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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 #181 of 302

    kmill14 Godfather

    Jun 12, 2007
    I am going to assume that the Tivo is the 5-bladed knife with labled buttons to press for getting the knives to pop out and the HR-20 is the one with two blades that only come out part way before going back in.
  2. Oct 9, 2007 #182 of 302

    2000voltz Legend

    Sep 21, 2007
    qoute of the day...but I think you brought a knife to a gun fight:lol:
  3. Oct 9, 2007 #183 of 302

    tim99 Legend

    Sep 14, 2007
    The fact that they are still struggling with the software's core competency this long after deployment is why anyone with a software project mgmt background is correctly critical of the project. Certainly from the outside its not clear as to whether the problem is in the engineers implementation, the overall design, limited resources and/or insane mgmt expectations or <insert reason software projects fail for good people> but it's very clear to any software professional that there is a huge problem somewhere.

    No offense meant.

  4. Oct 9, 2007 #184 of 302

    MizzouTiger Icon

    Jan 9, 2007
    I agree with this totally!!. The HR20 should definitely allow this sort of "mixeda" playlist sorting.

    I definitely think the guide speed is much, much better than the D* Tivo boxes. That was one thing that aggravated me the most with the Tivo boxes. Seems to take forever to pull up the guide and scroll through it.
  5. Oct 9, 2007 #185 of 302

    Steve Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    We have this request on the current Wish List:

    OPTION to sort shows within PLAYLIST folders by date, although the main list is sorted differently.

    For those of you who haven't yet taken the survey, please let D* know that this and other feature requests are important to you by voting here. TIA. /steve
  6. Oct 9, 2007 #186 of 302

    barryhammond Cool Member

    Sep 12, 2007
    Let me explain my biggest issues with the HR20 and why I think the Tivo interface is superior. All of these revolve around standard features, picking programs to record, setting up season passes/links, and watching the shows you want to watch.

    1. The tivo guide shows a lot more information. I makes doing something like finding out if there is anything on HDNet Movies coming up that I want to watch. Much easier to do on a tivo.

    2. A common problem of mine is manipulating which programs are going to get recorded that have been scheduled, but are now not allowing me to watch some sporting event, such as last nights football game, because I have too many things scheduled. I've never accidentally deleted a season pass on a tivo, yet do it all the time on the hr20.

    The record button should never cancel a recording without a warning, and it should absolutely never ever delete a series link so I miss this show from now and forever. This is the most frustrating non-intuitive thing about the HR20. Don't delete my series links unless i tell you to do so, never, ever, and never again. Don't delete anything unless I hit a delete button, or a delete menu item, or cancel, or whatever. And I shouldn't have to navigate through a "Record Once..." menu item to get to the option to cancel a scheduled recording.

    I tried experimenting today to see if there where easier ways to do these sorts of operations, and I again accidentally deleted a series link. I do know how not to do this, but I still keep my priority and season link list written on a sheet of paper so I can make sure it is still correct and it exists.

    3. Basic menu navigation on the Tivo is easier to understand and use. Looking at the top level menus, I think that you can see a big defference. The tivo has 7 items, 3 with the basic things that you do with any DVR, now playing list, watch live tv, pick programs to record. It has a messages & settings, standby, and 2 items dealing with showcases and an ads, which they use to generate revenue. I like standy here because it is not "messages and settings", it is what you do to turn it off (sort of off that is). You can complain about the ad being here and the existence of the showcases, I'll buy that, but as far as being on the top level menu, I am ok with it.

    The HR20 has Help and Settings, My Playlist, Audio Options, Favorites, Previous Ch's, Search, Caller Id & Messages, Parental. You have to scroll to see all of the entries (bad design). I just had to open previous channels to see what that was (nice feature, but on the top level menu? How about access via the guide where I am looking when I am changing channels?), Audio Options and Favorites can easily be under Help and Settings (Favorites actually is as well). No way to get to series links or prioritizer that I can tell which are part the most basic and integral of all features. Audio Options? No that is important. How many times are you changing that? On the top menu, wow.

    When you are on the guide, the tivo says "hit ENTER for guide options". I hit enter, and I understand my options. I can choose them easily. on the HR20, it doesn't say anything, you change part of the options through hitting guide again, and part of them through hitting the menu button. the menu options change the guide button options as well, adding a little more complexity. there is a nice additional feature with the HR20 to filter the channels based on the channel type (like just hd channels), but a single guide options selection window is much simper on the tivo.

    The HR20 GUI needs a lot of work in my opinion. The features are there, they just need reorganized in the GUI.
  7. Oct 9, 2007 #187 of 302

    calidelphia Godfather

    Feb 17, 2007
    I just asked my fiance yesterday if she thinks the GUI on the HR20 is hard to use....

    After asking me what a GUI was she said:
    No. I'm not an idiot.

    I then asked her if she preferred the Tivo....

    Her response was:
    I hate that I have to stop what I'm watching to look at the List and stop watching something from the List to view the Guide.

    This goes for menus as well and I find it really annoying on my R10 after using the HR20 for a year. Honestly is this UI really that hard to figure out? With the exception of trying to switch tuners, (Which I later found on this site couldn't be done) it probably took me a week to learn every nook and cranny of the HR20. I find that the easier UI to me is the one I use on a daily basis. Right now that happens to be the HR20.

    I also love the fact that I can use the previous button between Live tv and a recorded show or even between two recorded shows.

    The couple things I do miss about Tivo is Skipping to the beginning, end or tick marks of a recording with ease. I've been praying that D* will rethink the press and hold debacle. I never really used DLB that much, although I would love to be able to pause the SLB and watch something from the List. And finally autocorrect on 1XFF didn't happen on the Tivo.

    Even with the above features missing, I still prefer the HR20.

    As far as the remote gripe goes, I can't believe people invest so much money on their systems and still don't have a decent universal remote....

    And for those who still read manuals. (Which I do too. Just not right away.)
    Put it in the bathroom where real quality reading and thinking is done.
  8. Oct 9, 2007 #188 of 302

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    Jan 21, 2003
    I do agree with a lot of your GUI observations actually.

    Hmm, only way to do this is to hit the dash key twice. Stay away from the dash key I'd say! ;)

    You don't. While in the ToDo list press the STOP button and it will cancel that particular episode/recording.

    In the next national release it will be easier for these things. The RED button will be used to delete/cancel anything in any menu. And there will be an onscreen hint to do this. And you'll get a confirmation on any action using the Red button so you can back out of it. You can still use the double dash for quick deletion with no confirmation if you want. I've put myself in the habit to use the Red button for all those actions.
  9. Oct 9, 2007 #189 of 302

    PurpleMonk Mentor

    Aug 3, 2007
    There is no more uncertainty in how much to correct when rewinding than there is when fast forwarding.

    Perhaps this is just a case of being used to a function and assuming that because it is what I am used to it must be the best way.... but I still like it.

    This seems to be such a polarizing issue that I honestly think it would be best if there were a menu option to turn it on and off. Not a new idea I know, but probably the only solution that will satisfy the majority of the users.
  10. Oct 9, 2007 #190 of 302

    cartrivision Hall Of Fame

    Jul 25, 2007
    No the Tivo is a 5 bladed knife where each blade unfolds out of the case in the exact way and as you would expect them to when you look at the knife, while the HR20 is a 5 bladed knife where one blade folds out, one shoots out of the end by spring mechanism when you press on both sides of the knife, one is hidden in a compartment on one end of the knife case that can be opened by pushing it down and then turning it counterclockwise one quarter turn, one is in a compartment that is revealed by sliding the side of the case perpendicular to the length of the knife, and one rotates out automatically "switch blade style" when you press on the little plastic logo on the side of the knife which is really the disguised switchblade release button.
  11. Oct 9, 2007 #191 of 302

    mnbulldog Legend

    Aug 25, 2006
    The Tivo interface was far from spectacular for me. Now if you want to compare it to a UTV - UTV would win hands down. That just did everything right.

    But I digress ...

    I think the UI of the HR20 is much more user-friendly. I enjoy the quick menu. I like seeing the red circles in the guide for programs that are set to record without going into the To Do List as you would have to on Tivo. The GUI is much quicker.

    50 series limit? Not really a UI thing but yet it is.

    Outside of DLB (which isn't a UI feature I guess) I can't think of anything the Tivo unit does better.

    I don't even care about the peanut remote because I have always used a Harmony which is better than both.
  12. Oct 9, 2007 #192 of 302

    Chargerdan New Member

    Jun 15, 2007
    I'm hoping that someone at D* uses the posts to try to make the HR20 a better product. Everyone is different. What one person likes another one doesn't. For the original question on which device is easier to use my choice is the TiVo.

    I judge dvr on 2 criterias.
    1) Is it easy for me to use.
    2) Is it easy for my wife or someone visiting my house to use.

    The first one is easy. I love electronics. It doesn't take me much time to learn and I don't mind reading the manual. I like command shortcuts and I use them. The main 2 features I like in the Tivo that I miss in the HR20 are: DLB and Skip to Tick. I've read enough posts to think that DLB isn't coming soon and may never will. The lack of Skip to Tick drives me nuts. Holding down the keys works but it just seems to take forever and it doesn't work very well with a universal remote.

    Now comes the interesting part. I also judge equipment by how other people use it. Namely my wife. There are times that I hear about a show and I would like to have recorded to watch later. If my wife can find the program easily then I know it's a good product. In the days of the vcr I had to walk my wife through every step to set-up a recording. I hate to say it but I have to do the same thing with the HR20. Not that it's hard to find but scrolling through the guide when it only shows 1.5 hours of programming and 5 channels makes it harder than the Tivo. That's only 1 example but there are others. I have to keep both units connected to the main TV because of this problem.

    I do agree with the person who said that the UI for the HR20 was designed by engineers and the Tivo UI was designed by people who just like TV. The Tivo is a device that appeals to multiple groups. People who want direction for tasks find it easy to use. For people, like myself, who know what it does there are shortcuts and hacks. You seem to get the best of both worlds. You can use whatever guide you like and search/sort based on your preference.

    The HR20 just doesn't give you those options. It seems to be designed for the technical person in mind. If the HR20 just had different options for items like the guide or just made it a little more intuitive for the average user it would be great.
  13. Oct 9, 2007 #193 of 302

    code4code5 Godfather

    Aug 29, 2006
    The only thing I can honestly say that I really despise about Tivo is not having a PIG or PIL. I'm a surfer, and even if I'm watching something I like, I want to see what else is on. I also wish for more information in the HR20 guide, but I'll gladly keep the hour and a half time frame to get to watch a show in PIG.
  14. Oct 9, 2007 #194 of 302

    tim99 Legend

    Sep 14, 2007
    The Tivo UI suffers from a lot of displacement. Ideally a show should be a show should be a show (welcome to the wonderful world of objects). Any time you see a show listed the user should be able to select any potentially relevant options. A glaring example of this is in the Tivo Now Playing list where you can watch a show, decide you like it but you can't say set up a season pass from that instance of the show (in the Now Playing list).

    Whereas Tivo abstracts a lot of functionality from 'watching TV' the HR20 attempts to integrate it with the process. Personally I think this makes Tivo easier to understand but ultimately the HR20 more efficient to use.

    peace . . .

  15. Oct 9, 2007 #195 of 302

    tim99 Legend

    Sep 14, 2007
    Right after DLB I think 'filters guide data by categories' and persists it.

    For example on a busy college football Saturday Tivo's guide can be set to show channels that are or will shortly have games on and it remembers my filiter until I remove it. So for the few hours or so football is on, my guide only shows channels that show football.

    Or only show channels that actually have HD shows on right now not just channels that may or may not.

    peace . . .

  16. Oct 9, 2007 #196 of 302

    barryhammond Cool Member

    Sep 12, 2007

    Hitting the record button in the to do list will delete the scheduled recording and potentially delete you season pass, as will hitting the record button on the show in the guide.
  17. Oct 9, 2007 #197 of 302

    barryhammond Cool Member

    Sep 12, 2007
    Agree with the show is a show statement 100%.

    Disagree with live tv control and the whole way that you can't navigate the menus without seeing live tv on the HR20. This behavior of is a matter of opinion and would be best served with a user option if possible. I just finished watching a show, deleted it, the system goes back to the guide and starts playing a show that I am currently recording, showing me something that is going to happen in the last 5 minutes of the show. Suppose I am recording a sporting event and the HR20 shows me the score or some highlight that basically gives away the whole game before I can get the program started from the beginning. I want total control of what I watch and when I watch it. This "feature" removes some of that for sure. You have a chance of catching something on a tivo too, but hitting the main tivo button before turning on the tv will eliminate that.
  18. Oct 9, 2007 #198 of 302

    tim99 Legend

    Sep 14, 2007
    Excellent point although I am not sure Tivo like displacement is the answer. The problem you state is very real, I've had to mute my receiver and turn my head away to prevent from seeing the score of a game I was recording and needed to see from the beginning. That's pretty nuts.

    Agree that the Tivo button was an almost perfect way of managing this.

    Would the option of somehow toggling the PIG off do it you think?

  19. Oct 9, 2007 #199 of 302

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

    Nov 16, 2005
    Wylie, Texas
    I've only had the HR20 for about 3 weeks after having D*TiVo's for almost 7 years.

    In order to maintain full disclosure, I should add that I've yet to read the HR20 manual and obviously, I'm much more familiar with the D*Tivo.

    That being said, I never read the manual for my D*Tivo either and was very comfortable with it within 1 day. As stated, I've had the HR20 for 3 weeks and I'm still not comfortable with it.

    Does it have more features? Absolutely (but lets not assume that if the TiVo and D* relationship hadn't deteriorated, that current D*Tivo's wouldn't have just as many features - or more).
    Is it easier to use? Absolutely not.

    Here's the best way to explain why the D*TiVo interface is better: In order to naviagate around the D*TiVo system, you really only need access to 4 things: The Tivo button at the top of the remote, the Guide button, the directional keypad area, and the Enter button

    If watching live TV, you can hit the guide to see what's on. You can also hit the tivo key to go directly to the list. From there, you can use the back arrow on the directional keypad (or the up down arrows to move around the list) to go to ANY other feature.
    If you're already in a menu system, you just hit guide to take you back to live TV.

    With access to those 4 buttons, you can access anything in the D*TiVo interface. That makes it more user friendly. No yellow, red, green, blue buttons. No exit, menu, list, etc.

    Now, some may say that the HR20 has too many features to be able to do that. Maybe. Maybe the HR20 has so many features, that it's impossible for it to be user friendly. But that wasn't the question.

    Now, I still don't use the HR20 full time - it's a part time machine, so I haven't spent a lot of time with it, but today it took me several minutes to figure out how to find the recording history. On the D*TiVo, I can hit list and then basically hit the back arrow until I find what I need. I don't have to think about whether to hit menu (and then which sub-category) or list or a colored button.

    The CC feature on the HR20, for example, is something like 15-20 key presses. Nothing on the D*TiVo is that many key presses. I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I'll never see CC on the HR20, because I'll never remember 15 different key presses.

    The TiVo interface is just easier. Easier to learn. Easier to use. Easier to remember. It's that simple.

    On an unrelated note, the picture in guide feature on the HR20 is one of my least favorite features. Sure, it's great when you want to scroll through the guide and still be able to see what you're watching (but how many people that use DVR's actually scroll through the guide?). However, we are often recording 2 things at once. With the D*TiVo, as soon as we turned on the TV, we'd go to the list. That doesn't help on the HR20 as we'll still be seeing something we're recording in the window. I don't want to see that. Sure, you can pause or something, but why would anyone really want to see what's in that window, except for when using the guide? If I'm watching something, I want to see it on the whole screen. If I'm in the menu's, I'm not watching anything. It should have the ability for in the guide only or something.

    One thing I don't miss is the TiVo guide. We always used the D* guide, because we never liked the TiVo one.

    I also haven't noticed that the HR20 is noticeably faster than the D*TiVo.
  20. Oct 9, 2007 #200 of 302
    fl panthers

    fl panthers Legend

    Sep 18, 2007
    there is far to much reading here so if it's been said please ignore.the jumping of tuners by pressing the down arrow is the best feature on tivo.you can watch 2 complete football games at the same time.pause and jump ff through commercials and repeat.if my hr-20 did this i would be grateful
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