AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
SUMMARY:

1. sluggishness

2. go to conflicted show in guide

3. priority numbers

4. sort "My Shows" by separating "every times" from one-offs

5. list conflicts instead of simple "resolve" button

6. jump to future show in guide from "My Shows" programs

7. don't record repeats

8. "record once" to "don't record" with the touch of one button in guide

9. easier exit from "My Shows" to live TV

10. keep at most

11. remove twin towers from screen shot



Now that I have been working with my Sony SAT-W60 UTV unit for some time now, I would like to share some feature and fix requests. I have by-and-large been quite happy with the unit's performance, and my general television experience has changed forever for the better, but the following things I believe should still be addressed:


1. First and foremost, _general_sluggishness_. Why? I know this has been mentioned here time and time again, but it does bear mentioning again. Did MS chinse on the processor, or could this be fixed with tighter coding? Sometimes when moving from menu to menu, or after a certain command, it feels as if the unit has crashed. I know it has not, though, so I wait for it to finish what it's doing before issuing the next command. The wait has been as long as 30 seconds on some instances. However I would fear that the general user takes unresponsiveness as ignorance and hits the same button over and over again, which would obviously lead to undesired performance. When changing channels the unit responds slowly too. The only reason I could imagine for the slowness is because the hard drive is rebuffering the new channel's signal. When you put a constantly active HD into the mix when changing channels, I'm sure things get more complicated. Still, compared to other satellite receivers out there (ignoring the fact that UTV records), the UTV receiver's menu responsiveness is generally, unquestionably, _unacceptably_ slow for a "finished" product. I have owned both the RCA and Sony units and both exhibit the same slowness.


Ok, on to more specific concerns:


*Conflict Resolution*


Not all UTV subscribers are owners of dual LNB dishes, and even those with who are heavy television watchers experience scheduling conflicts on a regular basis. Just because a dual LNB is recommended equipment doesn't mean conflict resolution should present the user with a difficult task. Here are the features/fixes I'd like to see added to conflict resolution:


2. In "My Shows," when selecting a show to record that is involved with a conflict but will be recorded (you know this because it says "conflict" but the "conflict" box is a dark color and not the bright red of those programs in "My Shows" which will not be recorded), it would be nice to be able to have that screen take you to that particular program's timeslot in the guide so that you can decide if you want to record this program or not. Sometimes it is not clear exactly which show will be recorded because when you do an "every time" of a show, it records way more instances of the show than you need. A feature like this would assist in conflict resolution. As it stands now I must manually find this instance in the guide to get more information on it. Sure, I could use UTV's search features, but why should I?


3. Give an option to assign a priority number (such as 1-3) to a show to record once placed in "My Shows". As it stands now, UTV decides what conflicted show to record in priority over another simply based on the chronological order in which the user requested to have the show recorded. For example, if I told UTV to record "Throw Mama From The Train" on SHO2 on Monday night at 8:00pm, and then thirty minutes later told UTV to record "The O'Reilly Factor" on FNC at 9:00pm the same night, UTV will select "Throw Mama From The Train" to record over "The O'Reilly Factor" because I told it to record "Throw Mama From The Train" before I told it to record "The O'Reilly Factor". The user's preference might not coincide with this simple rule. From within "My Shows", when selecting the show to record, it would be nice to see an *option* to give the program a priority number, so that the conflicted shows can more fairly fight it out. This would be especially useful for those programs in "My Shows" set to record "every time". For example, I would like "Seinfeld" to record "every time", but I'd rather skip it if "Planes Trains and Automobiles" is airing at the same time. As it stands now, UTV will instead record "Seinfeld." Perhaps the widely requested "keep at most" feature would be a good workaround here as well.


4. It would be nice if, in "My Shows", the list of programs to be recorded was separated by "each time" and one-offs (including those one-offs which automatically were spawned by an "each time" request). Or, at least make this an option as to how the user can sort the list. This would aid conflict resolution. The list can get quite cumbersome when long.


5. When choosing to "Resolve This Conflict", sometimes this screen tells me what the show is conflicting with and sometimes it ambiguously tells me that I cannot record two shows at once, without telling me what it's conflicting with. This makes it difficult to know exactly what my options are. Often I don't even know why I am conflicting because I never myself told UTV to record something at that time (read: annoying "every time" overkill programming). If a certain show is conflicting with an "every time" program, it would be great for that screen to list each specific conflict if there are more than one, so that I can resolve conflicts quickly and easily from one screen. Then I won't have to cruise the guide for half an hour trying to figure out where I went wrong.


*General Record Options/Fixes*


6. In "My Shows", it would be great if, when selecting a show to be recorded, UTV could take me to that show in the guide. Obviously this wouldn't make sense for an "every time" in "My Shows" (unless it takes me to the next airing, which would be pretty cool). I mentioned this as part of the last request, but this would be a great general feature on its own.


7. Don't record repeats. I don't understand why some users experience this while others do not. I for one am experiencing this all the time. Whether it be a show ID, or simply scanning the text of the description given in the guide, I don't understand why UTV is recording each instance of a program. UTV does not have a complex "Season Pass" mechanism like TiVo has, so I think it would be best for UTV to be more conservative in its approach when choosing what to record "every time". HD's get filled up quickly because of this and shows are lost. Lots of shows only air new episodes once a week at the same time, such as original cable series on HBO and Showtime. They often repeat during the week. I'd rather not clean up the mess UTV makes in "My Shows" when I ask it to record "Leap Years" "every time". I'd like to tell it to record "Leap Years" *only* when a new episode airs, and if UTV can't decipher when an episode is new, let me tell it when I want it to record, such as every Sunday night from 10pm-11pm. Not simply "every time". This is too ambiguous and it leaves a mess in "My Shows". Menu sluggishness makes this an even more time consuming task.


8. When in the guide, you can easily tell it to record something once or "every time" by cycling through these options with the Rec button. This is nice, but it presents a small problem. If something is chosen to "record once" but you don't want it to record, you would have to go into "My Shows" and delete that occurrence. However, you can also tell it not to record while still in the guide, so you don't lose your place. However, you cannot simply tell it to not record. You have to press the Rec button two more times. The first time you hit the button, you are quickly telling the show to record "every time" (indicated by the three red medallions on that timeslot on the guide), and then not at all. This is a problem because when you tell a show to record "every time" (ignoring for now that this can cause the entire UTV system to hang for up to 10 seconds), it is surveying the guide for other instances of that program and telling those future instances to "record once". You see where I'm going with this. So now you hunt for those instances in the guide where there is a "record once" which you never wanted in the first place. To remove those, you could do so in "My Shows" or in the guide. But you *can't* do it in the guide because you'd be repeating the frustrating process I just described. Vicious cycle. There should be a button one can press to turn off the "record once" request for a program in the guide. Pressing the Stop button only yields an annoying MS'esque "stop" icon with a cross through it on the upper-right hand side of the screen.


9. When in "My Shows" I find it non-intuitive if I want to get out of "My Shows" and simply tune to a channel. To do so, I must hit the "Home" or "Recent" button. Attempting to tune to a channel does not work when in "My Shows" (which is ironic since channel 1020 is pre-defined as "My Shows"). I figured out how to easily get out of "My Shows" by pressing one of these two buttons, but they were never the buttons I first chose. It might be easiest for the user to make them able to jump to a channel when they start entering numbers on the remote control. For now this does not work, and you are stuck in "My Shows" until you can figure out how to get out.


10. Give us "keep at most" !


11. And finally, an observation given last week's tragedy: when you choose to record something in "My Shows" and UTV transitions to an acknowledgement screen, and gives you a dimmed screenshot of the Home screen, there is an image of the New York skyline, which prominently displays the now destroyed Twin Towers. MS might want to remove that...


I understand that we are still in the infancy of the PVR industry, but I am proud to be on the bleeding edge of this technology and understand the patience and time it takes to work out the kinks of these systems. Let's go!


SUMMARY:

1. sluggishness

2. go to conflicted show in guide

3. priority numbers

4. sort "My Shows" by separating "every times" from one-offs

5. list conflicts instead of simple "resolve" button

6. jump to future show in guide from "My Shows" programs

7. don't record repeats

8. "record once" to "don't record" with the touch of one button in guide

9. easier exit from "My Shows" to live TV

10. keep at most

11. remove twin towers from screen shot



[This message has been edited by DylanRare (edited 09-17-2001).]


[This message has been edited by DylanRare (edited 09-17-2001).]


[This message has been edited by DylanRare (edited 09-17-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
657 Posts
>1. sluggishness

Been discussed at length... functionality and hardware, rather than software or cpu.

>2. go to conflicted show in guide

Conflict management is obvious once you work with it for sometime.

>3. priority numbers

I can't see this being beneficial with the few conflicts I have experienced.

>4. sort "My Shows" by separating "every times" from one-offs

My Shows is listed in the order they will record based on the guide... press info for each event..

>5. list conflicts instead of simple "resolve" button

The information is there... one will be red the other shaded..

>6. jump to future show in guide from "My Shows" programs

Again ... press info...

>7. don't record repeats

This is a guide data issue, HBO doesn't seem to follow the rules.. this should improve on in time.

>8. "record once" to "don't record" with the touch of one button in guide

If you press record it will cycle from single, weekly, to none!

>9. easier exit from "My Shows" to live TV

Press clear

>10. keep at most

What point would this serve? If UTV needs room it deletes it? Keep until or always should be all you need. The other shows will roll to the bottom and out... I delete after I watch them unless I decide to keep it.

>11. remove twin towers from screen shot

I never saw this unless the channel was airing the subject matter.


Grem..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,263 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Gremlin:
>1. sluggishness

Been discussed at length... functionality and hardware, rather than software or cpu.
So, it will never get better? I demoed one in a store, and assumed it was so slow because it was first-generation software (well, with some DishPlayer and WebTV code thrown in it)...
Quote:


>3. priority numbers

I can't see this being beneficial with the few conflicts I have experienced.
If you read his post carefully, he doesn't have both tuners active, so he's getting more conflicts.
Quote:


>7. don't record repeats

This is a guide data issue, HBO doesn't seem to follow the rules.. this should improve on in time.
HBO is one of the "good guys" with supplying accurate data, in my experience. According to UTVInsider, apparently UTV doesn't key off of the unique episode ID (that's how I interpreted his comment in a recent thread at least).
Quote:


>10. keep at most

What point would this serve? If UTV needs room it deletes it? Keep until or always should be all you need. The other shows will roll to the bottom and out... I delete after I watch them unless I decide to keep it.
Well, for shows that DON'T have accurate guide info (like the O'Reilly Factor for instance), Keep at Most would allow you to only keep one episode at any time, even though it may come on 3 or more times a day.


------------------

Brett



[This message has been edited by BrettStah (edited 09-18-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
441 Posts
Quote:
>10. keep at most

What point would this serve? If UTV needs room it deletes it? Keep until or always should be all you need. The other shows will roll to the bottom and out... I delete after I watch them unless I decide to keep it.
there are many shows (news, espn sportscenter,..) that i only want to keep recent showings of..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
657 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by BrettStah:
So, it will never get better? I demoed one in a store, and assumed it was so slow because it was first-generation software (well, with some DishPlayer and WebTV code thrown in it)...



Perhaps a little.. I don't see any directv pvr ever being really fast so long as they use disk drives.. This will improve with new technology (lots of fast memory..) for buffering and channel surfing.. for surfing I prefer the UTV over the DTiVo having owned both.. for other features wish lists and alike obviously a TiVo.. for now..


>3. priority numbers

If you read his post carefully, he doesn't have both tuners active, so he's getting more conflicts.


I missed that... even then these units are optimized for two tuners..


>7. don't record repeats


HBO is one of the "good guys" with supplying accurate data, in my experience. According to UTVInsider, apparently UTV doesn't key off of the unique episode ID (that's how I interpreted his comment in a recent thread at least).


TiVo is more text based were as UTV is more dependent on APG.. I don't see UTV duplicating functions already designed into the APG. I havn't had any problems to speak of so it's not an issue not do I have HBO.. perhaps when they have DD squared away I might consider HBO. Dor now Starz in my personal choice.


>10. keep at most


Well, for shows that DON'T have accurate guide info (like the O'Reilly Factor for instance), Keep at Most would allow you to only keep one episode at any time, even though it may come on 3 or more times a day.


In this instance I would agree, I assumed keep at most as relating to time.. in which I hold the same opinion.


Grem...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Gremlin:
>1. sluggishness

Been discussed at length... functionality and hardware, rather than software or cpu.
That's great. I'm happy to know that future hardware revisions of UTV will perform better than mine when I paid well over $400 for my soon-to-be industry substandard unit. To me this is unacceptable and a clear case of a company pushing a product out of its doors before adequate performance is financially a viable option. "Deadlines, people!"

Quote:
>2. go to conflicted show in guide

Conflict management is obvious once you work with it for sometime.
Not to me, when "My Shows" gets rather unruly and there are lots of conflicts to resolve, especially when the "every time" requests decide to record every repeat airing in the next two weeks.

Quote:
>4. sort "My Shows" by separating "every times" from one-offs

My Shows is listed in the order they will record based on the guide... press info for each event..
As I said, simply presenting the user with an option as to how to sort this list would be nice. Defaulting to the current sort is just fine. I'll admit I didn't realize you can press Info while in "My Shows". I'll try that. But still, it would be nice to be able to jump to that timeslot in the guide for other reasons, not just getting info for that particular program.

Quote:
>5. list conflicts instead of simple "resolve" button

The information is there... one will be red the other shaded..
Did you even read my post? I know this. It seems you only have experience dealing with very small numbers of conflicts. Perhaps this is all simply a moot subject; maybe MS doesn't care about catering to single-LNB customers. (I do have my dual-LNB dish, but simply haven't installed it yet! heh.)

Quote:
>8. "record once" to "don't record" with the touch of one button in guide

If you press record it will cycle from single, weekly, to none!
I guess you didn't read my post very carefully. I took the time to explain why exactly what you describe above, this cycle, can cause an annoying problem.

Quote:
>9. easier exit from "My Shows" to live TV

Press clear
Ok, this one I fudged on. You can also press the Guide button. It seems the only thing that doesn't work is tuning to a channel from within "My Shows". I'm sure people try it and get frustrated when it doesn't work. Still, it's not as hard to exit out of "My Shows" as I originally made it out to be. Case in point, you can even press the Exit button! What was I thinking!

Quote:
>10. keep at most

What point would this serve? If UTV needs room it deletes it? Keep until or always should be all you need. The other shows will roll to the bottom and out... I delete after I watch them unless I decide to keep it.
I disagree, and simply fall back on justifications from other AVSForum posters for this sorely needed feature.

Quote:
>11. remove twin towers from screen shot

I never saw this unless the channel was airing the subject matter.
No. Look again. Maybe different units use different screenshots? I only have experience with the two that I've owned. But this screenshot is shown no matter where your UTV unit is tuned to, after telling it to record, discard, or resolve a conflict.


-Dylan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Gremlin:

[B>10. keep at most

What point would this serve? If UTV needs room it deletes it? Keep until or always should be all you need. The other shows will roll to the bottom and out... I delete after I watch them unless I decide to keep it.

Grem..[/b]
Gremlin, come on! What point does this serve? Easy... I record daily shows that include Seinfeld, Friends, Frasier, Quantum Leap, NYPD Blue, X-Files, soon to be the Practice and the nightly news. I record these shows so anytime I WANT, I can watch one of these shows... do I watch ALL of these shows daily, absolutely not, probably don't watch most of them but that's not the point... TV on demand is my point and when there's nothing on the tube, I have a plethora of my fav shows to watch


The probelm with not having 'Keep at most' is that my hard drive is filling up with 6 hours of TV daily... and instead of just replacing X-Files, with a newer X-files I'd have two, then 3 etc... thus possibly deleting a different show that I may not have seen yet near the bottom of my deletion tree (I record tons of single recordings as well) I basically have to baby sit my UTV and delete these shows nightly to make room for the next days barrage. Or, if my UTV had 'keep at most' I would just have 6 hours designated for the daily programs and they would automatically update with just one, newest show preserving my other recordings from possibly being deleted before I'd want it to


Crap, I hope that made sense http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif BUT 'keep at most' is very important and all the 'other PVR's do it, why can't mine http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif


riz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by riz:
Gremlin, come on! What point does this serve? Easy... I record daily shows that include Seinfeld, Friends, Frasier, Quantum Leap, NYPD Blue, X-Files, soon to be the Practice and the nightly news. I record these shows so anytime I WANT, I can watch one of these shows... do I watch ALL of these shows daily, absolutely not, probably don't watch most of them but that's not the point... TV on demand is my point and when there's nothing on the tube, I have a plethora of my fav shows to watch
Amen, Riz! That's exactly what I was thinking. But how could you tell a "keep at most" feature to record new episodes and erase the one it recorded yesterday? I would think that it simply wouldn't record (for example) a second airing of Seinfeld, because one already exists on your HD (if you chose to "keep at most" 1). I guess we're getting ahead of ourselves, though.. this feature doesn't even exist (yet)!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by DylanRare:
Amen, Riz! That's exactly what I was thinking. But how could you tell a "keep at most" feature to record new episodes and erase the one it recorded yesterday? I would think that it simply wouldn't record (for example) a second airing of Seinfeld, because one already exists on your HD (if you chose to "keep at most" 1). I guess we're getting ahead of ourselves, though.. this feature doesn't even exist (yet)!
On another brand of PVR, this feature is combined with "Save Until I Delete" to give the user two choices. If you set the Keep at Most limit AND Save until I Delete, once it reaches the KAM limit, no further episodes are recorded (unless you delete some). If you don't choose Save Until I Delete, old episodes are overwritten with new ones, giving you the latest ones. Both options are useful for certain types of programs.


This is a very useful set of features because it lets you set repeated records for shows like Seinfeld, news shows, etc., and not fill up the drive, but still keep you current with the latest shows.


Arjuna34

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Gremlin and I are usually on the same page when it comes to UTV, but in the case of "Keep At Most" we certainly part company. This is BY FAR the most important new feature for me. Granted, UTV will make space as needed. But there are a few reasons why I don't want to leave it up to UTV ...


1. The automatic deletion is based upon the oldest recording that is not currently protected by Keep Until. There's no way to designate that you'd rather have some old episode of Oprah deleted instead of that HBO special that you haven't gotten around to watching yet.


2. Some of us like having a less, uh ... "cluttered" My Shows screen. That is, I only like My Shows to list those recordings that I haven't watched yet.


3. Given the general sluggishness of the system at times, it can be a pain to have to scroll through recordings in My Shows to find something that you haven't seen already.


Like others have stated, the fact that UTV is missing this feature means I have to babysit it more than I should to keep My Shows from filling up with useless junk. On a daily basis I have to delete yesterday's recording of Oprah, Blue's Clues, Sesame Street, Gullah Gullah Island, and Teletubbies if they haven't been watched or deleted. All I really want to do is tell UTV to always keep the latest episode of the children's shows in My Shows and maybe the latest 2 episodes of Oprah. That way .. I can set it and forget it. Now Star Trek: Voyager OTOH ... much to my wife's dismay ... is NOT a candidate for Keep At Most! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif Regardless, the usefulness of this feature can't be stressed enough.


OAW
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top