recent searches for matches, you must check each one individually. Also, the keyword search terms are simpler, allowing only words or phrases, not multiple keywords, and there are no wildcards. Those are some of the issues off the top of my head, there may be more.

If you're only a casual user of WLs on your tivo, you may find the r15 (and presumably hr20) to be adequate for your needs. If you use WLs to any greater extent, or rely on them for certain tasks such as recording sports teams' games, you will absolutely hate this step backwards in capability. For instance, on one of my hr10-250s, I have a WL of over 200 items, mostly movie titles, very few of which are auto-recording. This type of usage (which I understand is probably not the norm! :) ) is utterly impossible on the r15.

Also, is it a possibility that a software update for this thing could happen soon after launch to add the tickmarks functionality. To me, that is a laughably inept design for a DVR. Why in the hell should you have to do normal fast-forwarding to get to the end of a 3.5HR football game, etc? That's ridiculous to not have that included.

This was brought up within hours of the r15 getting into the hands of users, back in November. Nine months later we're still waiting.

I'd suggest that people looking for more information on way the hr20 operates would serve themselves well by reviewing message traffic in the r15 section here. The r15 has been thoroughly discussed and dissected since November, and it seems that the UI of the hr20 is virtually identical.

#6 OFFLINE   mpoyner

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 08:25 AM

Also, the keyword search terms are simpler, allowing only words or phrases, not multiple keywords, and there are no wildcards.


So, does this mean that I can't put in keywords "Maryland" and "Basketball" in order for it to record all Maryland Terps basketball games? "Maryland" and "Football" for it to record Terps football?

I suppose I'm lucky that "Redskins" won't really find many matches other than the Washington Redskins football games, so that will probably work out ok for me.

Those are mainly the only things I use Wishlists for currently.

Other question: you are calling them "searches", which I assume is how the R15 refers to them. I'm a little confused on how that works. If I do a search for "Redskins", it will bring up a couple of upcoming preseason games only, not the ones that are a few weeks away or longer, right? So, if I "save" this search, does this mean that it will also set up to record the other games as they become available in the guide data, or will I have to do a new search every couple of weeks to make sure it is recording every game? :(

#7 OFFLINE   ad301

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 08:44 AM

So, does this mean that I can't put in keywords "Maryland" and "Basketball" in order for it to record all Maryland Terps basketball games? "Maryland" and "Football" for it to record Terps football?

Correct. Unless the program description contains the exact phrase "Maryland Basketball" it wouldn't work. You could probably do one for "Maryland" and use the category Basketball and it might work. But you can't refine searches by using multiple keywords.

I found another summary I wrote on this issue, if you're interested it's here: http://www.dbstalk.c...40&postcount=41

Those are mainly the only things I use Wishlists for currently.

Then you probably won't find the new way of doing things to be a deal-breaker.

Other question: you are calling them "searches", which I assume is how the R15 refers to them. I'm a little confused on how that works. If I do a search for "Redskins", it will bring up a couple of upcoming preseason games only, not the ones that are a few weeks away or longer, right? So, if I "save" this search, does this mean that it will also set up to record the other games as they become available in the guide data, or will I have to do a new search every couple of weeks to make sure it is recording every game? :(

No, in that regard it will work if you set the search to auto-record. It will find new games as they are added to the guide. Be aware, though, that on the r15 (we don't know yet whether this has been fixed on the hr20), searches require constant checking of the todo list to make sure they don't set a recording on a channel you don't receive. It may not happen often, but it can happen.

#8 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 10:37 AM

Earl, Didn't you mention that the search function on the HR20 works pretty much like the R15?

In that case did you try doing Keyword searches repeatedly and did the HR20 return consistent results? Remember that the R15 can return a different number of hits each time you run the same search. It can also return different number of hits when you edit an autorecord SL. Just wondering if they've addressed this on the HR20.
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#9 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 10:56 AM

I didn't extensively test the search functions...
Possible Sunday I will have the time to put it through it's paces.
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#10 OFFLINE   Bobman

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 11:37 AM

Remember that the R15 can return a different number of hits each time you run the same search.



I dont remember hearing this before. :confused:

Has this been verified on an R-15 that we are sure has 100% of the guide data downloaded ? Just asking as the R-15 does not download all the data within 24 hours like some keep saying. Sometimes I have noticed days after a reset some titles missing from the guide if you scroll ahead far enough.

#11 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 02:35 PM

I dont remember hearing this before. :confused:

Has this been verified on an R-15 that we are sure has 100% of the guide data downloaded ? Just asking as the R-15 does not download all the data within 24 hours like some keep saying. Sometimes I have noticed days after a reset some titles missing from the guide if you scroll ahead far enough.

Check out this thread or this post in particular.

There are also other examples.
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#12 OFFLINE   jaybee

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 11:42 AM

I just started checking out the search feature on my R15 and comparing it against my HR10-250. My wife uses the Actor Wishlist quite a bit on the Tivo. Well I decided to compare this so I can see if the R15, supposedly being similar to the HR20, came up with the same search results. What I found appears to be that the R15 will result with shows that have the actors name in the description while the Tivo will pick up any with the actor, even if they aren't in the description. For example, I searched on Sean Bean. The R15 came up with Goldeneye and Sharpe's Waterloo. On the Tivo, it came up othe other movies that Bean was in like National Treasure. The difference is that his name wasn't in the description.
So does Tivo download more guide data than the R15 does?

#13 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 01:22 PM

I don't know if anyone really knows how the Tivo and R15 guide data compares. In the Tivo the actor information is separate from the description and the two are assembled in some fashion. But not all actors get into the description. I would guess they have access to the same info. But keep in mind the R15 stores it's guide data in memory and the Tivo stores it on disk. The R15 may have to abbreviate it's guide data for storage reasons so it may only store the first three or four actors listed in the guide. I have yet to see items such as the director or writer(s) listed in R15 info so that may just be guide data that isn't stored on the R15.

BTW, here's the data on the Tivo:
Program 751539/10 {
  Version        = 2
  ServerId       = A0028c186
  ServerVersion  = 3
  Actor          = Cage|Nicolas Gomez|Hunter Kruger|Diane Bartha|Justin Bean|Sean Voight|Jon
  Advisory       = 10
  ApgProgram     = 751539/11
  DescLanguage   = English
  Description    = {An adventurer must steal the Declaration of Independence and use its hidden map to find a legendary fortune.}
  Director       = Turteltaub|Jon
  Genre          = 1 368 32 111 116 105
  IsEpisode      = 1
  MovieRunTime   = 130
  MovieYear      = 2004
  MpaaRating     = 2
  OriginalAirDate = 12417
  RootServerId   = A0028c185
  Series         = 786013/-1
  Title          = {National Treasure}
  TmsId          = MV1522590000
  Writer         = Elliott|Ted {Frye|E. Max}
  IndexPath      = /Server/A0028c186:3:3:0
}

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#14 OFFLINE   jaybee

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 01:35 PM

Thanks for the insight Wolfpack. I guess this is going to be one of those nice Tivo features that isn't going to be as nice on D* DVR. I never use the feature much, but it's a big deal to my wife. The R15 is in my office, so it doesn't get used like the HR10-250 and doesn't worry me.
However, that HR20 wait may be a little longer than a few weeks for me. :(

#15 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 01:42 PM

Remember I'm just speculating on this but it would make sense that as the guide data is downloaded and memory populated some data may be dumped. If true it this would be a solid reason for a design change to store it on the HD, or at least store links from the guide in memory to the complete guide in the HD.
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