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Old 09-03-2002, 11:56 AM   #1 (Print)
gladgd
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Cool The 'Red Dot Problem' - proposed solution.

Please bear in mind with what follows that I'm not a Tivo owner yet. I am hooked however whenever I use a friends' Tivo, and am intending a purchase ASAP. One thing making me think twice though is the bloomin' red dot problem. I can't be there all the time to press 'backup' and am sure that my enjoyment of many programs would be marred by this problem and Sky's reticence to fix it. To this end, I've been putting alot of thought into the problem - this is what I came up with:

A 'hood' covering the IR port of the Sky box, to ensure only signals from the Tivo transmitter are received. This can be a five pence jobby with a little self adhesive pad attached to the Sky box and Tivo IR transmitter.

Tivo then does 'IR passthrough' - any signals it does not recognise as it's own it replicates through its transmitters. It knows, however, the signals that mean Skybox features/interactive stuff have been initiated (SkyGuide,
box office, services, interactive, text button, red button).

During normal everyday operation, Tivo sends the 'backup' signal at a pre-defined interval (5/10/15 seconds?) and controls channel changing etc as per normal. When one of the Sky feature/interactive codes is received, the box pauses this behaviour and just passes through the recieved signals. This
allows users to access anything they wish in an un-interrupted manner. When the 'Sky' signal is received, Tivo knows that this means the user has ceased using their chosen feature and things go back to the behaviour described above.

If it doesn't already, the sequence for Tivo changing channels incorporates the 'Sky' code, short pause, then the channel numbers. This ensures that the Sky box is on, in a known state (barring extenuating circumstances like freezes, power problems, etc), and out of any interactive stuff. This means
that if the user happens to have wandered away in the midst of using interactive features, normal Tivo recording behaviour and channel changing is maintained.

I think that pretty much covers all of the bases, as I've thought about them. If we can iron out any remaining problems then I think we can all live happier, dot free and Tivo-full lives. How about it folks, what does everyone think? Hopefully we'll be able to get Tivo to adopt the finished solution.

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Old 09-03-2002, 12:05 PM   #2 (Print)
ozsat
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This has been descussed at length in previous threads.

The 'backup' would have to be a user controlled thing - you would need to turn it off when you wanted to use interactive services etc.

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Old 09-03-2002, 12:25 PM   #3 (Print)
Paj
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It would be nice, but TiVo won't spend time implementing something which only applies to a small niggle with one television provider. Remember, TiVo software is written for people with Sky, Cable, normal terrestrial channels and the multitude of options in the US. A red dot remover is just so far down in their priorities. Just above their UK marketing, in fact (ooh, slap my wrist!).

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Old 09-03-2002, 12:34 PM   #4 (Print)
cjhcjh
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paj
It would be nice, but TiVo won't spend time implementing something which only applies to a small niggle with one television provider.


Agree in principle, however, they did implement the Sky button - so it might be feasible......of course that was more critical to the functionality of TiVo, but you never know.....
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Old 09-03-2002, 12:44 PM   #5 (Print)
qIroS
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There is the wotsit you can get which presses backup every few mins anyway. Can't remember what it's called or which website it's on but a search for backup in this forum should find at least one link to it.
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Old 09-03-2002, 12:46 PM   #6 (Print)
mrtickle
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Yep. and because that wotsit is available and works, I for one would prefer that TiVo put the resources into other features if possible.
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Old 09-03-2002, 12:47 PM   #7 (Print)
Automan
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http://www.pacelink.co.uk

Special TiVo September offers this month as well

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Old 09-03-2002, 01:38 PM   #8 (Print)
gladgd
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Quote:
Originally posted by ozsat
This has been descussed at length in previous threads.


Indeed - I had a trawl through the various threads before posting. Having not seen anything akin to what I propose, I thought it was worth a shot.
Quote:

The 'backup' would have to be a user controlled thing - you would need to turn it off when you wanted to use interactive services etc.


Not necessarily. What I described simply boils down to 'state tracking' as far as coding goes. Whilst it would obviously depend on the nuances of implementtation, a solution to the problem along the lines I proposed shouldn't take masses of developer time. I know the realities of development departments all too well, and wouldn't have proposed something in the belief that it would take the entire coding team a month to implement.

If a solution could be implemented, that would be great. I fear that, looking to the future, workarounds for such things are the only way they're going to get solved. I think the networks/stations are too non-sensical for anything else to be the case.

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Old 09-03-2002, 02:25 PM   #9 (Print)
Automan
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If you really hate the red dot a certain other PVR is availble in the UK which never records the red dot.

Sky also claim everyone loves the red dot.

However I have yet to find "everyone"

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Old 09-03-2002, 03:00 PM   #10 (Print)
gladgd
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Quote:
Originally posted by Automan
If you really hate the red dot a certain other PVR is availble in the UK which never records the red dot.

Sky also claim everyone loves the red dot.

However I have yet to find "everyone"

Automan.


Me either. I ruled out Sky+ on a number of grounds, most prominently instability (I'm having enough crap with my sky box itself, let alone Sky+) and paying 10 quid a month for listings I've already payed for.

I think all anyone wants is for the dot to go after a few seconds, as I shouldn't think most people mind being informed at the start of programs etc. Why can't anyone at Sky see that keeping the dot there all the bloomin' time doesn't make us any more likely to press it?! *sigh*

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Old 09-03-2002, 03:11 PM   #11 (Print)
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Whilst I wouldn't claim to like the red dot, I didn't realise "backup" would get rid of it and I don't find it intrudes any more than other DOGs.

Jay
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Old 09-04-2002, 02:33 AM   #12 (Print)
mrtickle
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How can you say that, it's solid bright red!

backup does get rid of it - but the point is that with tivo you watch recordings not live tv, so it's already on the recording before you watch it.
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Old 09-04-2002, 03:22 AM   #13 (Print)
mtg101
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rf2link

Am I understanding correctly here... This widget means that instead of trying to use IR to control my Sky box (which currently requires 9th level voodoo mantra to get working) it would connect it directly - so there's no chance that "507" becomes "57"???

If so - why the ^%£$&^%$£ has nobody told me about this before?????

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Old 09-04-2002, 03:50 AM   #14 (Print)
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Yes, that is correct !
It connects directly so the IR wands aren't necessary. I use rf2link for several months now and it works perfectly for me. I haven't had a failed channel change since.

Tom

P.S.: Sorry I haven't told you about it yet ! But doing a search using "channel change" or something similar should bring up a thread or two where rf2links were discussed at length.

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Old 09-04-2002, 04:11 AM   #15 (Print)
mtg101
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Right - I'm off to buy one of these babies! Thanks for your help!

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Old 09-04-2002, 08:07 AM   #16 (Print)
sjp
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mtg101 - pacelink also sell a box which sends out a sky + backup key depression (a few seconds apart) that takes care of the box crashed and red dot problems. it sends the signals (via IR) every five minutes so you only see the red dot for up to 5 mins after the advert break.

it eats batteries so you might want to think of a five pound power adapter. the only problem i've had with it is with the batteries.

stuart
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Old 09-04-2002, 08:22 AM   #17 (Print)
mtg101
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thanks sjp - I ordered one of those at the same time as the rf2Link - it seemed to make a lot of sense. I didn't realise it ate batteries though - I'll look out for that.

(and yes - for the pedanctic amoung you - i've updated my .sig before I've actually got the products... so sue me

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Old 09-04-2002, 10:28 AM   #18 (Print)
csansbury
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I have found over time that concentrating on the plot rather than the dot helps solve the problem.

It really is not noticable once you get used to it.

Really.
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Old 09-04-2002, 12:48 PM   #19 (Print)
mrtickle
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Quote:
Originally posted by mtg101
thanks sjp - I ordered one of those at the same time as the rf2Link - it seemed to make a lot of sense. I didn't realise it ate batteries though - I'll look out for that.

(and yes - for the pedanctic amoung you - i've updated my .sig before I've actually got the products... so sue me


There's no 'p' in Thomson...
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Old 09-04-2002, 01:26 PM   #20 (Print)
mtg101
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Oops - thanks.

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