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Television Media

Network Scheduling to Mess with Tivo 525

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the anyone-else-anyed-by-this-one dept.
Yahoo is running a bit about Networks messing with PVRs by adding a minute to shows. If a show runs to 9:01, then you can't Tivo a show on another channel that starts at 9. I've noticed this, although it's less of a factor if you have a dual tuner tivo, but it's interesting to see a bit of mainstream coverage.
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Network Scheduling to Mess with Tivo

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  • Not Just TiVos (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fembots (753724) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:36PM (#10977220) Homepage
    I don't think this tactic is specifically used to target TiVo.

    The article mentioned people who use VCRs and digital video recorders like TiVos are affected. But I guess putting TiVo in everything is a must now. Imagine an Open Source TiVo-like software that can be installed in iPod to provide time-shifting functionality for old people in Korea.

    Anyway, If I had to choose, I would take 30 seconds off the end of the 1st show and 30 seconds off the next one, they're usually opening or trailer for next show.
    • Re:Not Just TiVos (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mothz (788133) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:43PM (#10977312)
      Actually I think it's mostly a tactic to keep viewers from changing the channel. If you're watching a show and it ends at 8:59 and then commercials come on for a minute (the traditional way), you're more likely to change the channel. But if your show ends at 9:01 and something else picks up immediately afterwards, it has a better chance at keeping your attention. Besides, you've already missed the first minute of anything else that started on another network at 9:00.

      It's worth noting that this should really only work with popular shows. Suppose one station has an unpopular show on before a more popular one. If it goes over by a minute, people flipping stations at 9:00 will see the end of that show and pass it over. In this case it would be more advantageous to end on time and get the popular show started right away at 9:00 sharp.
      • by skids (119237) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:49PM (#10977407) Homepage
        The History Channel keeps you watching by removing the commerical break between the ending credits of one show, and the opening teaser of another show, so you get roped right into the next show.

        While that might cause some time conflicts because the padding from the commercial break isn't there to cut some slack, it is a lot better than this early starting crap.

        When we first got a TiVo they were doing something like this, but it wasn't on purpose. My housemate was considering starting a mail-in campaign where we sent all the TV stations a cheap plastic digital watch, so they could keep time.
      • All their shows started at :05 and :35. I always thought it was funny, until I realised that you would never miss the begining of their shows, and always miss the begining of other channel's shows. It's the same kind of low cunning behind "$10.99"... really only effective if not everyone does it.
      • Re:Not Just TiVos (Score:5, Insightful)

        by The-Bus (138060) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:57PM (#10977528)
        This changed in the mid-90's around the height of NBC's "Must-See-TV" popularity. The old way, if you remember, was:

        1. Show goes until about 8:58.
        2. Commercials.
        3. End Credits.
        4. Commercials.
        5. Short beginning credits (theme song).
        6. Commercials.
        7. Show begins at 9:04.


        That example is a bit extreme (they might skip #2), but you can still see it in daytime TV when syndicated shows are on (Fox still does #6 before The Simpsons which is extremely irritating).

        Now look at the way most prime-time shows are, especially sitcoms. The last big commercial break is around 8:55. They play the last few minutes of the show, usually have something funny in the credits, and then immediately go to a scene in the next show at 9:00, with credits appearing without any characters or anything. They keep you roped in for a couple of minutes or maybe more, then the first break comes in at 9:05, or later. You don't get a chance to see what's on the other channels.

        In the US, TBS Superstation has all programming beginning :05 after the hour, which I never understood. It seems to go against convetional wisdom. Is TBS the station for the fashionably late? Do they still even do this?

        Honestly nowadays I don't have any "scheduled" TV time. Last show I was addicted to was 24 and I only saw it 50% of the time.
  • by Cade144 (553696) * on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:36PM (#10977225) Homepage

    I have noticed this for about a year and a half now. Most notably on Thursday nights with NBC programming.

    ER starts at 8:59, which prevents me from recording CSI on CBS which runs from 8:00 to 9:00.

    All TiVo has to do is change its programming a bit. They actually contribute to the conflicts by not allowing you to start recording a program late. Sure you can start recording early, or stop late, but unless you do it completely manually, it is not possible to start late and or end early.

    My old VCR used to handle this somewhat more gracefully. If I had a weekly program, say from 7:00 to 8:00, and I had another program that recorded from 7:00 to 7:30, it would record the first program (if it had a higer priority) and then switch channels to record the last half of the other program.

    I do not see why TiVo can't simply change the software to "record as much as possible, even if a few minutes are lost" rather than the current model of "even if one minute conflicts, the whole program is abandoned".

    Hear that TiVo? Missing features!

    • Hmm...I have never had a Tivo but my DishDirect PVR was able to adjust the time manually. TBS or whoever used to do crap like that where I had to manually set the time to something retarded like 5 after. Any time I had a conflict between schedules the one who had time shifted got the shaft so to speak. I won't be watching somethign that messes with me trying to record something else.
    • Yes. I'd like to see soft scheduling. If the tuner isn't in use for something else I'd like it to record an extra five minutes before and after the show I'm interested in.

      I'd also like to see these PVRs available with four tuners.
      • by jeffphil (461483) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @04:26PM (#10977882)
        The new MythTV [mythtv.org] 0.16 has this feature. Note the change log on this page http://www.mythtv.info/moin.cgi/WhatsNew [mythtv.info]

        New Recording Options Screen The advanced recording options screen has been given a much needed make over. The various Qt controls are gone and the dialog is now themeable. Recording options are now set using a list control. The options are grouped into categories and can be selected using the arrow keys and the SELECT button. For simple items such as the start early/end late options you can just use left/right to increment them. For list types such as the recording group selection you can scroll through the options with left/right or press SELECT to see a list of the items and select which one you want. Items that can be scrolled left or right have arrows pointing to the left and/or right.
    • My homebrew PVR *always* stops a minute short by design, I never miss anything.

      If the shows start substantively overlapping, it will affect live viewers as much or more than TiVo users. A human can only watch one show at once, just like a TiVo. (Of course a human WITH a TiVo can finish one show while recording the start of another, then catch up on the second by skipping commercials :) For this reason, I think the trend will be limited.

    • by AlexTheBeast (809587) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:44PM (#10977330)
      Just don't let TiVo change their 30 sec commerical skip code. [tech-recipes.com]

      I'll miss a few shows as long as I can blast away commericals from my remote control.

    • Elgato's EyeTV system allows you to set the amount of time before and after the scheduled show time for padding, as well as manually adjust program times. I have not had any problems with anything I record, but I only really record about 5 shows regularly, so I might have just lucked out.

    • by LordNimon (85072) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:49PM (#10977423)
      What you're talking about is called "soft padding", and it's a feature that TiVo owners have been asking for for years. You can already do "hard padding", but manually specifying some number to adjust the start and/or stop time of a recording. This was designed for clock skew, but it's also being used for shows that habitually start or end late or early.
    • by macrom (537566) <macrom75@hotmail.com> on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:54PM (#10977477) Homepage
      My wife tends to watch shows like this, and we've noticed the same thing. Networks tend to run shows a minute or so off, and since shows now start immediately (with the opening credits rolling several minutes into the show) it can be aggravating. To combat this, we do one of the following :

      1. Watch the opposing show on the station in a different time zone. We get channels from other broadcast cities, and since we're in Dallas it is easy to catch a show on the L.A. channels an hour or two later. We can also record the later show if nothing else is on that we want to watch.

      2. Usenet. Most, if not all, of the popular shows are available in DivX (or similar) format the next morning. I simply cue up the shows and burn a couple to a CD or DVD, then play back on our Philips DVP642. That way if there's a night that's slow for TV shows, we can just catch up on what we missed the other night.

      Option 1 is more preferable from the network execs' standpoint. Option 2 is more preferable from our standpoint since we get to keep the shows and watch them at our convenience, even if that means on my laptop while dinner is cooking, etc.

      At somepoint, the networks need to realize that WE WANT OUR PROGRAMMING OUR WAY. We don't always mind commercials, we don't mind in-show advertising (I don't personally, YMMV), but we mind you playing games with us and hindering our ability to watch a simple show on the television.

      Note: We only have one PVR in the house. The equipment fee to "rent" one from Dish is not overly expensive, but we (read: I) prefer to spend the money on Usenet and blank CDs.
      • "At somepoint, the networks need to realize that WE WANT OUR PROGRAMMING OUR WAY. We don't always mind commercials, we don't mind in-show advertising (I don't personally, YMMV), but we mind you playing games with us and hindering our ability to watch a simple show on the television."

        Ah yes, the contradiction of TV. The stupidities that annoy us all can be explained when we realise that the show is not the product. The viewer is the product and we are being sold to the advertisers. The TV networks care little about the show or the viewer at all. As long as they get the viewer in front of the tube so they can get their advertising revenue, that's all that matters.

        This whole 'our programming' and 'our way' thing has not entered the mind of the TV execs at all. Again I am reminded of why I prefer DVDs.

      • by smartin (942) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @04:24PM (#10977866)
        While I'm sure that dicking with PVR owners is a side effect that the networks like. I beleive that the realy reason for this is to squeeze yet another minute of commercials into popular shows. Unfortunatly for the networks this tactic will have the effect of driving more people to the Internet to download their shows totally free of commercials.
    • Amen. Same here. Same show. Same year+ of pain. I actually had to deal with it again this year because of a line up change. Sucks because the Series 1 Tivo DOES allow some leeway, but not the leeway in the direction you want. What I ended up doing last year was slipping in one of the shows as a manual record (allowing increments up to 5 minutes I believe) and then setting ER a little later. Or something. I know, not very helpful.

      On topic, I'm surprised the TV networks would stoop to that. It's the continu

  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:37PM (#10977228)
    As the article summary notes, this isn't a problem for dual-tuner PVRs.

    Most PVRs offered by cable and satellite providers, such as Charter's Motorola BMC9012 offering, are just that. And, adding another tuner (or several tuners) to media PCs, such as those running MythTV or the surprisingly good Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, is a simple task (for a person so inclined to have a media PC in the first place).

    So, yes, it's interesting to see this acknowledged, but the tactic does show up in the guides (e.g., ER starting at 8:59PM CT), and for multi-tuner PVRs it is not at all an issue.

    What will be far more interesting to me is the networks' and content providers' handling and usage of the Broadcast Flag [eff.org] (more [g4techtv.com], more [msn.com], more [cdt.org]), which will probably be utilized to prevent digital and/or HD recording, and thus prevent (easy) skipping of ad content, of some "high value" shows altogether, as well as allowing the placement (force feeding?) of new shows to piggyback on existing "popular" shows.

    Interesting that while the invention of the VCR has been recently lauded as releasing people from the prison of having to watch "prime time" TV in prime time, the Broadcast Flag may essentially shoot us back 20 years. And most consumers don't understand or know the rights that have already been granted them enough to know the difference.

    (And why don't content providers understand that: 1. this won't stop pirates from pirating TV, and that 2. this only makes it harder on ordinary consumers?)
    • by gorbachev (512743) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:48PM (#10977394) Homepage
      "And why don't content providers understand that: 1. this won't stop pirates from pirating TV, and that 2. this only makes it harder on ordinary consumers?"

      You're missing something. Content providers don't care about consumers, they care about advertisers. It hasn't been about providing content to consumers for a long time.
      • You're missing something. Content providers don't care about consumers, they care about advertisers. It hasn't been about providing content to consumers for a long time.

        And they wonder why TV ratings are falling. Why more people would rather play games, see a movie, or even just watch the show on DVD instead of over the air or on cable.

    • This IS a problem for dual tuner TiVos.

      If you have four things you want to record total (two airing at 8, the other two at 9), then yes, this is a problem. I run into it a lot with my dual tuner DirecTiVo.
    • As the article summary notes, this isn't a problem for dual-tuner PVRs. Most PVRs offered by cable and satellite providers , such as Charter's Motorola BMC9012 offering, are just that. And, adding another tuner (or several tuners) to media PCs, such as those running MythTV or the surprisingly good Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, is a simple task (for a person so inclined to have a media PC in the first place).

      But haven't you just discounted your standard Tivo box for people without satellite? Surely

    • So, yes, it's interesting to see this acknowledged, but the tactic does show up in the guides (e.g., ER starting at 8:59PM CT), and for multi-tuner PVRs it is not at all an issue.

      Obviously this is not a nefarious plot to thwart TiVo owners, as advertised, but rather, a plot to sell more TiVos!

      KFG
  • Ah-ha! (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:37PM (#10977233) Homepage Journal

    That explains why the shows have been getting onto BitTorrent a minute or two later.
  • by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:38PM (#10977244) Homepage Journal
    TV has largely succeded, in the footsteps of Radio, by networks and stations being good about time boundaries. Once anarchy happens, where networks ge into the habit of 5 minutes this or that way, they can pretty much cut their own throats. This was extremely irritating when Turner did it.
    • by garcia (6573) *
      This was extremely irritating when Turner did it.

      Was it? I always thought it was a novel idea. When I was channel surfing from the network stations because they were on commercial there was always something on TBS because they were always 5 minutes late.
  • by fembots (753724) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:38PM (#10977249) Homepage
    TiVo began advising its 2 million subscribers to watch out for such time conflicts and to adjust their recording settings manually.

    Couldn't TiVo finish off the first one (maybe 31 minutes), and proceed to record the next despite it's 1 minute late?

    Maybe a patch will check for any conflicts and prompt users to choose from a few options, for istance, give weight/priority to a particular show.
    • by kmcrober (194430) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:44PM (#10977342)
      That's more or less how SageTV (and probably Myth, although I haven't used it) handles conflicts. It's intuitive and very useful - I can't understand why TiVo doesn't follow suit. All that's needed is a "Conflicts" menu that shows you shows that won't be recorded due to a conflict, and lets you pick which one to weight in that instance or overall. It's much more user friendly than having to bounce in and out of menus or just change the season pass orders.

      The same thing pertains to recording a few minutes into the next scheduled recording. Is there some technical reason why TiVo can't handle slightly odd recording times, or is it just a case of too little competition?
  • They say it's to put in more commercials and not to disrupt TiVo. CNN had a story about it a while back. They didn't believe it either.
  • by coyote-san (38515) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:40PM (#10977274)
    Not an issue if you only watch one channel.

    Oh look, it's Colonel Carter in a slick leather outfit!
  • When was the last time there were two or more shows on two or more different big networks in the same night that were interesting enough to record?

    • Or a show wasn't rerun, and rererun, and rerererun... oftentimes in the same week.

      The only shows that don't get rerun into the ground are the live ones, and they tend to run at odd times anyway.

      • You must not watch much network tv. First-run shows on the broadcast networks are typically rerun once, many weeks after the initial showing (usually during the summer).

        Cable channels simply don't have the same amount of programming, so they tend to rerun their first-run shows much more often. Fx is the worst with this, imo. I know for a time they were showing new episodes of The Shield, and running the same exact episode after it. It would also be replayed on the weekend, and the day before the next new s
    • Based on my experience, on the rare occasion that there is a show on I reeeally don't want to miss, there will invariably be another show I reeeally don't want to miss on another channel.

      That may just be me though.
  • Can You Blame Them? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BoldAC (735721) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:41PM (#10977288)
    If you know you are going to miss the last 3-4 minutes of a show, you might be less likely to TIVO it.

    1. Add minutes to end of shows
    2. Decrease TIVO usage
    3. More viewers see more commericals
    4. Profit.

    It makes perfect sense.

    The other thing that people forget is that TBS has been doing this for a while. If you are "kept" at one channel for 5 minutes longer, you are going to miss the beginnings of the "hooker" beginner part of shows on other channels.
    • Or, like me, you just don't record those shows, and instead watch shows on other channels entirely, and record the reruns of their shows. I think this will probably hurt them in the long run, because it works both ways. If I can't catch the first couple minutes of their show, I'm much less likely to switch TO their station as well. By the time ABC underruns 2 minutes and CBS overruns 2 minutes, I've missed too much to care and I'll go back to shows I recorded at 3 AM on Sunday.
    • > If you know you are going to miss the last 3-4 minutes of a show, you might be less likely to TIVO it.
      > 1. Add minutes to end of shows
      > 2. Decrease TIVO usage
      > 3. More viewers see more commericals
      > 4. Profit.
      > It makes perfect sense.

      No, it makes absolutely NO sense at all. If I'm going to miss some of a show, true I will not TIVO it. That means I will stop watching that show completely.
      There's no way in hell I would rearrange my personal schedule just to watch a TV show. If I can't TIVO
    • by zoward (188110) * <email.me.at.zoward.at.gmail.com> on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:52PM (#10977459) Homepage
      Or:

      1. Add minutes to end of shows
      2. Decrease TIVO usage
      3. Viewers TIVO something else and watch that instead, or grab an MPEG of the show from BitTorrent.
      4. Less Profit.
    • by gvonk (107719) <<moc.knovtterrag> <ta> <todhsals>> on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:57PM (#10977522) Homepage
      If you are "kept" at one channel for 5 minutes longer, you are going to miss the beginnings of the "hooker" beginner part of shows on other channels.

      Except on Fox, where most of the show is the "hooker" part.
  • I have been using Beyond Tv for some time now, and it allows you the simple option of padding a recording by X amount of minutes before or after a program start time. I can't imagine it would take much for Tivo to implement something like that.
    • You can pad recordings on TiVo, but that's not the issue. Besides, when The Bachelor runs from 7:00 until 8:01, the TiVo knows and records for 61 minutes.

      The problem comes in when there's something on at 8:00 on another channel that the TiVo needs to record. It can't record it because that show will conflict. Whichever show has the higher priority gets recorded and the other doesn't.

      Like others have pointed out, you need a dual tuner TiVo to compensate. Or else TiVo needs to provide the ability to s
  • by Le Marteau (206396) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:42PM (#10977306) Journal
    TiVo should be able to automatically record a show that is one minute already in progress.

    The logic will need to be fuzzed a bit and adjusted to account for this. As it stands, the TiVo software will not consider recording a show already in progress unless the user forces it. The software will need to be made more intelligent so as to consider a show only one minute into it, for all intents and purposes, as being right at the start.
  • by JoeD (12073) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:43PM (#10977317) Homepage
    I have no problem with this, AS LONG AS THEY PUT THE CORRECT TIMES ON THE SCHEDULE.

    If the show runs from 9:00 - 10:01, then don't list 9:00 - 10:00 in the schedule.

    If the times were correct, then Tivo would be able to figure it out.
  • 3 tuners DVRs to compensate!

  • I've noticed this as well.

    Sometimes they will run a show 1 or 2 minutes later than posted so you miss the ending. This really gets me pissed. I've actually stopped watching a few shows because of this and I simply will not record anything from TBS because they are very consistent about missing their posted times.

    TV for me is a luxury and not a necessity. If the channels don't work in such a way that my TiVO doesn't record them, I go someplace else. Considering the PVR's (particularly TiVO) is about to

  • I just bought a Tivo a month ago (thanks to the $100 rebate), and I've noticed that things happen that can royally screw up the Tivo experience. I don't think the first one is the network's fault, but when live events go over their time alloted, everything gets pushed back, and if your Tivo is going to record from 8-9pm, you will miss that 15-30 minutes the "live event" (football game) went over. I have also noticed what the front page summary mentioned, and it is incredibly annoying, but I don't think th
  • by Sai Babu (827212) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:46PM (#10977354) Homepage
    If one program concludes at 5min past the hour and the other starts on the hour and you don't have a TIVO or VCR, well now you need one!

    If you want to time shift, now you need TWO machines.

    I bet the hardware vendors are secretly smiling because most consumers are too stupid to apply anything other than the brute force, buy more $hit solution.

    IMO, more people are 'addicted' to TV than to cigarettes, crack, food, tentacle rape, and opossum fishing COMBINED!

  • This can be worked around. NBC has been scheduling ER to start at 9:59 for ages. I have my TiVo set to record ER from 10 to 11. If I miss a minute of "previously on ER", I'm not concerned.

    You do have to either watch your To Do list or look for alerts on webites like TivoCommunity.com

    NBD, really.
  • TiVo just really needs to have greater flexibility on scheduling is what it comes down too. I have also noticed this with ER and CSI too. It drives me crazy!
  • by xrayspx (13127) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:47PM (#10977386) Homepage
    If CSI runs until 10:02, and ER starts RIGHT AT 10 like they do, it is very likely my wife will take the laptop off my lap and hurl it through our TV.

    It's bad enough with those two anyway if you're a fan of both. This is a problem for regular people who want to watch one thing at 9 and something else on another network at 10.

    Thank you guys, thank you for reminding me why I pay for CABLE. Assclowns.

    • I didn't realize ER was even on the air anymore. An easy fix here would be to record NBC's HD feed for ER and the regular feed for CSI. The HD feed is always a minute or so late anyways.
  • by wvitXpert (769356) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:47PM (#10977387)
    Doesn't this affect the average tv viewer as well? I am watching ER from 8:00 to 9:01 and then I want to change the channel to watch (insert other popular program here) that airs from 9:00 to 10:00, I've just missed the first minute of the second show. Of course thats not a problem if you only watch one network, maybe that is what they are trying to promote more than fcking with TiVos.
  • by oexeo (816786) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:48PM (#10977393)
    Why don't they just go ahead and send a high voltage spike down the cable line, that would "fix" the Tivo.
  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:48PM (#10977404)
    If a show runs to 9:01, then you can't Tivo a show on another channel that starts at 9

    Nor can you watch all of both shows when they air. They are not just screwing the Tivo users, they are screwing up their core customers, the ones who watch live, commercials and all. This is hardly a new practice, Fox has been starting the Simpsons early for years. But it certainly is growing in it's adoption. It's not just a minute either, in many cases (at least with NBC) it's several, and those minutes can be on either end (the show might start early, or end late).

    Rather than hurting the TIVO users, this pratice may well drive more normal viewers to becoming multiple tuner TiVo users (and skipping the commercials in the process).

  • endpad (Score:4, Informative)

    by pfunkmallone (89539) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @03:52PM (#10977451)
    There is an application for folks who've hacked their Tivo (I think only series 1's), that can help with this issue thoough. Called endpad. Here's a link to the announcement on the tivo community forums: Forums [tivocommunity.com]. This is especially useful for single tuner Tivos (as mentioned above).
  • by bman08 (239376)
    way to treat your god damned audience. why bdo they make these shows at all? how many times do you miss the end of your favorite program before you give up and watch something else?
  • That large companies don't care what their customers want. Isn't capitalism supposed to be about supply and demand?

    Oops. Demand with no supply. Now how can that be? Maybe it's NOT A FREE MARKET?!?
  • Just wait until ALL the networks use this strategy.
  • Jesus fucking Christ what the hell is wrong with these shitheads? What next? Is everything these retards do designed to alienate and piss off their own customers? First we can't record what we want when we want to soon we won't be able to zap the commercials on our own machines. It's bad enough that there is steadily less and less actualy content - what, about 18 minutes per half hour once you strip out the commericials the jingle, the credits? It's not bad enough there's a gigantic animated bug in the lowe
  • They did this once before- they started programs a minute early. This threw off recording devices and you would miss the first minute or so of the program. DISH Network (echostar) got around this by adding a checkbox to start one minute early.

    I expect it would be just as easy to add a "start one minute late" checkbox.

    Some stations purposely (doesn't TBS still do this?) start their programs 5 minutes after the hour to catch channel surfers.

    I have found that recordings (Tivo, etc) can be affected when the
  • when companies resort to actively making things difficult for customers it often spells the beginning of the end. or at least the destruction of any brand loyalty.

    I for one do not watch TV any more. I get my favourite shows (of which there are less than 5) via file sharing. imo TV isn't worth the effort. before the screams of piracy come in, I buy a lot of TV on DVD but that's usually released at least a year after broadcast.
  • I could have sworn there was at least one other brand...

    "although it's less of a factor if you have a dual tuner tivo,"

    And no factor if you own a ReplayTV, except that you miss a minute of one of the shows. The one exception was the last episode of friend where they lied to the schedulers and had the climax of the show occur right after the scheduled end of the show. Knowing the network, I assumed they would do this and made sure the show after would be recorded to, though I could have just told by Repl
  • This is the same tactic that TBS used in the '90s to keep viewer lock. All shows on TBS started and ended at 5 after the hour or half hour. The only difference now is that instead of really missing the beginning of a show on another channel, the DVR is not set up to handle a WHOLE MINUTE of scheduling conflicts. However, you can adjust start and stop times for the Tivo, but that is another step in the process, and most end users would rather complain than be forced to do more work. (Tivo is about conven
  • This screwed us last night. Our favorite show, LOST, goes to 9:01. The ending was a real shocker... but we missed it, beause the Tivo cut out just seconds before the big dramattic ending. It was beyond obnoxious.
  • and stick with the accurate times. This is probably impossible due to commercials, live shows, etc. though. :(
  • The networks think they're being crafty by blocking you from watching their competitors' shows but they don't realize that their scheme only works if the Season Pass for their show has the highest priority.

    NBC might think they're being crafty by scheduling The Apprentice from 9:00 - 10:01, hoping that bumps my recording of Without a Trace which airs from 10:00 - 11:00. What happens, though, is that Without a Trace is a higher priority so The Apprentice is the show that doesn't get recorded. So, their nif
  • I've removed all such shows from my subscription list. Hopefully, the networks will get the hint.
  • Anti-Tivo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Skye16 (685048) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @04:15PM (#10977749)
    Somewhat off-topic, but related...and I feel like ranting.

    I don't understand why people are freaking out about Tivo and other PVR/DVR systems. I'll be the first to admit, I'm a jerk about copyright infringement. Music, software, etc, etc. I've been getting a lot better now that I'm not a poor highschool or college student, but I DO have a bad track record.

    With that said, however, never once did I even ponder the idea of either downloading OR uploading recorded TV shows. Why? Because they're already freely available. There is nothing I need to see THAT BADLY that I can't just tell SageTV to record the next time it pops up and go about my business. If I won't be able to see it for a year or so until they slide it into the re-runs, and I positively have to see it, I'll purchase the season (ala SG-1).

    Why would I want to download a show recorded by someone else when I can get the exact same thing for myself without almost any effort? Aside from the fact that I may get a kick out of their crazy local commercials that may or may not appear on it, there's absolutely no reason for me to do this.

    As for skipping advertisements, which I know is the real worry; keep things in perspective. Yes, I do fastforward through commercials (when I'm not too lazy to pick up the remote (now THAT is lazy!)). But even if I didn't have that option, you can bet your ass I would spin my chair around and turn some music on while muting the TV, or using the bathroom, or making a sandwich, or throwing socks at my cat in an effort to make him freak out. I don't feel like I'm anything unusual here; most people are the same way. Would I download a movie? Yes. Would I download a TV show? No. Could others? Yes. But I've been seeing avi's of The Simpsons floating around on my campus network since 2000. The more PVRs, the better, because now people aren't sharing, they're making these recordings themselves.

    I'm sure there's a point in there somewhere. Or at least I hope so. If not, at least I may be able to start a discussion. :O
  • Get a MythTV (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Solstice (11486) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @05:02PM (#10978339)
    I got around this by getting a MythTV box and setting it to always record 5 minutes after and 5 minutes before. Sure you can do this with TiVo, but MythTV has one advantage - it can support more than two tuners. This is important because back to back shows will overlap with the extra end and beginning padding. I currently have three Hauppauge PVR-250 tuner boards in mine, and I haven't had any real scheduling conflicts with the scheme yet (although I'm thinking of getting a 4th just in case).
  • by SomePoorSchmuck (183775) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @05:05PM (#10978392) Homepage
    Step One: Turn on your TV.
    Step Two: Holding the power button on your TiVo, unplug it from the wall.
    Step Three: Holding the power button on your TV, unplug it from the wall.
    Step Four: Stand in front of the television and then look to the side. Imagine your gaze has an infinite range which follows the curvature of Earth. Think about how right now your life, and the lives of 6.5 billion people, are ticking away one second at a time. Imagine that what you do with your temporary gift of consciousness actually matters.
    Step Five: Welcome back to reality.

  • by sootman (158191) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @05:37PM (#10978935) Homepage Journal
    This is, of course, a zero-sum game. For every person who quits watching CSI: Springfield because Law and Order: Metermaids runs late, there will be one person who quits watching L&O:M to catch CSI:S. If all networks synced up to the Naval Atomic Clock and started shows at hour-and-15-seconds and ended them at hour:59:45, more shows would get watched overall. A rising tide lifts all boats.

    But hey, where does cooperation and common sense belong in corporate America, even if it can be easily proven that it's the best thing to do for all involved?
  • by yorkpaddy (830859) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @05:37PM (#10978936)
    When the credits of a show are compressed or scrolled through extra fast it makes it more dificult to read actor's names. I wonder if SAG is going to get on this. I wonder if this breaks any bargaining agreements?

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