WTF, Tivo!

Dammit! I have a years-old season pass for Heroes ("KTNV, All, First Run") and it didn't record. When I click on the season pass, it shows "no upcoming episodes", but when I search for Heroes, I see:

KNTV, 9/27, 8pm (repeat)
KNTV, 9/29, 9pm (first run)

Why isn't the season pass listing these at all?

This happened for Sarah Connor Chronicles too: it didn't record the first episode, and I had to re-add the season pass to get it to show up. The two season passes (old and new) looked exactly the same, at least according to the data that Tivo displays about them.

I am annoyed.

Update: Looks like almost all of my season passes are fucked, somehow. E.g., my season passes for Dexter and Californication were both showing no upcoming episodes until I re-added them (they both start later this week).

The "old" and "new" passes appear to have a different "series ID" number in the TivoWeb URL. I have no idea what that means.

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24 Responses:

  1. rcr203 says:

    Same thing happened to me.

    I think it happened because I switched cable providers, from Comcastic to FiOS.

  2. jdredd5150 says:

    is it possible that it's because heroes last night was a 2 hour episode? I'm unfamiliar with Tivo as I use the DVR service that my local cable provider offers (shitty ass motorola boxes that cox has yet to upgrade). But I know that if I tell it to record new episodes during that hour, but the episode is 2 hours long, it won't fit the recording parameters.

  3. otterley says:

    Is it possible the name of the program in the listing was not an exact match?

    • jwz says:

      See the part where I said "exactly the same"? No.

    • jdredd5150 says:

      Ghost in The Shell used to do that to me all the damned time. It would jump between GITS and Ghost In The Shell and Ghost In The Shell: 2nd Gig all the time and i was constantly losing episodes.

      • jwz says:

        That's a truly fascinating anecdote, but very obviously not what's going on here.

      • fnivramd says:

        Correct operation of a TV company requires a lot of metadata, but unlike say a supermarket, they mostly haven't learned to stop re-keying things. So chances are that between say making a new episode of House and you seeing the description on your TiVo or Sky+ box, the metadata was re-keyed six or seven times. And perhaps twice more per repeat.

        I have written some software that tries to record TV shows for me off the UK's free-to-air terrestrial network Freeview. All the mainstream channels have just about reached the point where they emit CRIDs, URIs which identify shows being broadcast or due to be broadcast in the future. The main holdouts are music, porn and shopping channels, which no-one in their right mind wants to record shows from anyway.

        However, only a handful of channels, mainly from the BBC (but not even all of the BBC channels) manage to correctly correlate the metadata to what they're actually showing. Most channels just emit the metadata according to their published schedule, regardless of what's actually being transmitted. Imagine the contortions necessary to create a system which keeps all this data entirely separate from the AV it accompanies, to finally be reunited only at the viewer's television. Insanity. Worse, some of the channels can't even manage to re-use a CRID for a repeat, so it is impossible for software to determine reliably whether you've already seen something. I never expected the smaller channels to get this right for repeats from months or years ago (though some channels do) but BBC Radio 4 can't even manage to avoid using a different CRID for the same day repeats of shows. One can only imagine that they ensure the right show is repeated by having an intern hang on to it during lunch and put it back in the machine at the right time.

  4. ydna says:

    I'm getting similar shit from my TiVo (HD) more and more frequently. I really don't want to have to police my season pass to see if it's really catching the shows I want. There's even one season pass that I no longer want that refuses to be deleted. My plan is to treat the beast like Windows. I'm going to write down all my season pass preferences and reset it to factory defaults and start over (to hell with my thumbs up/down data).

  5. mark242 says:

    Have you gotten any messages on your Tivo such as:


    ...then the next day...



    That always fucks my season passes over, every time. The channel hasn't changed, but Tivo thinks the channel has changed, and refuses to record any future episodes on a channel that "no longer exists". Basically, every time my cable company changes channels (FIOS, so "all the fucking time") I have to go through my season passes and make sure that none of them have decided to stop recording.

  6. krellis says:

    Try the Windows-esque solution of rebooting the TiVo - a bunch of people seem to have been having these problems, and a reboot causes the TiVo to recalculate all of its season passes, clearing up the problem. At least, it worked for me, and was a lot easier than the other suggestions (delete/re-create all your season passes) that people had.

    I don't know if this is going to be a regular thing with the current software or what - I sure hope not!

    • bunny42 says:

      When my DVR quit recording upcoming episodes and I had exhausted all the usual fixes, I called DirecTV and had to reset the DVR. Which meant I lost all the programming I had recorded but not yet viewed. Fixed the problem, though. Vexing, but it worked.

  7. lilamp says:

    my tivo once barfed and deleted _everything_ on the ToDo list. only way i could figure to fix it was to re-add all my season passes...

  8. sc00ter says:

    A friend of mine on DirecTV with a hacked and unhacked DirecTiVo had the same exact problem. He had to recreate all his season passes.

    The going theory is that it has something to do with HD vs. Non-HD content and how it marks it. In the stand alone TiVo and Comcast TiVo you can tell it to record a show, but tell it to get it in HD when possible (however this feature is currently "broken" on the Comcast TiVo).

  9. jcurious says:

    At least once a week I make sure that the shows I want recorded for the week are being recorded. Every once in a while shows will start early or end late which causes overlap times which cause other shows to not record. The networks seem to be somewhat random which shows they mess with and which way they mess with them.

  10. romulusnr says:

    Ditto. That's fucking weird.

    My theory is that they are calling this season "Heroes: Villains" and not "Heroes". (I haven't seen the TiVo to verify this theory.) This happens all the time with Big Brother and Amazing Race.

    Uh... *ahem* Don't lart me plz.

  11. intoner says:

    "Hey, I don't know anything about the question you asked, but here's some random trivia about solving a problem that is not the one you're having!"


  12. xiojason says:

    As per some fellow at:

    "Tribune have apparently changed the size of the ID field and this is what is causing the problems."

    "Some Season Passes may not record. The solution is to delete and re-create the season pass."

    "The Tribune changes are rolling out over the next few months so we may continue to see the problems come and go."

    • jwz says:

      Oh, great. I hope this doesn't mean I'm going to have to upgrade the software... my Tivo is hax0red (running 4.0.1b-02-2-240), so upgrading it is a huge pain in the ass...

      • xiojason says:

        Mine's a hacked Series 1 at 3.5b-01-1-001 with all sorts of custom cruft on it now, so I've disabled auto-upgrading. Unfortunately, as it knows there is a newer version available, it wants to reboot itself every day at 2:30AM. It doesn't appear there's a way to prevent it from doing these pointless reboots. (If there is, someone please tell me!)

        I found that better than half of my season passes that *should* have had upcoming recordings did not. So I spent a half hour recreating them with TivoWeb, and now I'm waiting for it to finish reindexing so I can see if the new ones show up in the ToDo list.

    • xiojason says:

      Some more detail (conjecture?) here:

      (Odd note: I think every single season of The Shield I've recorded for the past four or so has required a new season pass for some reason.)

  13. datavortex says:

    This just happened to me tonight too. I lost tonight's Heroes and the Sarah Conner Chronicles too. I am really pissed.

    Kinda funny though - I found this post through Google, but long ago I used to post to :)

    Thanks for the info, commenters too!