alienating your customers is always profitable!

Those of you with Tivo may have noticed an irritating trend that the networks have started, of marking hour long shows as being 61 minutes long in the schedule. That extra minute will make Tivo skip recording a show on another channel that started in the following hour.

ABC is unapologetic. "It's not my job to make it easy for people to leave our network," says ABC scheduling chief Jeff Bader. "Our whole goal is to get people to stay with us from 8 to 11."


Update: In the comments below, a lot of you are missing the point. One problem would be if a show was actually 61 minutes long and marked in the schedule as 60 (then you fail to record the last minute.) The more annoying problem is when the show is actually marked as being 61 minutes long, because that extra minute causes a scheduling conflict in the following time slot. Dual tuners help with this, but only if there are not two things you wanted to record in timeslot two (the 61 minute timeslot one show will bump one of them.)

Tivo currently has no feature that lets you say "stop recording at 9:00pm instead of 9:01pm", except by using "record by time" instead of a season pass subscription, which is bogus in several ways.

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90 Responses:

  1. sc00ter says:

    This has been going on for over a year. It has yet to effect me much. The only time it has I'm usually recording the next show on the same channel so I still get it.

    Plus you can set your TiVo to record extra time at the start/end of a show for programs you know do this.

  2. zonereyrie says:

    I solved this problem by not watching much network television. He successfully keeps me from watching his network from 8 to 11.

    I think the only network shows I watch these days are the Law & Order series and Crossing Jordan (I have a weakness for Jill). And NBC has played games a couple of times with L&O so far this season, but not often.

    Screw them, if they're going to be wankers I'll wait for some cable network to pick up the syndication, or I'll watch the DVDs - or a pirate. I see a lot of people talking about ABC's 'Lost', but I don't watch it because of this very reason. Plenty of other things to watch - especially with TiVo.

  3. yekop says:

    Using a dual-tuner device usually negates this trick.

    • sc00ter says:

      Not really..

      Since the TiVo will still record from say 8-9pm on channel whatever. Even if you have dual tuner the TiVo still will not record past 9pm unless you tell it to.

      • yekop says:

        Really.

        If I record show A from 8:00-9:01pm, and show B from 9:00-10:00, it will work on my HDTivo without conflicts. Now if you throw in show C at 9:00-10:00 also, there's trouble.

        • sc00ter says:

          Right, but you specifically have to tell it to record that extra 1min. By default it won't record it, so when you go to view it later, you're out of luck.

          Buy just selecting "Lost" to record for example, that will cut off the last 1min.

          I know, because it happens to me and I have a dual tuner TiVo

          • drreagan says:

            Surely the Tivo uses the start and stop times from the guide data? If the guide data says it goes until 9:01, then it records until 9:01. I've never had my Tivo abitrarily pick a different time to stop recording a show.

            • sc00ter says:

              That's the problem. ABC gives out the guide data as 8-9pm, but they run the show longer. They do this -SPECIFICALLY- to fuck with TiVo and other DVRs.

              • drreagan says:

                That seems to be a different problem to what everyone else is talking about then. Everyone else is talking about the schedule being marked as 61 minutes in order to cause an overrun and therefore conflict with shows starting on other channels.

          • yekop says:

            Probably just taking them time to catch on to these schenanigans, which I think they've done: Tivo guide data is provided by a company called TMS, who runs a web site called zap2it.com that has the same guide data. The listing for lost has it correctly clocking in at 63 minutes.

    • brokengoose says:

      The problem with that plan is that you're limited to devices with dual-tuners, and they're all awful.

  4. Smite them all!

    *hasn't watched television in over 4 years now*

  5. fgmr says:

    Then I will be unapologetic about collaborating with other people and swapping programs over bittorrent or whatnot. I'm not going to wrap my life around preserving their business model.

  6. tfofurn says:

    I'm looking at four networks, and I don't see any fraction-of-an-hour shenanigans in prime time on my TiVo. Once it's time for the 11:00 news, things get goofy from channel to channel, but not prime time. Either my market's stations have decided not to play along, or I'm looking at the wrong nights.

    My Fox affiliate consistently starts syndicated Simpsons early, so I have it set to get an extra two minutes on the front. That then messed up Iron Chef when Iron Chef was on Sunday nights at 7:00. I eventually set up a manual recording from 7:00 to 7:55, plus two minutes padding. And then Iron Chef wasn't on in that time slot anymore.

    • cabrius says:

      I'm seeing it on even a non-TiVo. Lost this week (on the 19th) goes from 9:00pm to 10:01 on the ABC affiliate available here, and then Alias after that goes from 10:01 to 11:02. Then, on the 23rd, Desperate Housewives goes from 10:00 to 11:02.

      They're not bothering to do it for things like Extreme Makeover or America's Funniest Home Videos though...

      • tfofurn says:

        Ah, yes. ABC on the 19th is funky, though differently funky here. We've got Lost at 8:00, Alias at 9:03 and Wife Swap at 10:02. The 11:00 News starts at 11:00, so Alias is shorted one minute and Wife Swap is shorted two.

        My solution to this has been to alter my tastes so that almost nothing aired in prime time on a network appeals to me. Being an animation junky is a tremendous help in this regard.

        • zonereyrie says:

          My TiVo SP list is heavily skewed towards Cartoon Network. :-) Anything I should be catching that I'm not? :-)

          • tfofurn says:

            Well, I've got a bit more comedy in there: Sealab 2021, Aqua Teen Hungerforce, Futurama, Family Guy, Simpsons.

            • zonereyrie says:

              My TiVo keeps grabbing Futurama as a Suggestion, so I haven't SP'd it yet. :-) I'm thinking of it though, I never watched it the first time around. I've been told I should give The Family Guy a try though.

              I got a bit burned out on The Simpsons, ATHF, and 2021 - though I'm watching Super Milk Chan, which is perhaps the weirdest show I've seen yet. I've watched it since it started and I still can't decide if I really *like* it or not. I wouldn't pay for it on DVD, but Tivo... I just keep watching it for the whacked factor.

              • tfofurn says:

                I tried Super Milk Chan and Tom Goes to the Mayor a few times each. Neither was funny enough to bring me back. I definitely agree with the "can't decide if I really *like* it" remark for SMC.

                Futurama had one of the most erudite writing benches ever assembled for television. If you're any sort of a geek, you should give it a try. Sample joke: cast is in a spooky castle in Robo-Transylvania. One of the walls starts bleeding in binary. 0101100101. The humans asks the robot what it means. "Nothing, it's gibberish". The robot catches the number's reflection in a mirror, screams, and runs away.

                • zonereyrie says:

                  Heh, I've seen that one. :-) Yeah, I do watch it when my unit grabs it. And I have a friend who TiVos it and when we hang out at his place we tend to watch it too.

                  I really should just SP it, it is a funny show.

                  And recently the opening tag on one I saw was 'Hey TiVo! Suggest this!'

  7. devpreed says:

    They're increasing shareholder value; what's your problem?

    • zonereyrie says:

      Unless it backfires and people decide to watch something else.

      • devpreed says:

        Who cares?

        By then, the CxOs who made the decision will be long gone.

        You seem to think there's some correlation between mistake and responsibility in corporate America.

        Silly you.

      • that's pretty much my take on it. I *was* going to watch Lost, Alias, *and* Smallville, but the fact that the first two are running a minute over makes that impossible. So I just won't watch Lost. Like I said further down in this thread, if ABC wants to screw around, then fuck 'em. I've got better things to do with my time.

    • ciphergoth says:

      And what could be more important than that?

  8. gordonzola says:

    I predict that opposition to this practice will be every bit as effective as those Major League Baseball boycotts called for after the last strike.

    • That's the thing about opiates: they don't have to be good, just easy to get. And making the lever a little bit more complicated just makes the rat thing he's smart for managing to push it.

    • jesus_x says:

      To be completely honest, I was a huge Pirates fan but until the 1994 strike. I met a couple players to get autographs, even got to meet Lanny Frattare once, and completely tripped out. Since the strike I have not watched a single game of baseball. I was glad to see the BoSox win the series, but I still didn't watch. In the intervening decade, I've realized how damn boring baseball is, and am glad to have all those hours of my life back. But you're right, few people carry through on boycotts. Not even those self-righteous "evangelical" fucknuts, or there would be much less sex and violence on TV if they did.

  9. transgress says:

    heh, what makes you think that you are their customer?

    Are you the customer, or the product? Don't people pay to advertise to you, isn't that the whole point?

  10. lalalydia says:

    Yeah... I would really like Tivo to add a "stop recording 1 minute earlier" feature. That would be swell. Right now mine will only *extend* viewing time. Grr.

    • violentbloom says:

      oh I was just going to check that feature.
      damnit...

      • zonereyrie says:

        Negative padding is a popular request, and comes up often in <lj comm="tivolovers">. But, in talking with TiVo folks, apparently it isn't a simple thing to add. Obviously they're not sharing the code, but apparently negative padding will require some changes to the scheduling system that aren't trivial. They know it is a popular request though, so I think it'll happen eventually.

        In the meantime you can use manual recordings and do things like set it to end at 9:55, then pad 4 minutes to get 9:59.

  11. fxl says:

    Tivo also shares your TV watching with Nielsen and it affects the Nielsen ratings for these shows.

    With this in mind, there is only one thing to do: If the extra minute fucks with your other shows, cancel the offending show/season pass.

    Let the ratings show the networks who is boss.

    • zonereyrie says:

      The TiVo/Nielsen thing was opt-in. And they only selected a subset of TiVo users who applied to be in the program.

    • tfofurn says:

      Assuming they did pass that information on to networks and ratings bodies (and somebody else has already said it's opt-in), they also pass on detailed information about fast forwarding and rewinding. "Oh, he watches every episode but skips all of the commercials? Fuck him. He is dead to us."

      • zonereyrie says:

        As more and more people get DVRs, they're going to have to start thinking up a new business model. I use 30 second skip on my TiVo to skip most ads - and any dull parts of shows. Right now DVRs are something like 5% of viewers, IIRC, but it is increasing rapidly and over the next few years all of the cable and satellite companies are expected to be pushing DVRs - and perhaps making them standard. (DirecTV has talked about it - making all of their receivers DVRs.) DVD player sales are also dropping, and DVD Recorder sales increasing - and many of those recorders are HD/DVD recorders with DVR functionality. I'm sure by the time Blu-ray (or, HD-DVD, if it doesn't die as I hope) starts selling most of those units will have hard drives too.

  12. dougo says:

    This seems completely idiotic to me. A 61-minute show competes in two 60-minute time slots instead of just one. They have to be really confident that they'll win both in enough households.

    Isn't this why time slots were invented in the first place?

  13. el_olvidado says:

    download your favorite show from btefnet.net and screw the networks.
    that is one of my pet peeves because i have to go through hoops to make sure i don't miss a show due to one finishing a minute late.

    • jwz says:

      To do that, I'd have to be the sysadmin of my TV. Fuck that noise.

      • tjcrowley says:

        http://www.mythtv.org is what you want.

        Fuck TiVo. They are going to die soon. VOD has already been rolled out in many areas which eliminates the need for TiVo -- and what you really want is a machine where you can store all your DVD's and downloaded video anyway, right? I am building a MythTV box as we speak, I just have to scrape together the cash for an HDTV now.

        • jwz says:

          No, what I want is an appliance, not a computer.

          Fuck, as I clearly said, that noise.

          • tjcrowley says:

            There's always the M$ Windows Media Server appliances! Those should do what you want! I can give you links if you want!

          • dantealiegri says:

            Yeah, sadly, unless the networks want to play nice, I don't think an applicance will cut it.

            Tivo probably marks the end of the useful applicances in PVRland

          • pfrank says:

            I just hope Apple goes where I think they're going with the Mac Mini. That thing looks like it could morph into a set top box at any time. As it is, the combination of that little box plus an EyeTV unit might be the way to go someday... when I can scrape together the cash.

          • ryanlrussell says:

            Tivo has clearly shown their willingness to bend over for the networks. The broadcast flag sillyness is coming up, probably affecting all devices.

            So, looks like you're stuck with whatever Tivo feels like letting you do this week, or rolling your own, or waiting for someone to make an appliance that works exactly the way you want without caving to outside pressures.

            Personally, I'm hoping that someone puts out Tivo-like hardware that's somewhat standardized, and that I'll have a couple of distros to choose from for software. Hopefully, providing a balance between sysadmining and just using it.

            I've built a couple of PVRs now, and really the only problem is that the standard hardware is too expensive for that purpose, and the software isn't stable and specialized enough yet.

            • jwz says:

              So far, I've been very happy with DirecTivo. The UI is decent, and I've never had to build a kernel or swap out a sound card. They may have shown willingness to bend over for the networks, but so far they haven't actually done anything to decrease the use I get out of the box.

              Unless you want to blame them for "failing to immediately implement a feature to work around this latest network stupidity", but it's hard to pin that on Tivo, at least not yet.

              So until Tivo is actually less convenient to use than a PC running some random piece-of-shit software (or more accurately, whatever jumbled mess comes out of the build-your-own-tivo-clone construction kit) I sure as shit won't be watching TV on a PC.

              And let me tell you, Tivo would have to get pretty fucking inconvenient for me to willingly dive down that rathole. I think it'd have to actually get up and walk over to the couch and hit me in the face with a hammer every 30 minutes to make that seem like a good idea.

              • ryanlrussell says:

                They may have shown willingness to bend over for the networks, but so far they haven't actually done anything to decrease the use I get out of the box.

                To be fair, I don't actually use a Tivo. The old one I have is strictly for hardware hacking purposes. But the kind of things I'm talking about are demonstrated here:

                http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-et-tivo17nov17,0,927837.story?coll=la-home-headline

                http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20041028-4358.html

                The UI is decent, and I've never had to build a kernel or swap out a sound card.

                Right, and I think most people would want to avoid that too, unless they happened to be one of the few insane who want to maintain a PVR distro. Basically, I'd like to control the software, and not have it randomly "updating" itself at someone else's whim. Towards that end, I'd like to have a fairly limited set of hardware options that a bunch of people can offer a distro for. A Tivo without giving Tivo the ability to screw you as desired. A modded XBox is pretty darn close. Heck, you can take a real Tivo, and fight for control of the software, for that matter.

                Unless you want to blame them for "failing to immediately implement a feature to work around this latest network stupidity", but it's hard to pin that on Tivo, at least not yet.

                Yeah, that's a really mild example of what I mean. Tivo is in no hurry to piss off the networks over that. Ideally, with a box I control, I'd be able to fix the 1 minute thing quickly, point at my TV, and yell "Pwned!". Or SSH into mom's PVR, and do the same.

                And let me tell you, Tivo would have to get pretty fucking inconvenient for me to willingly dive down that rathole.

                And I assume Tivo plans to not do anything so heinous that you would change your mind. But they will likely do little slimy things as they go.

                And I'd like to get rid of the really unneccessary subscription fee along the way.

                Nothing wrong with you wanting your magic box to just work, even though you, personally, are capable of battling with the kernel if you wanted. I'm about the same, except I want to be able to tweak things. So, if someone could hand me a set of hardware that was the same as a real Tivo, and ALL the software was open source, and worked just as well, I'd buy it. If Tivo wants to sell me a Tivo with a copy of their source and no contract, I'll take that.

                And I'd help maintain the some PVR distro for regular people to use. Problem is, there's such a large gap in applianceness and reliability between a Tivo and my hacked-up MythTV box that there's no reason to consider something besides a Tivo (or ReplayTV, if you prefer.)

                It's very much a MS-Windows-vs.-one's-favorite-free-*nix idealogical argument.

                • jwz says:

                  Those links would both be an example of "things they're talking about but haven't actually inflicted on anyone yet." If/when they do, and if it actually causes me grief, I'll re-evaluate. But they aren't talking about slowing down ffwd through commercials (though overlaying additional text is somewhat heinous, it doesn't actually waste my time) and I don't watch PPV at all, so though I think those suck, and are undeniably slimy, I really just don't care that much.

                  And I'd like to get rid of the really unneccessary subscription fee along the way.

                  I have DirecTivo, which gets channel info from the satellite instead of by dialing up to Tivo, so there's no Tivo-specific fee.

                  I want to be able to tweak things.

                  I want to never need to.

                  • ryanlrussell says:

                    I want to never need to.

                    Yeah, I'm getting that. But You've already arrived at a situation where you want something changed. Should the Tivo stay the way it is, or cut off the last minute of program A, or the first minute of Program B, or ask you every time? You want Tivo to arrive at the right answer for everyone in the world. What are they chances they will pick right, and how long will it take to get around to it? They should probably make it configurable, but add enough of those kinds of choices, and now you're back to sysadmining your TV via remote control.

                    Sure, there's a pretty vast difference between some huge annoying preferences screen, and having to compile a new kernel to add a module. Hopefully, 99% of the options you want would be user-tweakable

                    There are only so many options before it can't be a one-button appliance anymore. The other choice is someone decides how it will be, and you just have to like it. You've done enough software to know that.

                  • mark242 says:

                    They should probably make it configurable

                    No, no, no. Just because something could be a preference doesn't mean it should be. Everyone who advocates huge amounts of preferences is conveniently forgetting that the box is network-aware and is already downloading preferences.

                    Is NBC scheduling the show for 61 minutes but stopping it at 60? The easiest fix in the world is for Tivo the service to just cap the listing at 60 minutes. Bam. Your configuration option is obsolete. This is why we pay the monthly fee. Unfortunately Tivo has been using the monthly fees to recap the losses of the hardware they're selling, rather than being vigilant about the listings.

                    There are only so many options before it can't be a one-button appliance anymore.

                    In a standalone world, you're correct-- but in a networked world where your options can be set either on the box or on your computer logged into the tivo.com site, you're way way wrong.

                  • ryanlrussell says:

                    Did you miss the whole thread where I went on and on about how I don't want Tivo to make my decisions for me? There's a 61 minute show. No one but me know how I want that handled. Allowing Tivo to decide means that they decide I don't want to be able to Tivo shows with the broadcast flag, for example. You can't use an example where there is a single right choice as a counterexample to the need for options where there isn't a single right choice.

                    but in a networked world where your options can be set either on the box or on your computer logged into the tivo.com site, you're way way wrong.

                    And so you supply a way for me to specify my options as a solution. Are we agreeing or disagreeing?

                  • mark242 says:

                    No one but me know how I want that handled.

                    I hate to bust your shiny little bubble, but you aren't that important. There are a finite number of ways to handle a 61 minute show. The ultimate goal is to make the Tivo record exactly 60 minutes-- the "correct" 60 minutes-- of that show. Tivo's solution is the same solution as any possible solution you could come up with, only more elegant, simpler, and faster over the long term. Fix the listing.

                    Allowing Tivo to decide means that they decide I don't want to be able to Tivo shows with the broadcast flag, for example.

                    Like jwz said, this is hard to pin on Tivo. It's my belief that they don't want to take away functionality from their device, but the FCC in combination with the networks might be holding an axe over their head. But my point remains-- the network paradigm completely changes the concept of "individual" preferences. I would never have heard of Mythbusters were it not recommended to me as a result of -- gasp -- recording my Tivo activity and comparing it to other users. I'm more than happy to trade off recording a few dumb keystrokes in return for such gems as the Jamie and Adam show.

                    The Tivo designers understand the Internet far, far better than you or I, I suspect. The same argument could be made for a lot of these neu-Internet companies; Flickr, Six Apart, etc. Do you get pissed at Flickr just because you can't control the individual borders on your photos on their site?

                    You can't use an example where there is a single right choice as a counterexample to the need for options where there isn't a single right choice.

                    This is television we're talking about, not some complex data warehousing solution. There are shows. There are commercials. There will always be a single right choice for maximizing the amount of show you see, while minimizing the amount of commercials you see. Always. This is why the networks are trying these crazy schedule tricks, building in more product placements to their shows, etc. Because they understand that Tivo changes their entire business.

                  • ryanlrussell says:

                    I hate to bust your shiny little bubble, but you aren't that important.

                    To Tivo I'm not. To me, I am. I'll go with the vendor that will meet my needs.

                    It's my belief that they don't want to take away functionality from their device, but

                    But they will.

                    This is television we're talking about, not some complex data warehousing solution.

                    And that's where you're wrong. It is not a simple one function device, it's a whole computer. The "find other stuff like this" function you like is a data warehousing solution.

                    There will always be a single right choice for maximizing the amount of show you see

                    So, the original scenario JWZ proposed involves two shows he wants, back to back on different channels, that overlap. Is the correct choice to cut 1 minute off the end of show A, or 1 off the beginning of show B? The listing is not incorrect, the shows actually overlap. There is no listing to fix, it's accurate.

                  • jwz says:

                    You have made it clear that due to your paranoia and dot-rc-file fetish, what you actually want is a computer, not an appliance. More power to you. Go forth and patch kernels to your heart's content. Enjoy. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy, but hey, there are people who enjoy inflating their scrotums with half a gallon of saline, and who am I to tell them what to do either.

                  • ryanlrussell says:

                    No, I want a Tivo that someone else doesn't get to change against my will. That I can tweak as much or as little as I choose to. I'll even pay them something per month for my TV listings and figure-out-what-I-like-to-watch function. Paranoid as I am, I don't even mind if they sell my viewing habits, though that should be opt-in, of course.

                    What you want is a Tivo that someone else maintains, yet makes the same choices you would, and still hides all the complexity.

                    Neither of us is going to get what we want. I'll go suffer trying to make my computer more appliancy, while you continue to hope that your computer can stay an applicance, shall we?

                    I'm under no delusion that I'm going to end up with anything as polished as a Tivo. I just really don't understand how someone with sysadmin skills can wish loss of control on themselves when they know perfectly well what's going on behind the scenes.

                    I'm only here opening my big mouth because you already have a complaint about something on the Tivo. Do you truly not wish there was some XML file you could edit and upload to fix it yourself right now?

                    Why do you bother with your own streaming media server, traffic shaper, and firewall instead of just buying network applinces?

                  • fantasygoat says:

                    If you don't want Tivo downloading shit you don't want, take it off the grid.

                    There's plenty of applications like XMLTV that will provide the guide data without phoning the mothership. That's how us Canadians do it.

                    I agree with Jamie here - I want a fucking toaster. I want to not think about it. I want it to be EASY.

              • mark242 says:

                So until Tivo is actually less convenient to use than a PC running some random piece-of-shit software (or more accurately, whatever jumbled mess comes out of the build-your-own-tivo-clone construction kit) I sure as shit won't be watching TV on a PC.

                Yes, yes, and yes. The MythTV/EyeTV fanatics in my office seem almost offended that I, a perfectly capable sysadmin, am completely unwilling to login, apt-get new software, rebuild a kernel, etc, just so I can watch Mythbusters when I want.

                Kids: Linux is not the answer to everything! In the lifetime of my Tivo, I have never had to reboot the box, ever. It has rebooted exactly twice due to software updates, and once because of a power outage. Until MythTV/EyeTV can be so completely hands-off even in something as trivial as software updates, Tivo will remain the better app.

                • ryanlrussell says:

                  Are you aware that your Tivo runs on Linux? That when they reboot your box for software updates that they are probably putting a new kernel on?

                  • mark242 says:

                    That when they reboot your box for software updates that they are probably putting a new kernel on?

                    Do I really need to argue the point anymore?

                  • ryanlrussell says:

                    Do I really need to argue the point anymore?

                    Maybe. The way I read your point, you don't think Linux is the answer, and you don't want to have to reboot your box. As an example of a better way to do it, you supply a box running Linux that has to be rebooted sometimes.

                    If instead, your point was that you don't want to do it yourself (perfectly reasonable thing to want), then I guess I should have read your comment as a rant against DIYers. Far be it from me to make you maintain your own PVR.

                    My whole point is that the Tivo guys will screw you, and that I don't have other people sysadmin my boxes.

                  • mark242 says:

                    The way I read your point, you don't think Linux is the answer

                    Sorry - perhaps I should have been more clear. Roll-your-own-Linux-distro is not the answer. Embedded Linux (like the heavily modified version that the Tivos are running) certainly can be, as Tivo has proven, but an embedded version of Linux is arguably equivalent to Windows CE-- it's a wholly different animal.

                    My whole point is that the Tivo guys will screw you

                    Why do you think that? People purchase Tivo units because of three main features: easy recording, commercial skipping, and replay. Tivo understands that this is their core featureset, and so they also understand that killing off any of these three features would be the death of their business.

                    and that I don't have other people sysadmin my boxes.

                    I don't have other people sysadmin boxes to which I run software that requires a sysadmin. As a PVR is not a multiuser environment which requires a hardened security model, you shouldn't feel the need to touch it.

                  • ryanlrussell says:

                    Anyone can roll any level of Linux distro they want. It's simply a matter of does it do what you want? You can actually fork the GPL'd parts of the Tivo if you want, and replicate the extra bits for your own distro. If someone offered you a DVD-player looking device that someone else maintained the software for, would you go for it? What the difference then? If you don't like the new "feature" that got added when you clicked the "upgrade now" button, then you have an opportunity to roll back to something known. Or you can try out someone else's flavor of it. If Tivo does something you don't like, well too damn bad.

                    The "Tivo guys will screw you" and "I don't have other people sysadmin my boxes" go right together. I gave some specific examples of why I don't trust Tivo in another post here. Suffice to say that they plan to cooperate with the TV networks, and the TV networks are determined to screw everyone involved, including themselves. So, because I believe they plan to screw me, I must have control of the box. I probably wouldn't even care as much if the updates came on CD and I could choose to not install them, or even downgrade as desired.

                    That's reasonable in the same way that Windows is, which I use as my primary desktop OS. Microsoft can screw me with an update if they like, and I can put my box back to a know state and distrust further updates.

                  • ryanlrussell says:

                    Sure, no problem.

                  • cwillu says:

                    Although it does kinda make me wonder how long you've been hanging on to these pics... :p

              • legolas says:

                I think it'd have to actually get up and walk over to the couch and hit me in the face with a hammer every 30 minutes to make that seem like a good idea.

                Every 31 minutes you mean? ;-)

          • cetan says:

            There are a number of small form-factor computers that really blur the line between traditional computer and appliance. But in general the offerings are not mature.

      • What is this "fucking the noise" of which you speak? I know those words, but that phrase makes no sense.

        And speaking of noise, I see that you're a NIN fan. Have you sold out to The Man yet, and bought TDS [Deluxe Edition]?

        ALL YOUR FAVOURITE SONGS FROM TEN YEARS AGO, AS YOU'VE NEVER HEARD THEM BEFORE!!!!! (unless you don't own a 5.1 surround-sound system with SACD player, in which case... they probably sound pretty much like they did last time you listened to them...).

        I HAVE BOUGHT MY COPY AND NOW TRENT SMILES UPON ME... have YOU?

        [j]

  14. c_death says:

    NBC also does that. It's really annoying.

  15. tritone says:

    Do these people not understand that TiVo users basically *never watch live TV*? That clobbering the next time slot won't actually increase the likelihood of our eyeballs seeing whatever they're showing at that time? (Unless I happen to turn on my TV sometime during that hour and not immediately hit the menu button.)

    Fucking idiots.

    • krick says:

      I always hit the TiVo menu button twice before turning on the TV. That way, I never accidentally see live TV.

  16. tjcrowley says:

    As the owner of my own TV network now, I believe that I understand why they did this. Broadcast TV runs on ads -- if they can fuck with people using TiVo enough, then they think people will dump the TiVo and their revenue stream will be safe. Broadcast TV is a dinosaur. Althought there will always be people cheap enough to want to watch broadcast TV, most of the revenue streams for TV in the next ten years will be VOD.

    The average TV channel makes $200,000 a DAY in advertising fees. The total inventory per day for a TV channel amounts to about $350,000. That's a lot of beans. No wonder they are trying dirty tricks to keep that going.

  17. transiit says:

    This doesn't bug me that much. Tivo has plenty of opportunities to groom the guide data before it goes out to the customer units, or even a simple software patch to give everyone out there the option of trimming everything by up to $minutes if they're getting regularly hosed by the networks. They already added optional padding.

    I think more annoying was the first time I noticed ads hanging off the top-level menu.

    -transiit

  18. This is why I'm not watching Lost. It's a great show, truly it is, but ABC is fucking me with this 61 minute crap. Oh, sure, I could use my vcr, but I'm not really willing to make that compromise.

    If ABC wants to fuck its viewers, then I just won't watch.

    • majcher says:

      I've watched a few episodes of Lost. Until this moment, I had no idea what network it was on. Same thing with the half dozen other tv shows I make time for, no idea. Cable? Network? US? UK? You got me.

  19. wfaulk says:

    In an even better turn of events, NBC is scheduling Joey from 8:00 to 8:35. Their next show, Committed is being scheduled from 8:30 to 9:00. Yes, overlapping shows. This means that TiVo only gets one of them. (blah blah dual tuners blah blah other conflicting show)

    That would seem to mean NBC only wants you to watch one of those two shows and you get to pick.

  20. krick says:

    All the more reason to not watch at all and then buy the whole season on DVD later. Then I can watch it on my schedule with no commercials.

    • mark242 says:

      How's that Simpsons season from 1995 working out for you?

      • krick says:

        Dunno. I don't buy the simpsons on DVD. They're in syndication and air like 15 times a day. If I need a simpsons fix, I just have to turn on the TV.

        However, I get your point. Some TV shows don't come out on DVD right away. However, many, like Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Smallville, and 24, do come out fairly quickly.

        I usually don't watch a TV show on the first airing anyway. I usually catch them in re-runs if I watch them at all. Some times, I never watch it on TV (Dead Zone) and only buy it on DVD.

        I didn't see all of the episodes of Star Trek Voyager until last year when I TiVoed them off a local station that started running them in order.

        TV just isn't that important to me.

  21. Hmmm, since when has the people watching TV been the customers? Audience is the product, advertisers are the clients, and tv shows are the bait.

    Personally, I only watch TV shows on DVD these days. Too busy meeting people over the internet :-)