I don't want to be one of those naysayers suggesting that TiVo has misssed the boat and is about to be a sinking ship BUT... I am concerned how my beloved company seems to be falling farther and farther behind. Here are my thoughts on how they could catch up:
Improved functions to:
- restrict searches to particular channels
- search for years a show was made in
- layer searches (looking for a title with a particular keyword)
- display the search dynamically (a la Google Suggest) as you're proceeding with the search next to the Ouija board / menu
- Display the show unobstructed in the corner while you're viewing the Program Guide
- Better menu dynamics: I really love the Moxi GUI. For example, the ability to select the movies category and have all the movies appear above is genius!
- Much better integration of the Music, Games and More section... it is really sloppy and doesn't allow the user to sort programs on it. Having said that, I don't consider this a basic function and would gladly sacrifice it for the other features mentioned here.
- Have the TiVo display shows on its Now Playing list differently when they have been viewed completely or viewed partially
- Allow users to put programs in self-created folders
- Search functionality that allows you to search what's on your TiVo and find it quickly using the Ouija board and dynamic searching as suggested above
- HD space indicator: I don't know what is taking so long on this. My guess is that it is two things: 1. Worry about new users seeing how little space they have. (So enable it to be toggled and have it off when the user first gets their TiVo.); and 2. Concern that it does not reflect program recording quality (Then enable the user to toggle between recording quality levels to see how many hours they have.)
3. TiVo Suggestions
Overall, I think that TiVo is underutilizing TiVo Suggestions. The competition does not have Suggestions and it could be a big TiVo advantage. I am happy to hear of their recent patent filing to try and better personalize Suggestions for each user. In addition to this, I would recommend:
- It would be great if TiVo could show you a list of live TV show suggestions at the flick of a button. Now, I realize that many of us don't use live TV, but I think this might encourage me to use it more.
- Give us the ability to see suggestions not just when we have empty hard-drive space, but also when we are full. Allow us to pick from the suggestions menus according to category (e.g., movies, sports, reality tv, etc.)
- Allow your ratings to be transferred between TiVos
- Over and above (ie., not basic, but would be cool):
-Import ratings. Create a simple way to import your Netflix ratings into your TiVo.
-TiVo Community ratings. Integrate the multitude of TiVo users out there into one community and display what they're rating well and poorly (assuming that they opt in to participate) dynamically through HME. Here is where TiVo could leverage first-to-market status as a competitive advantage. Extending beyond this, you should be able to choose like users for more personalized ratings.
4. Multi-TiVo support
- When my TiVo has a conflict because it's recording multiple shows, I don't want to have to go upstairs to get the other show I want to record on the other TiVo. This is so basic (in terms of bandwidth requirements) and has been suggested for so long that it really disturbs me how it has not been done yet.
- Multiple transfers with a checklist to do mass show transfers between TiVos at the end of the day
- Automatic transfers for when you are recording a show on the TiVo upstairs just because the TiVo downstairs is otherwise occupied
5. Seasons Passes
- Have TiVo tell you when a Seasons Pass you have is for a show that was recently cancelled.
I personally think that the way TiVo has done HME is clunky and it seems more so every time I use it. I know that some of these will be fixed when they offer hosted apps, but here are some ways that I think HME could really be integrated on a TiVo. If I want to play games on my TV, I'll get an XBox (but maybe that's just me). I want HME to enhance my use of the DVR. For example:
- RSS of sports scores, news displayed on top of the show you're watching so you don't have to switch back and forth between shows.
- integration of TV web talk into the TiVo
One last request: Don't make me go shopping DVRs when you do add these features because you won't support 90% of them on the Series 2. Do that and you're almost guaranteed to lose users.