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Old 10-27-2004, 08:36 PM   #1 (Print)
madoverlord
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Dealing with ABC/NBC over/under scheduling games

Oh Joy, Oh Bliss. ABC made Lost 1 minute longer so the TiVo didn't record The West Wing tonight. Thanks ABC. That extra minute was the most dramatic 60 seconds in TV history.

The only real solution for these games is for the next version of the TiVo software to be smart enough to recognize them and compensate; ie:

1) if a higher priority program (ie: Lost) goes a few minutes over into a lower one (ie: The West Wing) and there is a repeat of the higher priority program but not the lower, record the lower priority now and get the repeat later. This would have automatically dealt with the Lost/WW conflict tonight.

2) if there is no repeat of both the higher and lower priority programs, record all of the earlier priority program and as much as possible of the later priority program (even if the later program is higher priority, since the first few minutes of the later program are likely to be opening credits/recap).

3) limit this behavior to overlaps of <= some user-selectable amount (1,2,5,10 minutes).

Most importantly:

4) have an automatic "minor conflict alert" option appear on the TiVo main menu whenever it detects this kind of conflict on any scheduled shows in the next couple of weeks, and permit the user to decide what he wants done.

As for me, I was going to go out and buy a Ford 500 tomorrow, which was advertised on Lost. But not now... Sorry Ford, take it up with the jerks at ABC, who should, IMHO, be eaten by the mysterious monster.
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Old 10-28-2004, 08:03 AM   #2 (Print)
cherbob
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I AGREE. This 1 minute scheduling conflict is very annoying. I have to cancel WW recording and then sched Lost. After which then I have to manually jump over to WW and begin theat recording. It kinda defeats the purpose of freeing up my time by scheduling something for later viewing. Neither now are part of my season pass.

TIVO Help!!!
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Old 10-28-2004, 01:09 PM   #3 (Print)
bobcarn
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I think madoverlord is on the right track. A bit more intelligence in the Tivo OS could make it a lot more network-friendly.

1) If there's an overlap of two shows, check to see if either of the shows are repeated later. If so, record one later.
2) When setting up a Season Pass, have another option. "Allow to record in progress." If a higher-priority show overcuts into a lower-priority show, setting this option would allow the show already in progress to be recorded. I can live with coming into a show a couple minutes late much more than I can live with missing the ending.

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Old 10-28-2004, 03:53 PM   #4 (Print)
cloudance
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I really hope TiVo does *something* to help us combat this.... it's really irritating for the networks to take advantage of TiVo for a pure and simple ratings grab.

It started for me with ER (NBC) starting one minute early on Thursdays, meaning my TiVo didn't get CSI (CBS). Now it's Lost vs. West Wing, Desperate Housewives vs. Law and Order CSI... Fortunatly I don't watch Lost or Desp.H. so those don't affect me, but what else? what's next?

I'd thought about 2 good starting solutions to resolving this, but they've already been mentioned here... so I'll not repeat them, but please guys... get *something* into the interface to help us with this.... even if it's only the ability to end-early and start-late by as little as one minute. Heck, the CSI/ER issue would be solved for me if the conflict resolution simply realized that it's a partial overlap and ER is a higher priority, and record a "partial" CSI then swtich to ER at 9:59. All I'd miss of CSI are the previews and credits.

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Old 10-28-2004, 07:05 PM   #5 (Print)
madoverlord
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The thing that really annoys me about this is there are 2 basic reasons to do this; either:

(a) this is just to mess with DVR users, or

(b) it's just a semantic game to be able to sell 1 more minute of ads within a popular program.

Either way, it is profoundly disrespectful to one of their constituencies.
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Old 10-28-2004, 10:37 PM   #6 (Print)
cloudance
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Neither A nor B....

It's a ratings grab. It tells us that DVR's are maning an impact on TV viewing and the networks are trying to use us to improve their ratings.

D.
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Old 10-31-2004, 01:38 AM   #7 (Print)
jamosc
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I've also often wondered if these 1 minute overruns were to screw with DVR users. With NBC's 40 minute shows last season, it was obvious they were just too lazy to find mid-season replacements for canceled shows but I think this 1 minute stuff is ridiculous.

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Old 10-31-2004, 07:43 AM   #8 (Print)
michaelkpate
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It makes no sense to do this stuff other than to annoy DVR owners.

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Old 10-31-2004, 08:16 PM   #9 (Print)
Dennis Wilkinson
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I suspect this has more to do with trying to keep people who are watching live, who are a much, much larger part of the audience than the relative few of us using DVRs. You take a show with a strong audience, and run it a little long, in the hopes that people will watch to the end, then stay for the probably-weaker follow-up show rather than switch to the already-in-progress competition. I think madoverlord's speculation about additional ad revenue also figures in somehow.

The fact that it annoys DVR owners is probably just a happy side effect for them.

When it was just NBC doing this silliness, it didn't really affect my viewing, but it's starting to aggravate this season. There have been a number of soft-padding mechanisms suggested here that seem as if they'd be understandable enough for most users -- I'd love to see TiVo implement something to assist with this issue, but obviously at some level you'll miss part of one show or another to make these work.

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Old 10-31-2004, 08:58 PM   #10 (Print)
madoverlord
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Quote:
I suspect this has more to do with trying to keep people who are watching live, who are a much, much larger part of the audience than the relative few of us using DVRs. You take a show with a strong audience, and run it a little long, in the hopes that people will watch to the end, then stay for the probably-weaker follow-up show rather than switch to the already-in-progress competition.


If the show ran 5-10 minutes over, I could see this. But 1 minute? Most non-DVR watchers are not even going to notice the extra minute, what with commercials, opening credits, etc.
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Old 10-31-2004, 10:42 PM   #11 (Print)
Dennis Wilkinson
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Quote:
Originally posted by madoverlord
If the show ran 5-10 minutes over, I could see this. But 1 minute? Most non-DVR watchers are not even going to notice the extra minute, what with commercials, opening credits, etc.


But many (most?) shows use the first minute or so, usually pre-credits, for the opening tease/set-up.

In any case, DVR owners only make up about 5% of the audience, and while we're certainly on their radar, I still think it's overestimating DVR owner's importance to say that the schedule twiddling is a nefarious plot to annoy us. Take into account that most non-TiVo/Replay DVRs are programmed more like VCRs, and really don't get impacted as severely, and the odds seem even slimmer to me. Finding more lucrative advertising revenue during hot shows while they can still get top dollar for such ad time is a more likely explanation, as is trying to maintain viewer carryover from a lead-in show. IMHO, of course -- I'm certainly not a TV programming exec.

Doesn't really matter why it's being done, so long as we can get a little help coping with it from our friendly neighborhood TiVo programming team.

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Old 11-02-2004, 05:57 AM   #12 (Print)
bkeyport
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I have the ultimate solution.

I delete any program that sets up a nonstandard start or end time.

Take their scheduling bull<bleep> and <bleep> it.

So far, I've lost _one_ program I cared about. ER, and frankly, my television viewing time has improved in quality as a result.
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Old 11-03-2004, 12:37 AM   #13 (Print)
Silkroad
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I notice the programs that have been extended by 1 minute are among the most popular. Probably the majority of Tivo owners don't bother to post to this forum, but I'll bet they're plenty annoyed, too. What does it take to convince Tivo to expedite our request to fix this?
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Old 11-04-2004, 06:08 AM   #14 (Print)
bkeyport
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It shouldn't be tivo's issue.

Get ABC and NBC to <bleep>ing fix the schedules.
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Old 11-04-2004, 07:45 AM   #15 (Print)
madoverlord
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NBC isn't the guilty party in this.

Actually, if you set up the "record Lost, set up a manual recording for West Wing (9:05, start 4 minutes early" solution, you found out to your great pleasure that NBC quietly set things up so that West Wing started at 9:01, and you didn't miss a thing.

Nice going, NBC.
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Old 11-09-2004, 09:57 PM   #16 (Print)
scottthamilton
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This :01 over/under is going to continue until someone puts a stop to it. A few suggestions:

A) Currently, there is no way to say, "I'm fine loosing the last few minutes of the first show, or the first few of the 2nd show". This feature should be added. You have "start _ min early" or "end _ late", but no "start _ late" or "end_ early". easy fix, consistent with the current UI, etc.

B) When asking for a recording that conflicts with another, instead of saying "NO" say "These overlap, which one would you like to loose a few minutes of?" or some such.

C) Pressure or mandate that broadcasters choose their time slots in 1/2 hr increments. I think this is a deliberate attempt by the broadcasters to pre-empt other competing broadcasters shows. Use your power to put an end to this nonsense. One way would be to just "Fix" the times -- ie to round them to :05 increments. TiVo forces us to start/end recordings in :05 increments (unless you do the extra "start _ early" trick), so why not filter the program data and round to :05 increments? Ok now then the broadcasters will use :05 or :04 off 1/2 hour, so you're back to A and B suggestions.

TiVo, you GOTTA do this. I'll help beta.
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Old 11-10-2004, 01:21 PM   #17 (Print)
mantene
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Tivo DOES have a suggestions form and it has an option for padding I believe. Have you filled it out?

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Old 11-10-2004, 01:25 PM   #18 (Print)
brianalt
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Great ideas here! I deal with conflicts by using 2 Tivos, but that's not ideal. I think eventually time slots will go away completely. Why do the networks have to contend with those boundaries? (from their view of course) That leads us to the next development in TV. Don't we all think that eventually everything will be 'On Demand'? Isn't that what we're insisting with our Tivos anyway?

But good thoughts on the "start late" and "end early". That sounds easy. Then introduce preferences for overlapping shows. Excellent! Seems so easy. Then we need to be able to maintain our schedules on the PC and we're all set.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:35 PM   #19 (Print)
bbalfour
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Quote:
Originally posted by brianalt
Great ideas here! I deal with conflicts by using 2 Tivos, but that's not ideal.


So do I, but it doesn't work on Wednesdays now. I have a 3 way conflict with Lost vs West Wing on the downstairs machine or Lost vs Jack & Bobby on the upstairs machine. With two shows on at 9:00 PM and Lost going until 9:01 or 9:02 I can't solve this without a 3rd machine.

On the other hand, that might be the answer since Thursday has Joey vs. OC vs. Survivor as a 3 way conflict.

More intelligent padding & control over whole vs partial recordings will solve the problem for us power TiVo users.

Brad

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Old 11-15-2004, 04:47 PM   #20 (Print)
Debbie25
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Quote:
A) Currently, there is no way to say, "I'm fine loosing the last few minutes of the first show, or the first few of the 2nd show". This feature should be added. You have "start _ min early" or "end _ late", but no "start _ late" or "end_ early". easy fix, consistent with the current UI, etc.
Quote:
B) When asking for a recording that conflicts with another, instead of saying "NO" say "These overlap, which one would you like to loose a few minutes of?" or some such.


scottthamilton..... My thoughts exactly.... I couldn't have said it better myself.

Good job,
Debbie
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