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A sugesstion to make our D*hd dvr more like tivo

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by celticpride, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. drpjr

    drpjr Icon

    Nov 23, 2007
    Which was my not so clearly stated sarcastic point:nono2:, that clicking KUID doesn't actually always mean Keep Until I Delete.:(
  2. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    "Cancel" as defined is unambiguous.

    But "cancel" used in the context the DVR uses it is indeed completely ambiguous.

    What would be unambiguous in that context is something along the lines of "Cancel this showing in lieu of other sheduled recordings, then attempt to record a later showing". But maybe the thinking is that our short attention span can't make it all the way to the end of a 16-word sentence. If so, I think they give us too little credit.

    This would, however, make it more "Tivo-like", which is in the spirit of the OPs thread. Tivo pioneered the use of unambiguous phrases such as "don't do anything" in its menus (only to be pirated by everyone else), probably against the advice of typical short-sighted ergonomic experts drones (although Tivo, being a boutique start-up at the time rather than a monolithic corporation, may have luckily had no such drones employed).

    But why aim for Tivo quality? Aim higher, dammit! Just 'cuz Tivo may have set the bar doesn't mean you have to aim for that and accept that. Aim above that. When "cancel" (this request or this scheduled recording) is selected, the list of available subsequent showings for all three program episodes should then automagically appear without us even thinking about it, so that we can then make a truly informed decision. Select any one of the subsequent showings, all 3 are then scheduled by a single click, problem solved, move on.

    After all, what is the first thing that pops into your mind when faced with this dialog? For me, and probably for everyone else, its "OK, I want 3 programs but can only get 2 right now, so which program will provide me the opportunity of a subsequent airing?" Why not, if you are the ergonomic design guru behind the DVR's GUI, answer that question immediately, before we even think of it and feel pressured by having to deal with such a dilemma? That's an ergonomic no-brainer, IMO.

    That would be nice, but the reality is that DTV has actually aimed even lower, in that subsequent showings quite often just do not record at all anymore, a broken promise that they have yet to fix.
  3. jcr159

    jcr159 Mentor

    Feb 15, 2010
    Agreed, and basically what I posted last week... Let's move on from the cancel != cancel stuff, and get some suggestions on how to make our HR's perform even better than Tivo (or anything else for that matter...).

    I think getting the option to reschedule immediately when a conflict is detected is a huge win. Instead of feeling like I just had to compromise, I feel like I got everything I wanted, just in a different time slot...

    Yeah, it will take some development effort, but just think... It's something else they can put in their DirectTv vs. Dish ads! : )
  4. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    Coming full circle, I assume you are referring to development effort to fulfill the OP's request? IOW, had the HR scheduler made another pass at 8PM, it would have seen that because the game recording ended early, a one-hour tuner slot was now free and there was still an unrecorded NCIS SL episode available that could have used it?

    I agree, but only if that episode was "re-prioritized", meaning it was canceled as part of the "resolve conflict" routine. And in that case, it might even be left on the TO DO list, and simply "X'd", to indicate what's going on.

    But if I go to TO DO and select and cancel a single episode without scheduling anything in its place, I would expect that showing to stay canceled. If the same episode returns with a future non-conflicted showing and the SL is still active, I'd expect it to record.
  5. djrobx

    djrobx Godfather

    Jan 26, 2009
    To me, cancel has a specific meaning and the current behavior is adhering to it correctly.

    The feature that people seem to be looking for, is the ability to de-prioritize a show, instead of canceling it in the event of a conflict with a single recording. I agree this would be a nice-to-have. That way you're back to normal should you cancel the one-off. Maybe the one-offs could show up in the Prioritizer.
  6. looter

    looter Godfather

    Oct 1, 2007
    But the software isn't consistant and it doesn't truly "cancel" (which I don't feel it should) but records the next airing. So if a recorder is freed let it behave in a consistant manor and record the SL episode.

    But yeah I'd like it to do that too. We agree.
  7. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    I checked before I went to bed last night, and the TO DO list was NOT showing the 1AM episode, but it recorded anyway last night, as expected.

    "Not knowing" is my biggest gripe with the HR scheduler. If, like TiVO, it updated TO DO after every change (new SL's, re-prioritization, etc.), I could live with quirks like the OP's. IOW, if I was confident TO DO was always reflecting what was going to happen, I could "fix" things manually if need be. Just my .02.

    Here goes one more shameless plug for this Wish List request, which I've modified based on the OP:

    An "UPDATE NOW" option to immediately populate the TO DO LIST with all matching programs in the GUIDE, after scheduling a SL, AUTORECORD, re-ordering the SERIES MANAGER, or otherwise freeing up recording slots.
  8. bobcamp1

    bobcamp1 Icon

    Nov 8, 2007
    This new option shouldn't be an option. It's an essential feature, as this thread has shown, because you're never quite sure what you've told the DVR to do over the past week. And if my 9-year old Tivo can update it immediately and reliably, why can't the "state of the art" DirecTV DVRs do it?

    It is quite embarrassing that the To Do list doesn't actually do anything useful. Rather than fix it, they've hidden it instead! That code must be pure spaghetti if the DVR itself doesn't even know what it's going to record in the next six hours. I would be ashamed of myself if I were a D* programmer.
  9. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    I agree with you except for the "Tivo" "update" and "immediately" in the same sentence, all I have ever seen on the screen is "please wait while I take my sweet darn time processing your measly little request"

    The Tivos never seemed to do anything immediately.
  10. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    That issue went away for me when my HR10 got the 6.x update back in the day...

    Actually, if you watch how quickly the HR populates TO DO for a new SL, I don't think TO DO list update time will ever be an issue on the HR2x's, similar to the way it was on the 3.x-based HR10's. It's virtually instantaneous, as far as I can tell.

    My WAG is the original software designers assumed TO DO list update time might be an issue and designed it as a background task. This may also be the reason for the 50 limit.

    The new GUIDE database seems to be very fast, tho, and I wonder if they were designing the scheduler today if they wouldn't do the updates in real time, as a result, or uncap the 50 limit?
  11. Syzygy

    Syzygy Hall Of Fame

    Dec 5, 2005
    The argument continues, seemingly to little purpose. The 25th post should've settled the issue:
    As several posters have noted, a cancellation in response to a conflict prompt is not the same as a unilateral, unprompted cancellation. TiVo knows the difference and acts intelligently; it seems that DirecTV's software does not.

    Doug Brott, RunnerFL and others are saying, in essence, that DirecTV's software knows best no matter how stupid it may appear to be. However...
  12. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    Not true. Read through my posts in this thread.

    Only issue is HR2x sometimes not scheduling the next available showing, but a later one.
  13. Syzygy

    Syzygy Hall Of Fame

    Dec 5, 2005
    I wish I hadn't spent time reading the 23 other posts you made to this thread, because none of them seemed to contradict my statement that "a cancellation in response to a conflict prompt is not the same as a unilateral, unprompted cancellation. TiVo knows the difference and acts intelligently; it seems that DirecTV's software does not."

    It appears that all your comments and reported tests have been about whether the next available showing is scheduled after a show is cancelled.

    Here's what I thought the thread was about (before it digressed into a discussion of cable shows that are repeated throughout the week):

    The original poster hoped that a show (NCIS) that he was required to cancel (in favor of a Celtics-Bucks game) would automatically be recorded anyway when he stopped recording the basketball game 15 minutes before NCIS was to start. (I hope he had switched an available tuner to CBS, then checked sometime during the next hour to see if the NCIS recording had started at 8 pm, so that he could press the R button if it didn't.)

    His HR20-700 did not record NCIS automatically; he asserts that his HR10-250 would have done so. I'm pretty sure my HR10 used to do the right thing too.

    Now that I've had time to recall my own HR21's behavior, I believe his HR20 might've recorded NCIS automatically if it had had enough time to think about it; but 15 minutes would not be enough (especially if it was busy capturing two HD streams to disk). It may be just that the HR10 does it more quickly because it thinks faster (better algorithm).
  14. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    Yes, because my tests also show the HR2x does know when a show has been canceled because of priority. It just doesn't always find the next available showing, which in the OP's case happened to be the same one he originally bumped.

    So the issues that need to be addressed, IMHO, are:
    1. Frequency of To Do list updates.
    2. Logic to find the soonest non-conflicted episode. IOW, don't stop looking when one episode that meets the SL criteria is found. Check them all out and schedule the soonest.

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