TiVo does some crazy things sometimes

So I wanted to record Breaking Bad, Low Winter Sun and Talking Bad tomorrow night. I’ve set up Season Passes for all three. Meanwhile there’s a “10 best of” Futurama marathon tomorrow night on Comedy Central that starts at 6 and doesn’t end till after 11. My TiVo Premiere has two tuners, so you’d think, no problem, right? Well, you’d be wrong. Apparently TiVo’s not quite smart enough to realize that BB, LWS and TB are all on the same network one right after the other, so it insists on using a separate tuner for the show that’s just starting as the previous show is wrapping up. Of course that leads to conflicts with recording other stuff, like the Futurama marathon.

My only option was to go in, cancel all the separate planned recordings on the To Do list, then tell it to record from 6 to 8:35 straight on AMC, and from 6 to 11:20 straight on Comedy Central. Then it still thinks it has to record the new Breaking Bad episode so it pre-empts the planned recording of Copper on BBCA at 10, which I then have to fix. SMH as the kids say.

I’ve noticed that the DirecTV DVR tends to a few minutes before and after the official start times as a margin of safety. So, for example, the Daily Show will include a minute or so of Colbert’s intro monolog, and Colbert almost always includes the Daily Show’s moment of Zen. Naturally to record the same material twice requires two tuners. I’m sure that’s what you are experiencing with your TIVO.

That’s one of the major reasons I made a point of upgrading to the Genie, because it has 5 tuners, not 2. Consecutive blocks on multiple channels require 3+ tuners to record properly.

Heh, you can’t expect it to solve a constraint propagation problem when there’s an infinitely easier way for the programmers to go, and when even if implemented the feature would be impossible to explain to anyone in advertising. That’s the kind of thing that is laughed out of the product manager’s voice-of-the-customer requirements meeting right at the start.

Yep, you always have to watch out when dvr-ing back-to-back shows on the same channel, unless you have one of those magical 3-4 tuner devices.

And my BrightHouse DVR always cuts off the last 3 minutes of every show I watch. When I lived in Brooklyn, I could set the exact times to record any show. That was Optimum Online.

Isn’t there an option to specify a margin? With the DirectTV DVR, when I specify I want to record a series, there are quite a few options, and two are “Start time” which defaults to “on time” and “End time” which also defaults to “on time.” For both I can specify +/- so many minutes from the official published start and stop times. That would solve the issue of the DVR cutting off the last 3 minutes.

Nope. And it sucks big time. If I want to watch the end of a show, I thought I could record the next show. But it STILL cuts off the last 3 minutes.

Unfortunately TiVo doesn’t permit you to start recording late or stop it early. You can tell it to record a bit more on the end or the beginning though. I should check my Season Pass options to make sure I didn’t inadvertently cause my own problem.