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Network Scheduling to Mess with Tivo

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the anyone-else-anyed-by-this-one dept.

Television 525

Yahoo is running a bit about Networks messing with PVRs by adding a minute to shows. If a show runs to 9:01, then you can't Tivo a show on another channel that starts at 9. I've noticed this, although it's less of a factor if you have a dual tuner tivo, but it's interesting to see a bit of mainstream coverage.

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Not Just TiVos (3, Insightful)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977220)

I don't think this tactic is specifically used to target TiVo.

The article mentioned people who use VCRs and digital video recorders like TiVos are affected. But I guess putting TiVo in everything is a must now. Imagine an Open Source TiVo-like software that can be installed in iPod to provide time-shifting functionality for old people in Korea.

Anyway, If I had to choose, I would take 30 seconds off the end of the 1st show and 30 seconds off the next one, they're usually opening or trailer for next show.

Re:Not Just TiVos (5, Interesting)

mothz (788133) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977312)

Actually I think it's mostly a tactic to keep viewers from changing the channel. If you're watching a show and it ends at 8:59 and then commercials come on for a minute (the traditional way), you're more likely to change the channel. But if your show ends at 9:01 and something else picks up immediately afterwards, it has a better chance at keeping your attention. Besides, you've already missed the first minute of anything else that started on another network at 9:00.

It's worth noting that this should really only work with popular shows. Suppose one station has an unpopular show on before a more popular one. If it goes over by a minute, people flipping stations at 9:00 will see the end of that show and pass it over. In this case it would be more advantageous to end on time and get the popular show started right away at 9:00 sharp.

The History Channel has a less annoying way (4, Funny)

skids (119237) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977407)

The History Channel keeps you watching by removing the commerical break between the ending credits of one show, and the opening teaser of another show, so you get roped right into the next show.

While that might cause some time conflicts because the padding from the commercial break isn't there to cut some slack, it is a lot better than this early starting crap.

When we first got a TiVo they were doing something like this, but it wasn't on purpose. My housemate was considering starting a mail-in campaign where we sent all the TV stations a cheap plastic digital watch, so they could keep time.

TBS did this when it was first starting out... (3, Interesting)

aristus (779174) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977476)

All their shows started at :05 and :35. I always thought it was funny, until I realised that you would never miss the begining of their shows, and always miss the begining of other channel's shows. It's the same kind of low cunning behind "$10.99"... really only effective if not everyone does it.

Re:Not Just TiVos (1)

KingPunk (800195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977368)

god bless satallite, where (most) people can get east, central, and west
versions of every boradcast then ;)

so the program that starts at say, 9:11pm local on east coast,
won't be playing til about, 11:11pm, central..and so on.
seems like thats where the moneys at! ;)
just making it my duty to incite!
pardon my idealist communistic mindset thinking that anything should be free, as in beer, of course
--kingpunk

Re:Not Just TiVos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10977482)

CAN WE ALL QUIT CALLING THIS TECHNOLOGY "TVIO". TiVo is the brand name! This drives me crazy! The technology is called PVR (personal video recorder).

ER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10977221)

Stupid 9:59 start time. At least TBS stopped showing everything at :05 and :35.

TiVo could simply change their software a bit... (5, Insightful)

Cade144 (553696) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977225)

I have noticed this for about a year and a half now. Most notably on Thursday nights with NBC programming.

ER starts at 8:59, which prevents me from recording CSI on CBS which runs from 8:00 to 9:00.

All TiVo has to do is change its programming a bit. They actually contribute to the conflicts by not allowing you to start recording a program late. Sure you can start recording early, or stop late, but unless you do it completely manually, it is not possible to start late and or end early.

My old VCR used to handle this somewhat more gracefully. If I had a weekly program, say from 7:00 to 8:00, and I had another program that recorded from 7:00 to 7:30, it would record the first program (if it had a higer priority) and then switch channels to record the last half of the other program.

I do not see why TiVo can't simply change the software to "record as much as possible, even if a few minutes are lost" rather than the current model of "even if one minute conflicts, the whole program is abandoned".

Hear that TiVo? Missing features!

Re:TiVo could simply change their software a bit.. (1)

Cat_Byte (621676) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977262)

Hmm...I have never had a Tivo but my DishDirect PVR was able to adjust the time manually. TBS or whoever used to do crap like that where I had to manually set the time to something retarded like 5 after. Any time I had a conflict between schedules the one who had time shifted got the shaft so to speak. I won't be watching somethign that messes with me trying to record something else.

Re:TiVo could simply change their software a bit.. (2, Insightful)

bm17 (834529) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977278)

Yes. I'd like to see soft scheduling. If the tuner isn't in use for something else I'd like it to record an extra five minutes before and after the show I'm interested in.

I'd also like to see these PVRs available with four tuners.

Re:TiVo could simply change their software a bit.. (1)

Big_Breaker (190457) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977446)

Your suggestion of recordin before and after based on availability is a good one. I know someone at Tivo pretty well and will suggest that to him.

Re:TiVo could simply change their software a bit.. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977303)

My homebrew PVR *always* stops a minute short by design, I never miss anything.

If the shows start substantively overlapping, it will affect live viewers as much or more than TiVo users. A human can only watch one show at once, just like a TiVo. (Of course a human WITH a TiVo can finish one show while recording the start of another, then catch up on the second by skipping commercials :) For this reason, I think the trend will be limited.

Re:TiVo could simply change their software a bit.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10977335)

But a human watching live can flip between the channels more accurately. If you're watching CSI, you can immediately flip over to ER once the credits start to roll, etc. You'll be much more accurate than a PVR.

Re:TiVo could simply change their software a bit.. (4, Insightful)

AlexTheBeast (809587) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977330)

Just don't let TiVo change their 30 sec commerical skip code. [tech-recipes.com]

I'll miss a few shows as long as I can blast away commericals from my remote control.

Re:TiVo could simply change their software a bit.. (0)

FredThompson (183335) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977369)

Uh...maybe you should look at a TiVo before you make such definitive statements with a lack of knowledge.

TiVo most certainly does have the ability to start/stop early by variable amounts of time.

Re:TiVo could simply change their software a bit.. (1)

Spudnuts (21990) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977419)

Last time I looked (because of this kind of issue), my TiVo only lets me adjust the stop time, but it is from Series 1. Did they change this in Series 2?

Re:TiVo could simply change their software a bit.. (1)

bm17 (834529) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977438)

The post was talking about start/stop late, not early. If you can start late then you can avoid a conflict with another show that run one minute over.

Re:TiVo could simply change their software a bit.. (2, Interesting)

Scyber (539694) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977467)

Yes, this is known as negative padding (starting late or ending early). Both TiVo and ReplayTV allow positive padding (starting early or ending late).

Re:TiVo could simply change their software a bit.. (2, Informative)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977479)

TiVo most certainly does have the ability to start/stop early by variable amounts of time.

What model TiVo do you have? I have a couple series 2 TiVos, and it has 'start early' and 'stop late'. It does not have the ability to 'start late' or 'stop early'. (for recording a program from the guide. Manual recordings are another matter.)

Re:TiVo could simply change their software a bit.. (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977371)

Elgato's EyeTV system allows you to set the amount of time before and after the scheduled show time for padding, as well as manually adjust program times. I have not had any problems with anything I record, but I only really record about 5 shows regularly, so I might have just lucked out.

Re:TiVo could simply change their software a bit.. (4, Informative)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977423)

What you're talking about is called "soft padding", and it's a feature that TiVo owners have been asking for for years. You can already do "hard padding", but manually specifying some number to adjust the start and/or stop time of a recording. This was designed for clock skew, but it's also being used for shows that habitually start or end late or early.

Re:TiVo could simply change their software a bit.. (1)

CFTM (513264) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977452)

Actually on my TiVo box I can specify if I want to start recording a show X-number of minutes early or late and if I want it to run long, etc. So maybe you're running an old box or maybe you don't know how to use your TiVo ;)

2 solutions that work for my wife (4, Interesting)

macrom (537566) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977477)

My wife tends to watch shows like this, and we've noticed the same thing. Networks tend to run shows a minute or so off, and since shows now start immediately (with the opening credits rolling several minutes into the show) it can be aggravating. To combat this, we do one of the following :

1. Watch the opposing show on the station in a different time zone. We get channels from other broadcast cities, and since we're in Dallas it is easy to catch a show on the L.A. channels an hour or two later. We can also record the later show if nothing else is on that we want to watch.

2. Usenet. Most, if not all, of the popular shows are available in DivX (or similar) format the next morning. I simply cue up the shows and burn a couple to a CD or DVD, then play back on our Philips DVP642. That way if there's a night that's slow for TV shows, we can just catch up on what we missed the other night.

Option 1 is more preferable from the network execs' standpoint. Option 2 is more preferable from our standpoint since we get to keep the shows and watch them at our convenience, even if that means on my laptop while dinner is cooking, etc.

At somepoint, the networks need to realize that WE WANT OUR PROGRAMMING OUR WAY. We don't always mind commercials, we don't mind in-show advertising (I don't personally, YMMV), but we mind you playing games with us and hindering our ability to watch a simple show on the television.

Note: We only have one PVR in the house. The equipment fee to "rent" one from Dish is not overly expensive, but we (read: I) prefer to spend the money on Usenet and blank CDs.

Interesting, but not a problem for most (3, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977228)

As the article summary notes, this isn't a problem for dual-tuner PVRs.

Most PVRs offered by cable and satellite providers, such as Charter's Motorola BMC9012 offering, are just that. And, adding another tuner (or several tuners) to media PCs, such as those running MythTV or the surprisingly good Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, is a simple task (for a person so inclined to have a media PC in the first place).

So, yes, it's interesting to see this acknowledged, but the tactic does show up in the guides (e.g., ER starting at 8:59PM CT), and for multi-tuner PVRs it is not at all an issue.

What will be far more interesting to me is the networks' and content providers' handling and usage of the Broadcast Flag [eff.org] (more [g4techtv.com] , more [msn.com] , more [cdt.org] ), which will probably be utilized to prevent digital and/or HD recording, and thus prevent (easy) skipping of ad content, of some "high value" shows altogether, as well as allowing the placement (force feeding?) of new shows to piggyback on existing "popular" shows.

Interesting that while the invention of the VCR has been recently lauded as releasing people from the prison of having to watch "prime time" TV in prime time, the Broadcast Flag may essentially shoot us back 20 years. And most consumers don't understand or know the rights that have already been granted them enough to know the difference.

(And why don't content providers understand that: 1. this won't stop pirates from pirating TV, and that 2. this only makes it harder on ordinary consumers?)

Re:Interesting, but not a problem for most (1)

eoyount (689574) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977365)

Of course it is an issue for multi-tuner PVRs as well. If I want to record two things that end at 9:00 and ER starts at 8:59, voila, same problem. It is only not an issue if you have more tuners than you ever use at once.

Re:Interesting, but not a problem for most (4, Insightful)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977394)

"And why don't content providers understand that: 1. this won't stop pirates from pirating TV, and that 2. this only makes it harder on ordinary consumers?"

You're missing something. Content providers don't care about consumers, they care about advertisers. It hasn't been about providing content to consumers for a long time.

Re:Interesting, but not a problem for most (1)

dgodwin (732273) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977412)

My recorder can record 2 items at once, but I've still run into problems.

I wanted to record a movie from 8-10, Lost from 8-9:01, and Jack and Bobby from 9-10. Because of the minute overlap, I wasn't able to schedule Jack and Bobby (what a loss, I know!)

Thanks to bit torrent, I watched it the next day. I'm seriously thinking of just trying to set up a HTPC with myth-TV or some other software and getting rid of the PVR...

Re:Interesting, but not a problem for most (1)

kaszeta (322161) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977422)

As the article summary notes, this isn't a problem for dual-tuner PVRs.

It is, just less of one, since it still increases programming conflicts.

When I first noticed this happening, I tended to pad all my recordings by 5 minutes each way.... But that effectively makes all my recordings an hour longer as far as conflict resolution goes (since they now intrude on the half hour before and half hour after each program). So I have to do it much more selectively.

I'd be happier if they had a "conditional padding" in that the Tivo would pad my programs out if there weren't any conflicts, but if a conflict arose just forget about the padding, or ask me what to do like a normal conflict.

Re:Interesting, but not a problem for most (0, Redundant)

pseudolus (790109) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977424)

for multi-tuner PVRs it is not at all an issue.

Sure it is. I routinely have two shows recording simultaneously at 8 pm and at least one more that starts at 9. If one of those first two runs over by a minute, I miss the 9 pm show and I'm just as upset as someone who owns a single-tuner TiVo. Especially on Wednesdays, because apparently Wednesday is the new Thursday.

Re:Interesting, but not a problem for most (1, Insightful)

nvrrobx (71970) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977429)

This IS a problem for dual tuner TiVos.

If you have four things you want to record total (two airing at 8, the other two at 9), then yes, this is a problem. I run into it a lot with my dual tuner DirecTiVo.

Re:Interesting, but not a problem for most (1)

dmorin (25609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977439)

As the article summary notes, this isn't a problem for dual-tuner PVRs. Most PVRs offered by cable and satellite providers , such as Charter's Motorola BMC9012 offering, are just that. And, adding another tuner (or several tuners) to media PCs, such as those running MythTV or the surprisingly good Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, is a simple task (for a person so inclined to have a media PC in the first place).

But haven't you just discounted your standard Tivo box for people without satellite? Surely they make up a big enough portion of the audience that it's not accurate to say "not a problem for most."

Re:Interesting, but not a problem for most (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10977461)

Having multiple tuners avoids the problem some of the time, but it's really no different. I have three shows scheduled to record. One runs from 8:00 to 9:01PM. The other two run from 9:00 to 10:00PM.. Although I can record one of the 9-10 shows, the other isn't recorded because the show ending at 9:01 overlaps..

Re:Interesting, but not a problem for most (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977498)

So, yes, it's interesting to see this acknowledged, but the tactic does show up in the guides (e.g., ER starting at 8:59PM CT), and for multi-tuner PVRs it is not at all an issue.

Obviously this is not a nefarious plot to thwart TiVo owners, as advertised, but rather, a plot to sell more TiVos!

KFG

Ah-ha! (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977233)


That explains why the shows have been getting onto BitTorrent a minute or two later.

Re:Ah-ha! (5, Funny)

Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977328)

SHHHH! Ex-nay on the orrent-Tay!

Not only PVR owners (1)

LemonFire (514342) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977237)

I'm sure that this will make the big TV recording group using VCRs really happy as well.

Well.. (0, Offtopic)

digital.prion (808852) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977243)

Is it just me or is anyone else LOST ?

Re:Well.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10977357)

Nope, just you everyone else here has found religion and are all Linux zealots....

Re:Well.. (1)

bm17 (834529) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977362)

No, it's not just you. This is a case where the guide says one thing and the actual show says another. I have to extend my recording of Lost for five minutes, but that conflicts with other shows I want to watch. And I have a dual tuner.

you too? (1)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977425)

you mean the show right? i noticed that show seems to lose the last 30 seconds or so, let alone a preview of what's coming next week. because i only grab a few shows off and on i have not noticed it really on other things i record..... but then again adult Swim stuff is so short anyway i would just miss the in between goofyness and not important cartoons. as for the show lost, i just added 5 minutes to the manual recording since i dont try to record anything right after it.

for the record i don't tivo very much, i actually dont subscribe to the service, i just got a bare bones to replace a broken VCR. since i watch what i record, then delete it, a dumb mode tivo made more sense to me than another VCR. maybe i am not noticing other shows/networks doing this.

Killing the Golden Goose? (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977244)

TV has largely succeded, in the footsteps of Radio, by networks and stations being good about time boundaries. Once anarchy happens, where networks ge into the habit of 5 minutes this or that way, they can pretty much cut their own throats. This was extremely irritating when Turner did it.

Re:Killing the Golden Goose? (2, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977396)

This was extremely irritating when Turner did it.

Was it? I always thought it was a novel idea. When I was channel surfing from the network stations because they were on commercial there was always something on TBS because they were always 5 minutes late.

A Patch Is In Order? (5, Insightful)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977249)

TiVo began advising its 2 million subscribers to watch out for such time conflicts and to adjust their recording settings manually.

Couldn't TiVo finish off the first one (maybe 31 minutes), and proceed to record the next despite it's 1 minute late?

Maybe a patch will check for any conflicts and prompt users to choose from a few options, for istance, give weight/priority to a particular show.

Re:A Patch Is In Order? (5, Interesting)

kmcrober (194430) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977342)

That's more or less how SageTV (and probably Myth, although I haven't used it) handles conflicts. It's intuitive and very useful - I can't understand why TiVo doesn't follow suit. All that's needed is a "Conflicts" menu that shows you shows that won't be recorded due to a conflict, and lets you pick which one to weight in that instance or overall. It's much more user friendly than having to bounce in and out of menus or just change the season pass orders.

The same thing pertains to recording a few minutes into the next scheduled recording. Is there some technical reason why TiVo can't handle slightly odd recording times, or is it just a case of too little competition?

The network's explination.. (1)

underpar (792569) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977260)

They say it's to put in more commercials and not to disrupt TiVo. CNN had a story about it a while back. They didn't believe it either.

Re:The network's explination.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10977411)

This article states " More programs are running an extra minute or two longer to keep viewers from switching channels."

That does make sense. If they already have a large viewing audience it forces them to either switch to another program that has already started or else, keep watching the same network.

That is why there are only doing this on popular shows. "Shows recently padded include CBS's "Without a Trace," Fox's "Renovate My Family," ABC's "The Bachelor" and NBC's "ER," according to Nielsen Media Research."

Move along, nothing to see here.

Re:The network's explination.. (0, Redundant)

jmharvey (467293) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977445)

They say it's to put in more commercials and not to disrupt TiVo. CNN had a story about it a while back. They didn't believe it either.

TNT runs back-to-back episodes of Law and Order so that the credits for one episode run at the bottom of the screen during the opening scene of the next one. Since they run the same episode two days in a row, it seems unlikely that this is actually a nefarious plot to screw with TiVo. So at least part of the motivation must come from fitting in more commercials.

A number of networks have stopped airing commercials between the end of one show and the beginning of the next. (As opposed to a few years ago, when it was standard to take commercial breaks both before AND after the end credits). Apparently the networks found that this 5-minute break trained their viewers to flip to another station, and viewers that have seen part of a show are more likely to return to that station.

So mangling minutes in the schedule allows for more ads, higher viewer retention, and screws with TiVo, to boot. Why wouldn't a network do it?

Soon to come "random programming". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10977270)

Eventually the cat and mouse game will get so out of hand that you'll have to buy special trunking cable boxes that will follow codes to change the tuning frequency to follow show as it skips channels. Kinda like trying to listen in on police broadcasts these days.

But even then you can only get TV listings in real time as shows will start and stop at random times throughout the day.

Not an issue... (2, Funny)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977274)

Not an issue if you only watch one channel.

Oh look, it's Colonel Carter in a slick leather outfit!

Re:Not an issue... (1)

kwatz (727726) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977390)

Woah, Thor is naked! ...Colonel Who?

Like it matters (1)

J3zmund (301962) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977281)

When was the last time there were two or more shows on two or more different big networks in the same night that were interesting enough to record?

Re:Like it matters (1)

anon*127.0.0.1 (637224) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977351)

Or a show wasn't rerun, and rererun, and rerererun... oftentimes in the same week.

The only shows that don't get rerun into the ground are the live ones, and they tend to run at odd times anyway.

Re:Like it matters (1)

putzin (99318) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977359)

More succintly, when has there been "A" show on a big network worth recording (well, the Simpson's)? So, until the Simpsons's is affected by this or one of the cable networks decides to go nuts and piss off the world trying to protect it's (valueless if no one watches it) video property, I just don't care.

Re:Like it matters (1)

shotfeel (235240) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977360)

Based on my experience, on the rare occasion that there is a show on I reeeally don't want to miss, there will invariably be another show I reeeally don't want to miss on another channel.

That may just be me though.

Bad move (1)

rackhamh (217889) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977285)

I know many people who only watch TV through their PVRs (be it TV, whatever) because *gasp* they have lives aside from the boob tube.

This move basically ensures that the networks decrease the number of eyeballs watching their shows.

I wonder if they even care, though, if those eyeballs are skipping the ads anyway.

Re:Bad move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10977492)

> I wonder if they even care, though, if those eyeballs are skipping the ads anyway.

Precisely. Broadcasters hate Tivo, because they deliver ads that others pay for, and wrap programming around them. Cable networks on the other hand, deliver programming to you which you pay for. The broadcasters are simply digging themselves into irrelevance. Sometimes the market works as intended.

Can You Blame Them? (4, Interesting)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977288)

If you know you are going to miss the last 3-4 minutes of a show, you might be less likely to TIVO it.

1. Add minutes to end of shows
2. Decrease TIVO usage
3. More viewers see more commericals
4. Profit.

It makes perfect sense.

The other thing that people forget is that TBS has been doing this for a while. If you are "kept" at one channel for 5 minutes longer, you are going to miss the beginnings of the "hooker" beginner part of shows on other channels.

Re:Can You Blame Them? (1)

Mr Guy (547690) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977389)

Or, like me, you just don't record those shows, and instead watch shows on other channels entirely, and record the reruns of their shows. I think this will probably hurt them in the long run, because it works both ways. If I can't catch the first couple minutes of their show, I'm much less likely to switch TO their station as well. By the time ABC underruns 2 minutes and CBS overruns 2 minutes, I've missed too much to care and I'll go back to shows I recorded at 3 AM on Sunday.

Re:Can You Blame Them? (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977406)

> If you know you are going to miss the last 3-4 minutes of a show, you might be less likely to TIVO it.
> 1. Add minutes to end of shows
> 2. Decrease TIVO usage
> 3. More viewers see more commericals
> 4. Profit.
> It makes perfect sense.

No, it makes absolutely NO sense at all. If I'm going to miss some of a show, true I will not TIVO it. That means I will stop watching that show completely.
There's no way in hell I would rearrange my personal schedule just to watch a TV show. If I can't TIVO it I don't watch it.

Re:Can You Blame Them? (4, Interesting)

zoward (188110) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977459)

Or:

1. Add minutes to end of shows
2. Decrease TIVO usage
3. Viewers TIVO something else and watch that instead, or grab an MPEG of the show from BitTorrent.
4. Less Profit.

mTod dOwn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10977292)

users. BSD/OS ha5 ground to a purposes *BSD is are almost

So what? (0, Redundant)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977294)

Ever since I started using a VCR I've been the recording from 2 or 3 minutes before the show starts to 2 or 3 minutes after it ends to make up for the VCR time not being consistant with the show time.

Why not pad the recording? (2, Informative)

DnemoniX (31461) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977305)

I have been using Beyond Tv for some time now, and it allows you the simple option of padding a recording by X amount of minutes before or after a program start time. I can't imagine it would take much for Tivo to implement something like that.

This points out an inadequacy of TiVo (4, Interesting)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977306)

TiVo should be able to automatically record a show that is one minute already in progress.

The logic will need to be fuzzed a bit and adjusted to account for this. As it stands, the TiVo software will not consider recording a show already in progress unless the user forces it. The software will need to be made more intelligent so as to consider a show only one minute into it, for all intents and purposes, as being right at the start.

I have no problem with this. (4, Interesting)

JoeD (12073) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977317)

I have no problem with this, AS LONG AS THEY PUT THE CORRECT TIMES ON THE SCHEDULE.

If the show runs from 9:00 - 10:01, then don't list 9:00 - 10:00 in the schedule.

If the times were correct, then Tivo would be able to figure it out.

gee, I hadn't noticed (-1, Offtopic)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977318)

Since I don't have a TV, and don't want one. Anything interesting on the tube can also be found on the Internet, anyway.

Re:gee, I hadn't noticed (4, Funny)

gosand (234100) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977471)

Since I don't have a TV, and don't want one. Anything interesting on the tube can also be found on the Internet, anyway.

ObOnion reference: "Area Man Constantly Mentioning He Doesn't Own A Television."

My solution (-1 flamebait) (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10977326)

I don't watch TV.

Ha! Take that, Networks!

now we need... (1)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977327)

3 tuners DVRs to compensate!

anyone else... (1)

sv25 (773540) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977331)

have the feeling this wasn't intentional at all? Just like that game "broken telephone", the message is completely messed up by the time it gets down the chain :)

CEO: Get my coffee! You have one minute

*** moments later ***

Innocent tech: Looks like the boss wants us to start our shows a minute later. Weird.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10977363)

It's clearly intentional. They tell you "Tune in at 9:59! You don't want to miss a minute of ER!" They want people hooked on their channel before shows on the other channels start, OR they want you to stick around late so that you'll miss the starts of other shows.

Careful (1)

tacocat (527354) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977339)

I've noticed this as well.

Sometimes they will run a show 1 or 2 minutes later than posted so you miss the ending. This really gets me pissed. I've actually stopped watching a few shows because of this and I simply will not record anything from TBS because they are very consistent about missing their posted times.

TV for me is a luxury and not a necessity. If the channels don't work in such a way that my TiVO doesn't record them, I go someplace else. Considering the PVR's (particularly TiVO) is about to start reporting their recording stats to the network broadcasters, I think it would be smart for them not to screw with the TiVO people.

There are definitely a number of channels and shows that I've stopped watching because the posting timetable is consistently wrong by up to 5 minutes. Using TiVO, I don't really see how I could go back to watching all that crap at the peak hours of my day.

this isn't new (1)

Mike Bridge (8663) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977341)

networks have been doing this since before PVRs, its just more noticeable (and annoying) now.

I'm sick and tired of these networks... (1)

spidereyes (599443) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977343)

placating their CEO's salaries and screwing their customers. You can have your reality show of the month crap programming. I have my pr0n and I'm more than happy. Plus it's a one time fee with no commercials.

Messy tv schedules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10977347)

Reminds me of when I was in Germany - networks scheduled everything all over the place, there was no such thing as everyone starting and ending on the half hour. Makes me think that we're kind of lucky that the networks here play rather nice in comparison.

grrr. (1)

31415926535897 (702314) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977348)

I just bought a Tivo a month ago (thanks to the $100 rebate), and I've noticed that things happen that can royally screw up the Tivo experience. I don't think the first one is the network's fault, but when live events go over their time alloted, everything gets pushed back, and if your Tivo is going to record from 8-9pm, you will miss that 15-30 minutes the "live event" (football game) went over. I have also noticed what the front page summary mentioned, and it is incredibly annoying, but I don't think they're doing it a lot because it can mess up many other things (traditional VCR tapers). I was thinking the other day about how much effort it would be to screw over a Tivo user, and the answer is apparently not much. I expect more tricks like this will happen as more people adopt Tivo. Of course, I'm sure the manufacturers of DVRs will answer back, and as people have already mentioned, you can fix these problems if you have a dual-tuner recorder (but some of us don't have that kind of spare cash).

nothing new (0, Redundant)

drteknikal (67280) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977349)

TBS Superstation (WTBS, at least originally) started shows at 5 minutes after the hour starting back in the early 80s. They had the same idea 20 years ago.

This is not news.

Isn't this a boon for TIVO (2, Insightful)

Sai Babu (827212) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977354)

If one program concludes at 5min past the hour and the other starts on the hour and you don't have a TIVO or VCR, well now you need one!

If you want to time shift, now you need TWO machines.

I bet the hardware vendors are secretly smiling because most consumers are too stupid to apply anything other than the brute force, buy more $hit solution.

IMO, more people are 'addicted' to TV than to cigarettes, crack, food, tentacle rape, and opossum fishing COMBINED!

Workarounds (1)

Royster (16042) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977355)

This can be worked around. NBC has been scheduling ER to start at 9:59 for ages. I have my TiVo set to record ER from 10 to 11. If I miss a minute of "previously on ER", I'm not concerned.

You do have to either watch your To Do list or look for alerts on webites like TivoCommunity.com

NBD, really.

Didnt TBS do this a while back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10977356)

I remember when TBS would start their shows at 5 minutes after the hour and 35 minutes after the hour for some strange reason. Maybe to try and skew their ratings?

Re:Didnt TBS do this a while back (1)

sydbarrett74 (74307) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977483)

That's exactly why they did it -- to stand out during Nielsen sweeps.

Scheduling has always needed updating (2, Interesting)

Gigadafud (413848) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977373)

TiVo just really needs to have greater flexibility on scheduling is what it comes down too. I have also noticed this with ER and CSI too. It drives me crazy!

Tivo in each room (1)

jeoin (668566) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977377)

ours is bundled with satellite, so we have one in each room. This allows us to avoid the schedule issue.

not just tivo (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10977378)

Seems more to be anti competitive to other networks than to prevent it from being recorded.

TiVo, TiVo, TiVo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10977382)

I don't think this is so much a problem with the networks as it is a flaw with current TiVo setups... if I can have more than one TV watching two different channels with cable, then TiVo should be able to have an internal splitter to record more than one show at a time. Maybe there's technical limitations (not powerful enough to encode both videos in real time), but I doubt it. More like TiVo being a bastard.

VH1 is a big offender (1)

CormacJ (64984) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977384)

Their show descriptions are rarely actually what they are showing, eg Classic in Concert was listed as Bruce Hornsby - turned out to be Duran Duran. Shows that are listed when taped turn out to be something entirely different...

No Tivo, still a problem (2, Insightful)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977386)

If CSI runs until 10:02, and ER starts RIGHT AT 10 like they do, it is very likely my wife will take the laptop off my lap and hurl it through our TV.

It's bad enough with those two anyway if you're a fan of both. This is a problem for regular people who want to watch one thing at 9 and something else on another network at 10.

Thank you guys, thank you for reminding me why I pay for CABLE. Assclowns.

Doesn't just affect the TiVo (5, Insightful)

wvitXpert (769356) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977387)

Doesn't this affect the average tv viewer as well? I am watching ER from 8:00 to 9:01 and then I want to change the channel to watch (insert other popular program here) that airs from 9:00 to 10:00, I've just missed the first minute of the second show. Of course thats not a problem if you only watch one network, maybe that is what they are trying to promote more than fcking with TiVos.

I have an idea (4, Funny)

oexeo (816786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977393)

Why don't they just go ahead and send a high voltage spike down the cable line, that would "fix" the Tivo.

I this messes up my VCR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10977395)

Forget TIVO! That screws with my VCR. It's to the point where if it's not a show I really care about I stop watching. What's really funny is that I'm a Nielson member!! So, guess what happens to that show's ratings since I've decided to watch or Video tape them anymore.

networks messing with everyone (2, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977404)

If a show runs to 9:01, then you can't Tivo a show on another channel that starts at 9

Nor can you watch all of both shows when they air. They are not just screwing the Tivo users, they are screwing up their core customers, the ones who watch live, commercials and all. This is hardly a new practice, Fox has been starting the Simpsons early for years. But it certainly is growing in it's adoption. It's not just a minute either, in many cases (at least with NBC) it's several, and those minutes can be on either end (the show might start early, or end late).

Rather than hurting the TIVO users, this pratice may well drive more normal viewers to becoming multiple tuner TiVo users (and skipping the commercials in the process).

endpad (4, Informative)

pfunkmallone (89539) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977451)

There is an application for folks who've hacked their Tivo (I think only series 1's), that can help with this issue thoough. Called endpad. Here's a link to the announcement on the tivo community forums: Forums [tivocommunity.com] . This is especially useful for single tuner Tivos (as mentioned above).

Slashdot posts conspiracy theory story (1, Funny)

lilbudda (625254) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977464)

News at 10:59

nice (1)

bman08 (239376) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977478)

way to treat your god damned audience. why bdo they make these shows at all? how many times do you miss the end of your favorite program before you give up and watch something else?

Not just used to screw-up time shifting. (1)

cosmicg (313545) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977480)

A big advantage for using nonstandard start and end times for real popular shows, is that it locks viewers into watching other programming on the same network by creating conflicts with the beginnings and endings of other shows. So if ER ends 2 minutes late (just an example, I don't watch it so I don't know), by watching ER to the end you miss the start of shows on other networks, making it more likely that you'll watch the show that ER leads into. I've been told that the Japan networks had a battle royal like this years ago, that completely screwed up the tv schedules.

I think frustrating Tivo users is just an added bonus.

Are they really adding a minute to shows? (1)

The Wooden Badger (540258) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977484)

I can't image execs going for adding a minute to the shows themselves. That would take too much thinking outside the box (no pun intended). Those capitalist bastards add comercials to shows. Think about it, you pay extra money for the studio time and editing or you take a pay off from budweiser for another couple comercials. They have a hard enough time putting a quality product on the air. Can you say "reality show".

torrents of TV shows (1)

maskatron (7560) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977486)

i wonder if they realize they are helping to spread the adoption of bittorrent users sharing shows?

The show's off anyway (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977487)

I don't watch any network tv anymore, but I've noticed that on cable, most tv shows actually end about 5 minutes before the end time. Then there's 5 minutes of ads before the next show starts.

Further proof (1)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977490)

That large companies don't care what their customers want. Isn't capitalism supposed to be about supply and demand?

Oops. Demand with no supply. Now how can that be? Maybe it's NOT A FREE MARKET?!?

Work around... (1)

TJPile (220972) | more than 9 years ago | (#10977503)

Here's what I do on Wednesdays when I TiVo Lost from 8 to 9:01 on ABC and King of Queens on CBS from 9:01 to 9:30...
Record Lost normally. Selecting by title, channel, or time. Then do a manual recording by time to record from 9:05 until 9:30. In the properties of the manual recording, I can then choose to start recording 4 minutes earlier (at 9:01). This way, I record both shows with no conflict on only 2 minutes extra TiVoing.
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