Wednesday, May 21, 2008

An Unexpected and Disappointing Flaw



So I set my Tivo to record this afternoon's UEFA Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea. I'm not a huge fan of soccer as a spectator sport, but I do like to watch it played at the highest level from time to time.

The game is tight. Very tight. Goes to extra time tied 1-1. It's still 1-1 after the first extra session, and that was ALL I SAW.

Tivo had decided the game couldn't possibly last more than 2 1/2 hours, so that's all it recorded.

WHAT?!?!

You mean to tell me that the technology doesn't exist for Tivo to know when a program -- especially a live program like a sporting event -- hasn't actually ended at the time it's "supposed" to? Tivo is "smart" enough to start recording other children's programs just because we get things like Backyardigans and Pinky Dinky Doo for our kids, but it's not smart enough to know that THE BEST PART OF SOMETHING IT'S ACTUALLY CURRENTLY RECORDING HASN'T HAPPENED YET?!?!

Now, I know I can tell Tivo to record longer. But that's just improving my odds of getting the whole thing and not necessarily guaranteeing it unless I pad the recording of every live broadcast by three hours. And even that wouldn't necessarily always work.

And Tivo's supposed to be all about convenience -- why should anyone have to deal with a non-intuitive workaround like this?

Seriously, Tivo people. If we can make these, you can figure this out.

For those who actually care how the match ended, you can read about it here. I had to. :(

4 comments:

JamesOClark said...

Steve, can't even tell you how many times I've had the same thing happen to me with TiVo. I believe it's a universal flaw with most DVR's and most certainly something I wish they would fix.

I do what you're suggesting, I record the following two programs afterwards to make sure I don't miss it. But every once in a while I forget and that's the time the game goes on longer.

My other rant about Tivo is that the recording times are sometime one or two minutes off. So I'll miss the opening part of say 30-rock, or I missing the previews for scenes for the next week.

Hey, all-in-all, I love recording the games, going out and playing with the kids during the day and then being able to watch them in half the time.

Cheers.

SteveHarbula said...

Great points on the timing of some programs being off. I think ER has been notorious for that, as I'm sure many others are.

You can almost picture the network execs wracking their brains over how to cut back on time-shifting of their programs to preserve their ad revenues, then one of them getting this "brilliant" idea. Kind of like the guy in the new DirecTV commercials.

What they're more likely accomplishing instead is ticking off their loyal viewers who actually want to go to the trouble of recording their program instead of missing it all together. I'll bet if they thought a little harder and actually involved their viewers, they'd come up with ideas that boost revenues AND keep customers happy. Radical.

Jawsie said...

That sucks. Silly Tivo! And the penalty shootout was the best thing about it. Being a Liverpool fan and traditional worst enemies of Man Utd, but hating Chelsea too, I wasn't too sure what to root for really. I think by a whisker that the right team won.

SteveHarbula said...

Lesser of two evils -- eh, Mer? ;)

Interesting discussion here about not just Terry's failure to deliver but the broader subject of PKs as a way to settle matches in general.

I hope all is well in Wales!