My Tivo thinks I'm 4-years-old!

So I’m digging my Tivo, but there is one thing I haven’t been able to figure out. Do any of you others that have it use the Tivo Suggestions?

I am getting fed up with them. At first they were all pretty middle of the road mainstream type suggestions, like ER or Law and Order. I liked that because although it was a lot of crap, occasionally something unexpected and good would crop up. Now, though, it is all just children’s programming. I get Telletubbies, Zaboomafoo, Seasame Street. I don’t want this crap. All I can think of is I programmed it to record some childrens christmas specials over the holidays. But since I have had it record a lot of other stuff. What gives? What wacky mind is making these suggestions?

You are aware of the whole “My Tivo thinks I’m gay” plot on King of Queens?

http://online.wsj.com/article_email/0,,SB1038261936872356908,00.html

Preference matching is a very, very tricky thing. But don’t take my word for it-- just ask Bruce Geryk and Tom Chick!

I had heard it was used as a plot on a sitcom (thus my header), but don’t follow the show. I was unaware that so many others were experiencing this phenomena too. I thought I just didn’t understand how to program it or something.

My Tivo never records suggestions because I have so many season passes (30 or so) that there’s never any extra room for it to put stuff. Looks like you need to watch more TV.

Do you use the rating buttons (the red and green thumbs up/down buttons) often? I find that they really help Tivo understand what you like better. You can rate things from the program browse menu, so I often pause to give shows that I dislike a thumbs down (or the dreaded “triple thumbs down”) when I am channel surfing. Take that, infomercials!

I think that is going to be what inevitably happens. Jez, I wish I had more time. I can already feel the pressure to watch all the stuff I’m recording. I am much too lazy to offload it to VCR.

here has been my understanding (from reading theTiVo forums ) that this is how the thumbs up/down works in relation to season passes and instant recording:

  1. using 'instant recording" (i.e. pressing the red “rec” button while a show is going) is awarded the highest priority in your suggested-likes section. in other words, TiVo takes this as an implicit command to go out and try to find shows similar to what you just instantly recorded.

  2. using your Season Passes, TiVo will attempt to figure out what else to record for you.

  3. using the thumbs up/down TiVo will head out and search for similar programming.

so from what i remember, the best way to “train” your TiVo is to instantly record some items. barring that, fill up your Season Passes. lastly, just use thumbs up/down when you are watching live TV and see things you like or hate.

hope that helps…has for us since i hardly ever have to go into my Now Showing section and find weird crap that isn’t even like what we would watch.

of course, we have yet to start to train the new TiVo…i am waiting for the new 120GB HDD to arrive so i can upgrade. :D

I have not, but that article in WSJ suggests the same. I also noticed that an episode of Square Pants Bob somehow got a thumbs up as I was checking out the upcoming programming this evening. heh, I raised an eyebrow at my wife for that.

Ah, cool. Thanks for the training tips. Can you do these upgrades on any Tivo or do they have to be a certain model. Also, how many hours of best quality programming can you record on a 120G drive?

I may have warrenty breaking upgrade in my Tivo’s future plans.

yeah as i understand it almost all makes of TiVos are upgradeable. we have an original Series I and a new Series II, both of which are made by Philips.

here are the sites i have been using for info (culled by a guy at work who already has hacked his Series I using all these links)

a good Step-by-Step Guide

Steve Jenkins über Step-by-Step Guide

Caller ID hack

Turbonet ethernet adapter

with ethernet installed, install Web Access!

to answer the upgraded time question: i am really not sure. i think a 120GB drive will give you about 60 hours in best quality mode. at least i think that is what i have been told to expect.

oh yeah, since my Series II is brand new (and thus has no real ‘preferences’ on it yet) i cheated and bought one of these HDDs. i did some looking and figured the $40-60 premium was worth not having to do all the ghosting onto a drive i would buy myself. of course, since my Series I is 2.5 years old, i am going to have to buy a HDD and do that one myself. ugh.

Cool, thanks for the links.

Good luck on the Series 1 upgrade; let us know how it goes. As for the hours thing, if they are advertising 140 hours, you figure that’s probably at the lowest quality. My current one was advertised as 40 hours max (low quality), and I can get 11 hours at best quality. Using those metrics, I would guess that your new 120G drive will offer ~33 hours at best quality. Not a bad upgrade for ~170 bucks.

I thought the episode was based on a modified version of Patton Oswalt’s TiVo stand-up bit. In the first version I saw his Tivo thought he loved horses.