September 20, 2006

PIP menus+ QIPI like being able to still watch TV on the PIP while I screw around with the DVR stuffs. There is the con of possible spoilers...
Dual tuner++ QIP
Home media++ QIP 
UI+ TiVoTiVo will tell you when to wait while it thinks. QIP doesn't. Conflict resolution on TiVo is clear. When I see a conflict on the QIP, I'm not sure what it's going to do if I don't resolve the conflict. I guess the show marked Conflict is not going to get recorded. TiVo is much easier to go back and forth on stuff in menus. The menus on the QIP seem really whacked at times (though discovering the Last button on the remote makes some things better).
Futziness+ TiVoHave had a number of small problems. If I was more invested in TV promoting the quality of my existence, I'd give TiVo two or three plusses here, but none of these problems keep me up at night at all. I'm pretty slack here.
Remote~Always got the peanut the wrong way for a while. But the layout on the QIP doesn't seem as well thought out.
$$+ QIPHow much for a Series 3?
PC~Copying to PC can only do on TiVo, but connecting it sucks and isn't very secure if you go wireless.
Buttons on front+ QIPTiVo doesn't have any, so if the remote ain't handy, you can only change the channel by first making a trip to Best Buy. Sure, it's simpler/sleeker design for the TiVo ... but I look more like PC anyway.

Futziness Stuffs
- I had 3 or 4 incidents of crummy channel reception on one box, requiring two follow up tech visits, the last one realizing the original FIOS internet install did some funky things on the side of the house and in the attic with superfluous splitters. After that fix, the channel reception problems have gone away.

One Sunday night before I upgraded to the DVR box, I had some really bad latency -- like 30 seconds or more -- in between remote button push and box doing something about it. The really weird part is all the commands were cached, and then would run together. Took me a while to figure out. I didn't call right away, but in a later tech call mentioned it, and they said sometimes on Sunday nights is when they do upgrades to the system and apparently the box can act like that.

Since the wiring fix, I have witnessed the following incidents of futziness on DVR box:
- I started switching channels after watching a recorded show and even though I was actually watching the live signal, the box was in a funky state that didn't allow the live pause/rewind/playback stuff to work. Called in, tech said all I needed to do was make sure and press the Live TV button to convince the box it was in live TV mode. That seemed to fix it.

- Turned on the box one afternoon, and there was no audio. Except if you were patient enough, you'd get brief audio stutters. Volume display never showed. The weird part was this - power OFF the box, and the signal was still being transmitted through. Re-plug reboot of the box fixed that.

- Came home, turned on the box, the red LED light on the front display showed I was recording something. I started channel surfing, then clicked the List button to see what show was being recorded only to be greeted by a list with /two/ programs showing currently being recorded (with the big red REC rect next to it). But I'm channel surfing, which means something isn't being recorded. I check the second show in the list, play it back, and it'd stopped recording a half-hour into the show -- I think around the time I may have powered up. Dunno. So, it thought it was recording this show, but it actually wasn't. And when I channel surfed, it didn't give me any warning to cancel the recording like it usually does. I called tech support about this and they said that was a new one on them and they'd like to do a hard wipe reboot (my term). A full reboot resets it to factory settings apparently, including wiping out any parental settings I've already setup. Not sure if it also resets favorites or the channel lists - I hope not, cuz that's a pain to setup. I told them not to do it and would just roll with it as it is.

- I don't recall too much the details, but once while playing around with playback of a show currently being recorded, I got it out of playback mode, to live TV mode, on a different channel, without ever hitting a channel changing button on the remote. Weirdness.

tags: ComputersAndTechnology