1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

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

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Oct 8, 2007 #1 of 302
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    Now I have used just about every incarnation of TiVo... up to the Series 3 line. This include's DTivos and SA-TiVos.

    In the thread that I posted:

    Numerous peole have replied that the TiVo UI is easier and more intuitive to use... So... please explain to me why...

    Others have stated the DirecTV UI is easier to use.... explain why...

    As I have now been using the DirecTV GUI for 2 years... and used the TiVo one for about 7-8 now (granted not daily over the last year)....

    And I don't see an overwhelming amount of things, on either system... that would definently put one higher then the other... just don't.

    Sure there are an aspect here and there, on either system that is better then it's counter part...

    But what makes the TiVo/DirecTV UI interface that much more "intuitive" and "easier" to use...
  2. Oct 8, 2007 #2 of 302
    Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Jul 12, 2006
    Los Angeles
    The big thing to me that makes the DIRECTV interface easier is the speed. I always hated certain parts of the TiVo interface because of that (can you say "Season Pass?").

    There are however, somethings in TiVo that I found easier. Like going to the Playlist. Tivo would always start off where I was last, but DIRECTV starts at the top every time.

    So which is better? Hmm .. I personally think that the best of both would give us a better interface. Each could use some improvement.
  3. Oct 8, 2007 #3 of 302
    Ken S

    Ken S RIP

    Feb 12, 2007

    I'm far from a Tivo fanatic..but there were a couple of things that made it easier to use. Nothing I would call earth-shattering. It should go without saying that these are all personal preferences and personal opinion. I can't honestly say that the HR20s interface would be a reason for me to not want the box by any means.

    1. The remote was better designed. It was easier to use it without having to look at it.

    2. Slow Motion is really non-intuitive to use well on the HR20 because it requires you to rewind to a point three seconds before where you want to start the slow motion.

    3. I don't recall the Tivo requiring the user to do different things to accomplish the same task on different function pages. In other words, on the HR20 if I want to quick delete an item on most pages I can hit dash twice...that's fine...until you get to the To Do list where the STOP button then takes on that task.

    4. The Tivo guide presents more information quicker to the viewer than the HR20s.

    I'm sure there are other nits.

    Don't get me wrong...I don't find the HR20's interface difficult at all and if you have used a Tivo it shouldn't take long to learn most of the functions.

    To me the biggest difference between the two systems lies elsewhere.
  4. Oct 8, 2007 #4 of 302
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    Ken -

    For #1: You won't find an argument from me.... The remote we use today, was designed as a "universal" remote to be used with a VCR/DVD player.... I do hope DirecTV does go back and develope a remote, that is for a DVR first, everything else 2nd.

    For #3: They have at least made that consistant now, with the RED Button Delete (and key for it on the bottom of the screen) for all of those areas... if not national, it will be in the next national release (I lose track of what is NR and what is CE)
  5. Oct 8, 2007 #5 of 302

    Chaser_M Cool Member

    Sep 20, 2007
    At first I didn't like the DirecTV GUI, but know I find it's faster and easier to get to where I want to be. (probably just because I was familiar with the TiVo GUI) The only frustrating issue I have with my HR20 is when I extend the recording time of a program, DirecTv will continue recording - but the extended time is listed as the next scheduled program in the guide. Tivo added the extended time to the original recording and my recordings were never broken up into two recorded shows
  6. Oct 8, 2007 #6 of 302
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    You should not be seeing "two" entries in your MyPlaylist, for an extended recording.

    You will see the "scheduled" information in the banner and the progress bar, if you are nto the next guide entry segement.... that is by design..

    But the entry in the playlist should be the "core" program you intended to record.
  7. Oct 8, 2007 #7 of 302

    SolidState Cool Member

    Aug 16, 2006

    Some of the most striking differences are in the "trick-play" features. If I have a show recorded on both my HR20 and my HR10, I will always choose the HR10 because of the 30-sec skip (which is instantaneous on the TiVo and not-even-close-to-instantaneous on the HR20) and instant replay. Is it me or does the instant replay on the HR20 only take you back 2 or 3 seconds instead of 6 seconds the TiVo rewinds? Also, the skip-to-tick is a PITA on the HR20. If I understand correctly, I have to hold down FF (or REW) for a couple of seconds, release then tap it again to go to the next tick. A major departure from the TiVo's "skip to tick" (or skip-to-beginning of buffer) feature.

    Like Doug says, the Now Playing list on the HR10 is MUCH easier to use. I like having my playlist sorted how I want(A-Z, delete by date, recorded date, etc.), with my "foldered" shows appearing in chronological order within their folders. Why does the HR20 only allow A-Z or chronological but no mixture?

    The "TiVo" guide on the HR10's is far, far more user-friendly than the HR20's guide. I like being able to browse the listings and view several hours for each channel (when highlighted) WITHOUT having to hit INFO (what a pain on the HR20).

    Don't get me wrong, the HR20 has come a long, long, long way in the past 12+ months, but the UI does leave something to be desired in the above respects.

    On the pro-HR20 side: the HR20's "series links" setup is much simpler than the HR10, but I'm already at 33 links (and the HR20 is my backup) and should run out of links (is the limit still 50?) soon. I have yet to browse the new HD channels for new shows to record. I also like the fact that if I hit dash twice in the playlist, I can delete the show without being prompted. The longer-than-30-minute buffer is also a MAJOR plus on the HR20 side.

    These impressions were made while using a Harmony 670, not the original HR20 remote.
  8. Oct 8, 2007 #8 of 302

    cover Icon

    Feb 11, 2007
    On the TiVo, I can press the left arrow to get out of pretty much anything I am doing - from watching a recording to changing buried settings in setup. On the HR20, I've had to learn to press the Stop and Exit buttons along with highlighting and selecting Done in the UI.

    When I was first setting up the HR20 and my Harmony remote, I was trapped in some setup screens until I figured out that I didn't have the dedicated "Exit" (as I recall) button from the HR20 remote. Again, with the TiVo, I could always use a left arrow to back out of something.

    Don't get me wrong. I don't think the HR20 has a terrible UI. There are a few things I like better than TiVo. But, it just isn't as intuitive and consistent.

    I had to struggle yesterday to figure out how to customize a Favorites list - even though I had done it before.
  9. Oct 8, 2007 #9 of 302

    tfederov Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    I guess I'm a little spoiled because I use a Harmony remote (peanut) on a couple of my DVRs (the ones the wife uses). Being able to use a peanut remote to control the HR20 was a good transition for her. She uses the RC64 at times on the rest and doesn't complain as much as she did before I put the Harmony's in use.
  10. Oct 8, 2007 #10 of 302
    Canis Lupus

    Canis Lupus You make it, We break it

    Oct 16, 2006
    This question may be worth bringing up again when the current CE cycle goes National, because you may get responses from users on the NR who are not experiencing GUI improvements from this cycle right now, but will soon.

    In the meantime though:

    DTiVo (SD) was better with:

    HR-20 is better with:
    Intuitiveness (again with many CE improvements)
    30 sec Slip and 6 sec Rewind combo (I don't use FF or RW)

    EDITED to remove "non-comparable" items ;)
  11. Oct 8, 2007 #11 of 302
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    In this discussion, I want to stay away from "features" like DoD... Networking... and things like...

    This discussion I would like it to be about "using" the system... and why one is "intuitive/easy" to use, when compared to the other... (and this goes both directions)
  12. Oct 8, 2007 #12 of 302

    JMCecil Godfather

    Jan 20, 2007
    The main things about the TIVO interface that I thought work better are:
    1) Much more/better/accurate meta-data for searching/recording. This is by a wide margin. The HR20 meta-data is rudimentary at best. EDIT SO THAT IT FITS EARLS THEME: To me the process for creating recordings by search is by far superior/faster/easier.

    2) The amount of data available on the guide is far superior. I would prefer 4 hours, but 3 as an absolute minimum. The HR20 has a tremendous amount of wasted space in the UI. The font does not need to be 10 inches tall (ok, I exagerate, but it is unecessarily large).

    3)Many places like the ToDo list require extra clicks into submenus to get to the details, when they have a huge chunk of screen at the top where that info could go.

    There are other things here and there, but in general I don't think the HR20 is harder to use. I just think the UI is clunky from an ergonomic standpoint. Just like the remote. The remote doesn't sit in your hand so that the buttons you use 99% of the time are under your thumb or finger. You have to slide your hand up to the top. Not a huge deal, just clunky.
  13. Oct 8, 2007 #13 of 302

    kmill14 Godfather

    Jun 12, 2007

    For DirecTV:

    1. Reaction times for "button clicks"
    6. 1-click recording

    For Tivo

    1. Simple Menu Design (HR-20's menu system is like a bad IVR..press 1 for this, 2 for that, then 1 for this 2 for that, etc etc etc)
    2. Dual Live/fully trick-playable Buffers (this makes watching TV easier for me)
    3. 30 second skip that is actually 30 seconds
    4. No back-up on 1 FF
    5. Sound Effects (it actually does help me to know if I screwed up or did something)
    9. Replay button that is 8 seconds verses 6? seconds (I always have to hit it twice on the HR20)
    B]More Tivo features that I want:[/B]

    14. Swivel Search
    18. Advanced Search capabilities (boolean search strings)

    Thats all I can think of at the moment.
  14. Oct 8, 2007 #14 of 302

    say-what Active Member

    Dec 14, 2006
    New Orleans
    Honestly, I can say that I learned the basic feature set of both systems without any problems. The basic functions are clearly laid out on the remotes and I don't necessarially find the TIVO remote any easier to use, just different than the HR20. Since I've had both DirecTV and DirecTIVO products in the house before getting an HR20, I was familiar with the DirecTV remote, but even if not, there isn't much of a learning curve for the remotes.

    Other than not having a slow motion button and going crazy trying to figure out how to access the 2nd tuner during the 1st hour after setting up the HR20, I can't say that the HR20 GUI is any more difficult to navigate than the TIVO GUI. In fact, I find myself having to stop and look at my parents TIVO remote and pay attention to the GUI when using their DirecTIVO. Having used the HR20 GUI for almost 1 year now, I find the DirecTIVO GUI clunky, slow and just not as intuitive as I remembered.
  15. Oct 8, 2007 #15 of 302

    redfiver DBSTalk Club Member

    Nov 18, 2006
    How can you talk about "Using" the system and not stay away from features? I understand staying away from features that weren't available when the unit was new (such as DoD, as it's brand new and not available for everyone), but things like DLB are features that made the HR10 better than the HR20, but the menu speed is a thing that makes the HR20 better than the HR10.

    As for the UI, you'll find many different views. I like the look and feel of the Tivo better than the HR20. To me, it was easier to navigate through the menus on the Tivo. I still find it easier to navigate. That said, I like how the HR20 has the PiP showing when going through most of the screens. But little things like the back arrow not always working the same is troublesome in the HR20.

    But, with all other features aside, DLB was still the best feature on the Tivo. I used it extensively and miss it very much. It wasn't enough for me to miss out on the extra HD channels the HR20 offers (I switched late last year and have been downloading CE's since the Santa days).
  16. Oct 8, 2007 #16 of 302

    JMCecil Godfather

    Jan 20, 2007
    The HR20 has a sound effect if a mistake is made. Not sure if that's what you are refering to. But there is an option to turn on audio feedback.
    OH YEAH!!! Channels I Get. I know they are starting to role this out. But, one of the major confusing parts of getting used to an HR20 was not knowing which channel a search was going to record off of easily.

    And, of course the meta-data again. Keeping the history without keeping the freaking recording$$$$$ Without proper meta-data it's almost useless to use anything but the "Both" option and clean up manually all the time.

    Good catches.
  17. Oct 8, 2007 #17 of 302

    HolmesCo Icon

    Dec 4, 2006
    Personally I like the feel and reach of buttons on the hr20 remote better, maybe because they are bigger. I alwasy found Tivo remote a little weird to use. Seems somethings are a stretch of the finger that is uncomfortable.

    But mostly I think its a matter of getting used to either one of them, becoming familiar with the remote is more key than anything I think.

    I do agree with some that Tivo's UI seemed a bit more intuitivie, but you can do more with HR20 and that necessarily means a bit more complex, therefore less intuitive.

    I still use both, R10 in the bedroom, HR20 in the living room, and I honestly don't feel that either stands out hugely. Its pretty much a wash IMO.
  18. Oct 8, 2007 #18 of 302

    vankai Godfather

    Jan 22, 2007
    OK Earl, I just asked my wife which system was easier to use and why.

    It's not the interface for her. She was watching a show yesterday when the dog 'accidentally' hit the remote, there was a channel change and all heck broke loose because she lost a good portion of what she was watching on that buffer. I again explained to her the DLB issue, or lack thereof. I will not repeat what was said after that concerning D*. Bottom Line, DLB would've kept the dog inside. <and that's the last time I'll tell her "but earl says we just have to record what we are watching, simple"

    I also explained to her that "Earl insists that it is not for financial reasons that D* does not have DLB". She quickly replied that obviously the TV gods are telling D* not to put it in for their attempt at financial benefits.

    Now, Earl, for my benefit and others, could you please explain on behalf of your close ties with D*, why they refuse to 'turn on' DLB? so I can in turn explain to my wife, who want's to know the truth without any skirting around the answer.

    I trust her intuition more. She doesn't care about the techno speak of DLB, but she knows she wants it. I'm not even going to bring up her thoughts on some shows she says did not record properly.

    Feel free to move this out of the Interface question to the I want my DLB area or I want consistent recordings area, or delete if you like.

    Cheers....... :)
  19. Oct 8, 2007 #19 of 302

    kmill14 Godfather

    Jun 12, 2007
    Don't take offense, but REALLY?

    The trickplay buttons on the HR-20 are all the way at the BOTTOM of the remote. My wife had to 2-hand the thing to keep it steady. The Tivo trick-play buttons are right where they should be....in the middle of the remote.
  20. Oct 8, 2007 #20 of 302

    Sirshagg Hall Of Fame

    Dec 29, 2006
    While there are numerous reasons here are reasons 1, 2, and 3.


    This guide ROCKS!!!
    I absolutely hate the HR20 guide with only 6 channels, 1.5 hours and a truncated episode description.

    This Tivo guide shows 8 channels at once with 1 time slot for 7 of them and 8 timeslots for one of them. It's extremely easy (and fast) to move through the channels or timeslots. Finally there is more episode description.

    The workaround on the HR20 is better than nothing but it's a joke in comparision.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page