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Old 10-15-2004, 09:35 AM   #151 (Print)
CrispyCritter
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Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman
No, they're not accurate. First of all, "average" users will have absolutely no problems with an FSI, and will thoroughly revel in its functionality. It will be the rare user who runs into the corner cases we've been debating.

Secondly, I don't see how adding a blurb to a screen to say something like "TiVo will need to delete <show name> to make room for this transfer" is "forcing" more information.
Note that you actually agreed to both of my statements. You misread the first one. I did not say that users on average would get burnt, I said that average users (as opposed to experts like us) would get burnt. I agree that most users won't. But if even 1 out of 100 do get burnt, that's still 5,000 users who think their TiVo lied to them.

For the second one, yes, it is more information (so you agreed), and yes, I would object to it. But what your're proposing is very different from Crrink's proposal that I was responding to. I would agree your proposal is more unobtrusive than Crrink's suggestion, but it also doesn't handle all the cases that Crrink's does (eg deletion due to the KUID SP scenario). What Crrink proposed would mean that as I was watching the climatic moment of a movie, TiVo could suddenly flash up a screen saying it's about to delete an episode of Jeopardy because it's about to run out of space. Ouch!

People use their TiVo in different ways (who have I heard that from lately?). My wife is perfectly content to have shows deleted on her. She uses KUID on the very few things she wants to save, and otherwise just wants there to be something good on when she wants to watch. It doesn't matter that it deleted a Perry Mason (leaving 10) or a Simply Quilts (leaving 20). Whatever scheme you hatch up to handle notification of deletion is going to have a negative impact on her interactions with the TiVo; she simply isn't interested. An hours-left FSI that adversely affects the user interface of non-FSI users (as Crrink's proposal strongly does) is not worth it, IMO.


Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman
And finally, I think Crrink's posts raise good points about the "trust" argument. There are already aspects of TiVo's behavior that--in your terminology--betray a user's trust. When a season pass records the wrong show or cuts off a minute early, people think TiVo made an error. But this happens so rarely that it's no reason to suppress the feature altogether.
I didn't understand this argument coming from Crrink, and I don't understand it coming from you. It seems to me you're saying "There's these other things that cause unhappy TiVo users and because we can't fix those, it's all right to add this new feature that will cause more unhappy users." The company TiVo spends a lot of effort trying to address the other things (you can see that by their actions here.) Why add another cause of unhappiness, unless the benefits outweigh the costs?

Remember what this argument is about: an hours-left FSI. As I've stated multiple times, I agree TiVo should give us more information, and I'm in favor of a GBytes used indicator. What neither you nor Crrink has directly addressed is what the added benefits of an hours-left FSI are, as compared to a GBytes used indicator, and why those benefits are worth the added cost (whose existence I seem to have convinced you of a bit, though not to the extent I believe in them)?

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Old 10-15-2004, 01:03 PM   #152 (Print)
Crrink
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To put it simply, an hours left FSI is better than a GB free indicator because it will save me from having to do the math in my head.

I don't know why you can't understand the argument I make, but I'll give it one more try:
You identify several scenarios which you believe will cause a user to feel that his TiVo lied to him.
Every one of these scenarios exists with or without a FSI.
A user's exposure to these risks is in no way lowered without a FSI.
You seem to believe that having a FSI will somehow make getting burnt by these scenarios worse.

I disagree, and think that a FSI will make it easier to avoid these situations.
I also think that the addition of a FSI would likely include a section in the TiVo manual more clearly spelling out the intricacies of their deletion algorithm - all good things, IMO.
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Old 10-15-2004, 01:13 PM   #153 (Print)
Qunchuy
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Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman
But your method [assigning expiration dates] adds a whole lot of extra work than the FSI method. That's odd, since your view seems to be to reduce work for the user. You may not mind having to go through 160-or-so shows and deciding who lives and who dies, but I sure don't want to. Nor do I want to have to make that determination at the time I record every single show.

I don't follow you. You don't want to decide how important a show is when you tell it to be recorded, but you're apparently happy doing it when you think you'll run out of space. How is going through "160-or-so shows" under time pressure any less work than selecting an appropriate priority for somewhat fewer than "160-or-so" season passes and individual recordings?
Quote:
You also assume that preferences remain static over time. I recorded [...] Maybe if I needed to make room today I'd decide to delete it. But that wouldn't have been my preference on the day I scheduled the recording. So in your world I'd have to update my TiVo every time my mood changed.

If you're going to bring up dynamic preferences, you should do it consistently. Your mood might change in the future as well, so the shows you delete today might well be some your future self will regret not being able to watch. It goes both ways, so I don't see this as a relevant issue for deciding when to prioritize your recordings.
Quote:
I'm sure you'll challenge some of the things I've said your plan would require, and I'm sure I've gotten some of it wrong. But the bottom line is this: In my typical TiVo usage, I don't set anything to KUID, I don't change any expiration date, and I don't have things deleted automatically. In terms of hands-off management, you can't get any easier than that.

I disagree. It's obviously easier if you let things get deleted automatically. You can't get any more hands-off than that. :-)
Quote:
Let's also be clear... You don't seem to care about watching a recorded show as much as many others. That's fine, it works for you.

I don't necessarily care about watching every recorded show, but any that I "must" watch will have been marked so that they won't be deleted without my explicitly doing so.
Quote:
So you should understand that many people don't record a show unless they want to watch it, and they don't have a pool of shows sitting around where they won't care if TiVo silently deletes them.

That sort of preference sounds like the green dot is a perfect solution. Shows will not be deleted until the viewer says to delete them. If the TiVo isn't close to filling up, a free space indicator would basically say that everything is okay and no action is required...but a lack of free space indicator would not be a problem in that case. If the TiVo is close to filling up, it will let the user know that it can't accomodate another request...which is the same thing a free space indicator would say in that case. On average, calling up a FSI would be wasted effort, and it would practically always be redundant.
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Old 10-15-2004, 01:37 PM   #154 (Print)
Qunchuy
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crrink
Okay, let's extend this situation.
Go to your power book now and count up how many files there are.
To make it easier on you, go ahead and exclude any system files vital to the operation of your machine.
How many files do you have left? A thousand? Two thousand? Five thousand?
Have fun ranking them all so they can be deleted when you start to run out of free space. I wonder how long it will take? You sure it would be better that way rather than having a simple message to tell you when you need to make room for something new? Maybe you can get Steve Jobs to implement your suggestion - good luck with that.

First, in the hypothetical TiVo-like situation I would have set the applications' expiration dates when they were installed, so I wouldn't be going through them all at once as you imply.

Second, it now sounds like you're advocating the way a TiVo works now, with a simple message warning that there is too little room for a new recording.

You apparently find the prospect of going through all the files on a computer hard disk when space gets tight to be undesirable. Why would it be any more desirable to go through all the recordings on a TiVo in a similar circumstance?

I can imagine a TiVo "space used" bar that shows how much disk space is occupied, perhaps with color-coding for each category of recording. I wouldn't mind having that extra data. I just don't see any way that looking at it would change anything I do.

How about if there were another bar next to it, showing the amount of space expected to be used by things in the To Do list, labeled with the number of days to get to each point? That could prompt me to watch a little more quickly than otherwise, or perhaps extend the expiration on a show, but it certainly wouldn't cause me to delete anything.
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Old 10-15-2004, 01:51 PM   #155 (Print)
ErictheHank
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Here is one thing that I think a lot of people aren't quite grasping.

If your TiVo tells you nothing about how much free space is left or when things will be deleted it isn't lying to you when it deletes things because it hasn't provided you with any information that is untrue.

If the TiVo tells you there is 4 hours remaining and/or that show xyz will be deleted in 2 days and then it deletes it earlier than you expect it to it will have lied to you because it provided you with information that didn't turn out to be truthfull. This could happen because a new show appeared two weeks out in the program guide that you have KUID turned on for so it reserved the space or because of a last minute programming change or serveral other scenarios.

The change that I think would be more meaningfull for me and maybe others would be another level of priority. That way I could set the shows that are absolute must see as KUID, the next tier would be things that I want to see but in the end it won't kill me if I miss them and the lowest tier for everything else that is "I'll watch it if I get bored" . Then it would delete Tier 1 stuff first then if it still needed more space it would start in on the Tier 2 stuff and of course KUID would still mean exactly that. I would also have it use these priorities to rank upcoming recordings so that only something in the same tier or higher could force a recording to be deleted. Example....TiVo has already deleted all tier 1 programs when another tier 1 program is scheduled to start. TiVo would skip this recording becase it would have to delete a higher priority program in order to fulfill the request.

I would support a FSI only as a hidden option for those who really want it but it just has too many trappings and pitfalls to be an integral part of the interface in my opinion. Now if TiVo could prove myself and the other skeptics wrong and produce a bullet proof, never wrong FSI I would gladly eat my words and maybe even end up thinking I couldn't live without it.....but I doubt it.
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Old 10-15-2004, 02:08 PM   #156 (Print)
rseligman
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Quote:
Originally posted by CrispyCritter
Note that you actually agreed to both of my statements. You misread the first one. I did not say that users on average would get burnt, I said that average users (as opposed to experts like us) would get burnt. I agree that most users won't. But if even 1 out of 100 do get burnt, that's still 5,000 users who think their TiVo lied to them.
Does an average user--on occasion--get burned by TiVo recording the wrong show due to a schedule change? Does the average user--on occasion--get burned by TiVo cutting off the last minute of a show due to network overrun? Does the average user--on occasion--get burned by TiVo deleting 20 hrs. of shows so its season pass for Monk can record every episode during that unexpected marathon weekend? Then yes, an average user--on occasion--may encounter one of these uncommon situations in which an FSI would be inaccurate. So what? Life has no guarantees. New technology, even less so.

Quote:
For the second one, yes, it is more information (so you agreed), and yes, I would object to it.
Of course it's "more" information. But by your previous characterization of "forced", you were implying a much more aggressive approach. I never said we need more popups every time TiVo needs to delete something. The approach I suggested was adding some text to a screen reminding the user that "some shows may need to be deleted to make room." Not that I think it will matter, as people don't read these screens, but it seemed to address your complaint that users will have no way of knowing what the effect will be.

Quote:
People use their TiVo in different ways (who have I heard that from lately?). My wife is perfectly content to have shows deleted on her.
Then she won't want to use it. What we're debating here is whether an FSI has value to those who want it, not whether every user will use it.

Quote:
It seems to me you're saying "There's these other things that cause unhappy TiVo users and because we can't fix those, it's all right to add this new feature that will cause more unhappy users."
That's one way to phrase it. Another way is "We can never guarantee 100% accuracy in any feature. So the fact that a feature is not 100% accurate is no reason to withhold it."

See my first paragraph about the average user for a list of other things that TiVo can't be 100% about. Would you have them remove those features because people get burned by them? Should radios be removed from cars because you have reception loss on a cloudy day? Should gas gauges be removed from cars because your range on 1/8 tank varies substantially depending on your speed? Or because the gauge shows different values depending on whether you're on a hill or level?

Quote:
The company TiVo spends a lot of effort trying to address the other things (you can see that by their actions here.) Why add another cause of unhappiness, unless the benefits outweigh the costs?
Well that's the whole theme of this thread, isn't it? There seem to be three positions by people on here: it adds benefit, it adds no benefit, and it causes harm.

Quote:
What neither you nor Crrink has directly addressed is what the added benefits of an hours-left FSI are, as compared to a GBytes used indicator, and why those benefits are worth the added cost (whose existence I seem to have convinced you of a bit, though not to the extent I believe in them)?
For usability, any "free" space indicator needs to be in the same units as a "used" space indicator. The used space is described in hours, as in you want to record an hour-long show. Therefore, a final number in GB is useless, except as a starting point for converting to hours. New software may say it requires 200MB to install. If all Windows did was report that you have 5% disk space free, that's useless without a conversion.

And yes, any new TiVo feature will require changes to screen text to describe the feature. If you want to consider that a significant "cost", OK.

Not to mention that a GB FSI has all of the issues you identify for an hour-based one. Let's say I have 2GB free on my 40GB TiVo. How do I use that number to figure out what shows I have room for? I calculate that it's 5%, and since my TiVo holds 40 hours, that's 2hrs. left. So I can record a 1-hr. show, right? But what if I start transferring a 4-hr. show and watch 10 minutes of it before deleting? What if I record a new show at Best quality? Suddenly that 2GB free doesn't go so far. How is that better than an hours-based one? At least with an hours-based one it can say "You have 2 hours free at Basic quality". That's something a user can actually relate to the knowledge they already have.
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Old 10-15-2004, 02:15 PM   #157 (Print)
dgstivo
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Quote:
Originally posted by nrc
I don't care about free space. Nobody really does. People care about how much more they can record without something they want to keep being deleted or failing to record. That's all they want to know.

TiVo could easily tell us that. They do that calculation already in order to warn you if something unexpired is going to be deleted. All the stuff about VBR and different recording modes making it too complicated is rubbish. They figure all of that in already. Just give us a list of all the current programs with the date and time they'll be deleted under the current schedule. That's it.
This isn't the first time I've seen this idea and I still think it's a most elegant solution. Why bother displaying hours or gigabytes of free space available so that the user can estimate what (s)he needs to do to free up space or preserve recordings? Instead, have TiVo tell you, with a fair degree of confidence, when each show will be deleted based on the current ToDo list. Yes, this will change as the schedule moves forward, but the results would be at least as accurate as any FSI and I think the information presented would be more meaningful to the user.
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Old 10-15-2004, 04:14 PM   #158 (Print)
rseligman
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Quote:
Originally posted by Qunchuy
How is going through "160-or-so shows" under time pressure any less work than selecting an appropriate priority for somewhat fewer than "160-or-so" season passes and individual recordings?
Because I won't have to do that. If I'm faced with a space crunch and I need to get rid of something, I just page through my Now Playing list, spot something I'm willing to give up, and delete it. Or I cancel the upcoming recording. The "going through" in this case is simply scanning titles. The "going through" in your case is actually visiting every show or season pass and assigning a preference to it.

Quote:
Your mood might change in the future as well, so the shows you delete today might well be some your future self will regret not being able to watch.
The difference is that I can do something about it today. If I knew that TiVo was running out of room, I can choose which show to delete, based on my renewed priorities. If I let it delete a show silently, then I'll have missed the opportunity to express that my priorities have changed.

Either way I'll have to live with my decision in the future. But my way allows the decision to be made based on today's priorities, while your way has the decision based on last month's priorities.

Quote:
I disagree. It's obviously easier if you let things get deleted automatically. You can't get any more hands-off than that.
Yes, the deletion aspect is a lot easier. But to allow TiVo to make the right choice in deleting, you will require up-front maintenance to tell it your priorities. That's a lot of work and requires ongoing upkeep.

Quote:
If the TiVo is close to filling up, it will let the user know that it can't accomodate another request
We're not talking about "requests"; we're talking about recording shows. As I've described before, if I set up a season pass for a 1hr. show and my TiVo has 3hrs. free, TiVo thinks everything's fine. But three weeks later, something must be deleted, and there is no notification whatsoever. (Not that I'm asking for intrusive notification; I'm asking for a way to detect this situation and intercede.)

Your method also does not work in the case where I'd rather cancel an upcoming recording than have something deleted to make room for it.

Quote:
On average, calling up a FSI would be wasted effort, and it would practically always be redundant.
Not at all. Sometimes it will say "lots of space free" and I won't have to do anything else. Sometimes it will say "running out of space" and I'll have to delete something. A large number of TiVo users already use Suggestions as a makeshift FSI and find value in it, so it's clearly not wasted effort.
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Old 10-15-2004, 04:36 PM   #159 (Print)
CrispyCritter
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Summarizing the cost/benefit arguments of an hours-left FSI versus a GBytes used indicator:

Benefits:
1. Rseligman and Crrink came up with: it simplifies the arithmetic because calculations are in hours rather than GBytes. I'll agree that is a benefit, though anybody who's micromanaging their TiVo via a hours-left FSI is likely to have lots of other arithmetic to do (hours planned times quality level), so it's not that big of a win. That is the only benefit mentioned so far.

Costs:
1. The major cost, that both Rseligman and Crrink have admitted, is that some users will feel they've been lied to, because the hours-left FSI is not trustworthy. "You have 4 hours of recording left" does NOT mean that nothing will be deleted until 3-4 more hours of recording is done. A show can disappear without any recording being done whatsoever. As EricTheHank says, this will be interpreted as lying and users will be upset. TiVo makes no promises that can be misinterpreted with a GBytes used indicator.
2. Minor cost: the user interface will be complicated for those users who have NO interest in FSI. In Crrink's proposal, it will have a major impact on some users, in Rselgman's proposal, less of an impact.
3. The user interface for those people who are interested in hours-left FSI has to include a lot more detail (Crrink and Rseligman have mentioned some things) about the deletion algorithms that TiVo uses in order to start understanding what hour-left means. As anybody who works in software engineering knows, exposing internal details is a definite cost, to be avoided if possible. It really ties your hands for future changes (IBM spent hundreds of millions of dollars learning this!)

Unless Rseligman and Crrink can come up with some substantial benefits, I think it's very clear that the substantial costs outweigh the minor benefit.

(Very minor edit to make clear I wasn't quoting anybody in my benefit sentence.)

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Old 10-15-2004, 05:44 PM   #160 (Print)
CrispyCritter
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Just clearing up some minor points. I don't want you to think I don't appreciate the effort you made in your posts!

Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman
Does an average user--on occasion--get burned by TiVo recording the wrong show due to a schedule change? Does the average user--on occasion--get burned by TiVo cutting off the last minute of a show due to network overrun? Does the average user--on occasion--get burned by TiVo deleting 20 hrs. of shows so its season pass for Monk can record every episode during that unexpected marathon weekend? Then yes, an average user--on occasion--may encounter one of these uncommon situations in which an FSI would be inaccurate. So what? Life has no guarantees. New technology, even less so.
I agree with your examples. I hope you agree that TiVo should minimize the user getting burned. But note that in none of your examples does the TiVo say it's going to behave in one way, and then do something different. It may not behave in the way the user wants, but it presents a consistent view to the user. For the hours-left FSI, the TiVo explicitly says one thing, the user thinks they understand it, and then the TiVo does something else. The user thinks the TiVo has lied to them.

Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman
Of course it's "more" information. But by your previous characterization of "forced", you were implying a much more aggressive approach. I never said we need more popups every time TiVo needs to delete something. The approach I suggested was adding some text to a screen reminding the user that "some shows may need to be deleted to make room." Not that I think it will matter, as people don't read these screens, but it seemed to address your complaint that users will have no way of knowing what the effect will be.
Crrink suggested the popups, so I was answering him. You both seemed to think that having the user know more would help minimize the unhappiness of the user; I was pointing out that having the user know more has its own costs.

Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman
Then she won't want to use it. What we're debating here is whether an FSI has value to those who want it, not whether every user will use it.
That's fine, but you and Crrink are suggesting changes to the user interface that affect everybody (giving more information about deletions).

Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman
Well that's the whole theme of this thread, isn't it? There seem to be three positions by people on here: it adds benefit, it adds no benefit, and it causes harm.
No, I strongly disagree. I think there is general agreement that it has benefit for some people, adds no benefit for others, and causes harm for others. (At least, I don't know of anybody that disagrees). What people disagree on is whether the benefits outweigh the costs.

Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman For usability, any "free" space indicator needs to be in the same units as a "used" space indicator. The used space is described in hours, as in you want to record an hour-long show. Therefore, a final number in GB is useless, except as a starting point for converting to hours. New software may say it requires 200MB to install. If all Windows did was report that you have 5% disk space free, that's useless without a conversion.[/B]
I agree that it's a benefit.
Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman
And yes, any new TiVo feature will require changes to screen text to describe the feature. If you want to consider that a significant "cost", OK.
No, the cost is not in changing the screen, it's in making every user, including those not interested in FSI, look at the additional text and try to understand deletion algorithms.
Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman
Not to mention that a GB FSI has all of the issues you identify for an hour-based one.
No. It doesn't have the issue that "My TiVo told me that it had 4 recording hours free. It lied to me." That is the major issue I've been arguing about throughout this entire conversation. I agree that users may be unhappy at what the TiVo does with a GByte indicator, but the crucial difference is they won't think TiVo lied. They may complain that they don't have enough information, but that's much better than thinking that the TiVo lied. TiVo as a company can't survive if large numbers of people think their TiVo lied to them.

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Old 10-15-2004, 05:50 PM   #161 (Print)
rseligman
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Quote:
Originally posted by CrispyCritter
Summarizing the cost/benefit arguments of an hours-left FSI versus a GBytes used indicator:
Wow, I disagree with every single point of your "summary".

Quote:
Benefits:
...it simplifies the arithmetic because calculations are in hours rather than GBytes. I'll agree that is a benefit, though anybody who's micromanaging their TiVo via a hours-left FSI is likely to have lots of other arithmetic to do (hours planned times quality level):
I disagree. I think the "average user", as you say, records at a single quality and will never have any math to do. It's only the advanced users who record this on basic, that on medium, the other thing on best, etc. If you're knowledgeable enough to change recording qualities, that means you already understand that your "40 hour TiVo" is less than 40 hours. Which means that you'll have no trouble understanding when an FSI says "20 hours free at Basic, 15 hrs. free at Medium, 10hrs. free at High, 5 hrs. free at Best".

Quote:
That is the only benefit mentioned so far.
Well yeah, that's the whole point of the feature! That's like saying the only benefit of a gas gauge is to tell you how much gas is left in the car.

Quote:
Costs:
1. The major cost, ... is that some users will feel they've been lied to
I would say this is the predominant cost, but it's certainly not major. The number of users whose usage habits leave them vulnerable to this situation times the number of times they'll actually encounter this situation is, I'd think, exceedingly small. Certainly not a "major" cost. This is also, by the way, the predominant cost of season passes, padding, wishlists, HMO, etc. All of these have scenarios in which TiVo doesn't behave as expected. Should we excise these features because they lead to "lies"?

Quote:
TiVo makes no promises that can be misinterpreted with a GBytes used indicator.
You're being overly technical. True, a GB FSI would report a factual number, but it wouldn't report the "right" number. Ever wonder why TiVo sells "80 hour" TiVos instead of "80GB" TiVos?

In practice, users--those that can even understand what GB means--will always try to convert GB to hours, which leads right back to the issues we've been discussing. What they want is "how much more can I record". If all you tell them is "2GB", then that tells them nothing that they can relate to TV shows. Just look at all the newbie posts asking for an FSI. They don't ask for GB or percentages. They ask for hours.

Quote:
2. Minor cost: the user interface will be complicated
Once we agree that an hours-based FSI has value, we can have another debate as to its UI. But you're equating "change" to the UI as a "complication". Some UI changes, such as new warning screens, can complicate things (sorry, Crrink!), but other changes, such as an extra few words on an existing screen, won't be considered a complication.

Quote:
3. The user interface for those people who are interested in hours-left FSI has to include a lot more detail... about the deletion algorithms that TiVo uses in order to start understanding what hour-left means.
Whoa, I don't recall anyone even suggesting this! The only detail is "at Basic... at Medium... at High... at Best". This has nothing to do with deletion algorithms. And TiVo already has this distinction in its UI, where it tells you the capacity when you choose your default quality.

Quote:
Unless Rseligman and Crrink can come up with some substantial benefits, I think it's very clear that the substantial costs outweigh the minor benefit.
Well, now you're just making subjective declarations. How about this: "Unless CrispyCritter can come up with some substantial costs, I think it's very clear that the substantial benefits outweigh the minor cost."

And I'll ask again, since you avoided answering when both Crrink and I asked... should TiVo have excluded the other features mentioned because of the rare chance of being "lied to"? Maybe TiVo should be removed from the market entirely, since an "80 hour" TiVo is itself a "lie".

[Edit: I see that you did address the other features in a post that appeared while I was typing this.]
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Old 10-15-2004, 06:21 PM   #162 (Print)
rseligman
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Quote:
Originally posted by CrispyCritter
But note that in none of your examples does the TiVo say it's going to behave in one way, and then do something different.
That's not true at all. When TiVo says it will record a show, but then you watch it and it's another show, then TiVo "lied". When it says it will record Friends, but it cuts off the last minute, then it "lied". When you set up season passes to record shows A and B, but then B is rescheduled opposite A and TiVo missed one of them, then it "lied".

Quote:
For the hours-left FSI, the TiVo explicitly says one thing, the user thinks they understand it, and then the TiVo does something else.
Again, that's not true at all. If the TiVo says "I have room for x at Basic, y at Medium, etc." then that's exactly how it behaves. What you've been arguing is user behavior, not TiVo behavior. If TiVo says it has 10 hours free at Basic, then that's exactly what it has. If a user starts transferring a 4hr. show and doesn't realize that that counts as a recording, they'll slap their head, think "duh, of course that counts as a recording!" and they'll never do it again. But TiVo behaved exactly as it said it would.

And I'll say again... this is a rare situation that should not dictate whether the feature exists.

Quote:
No, the cost is not in changing the screen, it's in making every user, including those not interested in FSI, look at the additional text and try to understand deletion algorithms.
If someone objected to a feature you wanted on the grounds that it would change a handful of words on an existing UI screen--one that everyone breezes by without reading anyway--then you would think they're justified? Well, I don't use wishlists, but I don't complain that there's this menu item taking up space on my screen. I may be anal, but I'm not that anal.

Quote:
They may complain that they don't have enough information, but that's much better than thinking that the TiVo lied.
So a useless but accurate number is preferable to an almost-always useful one that in rare situations needs some additional understanding? Heck, then let's have it report the internal temperature and call it an FSI, why don't we? That will be meaningless, but at least it won't lie.
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Old 10-15-2004, 06:23 PM   #163 (Print)
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Sorry, when I proposed a notification screen for show deletions I meant as a response to the user setting up a new recording or transferring a show via HMO. I didn't mean that it would be a good idea to have windows popping up during a show to warn about a deletion.
Basically I was advocating that TiVo behave more like it would if you set every show to KUID since these days with 80 hour plus TiVo's the ! yellow balls are meaningless.
I was proposing a way for a user who doesn't understand TiVo's deletion algorithm's to have a shot at realizing he was making a mistake before he went through with making it - something that would save the guy transferring a hockey game in CrispyCritter's example.
Sorry I wasn't clear enough.

CrispeyCritter: I really think you're drawing way too fine a point to determine whether a user will believe his TiVo 'lied' to him or not. I don't browse the RTV forums as actively as I browse these, but I've never once seen a thread accusing RTV of lying due to the FSI they use which quotes hours available at the default recording level.
I understand the point you're trying to make, but I really think you're making an Everest out of an ant hill.

There are plenty of limitations that TiVo users will encounter from time to time - rseligman and I have outlined most of them. We do get the occasional user who is irate over them, but the lack of hate filled posts here would indicate to me that the vast majority of people simply learn from these shortcomings and adjust their behavior accordingly.
Hey, how many people missed an episode of Veronica Mars (or some other show) because of the Presidential Debates? You set a SP for FRO, the network decides at the last minute to show a rerun, and if you don't catch it, next week when the new episode is really broadcast your TiVo fails to record it because it thinks it already has it. No reasonable person gets angry at TiVo over that, they say, hey, that's the price I pay to not have to delete all the reruns that I used to get on my VCR. I'll look out for that in the future.
I see no reason to believe that users would react to a FSI any differently - especially since TiVo goes out of it's way to log the reasons it doesn't record a show - that's a really nice feature of the To Do List that I appreciate.

Anyway, I really think that you're way overestimating the confusion/animosity an hours based FSI would cause. I understand that a FSI wouldn't be helpful for you or your wife, but ask any group of TiVo users who have gone on vacation during TV season, and I'll bet you dimes to donut's that you'll get a clear majority who wish they'd have had an easier way to tell if they had enough room to record all the shows broadcast when they were gone.

And just to reiterate one more time, every other DVR manufacturer includes a FSI. RTV fans love their DVR's like you wouldn't believe. The FSI isn't hurting them at all. DishPVR owners don't have the devotion, but I've never heard of them having the negative reaction that you're worried about.
I can't imagine why TiVo would be any different.
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Old 10-15-2004, 06:33 PM   #164 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ErictheHank
Here is one thing that I think a lot of people aren't quite grasping.

If your TiVo tells you nothing about how much free space is left or when things will be deleted it isn't lying to you when it deletes things because it hasn't provided you with any information that is untrue.

If the TiVo tells you there is 4 hours remaining and/or that show xyz will be deleted in 2 days and then it deletes it earlier than you expect it to it will have lied to you because it provided you with information that didn't turn out to be truthfull. This could happen because a new show appeared two weeks out in the program guide that you have KUID turned on for so it reserved the space or because of a last minute programming change or several other scenarios.

SNIP.

I would support a FSI only as a hidden option for those who really want it but it just has too many trappings and pitfalls to be an integral part of the interface in my opinion. Now if TiVo could prove myself and the other skeptics wrong and produce a bullet proof, never wrong FSI I would gladly eat my words and maybe even end up thinking I couldn't live without it.....but I doubt it.


That's like saying if your spouse doesn't tell you she cheated on you, then she hasn't lied to you.
A true statement, BUT SHE STILL CHEATED ON YOU!

I understand what you are saying, but I think you're way overestimating the average user's reaction.
SP's give you the option to set them FRO. There are a few scenarios which can cause your FRO SP to miss and episode or to record a repeat. How many threads have you seen on this board from people angry about this? The few that there are are from people who, once informed that, if TiVo encounters generic show data it will record the episode just to be safe, say, "wow, o.k., I can understand that. Now I'm off to go delete the 12 episodes of the Daily Show that are all the same. Thanks for the info."

I don't think an hours based FSI would be much different.
An hey, if one of the big brained engineers at TiVo can come up with something better - more power to them. I'd like to see that too. Until then, I'll take a FSI as good as what all the other DVR manufacturers provide.
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Old 10-15-2004, 06:34 PM   #165 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by dgstivo
This isn't the first time I've seen this idea and I still think it's a most elegant solution. Why bother displaying hours or gigabytes of free space available so that the user can estimate what (s)he needs to do to free up space or preserve recordings? Instead, have TiVo tell you, with a fair degree of confidence, when each show will be deleted based on the current ToDo list. Yes, this will change as the schedule moves forward, but the results would be at least as accurate as any FSI and I think the information presented would be more meaningful to the user.


I think most people would agree with this sentiment, however, it's probably a more difficult feature to implement than a simple FSI, so those of us who want a FSI are by and large willing to settle for less........for now....
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Old 10-15-2004, 07:13 PM   #166 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crrink
That's like saying if your spouse doesn't tell you she cheated on you, then she hasn't lied to you.
A true statement, BUT SHE STILL CHEATED ON YOU!


A more accurate analogy would be a bomb. A bomb without a timer will blow up without warning. A bomb with a timer will tell you how long until it is going to blow up so you know how long you have to defuse it. Of course in this case the timer is inaccurate so you really won't know when it is going to blow up at all, it would give you a false sense of security and will still kill you.

Just because a FSI would work in your sittuation doesn't make it universal just like it having no use for me doesn't make it universal. In my case I record about 50% of my season passes with KUID turned on. So in the next two weeks my TiVo will record somewhere around 24 hours of programming with KUID. So my TiVo would report much more free space than it would really have. Of course this could change next week and maybe there will be a special 3 hour episode of Scrubs, this would throw off my margin of safety by 2.5 hours. So this week the bomb that would be my TiVo might go off with 4 seconds left....next week who knows.
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Old 10-15-2004, 07:34 PM   #167 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ErictheHank
A more accurate analogy would be a bomb. A bomb without a timer will blow up without warning. A bomb with a timer will tell you how long until it is going to blow up so you know how long you have to defuse it. Of course in this case the timer is inaccurate so you really won't know when it is going to blow up at all, it would give you a false sense of security and will still kill you.


Speaking of bombs...

I always wondered why the bad guys spent all that time making nice, bright LED displays with a countdown timer on their bombs. I mean, why make it easy for the good guys to see how much time they had to diffuse? If the bad guys were smart, they wouldn't include a timer at all. Or if they were super-smart, they'd make that timer slow, by about 10 seconds. That way when the good guy was taking his time, aiming to diffuse the bomb *just in the nick of time*-- BOOM -- instead it would go off!

Maybe the TiVo engineers were thinking like smart bad guys?
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Old 10-15-2004, 09:01 PM   #168 (Print)
CrispyCritter
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Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman
That's not true at all. When TiVo says it will record a show, but then you watch it and it's another show, then TiVo "lied". When it says it will record Friends, but it cuts off the last minute, then it "lied". When you set up season passes to record shows A and B, but then B is rescheduled opposite A and TiVo missed one of them, then it "lied".
You're wrong. There's a big difference between the TiVo being thought of as wrong, and the TiVO being thought of as lying. Just imagine if my first two words were "you're lying". In one of them, the TiVo is thought to be operating to the best of its knowledge, incorrectly. In the other, it's thought of as giving wrong information, that it should have known better.

Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman
Again, that's not true at all. If the TiVo says "I have room for x at Basic, y at Medium, etc." then that's exactly how it behaves. What you've been arguing is user behavior, not TiVo behavior.
No, what I've been arguing is user perception. The user doesn't have enough information to know how to interpret "you have 4 hours of recording time left."

Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman And I'll say again... this is a rare situation that should not dictate whether the feature exists.[/B]
Yes, it will be compararively rare. But rare situations absolutely dictate whether features exist, they undoubtedly do in every complicated object you've ever used. It all factors into the cost/benefit tradeoffs.
Quote:
Originally posted by rseligman So a useless but accurate number is preferable to an almost-always useful one that in rare situations needs some additional understanding? Heck, then let's have it report the internal temperature and call it an FSI, why don't we? That will be meaningless, but at least it won't lie. [/B]
I don't understand. So are you calling the GByte indicator a useless but accurate number? Again, you and Crrink seem to think that arguments in favor of any kind of FSI are relevant to this discussion. This argument is over an hours-free FSI versus a GByte free indicator. You have not made the case that the difference between the two is worth the cost.

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Old 10-15-2004, 09:05 PM   #169 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crrink
Anyway, I really think that you're way overestimating the confusion/animosity an hours based FSI would cause. I understand that a FSI wouldn't be helpful for you or your wife, but ask any group of TiVo users who have gone on vacation during TV season, and I'll bet you dimes to donut's that you'll get a clear majority who wish they'd have had an easier way to tell if they had enough room to record all the shows broadcast when they were gone.
Again, what relevance does this have to this discussion? Why does this mean that a hours-left FSI should be preferred to a GBytes used indicator?

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Old 10-16-2004, 02:17 AM   #170 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by CrispyCritter
In one of them, the TiVo is thought to be operating to the best of its knowledge, incorrectly. In the other, it's thought of as giving wrong information, that it should have known better.
In terms of the average user's perception, this is a distinction without a difference. When TiVo says you have x hours free, it's operating to the best of its knowledge. It's not "lying". If the user stays away from your three rare scenarios, then TiVo will have been 100% correct. If the user runs into one of the scenarios, then TiVo either "lied" or was "wrong". It doesn't matter; same result. The reason the benefit outweighs the cost here is because the cost occurs so rarely that it is inconsequential, and it has a built-in remedy in that the user learns to not do that again. So if you want to plot this out, for an individual user, over time the cost approaches zero.

Quote:
user doesn't have enough information to know how to interpret "you have 4 hours of recording time left."
They have the same amount of information that lets them interpret when TiVo says "I will record show y on Monday." That is, if all goes as is planned, TiVo is right. However, there are rare situations in which it won't do what you expect. This is true for almost every one of TiVo's features. And yet users aren't spontaneously exploding yet.

Quote:
It all factors into the cost/benefit tradeoffs.
Absolutely. But you're not arguing why you think the cost exceeds the benefit. You're just declaring that it is so.

Quote:
I don't understand. So are you calling the GByte indicator a useless but accurate number?
Just as you did. You said it's better to not have enough information than to think TiVo lied.

Quote:
Again, you and Crrink seem to think that arguments in favor of any kind of FSI are relevant to this discussion. This argument is over an hours-free FSI versus a GByte free indicator. You have not made the case that the difference between the two is worth the cost.
Well, you should go back over the 9 pages of the thread if you think that. But I'll summarize it for you here: Users want to know how many hours they have free. A GB FSI doesn't answer that question. Therefore, the benefit of a GB FSI to the average user is very low. On the other hand, an hour-based FSI accurately answers the question 98% of the time, so its benefit to the average user is very high. That's the difference between the two.

Now, in rare situations, some users might see TiVo behave in a way they don't expect, just as is the case with lots of other TiVo features. So the cost of having an FSI is very low. On the other hand, a very high percentage of new TiVo users want to know how many hours they have left, and TiVo doesn't answer that question, so they are frustrated. So the cost of not having an FSI is high.

There, I just made the case.
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Old 10-16-2004, 02:21 AM   #171 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crrink
ask any group of TiVo users who have gone on vacation during TV season, and I'll bet you dimes to donut's that you'll get a clear majority who wish they'd have had an easier way to tell if they had enough room to record all the shows broadcast when they were gone.

Quote:
Originally posted by CrispyCritter
Why does this mean that a hours-left FSI should be preferred to a GBytes used indicator?
Easy question. Because an hours-based FSI solves the scenario Crrink described, and a GB-based one does not.
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Old 10-16-2004, 08:26 AM   #172 (Print)
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I'd settle for a "percentage of storage that is free" indicator!

Here you guys are debating hours vs. gigabytes, and meanwhile we got nothing -- nada -- zilch.
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Old 10-16-2004, 11:03 AM   #173 (Print)
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CrispyCritter: I answered your question about a GB versus Hours free FSI back on page 8.

Quote:
Originally posted by Crrink
To put it simply, an hours left FSI is better than a GB free indicator because it will save me from having to do the math in my head.


Whatever units the FSI is in, people will mentally convert that to hours. I understand that you think that not reporting the hours free will give TiVo a nice big loophole to be able to say it never 'lied,' but you're really splitting hairs.
As I've been saying, I don't think people will feel lied to any more than they already do, and at least with a FSI they'll be better able to avoid an unwanted deletion.
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Old 10-17-2004, 10:44 AM   #174 (Print)
mmascari
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crrink
Basically I was advocating that TiVo behave more like it would if you set every show to KUID since these days with 80 hour plus TiVo's the ! yellow balls are meaningless.


An FSI doesn't solve the problem of the meaningless ! yellow balls though. It helps with a part of the problem, but doesn't solve the bigger issue. Yes, with an FSI, you could see that it's almost full and delete recordings to make space for what's on the ToDo list based on current information. But this information is only as accurate as the next daily call when the guide is updated. Right after the next call, the guide can change and after interacting with the Season Pass Manager, create a whole new scenario. This isn't restricted to marathons, but regular schedule changes that have ripple effects through the Season Pass Manager also. So, while the FSI helped for day 1, for day 2 it's not as helpful by some percentage. Each day (additional daily call) further out that you don't look at the FSI and the ToDo list, the helpfulness of using the FSI on day 0 goes down. So, if you go on vacation for a week or two, by the end of the trip it wasn't very helpful and the TiVo is back to the useless ! yellow balls and the way they work. Why not come up with solutions that solve the bigger problem and let the TiVo do what the user would do on day 0. This way it can continue to work without needing supervision.



Quote:
Originally posted by Crrink
Hey, how many people missed an episode of Veronica Mars (or some other show) because of the Presidential Debates? You set a SP for FRO, the network decides at the last minute to show a rerun, and if you don't catch it, next week when the new episode is really broadcast your TiVo fails to record it because it thinks it already has it. No reasonable person gets angry at TiVo over that, they say, hey, that's the price I pay to not have to delete all the reruns that I used to get on my VCR. I'll look out for that in the future.


This is actually a good example of a good enough solution versus a solution to the bigger issue. The good enough solution is the "all with duplicates" option for a season pass. Since it will get the incorrect episode when it reairs, at the cost of other repeats, and was a simple change to implement. A better solution would be a way to edit the entries used for the 28 day rule and remove the incorrect value. The better solution requires a new UI and all of the issues that go with any new functionality (testing, support, manuals, education) that don't have anything to do with the technical ability to do something. An addition solution would be if guide data for the past was updated with what actually happened (presumably with better accuracy) and these updates applied to what was done in the past. Manually editing the 28-day rule list solves the problem of bad recordings when the user sees them (incorrect data, or any technical problem), previous guide data would solve incorrect data with no user interaction.

An FSI fits the same mold, it's a start, but doesn't address the underlying problem.

Quote:
Originally posted by Crrink
I think most people would agree with this sentiment, however, it's probably a more difficult feature to implement than a simple FSI, so those of us who want a FSI are by and large willing to settle for less........for now....


Since history has taught us that enhancements are only released about every 6 months (or is it once a year?), getting a good enough solution "for now" means a better solution is going to be a long way off.
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Old 10-17-2004, 03:34 PM   #175 (Print)
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Hey, nobody's saying a FSI is the ultimate solution, and there are lots of people who, like you, have proposed better solutions.
But like I said before, a FSI would take care of much of the problem, just like the FRO setting takes care of most of the problems it is designed to solve.
Yes, both examples leave people open to rare mistakes, but I will happily take a better feature today than wait for the perfect feature that may or may not ever come.

Again, I'm not a SW engineer, but I think all would agree that building a simple hours free FSI (or just giving us backdoor access to the one they already built) would be a lot easier than tasking a team to develop and test the more elegant solutions that have been suggested.

Hey, I hope that one day everyone will look at TiVo and proclaim it's complete and total perfection. In the meantime I'd like to have a simple FSI

Last edited by Crrink : 10-17-2004 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 10-17-2004, 03:57 PM   #176 (Print)
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Wow, who woulda thunk it. So much discussion over a simple feature.

Isn't Tivo just a linux computer in sheep's clothing? I don't see the problem. Everyone I know says Linux can do anything and everything so what's the problem?
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Old 10-17-2004, 11:46 PM   #177 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by cowboyshootist
Wow, who woulda thunk it. So much discussion over a simple feature


Never before have so many argued about so little for so long...

If Tivo just had a retention priority, it would automatically do what I want and then I wouldn't care about free space and this whole discussion would be academic. Besides, that's expensive space and I would rather it not be empty at all if possible - again why I would rather have Tivo retain what I want it to without having to know about free space.
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