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Old 09-30-2004, 04:55 PM   #1 (Print)
cellguy
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TiVo Gas Gage

I haven't seen this posted anywhere so here goes. Why dosn't TiVo include a "gas gage", a menu option or something that shows approximately how much recording time you have left? It's such a pain to go through and count shows to figure out if you need to watch stuff b4 they get deleted.

Just a suggestions.
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Old 09-30-2004, 04:58 PM   #2 (Print)
ErictheHank
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There have been many threads about this but I will summarize again.....it's too complicated to implement effectively. The best way to simulate this is turn TiVo suggestions on and gauge based off of how many suggestions are left.
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Old 09-30-2004, 05:27 PM   #3 (Print)
bedelman
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Search for "FSI" (Free Space Indicator) and you'll find many posts on the topic

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Old 09-30-2004, 07:46 PM   #4 (Print)
Crrink
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So complicated, in fact, that only EVERY OTHER DVR maker includes a FSI.
Crazy complicated.
I hear it took a team of 10 guys at ReplayTV a million hours to devise the one their units have.

Anyway, our mighty TiVo's don't have one, and who knows if they ever will. Right now your best option is to turn Suggestions on. Have fun counting the shows up - I know I do!
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Old 09-30-2004, 08:42 PM   #5 (Print)
Stanley Rohner
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Why do people have such a fit about this!?

If you want to record something and it tells you - Not enough space remaining or something of that nature I guess that means you don't have enough space left. If this happens a lot you probably should consider expanding your storage capacity.

Do some people lay awake in bed all night thinking to themselves or screaming out loud - How much space is left on the my TiVo??!! How much space is left on my TiVo??!!
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Old 09-30-2004, 08:48 PM   #6 (Print)
JimSpence
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I'll have to give credit to the original poster for coming up with a new phrase for asking about disk drive space remaining. We'll need to add that one to the search strings.

Yes, something could be added, but IMO, whatever is done will just cause additional questions about what it all means. If a percentage is added, then people will ask "How many hours can I record with x% remaining?" That answer would depend on what quality the programs will be recorded on standalones or depend on how much DirecTV compresses the channel for the DirecTV DVRs.

And there isn't really a need to add up how many suggestions you have. Just notice when the number of recorded suggestions starts getting low. Then its time to worry.

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Old 10-01-2004, 12:52 AM   #7 (Print)
purple6816
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I have not slept good in years because I do not know how much space I have available all the time.
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Old 10-01-2004, 02:45 AM   #8 (Print)
DianaMo
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Tivo "Gas guage"

From what I can tell, the TiVo LCD Project data includes the time remaining information that you want.

http://www.disneycorner.com/toddscorner/tivolcd/

All you need is someone who knows how to make this work.

More handy Tivo links here:

http://dmoz.org/Bookmarks/D/dianamo/Tivo/
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Old 10-01-2004, 08:03 AM   #9 (Print)
Uploadjoe
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I mean I maybe over simplifying it but it doesn't seems that hard to me. There is A amount of space on drive and quality B takes C gigs an hour you have D amount of hours available left at B Quality.

I seem to remember TiVo has a spot that tells you based on drive size approximately how much you can record at each quality as it is. I found this pic http://www.weaknees.com/details2/as080t544.php

Now I mean if you want something to figure out how much space you have left after you record your 28 SP's at 4 different qualities that might be more difficult.

Last edited by Uploadjoe : 10-01-2004 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 10-01-2004, 08:57 AM   #10 (Print)
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Not enough space also takes into account the amount of stuff NOT recorded yet but is in the TO DO List and Save until I delete.

If TIVO can calculate how much space is needed for the stuff not yet recorded and then determine that there is not enough space to set up this new SP....it should be able to show this....I would think a simple pie graph much the way MS Windows show amount of free space left on PC.

May not show exactly how many hours but mayhap show in Color A actual used space...Color B space scheduled for use....Color C available space....It could base it (and note it) as "Spaced Based on Medium Quality" or something similar.

I started this post trying to say how hard it is to show this info...then completely turned my self around....I'm so gullible....

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Old 10-01-2004, 08:58 AM   #11 (Print)
ZeoTiVo
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crrink
So complicated, in fact, that only EVERY OTHER DVR maker includes a FSI.
Crazy complicated.
I hear it took a team of 10 guys at ReplayTV a million hours to devise the one their units have.

Anyway, our mighty TiVo's don't have one, and who knows if they ever will. Right now your best option is to turn Suggestions on. Have fun counting the shows up - I know I do!



the OTHER DVR makers have a lot of features that look better on the surface - but are not solid implementations of the feature - I give you replay TV online scheduling as a prime example - looks great - you can find your shows all kinds of ways, etc.. but will it actually record your show - only if you do it MANY days ahead of the shows time. so what is it worth - not much actually.


I give kudos to TiVo for only putting out features that are solidly implemented. A big factor in my going TiVo
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:11 AM   #12 (Print)
Crrink
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Quote:
Originally posted by ZeoTiVo
the OTHER DVR makers have a lot of features that look better on the surface - but are not solid implementations of the feature - I give you replay TV online scheduling as a prime example - looks great - you can find your shows all kinds of ways, etc.. but will it actually record your show - only if you do it MANY days ahead of the shows time. so what is it worth - not much actually.


I give kudos to TiVo for only putting out features that are solidly implemented. A big factor in my going TiVo


Well, that's nice, but it's not relevant to this thread since the RTV FSI works just fine, as does the FSI in TiVoWeb and the FSI in the TiVoLCD project.
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:13 AM   #13 (Print)
Crrink
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Quote:
Originally posted by JimSpence
I'll have to give credit to the original poster for coming up with a new phrase for asking about disk drive space remaining. We'll need to add that one to the search strings.

Yes, something could be added, but IMO, whatever is done will just cause additional questions about what it all means. If a percentage is added, then people will ask "How many hours can I record with x% remaining?" That answer would depend on what quality the programs will be recorded on standalones or depend on how much DirecTV compresses the channel for the DirecTV DVRs.

And there isn't really a need to add up how many suggestions you have. Just notice when the number of recorded suggestions starts getting low. Then its time to worry.


Is the author of TiVoWeb besieged by confused people wondering how much space they REALLY have left?
The maker of the TiVo LCD?
The makers of all the other DVR's with FSI's?

Not to my knowledge. Do you know something different?
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:19 AM   #14 (Print)
Crrink
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stanley Rohner
Why do people have such a fit about this!?

If you want to record something and it tells you - Not enough space remaining or something of that nature I guess that means you don't have enough space left. If this happens a lot you probably should consider expanding your storage capacity.

Do some people lay awake in bed all night thinking to themselves or screaming out loud - How much space is left on the my TiVo??!! How much space is left on my TiVo??!!


TiVo only does this if you have a lot of programs marked SUID.
If you have enough non-SUID programs, TiVo will just delete these when it comes time to make room for new shows. The only warning being if your Suggestions are running low.
When you go on vacation, if you don't have a boatload of space free, you have to sit down, count up all the Suggestions (paying attention to the length of each one, then go to the To Do List and count up all the scheduled programs.

It's an unecessary pain in the neck.
There is a solution that is simple enough for all other DVR manufacturers to include, simple enough for the author of TiVoWeb to include and simple enough for the designer of the TiVo LCD to include.
It cannot be too complicated for TiVo Inc. to include.
Why they refuse to do so is a mystery to me, though I suspect it has something to do with TiVo wanting Suggestions to be turned on.
If people are somehow confused by a FSI and TiVo doesn't want to have more potential support calls, then simply make it a backdoor feature activated by a remote code like the 30 second skip currently is.
Very simple.
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:53 AM   #15 (Print)
classicsat
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I find the Tivoweb FSI complicated. I have autospace.tcl on my Tivo and find that simple, with a little mental mathmatics estimating to figure out how much space I have left for my recordings.

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Old 10-01-2004, 10:01 AM   #16 (Print)
ErictheHank
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crrink
Is the author of TiVoWeb besieged by confused people wondering how much space they REALLY have left?
The maker of the TiVo LCD?
The makers of all the other DVR's with FSI's?

Not to my knowledge. Do you know something different?


The makers of TiVoWeb and TiVo LCD are only dealing with people smart enough to install TiVoWeb and TiVo LCD. As for ReplayTV, I don't know for sure but I don't believe the Replay can do Variable BitRate recordings, which TiVoWeb can't account for. So if you have the "Save Disk Space" option turned on the free space that TiVoWeb tells you could be off by up to 20% (just a guess on my part). This is why I say it is too complicated to implement. It would only be accurate if you had that option turned off and if it can't be accurate I am of the opinion that it shouldn't be included. I guess it could be accurate if it reported the amount of free disk space only without translating it back to number of hours but in my opinion this would be of limited use.
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Old 10-01-2004, 11:24 AM   #17 (Print)
ZeoTiVo
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crrink
Well, that's nice, but it's not relevant to this thread since the RTV FSI works just fine, as does the FSI in TiVoWeb and the FSI in the TiVoLCD project.



just as EricTheHank said that dovetails with my comment - a replay does not record with all the variations a TiVo has and yes you or I or someone who hacks a TiVo would understand the number we see and be able to know how close it truly ISN'T to actual hours for future recordings,
so if TiVo added this feature it would really be little better then having suggestions recorded and get a feel for how much space is left and how fast it is being used up.

And there would have to be a manual on understanding what the Free Spcae number means, something TiVo would not do with their product.

the only approach I see as feasible is a configuration where you can turn on expert mode and see things like FSI if you want it, but again this would fly in the face of TiVos simple interface design.


Also TiVo has much better things to do with their resources.
like work on cooperative scheduling/recording over HMO which would make FSI even more of a moot point.
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Old 10-01-2004, 12:02 PM   #18 (Print)
ErictheHank
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Quote:
Originally posted by ZeoTiVo

Also TiVo has much better things to do with their resources.
like work on cooperative scheduling/recording over HMO which would make FSI even more of a moot point.


That is my #1 most desired feature. I would love it if you could configure your TiVos as a collective recording pool. You define a priority list and it takes care of the rest. You tell it to record a show and it goes down the list. TiVo 1 is busy try TiVo 2 and so on and so forth. I'm sure there are a lot of complications that would make this difficult to implement but I would love to see it.
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Old 10-01-2004, 12:25 PM   #19 (Print)
NotVeryWitty
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Quote:
Originally posted by ZeoTiVo
And there would have to be a manual on understanding what the Free Spcae number means, something TiVo would not do with their product.


This is just silly. Car manufacturers have included gas gauges on their cars since before any of us were born. The gauge doesn't tell you the exact number of ounces of gas left in the tank -- it's just meant to get you in the ballpark. My four-year-old can understand it.

Tivo doesn't need to display the exact number of bytes or gigabytes that are left on the disk. They simply need to show a bar graph that represents the entire disk, and fill it in with colors showing how much of that is recorded, and perhaps a separate color for suggestions. Given how ingenious the rest of their interface is, I'm positive they would have no problem coming up with an easy-to-understand free-space gauge.
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Old 10-01-2004, 12:53 PM   #20 (Print)
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I still don't see what the need is. When TiVo needs more space it deletes what it needs to for it to be able to record more. The only time this would be a problem is if you flag everything you record as Save Until I Delete. The way that I see it TiVo is designed around the HDD always being full anyway. The only way that there is any empty space would be if you had TiVo Suggestions turned off and you deleted things after you watched them. Since, as I see it, TiVo is designed around always having a drive full of things for you to watch it is counterintuitive for there to be a free space indicator since by design there shouldn't be any free space.
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Old 10-01-2004, 01:00 PM   #21 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by NotVeryWitty
They simply need to show a bar graph that represents the entire disk, and fill it in with colors showing how much of that is recorded, and perhaps a separate color for suggestions. Given how ingenious the rest of their interface is, I'm positive they would have no problem coming up with an easy-to-understand free-space gauge.


I just read this again and you do have one good point. I could see the usefullness of a multicolor bar showing regular versus Suggestions. Or even better make it three colors and add Save Until I delete on there.
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Old 10-01-2004, 03:15 PM   #22 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ErictheHank
I still don't see what the need is. When TiVo needs more space it deletes what it needs
You answered your own question. Many people want to know how close they are to TiVo needing to delete something so they can either watch it or delete something else to free up more room. They don't want to come home one evening and be surprised to find that something was deleted.

Quote:
The way that I see it TiVo is designed around the HDD always being full anyway. The only way that there is any empty space would be if you had TiVo Suggestions turned off and you deleted things after you watched them.
That's the most commonly offered explanation for why TiVo the company doesn't seem interested in offering an FSI. But the reality is that a) many people don't use suggestions, and b) even if you use suggestions you still want to know when TiVo is going to delete a program that you explicitly recorded.

(And doesn't everyone delete shows after watching them?)
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Old 10-01-2004, 03:24 PM   #23 (Print)
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As classicsat mentioned above, take a look at autospace.tcl. It displays a multi-color bar showing percentage of drive space left and lots of other information over the "Now Playing" title.

It's one of my favorite hacks.
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Old 10-01-2004, 03:38 PM   #24 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman
You answered your own question. Many people want to know how close they are to TiVo needing to delete something so they can either watch it or delete something else to free up more room. They don't want to come home one evening and be surprised to find that something was deleted.

That's the most commonly offered explanation for why TiVo the company doesn't seem interested in offering an FSI. But the reality is that a) many people don't use suggestions, and b) even if you use suggestions you still want to know when TiVo is going to delete a program that you explicitly recorded.

(And doesn't everyone delete shows after watching them?)


Actually I hardly even delete anything manually. I run into the situation where I will unexpectedly want to show something to a friend who comes over more than I run into a situation where a show get's deleted before I get a chance to watch it. If I record something and I know that I want to watch but won't get a chance for a while I flag it "Save Until I Delete" and otherwise I just let TiVo do it's thing. I have suggestions turned on but it never records anything because the HDD is always full. Fact is that probably 60% of my season passes are what I call filler shows that I don't really care if I ever watch them and I just record them so that I have extra things to watch if I am bored. All of the shows that I actually care about watching I have the season passes set to Save Until I Delete so that I can't accidently not get them watched. The only bad part about this is that I have to go back occasionally and delete a bunch of old shows to free up some space but again that's cause I don't delete things after I watch them. I've been operating this way for 3.5 years and it's worked well for me. I'm going to give autospace.tcl a try when I get home just out of curiosity but it won't do anything for me....I already know my drive is full.
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Old 10-01-2004, 03:42 PM   #25 (Print)
mmascari
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Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman
That's the most commonly offered explanation for why TiVo the company doesn't seem interested in offering an FSI. But the reality is that a) many people don't use suggestions, and b) even if you use suggestions you still want to know when TiVo is going to delete a program that you explicitly recorded.

(And doesn't everyone delete shows after watching them?)


A simple FSI of the type often requested, similar to a gas gauge, doesn't answer question B. A simple gauge would tell you that currently you have X free space. It wouldn't have any idea that you scheduled Y (bigger than X) recordings for tomorrow. So question B still goes unanswered.

That doesn't mean it's not possible to answer question B, just not with a simple gauge. As you move closer to this answer, it does get more complicated and involve predictions based on current future information. As the user, you could use a simple gauge and the todo list to guess at what's going to happen for B also.

At some point, the question about the status of expired programs also comes up. From the TiVo's (the device not the company) perspective, an expired show is free space. Good or bad, that's what it is today. So, the easiest way to make sure a show doesn't get deleted is to change it's expiration date. Unfortunately, while this will prevent a show from being deleted, there is no easy way to say "delete show A before show B, but both can be deleted today if they need to be".
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Old 10-01-2004, 04:10 PM   #26 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mmascari
[B]A simple FSI of the type often requested, similar to a gas gauge, doesn't answer question B. A simple gauge would tell you that currently you have X free space. It wouldn't have any idea that you scheduled Y (bigger than X) recordings for tomorrow. So question B still goes unanswered.


To me knowing how much is free is the question. I don't want the TiVo to think for me just tell me its current status. However if you program in a season pass for a show thats an hour long at Best quality it knows how much space that is going to take. In fact I am sure that TiVO already understands this because when I was messing with my Season Pass list I changed nothing but the quality of a show and the conflict manager told me that show x, y, and z would now have to expire the day before the upgraded show. So it must be thinking about how much space would be used if I left it to delete the shows on its own.
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Old 10-01-2004, 04:21 PM   #27 (Print)
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Just because a show expires doesn't mean it actually gets deleted. It just means it can be.
The fact of the matter is that giving the user a "hours left" gauge is useless because it would almost never be accurate and then there will be a billion posts on this board like, "my tivo said I had X hours left but it still deleted a show". Remeber, the Tivo has no idea what quality you're going to record shows at in the future.

The only thing that could possibly be useful is if the Tivo told you how much hard drive space was left. "Useful" being a relative term as I don't know that it would provide much utility.

I personally don't see the need for a free space indicator.

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Old 10-01-2004, 04:23 PM   #28 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mmascari
A simple FSI of the type often requested, similar to a gas gauge, doesn't answer question B.
Sure it does. Right now I (and many others) will add up the hours used by Suggestions. Ten hours of suggestions? That means I have about 10 hours of recording before TiVo starts deleting explicitly recorded shows. Great. Though my preference is to turn off suggestions and have TiVo give me the same information about free space (which is defined as "empty space", not "expired shows").

Quote:
As you move closer to this answer, it does get more complicated and involve predictions based on current future information.
This whole "future prediction" thing is a red herring. Most people don't give a rat's ass about future predictions. All we want is a gauge that shows the state of things right now. If someone doesn't see how that's useful to them, then they can feel free to ignore it. But most people see value in knowing that information.
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Old 10-01-2004, 04:37 PM   #29 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by gtrogue
The fact of the matter is that giving the user a "hours left" gauge is useless because it would almost never be accurate
On what basis do you make this assertion? If TiVo had a screen that said how many hours/disk space were currently occupied by SUID shows, expired shows, suggestions, and empty space, how would that be inaccurate?

Quote:
and then there will be a billion posts on this board like, "my tivo said I had X hours left but it still deleted a show".
I don't understand why people still post statements like this. As if TiVo is the only DVR in the world, and this is an unsolvable problem. Here's a reality check: There are many other DVRs in the world, and almost all of them currently have a FSI. No one is being deluged with a billion posts by confused users. The only deluge comes from new TiVo users who post "how do I find out how much space is free?"

Quote:
Remeber, the Tivo has no idea what quality you're going to record shows at in the future.
Huh? It knows exactly at what quality all scheduled shows will be recorded. Are you talking about shows you haven't scheduled yet? Well yeah, of course it doesn't know what I'm thinking. My car doesn't know where I'm going this weekend, but that doesn't stop it from telling me I have 1/2 tank of gas left.
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Old 10-01-2004, 05:44 PM   #30 (Print)
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Well I installed autospace.tcl and my opinion hasn't changed. It's a that's kind of cool but who cares kind of thing for me. So your TiVo tells you it has 25% free. Ok, so then you have to do the mental math of ok I have a 164 hour TiVo so that means I have 41 hours left. But wait that's at Basic quality so I guess I have like 20 hours left at High quality so let me see. Oh yeah I have Save Disk Space turned on so it could really be anywhere between 20 and 24 hours. Well I wonder how long that will last me......(looking at to do list) Ok well there will be 20 hours recorded in the next 2 days so I have at least that long....oh wait 8 hours of that is football which I record at Best quality so I guess it's really like 26 hours so I guess I don't really have as much as I thought. Oh crap I guess I should just do what I've always done and mark things that I want to watch before they are deleted as Save Until I Delete and go about living my life and letting TiVo make it easier.

Bottom line....if it's going to break your heart if TiVo deletes it, mark it Save Until I Delete and let the rest go.

BTW all of the numbers above don't really mean anything...I didn't bother using a calculator and I don't have the conversion rates for TiVo in front of me so don't complain about them being inaccurate. They are for illustration of a point only.
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