Archive for June, 2008

So long, usable DVR

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Time Warner pushed new software onto my DVR this morning. This is what wound up in their comment form:

Please consider the following: when you force your customers to “upgrade” the software on their leased equipment, the new software should, at the very least, offer the same features as the previous software. I would suggest that Time Warner allow its developers to use a box running Aptiv’s Passport Echo software. Perhaps then, they might understand how customers actually use a DVR.

The Navigator software offers no discernible way to limit a series recording to certain days of the week. This was very simple to accomplish using Passport Echo, and indeed is at the very core of how many people use their DVR. Similarly, having the ability to set retention options (ie keep forever or delete as needed) at a series level is crucial. I have no desire to babysit my DVR every day to make sure it has enough space to record what is important to me.

At this point, Time Warner’s DVR “service” is nothing more than an obnoxious, unstable VCR that carries an outrageous monthly fee. Actually, it’s a lot less useful than that; at least a modern VCR know what days of the week are.

Oh, and it’s a lot less easy to use than a VCR, too. In fact, it’s so frustrating that it only took 2 hours with the software to convince me to purchase a TiVo and ultimately drop DVR service from my account. From my talks with others subjected to the “upgrade”, my experiences and feelings are far from unique. TiVo’s shareholders should thank you.

Thank you for ending years of happy, trouble-free DVR service, and allowing me to see the light.

– Mike Peschka

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