I was willing to give the "Pause commercials" a good, open-minded try. Now I've tried it and I have this feedback for ReplayTV, Inc.
Persistent, insistent, aggressive, and rude. It keeps coming back - first after 20 seconds, then every 2 minutes. No matter how many times you press Exit, it waits 2 minutes, then comes right back. No matter how many times...
- The current implementation is Supremely User Un-Friendly: There's no way to Disable it.
- Compared to a Telemarketer: at least the Telemarketer has enough sense to stay away for the rest of the evening if you say "No, go away." Not so with this feature.
- Superficially I had wondered "Why are folks complaining? Just press Exit and it goes away, right?" Today my viewing was interrupted for several minutes. At 20 seconds, the commercial-burn-in screen popped up, so I pressed Exit and kept working. Minutes later, passing by again, I pressed Exit again. Finally, after 8 minutes, I had pressed Exit four times! And: still it won't disable. Won't listen. That's just strangely irritating in a consumer electronics product. (PVR? Or... CVR? - where "C" stands for "Corporate" rather than "Personal.")
- It's a burn-in device, inducing burn-in like the "Mute" indicator which burned a yellow rectangle into my friend Joe's projection TV. This feature displays a high contrast image, uninvited, and doesn't change if left alone, just stays put. Quoting from ReplayTV's own manual:
"Screen burn in. ...Projection TVs are the most susceptible to screen burn in. To prevent this, don't leave the Channel Guide, or any other screen displayed when you don't need to use them. ... To dismiss the Pause on-screen image from your TV screen and keep a show paused, press the EXIT button on the remote control."
- Finally - highly discontent (are you listening, designers?), I'm lookin' for keystroke workarounds: / Switch to "live" mode? / Press Play for slow-mo and try to remember where I left it? / Turn OFF the ReplayTV, thank you? // The point is: why should I have to hunt. ReplayTV gave me a button called "Pause." I just wish it would.
I ask ReplayTV to redesign this with a little sensitivity to the very "burn-in" issue they warn about in their manual. This screen pops up, persistently and won't go away. PLEASE: give it a timer, make it cycle, use less contrasty images, vary the images more - and for god's sake let the consumer turn it off with an extra keystroke or two, if they are so motivated. That's just the same level of courtesy a telemarketer would provide, after all, when he or she invades your home.
Some amount of energy went into designing this feature. Just throw in a little more. Thanks.