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>>> Slow channel guide display <<<

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avNeophyte is offline Old Post 05-13-2004 11:28 PM
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avNeophyte
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I don't see how anyone can argue that the guides on the HD-TiVo are 'acceptable'. This is my first and only TiVo so I can't compare it to other TiVo models but the incredibly slow performance of the D* guide is unacceptable. I just can't understand why it is SO slow. Incomprehensible.

I know I have not adapted to the TiVo paradigm yet but I also prefer a good D* guide implementation over the TiVo guide. MUCH more information. With the D* guide on the Sony HD-200 I could see the current and upcoming shows on a block of 8 channels at a time. The TiVo guide has its strong points (scanning a channel to setup recording and season passes) but there is no way that you can argue that it shows more information at one time than a decent D* guide.

I also miss the 'Favorite Channels' screen from the HD-200. Press one button and up pops a matrix with the logos of my 25 favorite channels. Makes it real easy to 'surf' live TV. The HD-200 had some annoying bugs but it also had a few real gems.

I'm quite happy with my new HD-TiVo and I'm sure I will adapt to its quirks but it does need some important usability improvements. Changes that would seem to be fairly easy to implement. I'm sure I'll get accustomed to watching TV without these features but that doesn't mean that they wouldn't make the product better. Technology advances quickly and TiVo had better keep ahead of the competition or they risk getting left behind.

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borghe is offline Old Post 05-13-2004 11:39 PM
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borghe
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quote:
Originally posted by avNeophyte
I could see the current and upcoming shows on a block of 8 channels at a time.

You can do the same thing on Tivo guide. just go to the block of channels and hit ffwd to advance it a half hour at a time.

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BobJ2004 is offline Old Post 05-13-2004 11:41 PM
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BobJ2004
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I got this nice new HD Tivo , I was going to show people, but the Guide is so Darn Slow its almost embarising.

Why cant they make it like the RCA standard Direct TV receiver. That is one increadible guide. Sooooo fast.

I hope they fix this.

If no one complains to Direct TV they wont ever do anything.

Maybe the next update will be faster, but if they do not think anything is wrong that wont.

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jdk is offline Old Post 05-13-2004 11:42 PM
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jdk
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quote:
Originally posted by avNeophyte


I'm quite happy with my new HD-TiVo and I'm sure I will adapt to its quirks but it does need some important usability improvements. Changes that would seem to be fairly easy to implement. I'm sure I'll get accustomed to watching TV without these features but that doesn't mean that they wouldn't make the product better. Technology advances quickly and TiVo had better keep ahead of the competition or they risk getting left behind.



I agree 100%. While today you'd have to pry my HR10-250 out of my cold dead hands, if the Moxi unit delivers on its promises, or some other more user-friendly DVR appears, the HR10-250 would end up on the curb on trash day.

Tivo's is in a siutation where they're currently the best or only combination of functionality and features, so we have to either take it or go without. If they don't improve and innovate, they're leaving themselves exposed to competition.

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borghe is offline Old Post 05-13-2004 11:43 PM
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borghe
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lol... I love it.. Tivo has been leading the way in DVRs since they created the industry, and now people are saying they better start innovating?

this thread is officially dead...

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btwyx is offline Old Post 05-13-2004 11:47 PM
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btwyx
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quote:
Originally posted by Geof in CO
Well for one thing I don't what to sit down and pre-plan everything I may or may not want to watch.
I don't. I just go to the Now Playing list and see what there is to watch. All the season passes etc mean there's always plenty there. I occasionally go looking for new shows I might want to watch, but I'm not pre-planning when I want to watch it.

Just to be clear, I totally agree that the DTV guide is (almost) totally useless in its current incarnation and its a crime to include it. I just ignore it, and I do like the TiVo/list guide, I think it shows more information that I'm actually interested in at once and makes useful information more acceible. Obviously others dissagree on the utility of the guides.

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avNeophyte is offline Old Post 05-13-2004 11:57 PM
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avNeophyte
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quote:
Originally posted by borghe
You can do the same thing on Tivo guide. just go to the block of channels and hit ffwd to advance it a half hour at a time.


Either I'm missing a capability of the TiVo guide or you don't fully appreciate the benefits of a good D* guide. With a good D* guide, you can see AT ONE TIME (without having to push buttons to page through the data) the current and upcoming (say next 2 to 4 hours) programming for a block of channels (8 to 10 usually).

I have a TiVo and you can't do that with the TiVo guide. You can nearly do it with the TiVo's D* guide but it has several limitations. First (and foremost) is that it is unbearably slow. I'm a channel surfer and I like to page through lots of channel blocks with the D* guide to quickly scan what is on and coming up on all of the channels I typically watch. It would take hours to do that with either of the TiVo's current guides. I know that 'hours' is an exageration but it is too slow to use! Secondly, the D* guide doesn't show enough channels on one screen at one time. Thirdly, the D* guide on the TiVo doesn't show a large enough time span on the screen at one time.

To be blunt, IT JUST SUCKS!

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rezdog is offline Old Post 05-13-2004 11:58 PM
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rezdog
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After using the HR10-250 for a couple of days, and then going back to the HDVR2, is like night and day for me. My HDVR2 actually seems fast compared to the HR10-250. And this is in all respects. Guide, control interaction, the HR10-250 just seems sluggish. The guide is by far the worst. Even the non DTV guide is slower. As happy as I am to have the HD Tivo, I'm very disappointed in the performance/responsiveness of it.

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avNeophyte is offline Old Post 05-14-2004 12:01 AM
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avNeophyte
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quote:
Originally posted by borghe
lol... I love it.. Tivo has been leading the way in DVRs since they created the industry, and now people are saying they better start innovating?

this thread is officially dead...



DVRs currently have a very small market penetration. I personally think that is going to change very quickly. Having the largest market share among the early adopters is no guarantee of success in the long term.

TiVo won't be in business long if their decision makers think like you do. They have a great product but they won't survive if they don't keep improving it. This is going to be a very competitive market space.

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avNeophyte is offline Old Post 05-14-2004 12:06 AM
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avNeophyte
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One more thing...

I've had my HR10-250 for one week now so I suspect it should be caught up on the guide data.

Has anyone else noticed how sluggish this machine is to respond to input from the remote control? It seems like it takes nearly a second or so to react to most any key press. When I change channels by entering the new channel number there is a noticeable delay between when I press buttons and when the digits appear on the screen. Same thing for entering the parental controls password. It's just sluggish.

Is this just me? Is this typical of all TiVo systems?

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GreyGhost00 is offline Old Post 05-14-2004 12:07 AM
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How much guide data does the Tivo keep as opposed to regular non-DVR STBs? Obviously the slowness of the guide is a function of this to some extent - the more data that must be indexed and sorted, then the longer it's going to take to render on screen. Correct? Also, is there an issue with disk access or some other bottleneck? Keep in mind that the unit is already laying down two streams to the HD concurrently. Accessing the guide data is yet another process requesting disk access. What's the RPM of the drive in the HR10-250?
Perhaps someone with further knowledge can enlighten me.

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klimekt is offline Old Post 05-14-2004 12:10 AM
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klimekt
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Angry

I can say the same thing about my 5-year-old DTC-100. Even that interface is faster and better then what HD Tivo provides. Somebody already hit the nail on the head - it's an embarrassment that a product of this caliber has such poor interface.

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borghe is offline Old Post 05-14-2004 12:12 AM
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borghe
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avneophyte - ok, either you are not getting what I am saying or you are WAY to picky.

go to a group of channels on the Tivo guide. you see everything that is on those channels right now at this half hour timeslot. Now press ffwd to go ahead a half hour. again for another half hour. page down and see the next block for that half hour. rwd to go back half an hour.

so there you go... viewing hours in advance on a large block of channels..

now by comparison, the E86.. oh yeah.. sure you could see the next 2-4 hours, butgo ahead a half hour on that.. it could take up to 10 seconds to go ahead. try viwewing what was going to be on 10 hours ahead on a channel and it could take up to a minute or more just to get there. Tivo I can view tomorrows listings on a channel in a few seconds. I can view tomorrows listings on a block of channels in a few seconds...

I really am not getting this major downside.. as far as I can see, it's different and that's all.. I still don't see what you are actually losing. On the DirecTV grid guide you can see hours in advance on a block of channels, on the Tivo guide you can see hours in advance on a block of channels... the same thing, you just accomplish it differently.

quote:
Originally posted by avNeophyte
DVRs currently have a very small market penetration. I personally think that is going to change very quickly. Having the largest market share among the early adopters is no guarantee of success in the long term.

TiVo won't be in business long if their decision makers think like you do. They have a great product but they won't survive if they don't keep improving it. This is going to be a very competitive market space.


if they don't keep improving it? you are kidding, right? they already have season passes, wishlists, tuned suggestions and suggestion based recording, things no one else has. They also on SA (and presumably eventually DirecTV boxes) have HMO which allows for organization of your shows, transferring your shows between units, and web based scheduling. They have upcoming the ability to transfer shows to your computer, watching on your computer, and recoding to DVD-R.. They have stand alone DVD recorders with the system and service built in. They now offer a basic service on SAs and soon on DirecTV boxes as well with no monthly fee...

and you are saying they don't innovate because the guide you want to use is slow? wow.. just wow...

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avNeophyte is offline Old Post 05-14-2004 12:15 AM
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GG - I have no idea if your theory is correct or not but it certainly sounds logical. Even if it is true, there is still no reason why they couldn't/shouldn't keep the short term guide info cached in memory (or somewhere) for quick access.

quote:
Originally posted by GreyGhost00
How much guide data does the Tivo keep as opposed to regular non-DVR STBs? Obviously the slowness of the guide is a function of this to some extent - the more data that must be indexed and sorted, then the longer it's going to take to render on screen. Correct? Also, is there an issue with disk access or some other bottleneck? Keep in mind that the unit is already laying down two streams to the HD concurrently. Accessing the guide data is yet another process requesting disk access. What's the RPM of the drive in the HR10-250?
Perhaps someone with further knowledge can enlighten me.

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avNeophyte is offline Old Post 05-14-2004 12:23 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by borghe
Now press ffwd to go ahead a half hour. again for another half hour. page down and see the next block for that half hour. rwd to go back half an hour.

so there you go... viewing hours in advance on a large block of channels..



That's the crux of our complaint. You can't see all of this information on the screen at one time.

There is a lot of real estate on a hi-def screen. I'm just suggesting that they could make better use of it.

And yes, I agree that the TiVo guide is superior when scanning futher forward in time.

Unfortunately, I'm a channel surfer and I like to quickly and efficiently browse what is on now and in the short term. I can't do that with either guide on the TiVo. If I had never had that feature I wouldn't miss it but I have had it (and used it a lot) and I do miss it.

I'm also not suggesting that the TiVo isn't a great product. It is. I just paid a lot of money for one and I'm happy I did. But just because it is a great product doesn't mean it can't and shouldn't be improved.

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dropper is offline Old Post 05-14-2004 12:25 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by borghe
lol... I love it.. Tivo has been leading the way in DVRs since they created the industry, and now people are saying they better start innovating?

this thread is officially dead...


Have they really been leading the way. I know UltimateTV's aren't perfect, but I have never read the complaints, user interface wise that I have heard about the TiVo's. TiVo's have no PIP, no picture in guide, no caller ID (without hacks), slow grids and no screen saver.

What has TiVo done the has been really innovative over there original product? If you are talking about HMO and folders and such, okay, but it seems like many people are DirecTiVo and have no access to such things. I would really like to know what the reason DirecTV keeps the folder thing on hold? They didn't have a problem with allowing it for UTV's.

It's just a shame that Microsoft pulled out of the market. It's only real limiting factor was the HD size barrier, but it was really easy to get the units up to 105 hours.

Memory is relatively cheap, so why didn't they bump up the memory on these new TiVo's? How much memory could it really take? Non-TiVo STB's don't seem to have a problem with the grid guide.

I have fears that if only 1 supplier makes anything, they will have no incentive to innovate. These cable box PVR's aren't helping either. They are lowering the bar. If people are willing to use those POS, then DirecTV will see it as a cost savings and come out with there own POS.

Keith

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mchaney is offline Old Post 05-14-2004 12:31 AM
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mchaney
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quote:
Originally posted by borghe
I don't how the Tivo guide shows much less information. As for searching a quick block of channels, between the Tivo list and ffwd and rwd, there is most definitely a quick way...

like I said before, the only thing you lose on the Tivo guide is the icons (DD, CC, LBX, HD, etc) and the genre color designations. If this isn't true, I would like to hear what else.. but please be specific, not just "You lose a lot more". Because besides the logos and colors, I don't see what else you lose on the Tivo guide.



I can be as specific as you like. First of all, the D* guide lists 8 channels over three time slots (for example, 2:00pm, 2:30pm, and 3:00pm) giving up to 24 entries on the grid. The Tivo list gives you 16: 8 currently playing shows and 8 upcoming shows on the current channel. That's 16 entries versus 24. The D* guide also has the icons (of which the HD is the most useful) so that's even more information that is missing on the Tivo guide.

Now, I don't know how you could argue that there is more data on the Tivo list but let's just say you can. Even then, there are major drawbacks with the Tivo list guide. My two biggest complaints about the Tivo guide are:

(1) First, it is much easier to know what programs start and end at what times by looking at a visual timeline representation like that of the D* guide. It's simply faster to know what is coming on and going off at what times looking at it visually.

(2) Second, the D* guide allows you to see what is on in the next three 30 minute time slots at one time without scrolling to try to figure it out. It's all there on the screen. When you are looking at a listing of ABC, NBC, and CBS stations at 9:00pm, the only way you are going to know that 20/20 is on ABC at 10:00pm is to manually scroll down to the ABC station and then you'll see it. You'll catch it in a glance looking at the D* grid without having to (slowly I might add) scroll to each station to find out what is on after the current show.

The above are the reasons that I'll put up with a slow D* grid rather than use something where I have to scroll to every channel manually in order to see what is in the next time slot.

I almost always want to know what is coming on next (like in the next 30 minutes to an hour) in order to see if anything new is coming on that the Tivo might have missed. This is much easier to do in the D* guide. Look at it this way. The Tivo guide is heavily biased on showing you a single channel's information. The Tivo guide goes hours out into the future on a single channel but leaves the other displayed channels behind. You get seven channels showing only the currently playing show and too much on the eighth channel. The D* guide spreads the data out better so that rather than giving almost all the data to one channel, you can see more data over all 8 displayed channels. To me, that's much more useful than knowing what is coming on 7 hours from now on the current channel.

And... the Rew/FF buttons do help but only in a very minor way. You still can't visually see when programs start and end so if you are looking for shows that are starting soon to catch them from the beginning, there's no easy way to tell when you FF whether you are looking at shows that already started and are carried over from the previous time slot, are just starting, etc. You waste a lot of time trying to read numbers when all that can be done visually on the D* grid.

Mike

Last edited by mchaney on 05-14-2004 at 12:42 AM

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borghe is offline Old Post 05-14-2004 12:40 AM
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borghe
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ok, I won't get all surly anymore, I will just describe how I channel surf..

if I just want to watch something, I will page down and see if anything is on right now. if it is within 10 minutes of the next half hour I will go ahead to the next timeslot (if it isn't there in 10 minutes I don't want to catch the last 10 minutes of it). For me, knowing what is on beyond the next 40 minutes isn't channel surfing, now you are bordering on "planning" your TV.. and in planning what I am going to watch, I would rather flip to Now Showing than wait 1.5 hours for it to come on....

other channel surfing I do is with Wishlists.. I have category wishlists setup for most movie categories.. I go to the wishlist, select the genre (western, horror, comedy), and page down and see what's currently on (almost always something doing it this way) and seeing what is coming up.

I guess my main thing is you guys are screaming saying it's worse... Well, to be honest I don't remember using a directv grid guide regularly (you'll have to forgive me, it was in early '01), but what I do know is that I wouldn't trade my Tivo guide for the world.. I used a grid guide for occasional viewing on my E86 and at the in-law's for cable, and I just think to myself, uggghh... how slow and cumbersome (their guide is around as fast as my E86).

I am just asking you to take a little more of a look at the Tivo guide.. play around with it more. Play around with withlists (from the menu) or filters (while on the Tivo guide hit the Info button).

After having the Tivo guide for over 3 years now, I would never in a million years go back to the grid guide.. Everyone has their own preference to be sure, I just find it weird that something I love so much others think it is absolutely awful.

one thing I think has happened from what it is sounding like though is that my definition of channel surfing has changed from yours. I used to agree.. channel surfing was flipping through and seeing what is on or what's going to be on in the near future... now channel surfing to me is seeing what's going to be on in the WAAAY future.. My horror wishlist returned 229 results in the next 12 days... some were late night creature features on a local station (cheesy presenter and all), some were Mystery channel latenight Hammer flicks, etc.. now THAT'S channel surfing.. I always have new stuff sitting in my Now Playing list.. I can honestly say after just having my unit for 6 days, the recorded suggestions are already spot on 75% of the time, my actual passes and wishlists have the rest of my Now Playing loaded, and I have more shows recorded than I possibly have time to watch..

just give it time before decalring a stinker.. between learning to quickly use the Tivo guide as well as how you watch TV slowly changing (it will, trust me), I just think you are reacting really strongly to something that might not be so big..

as for speed compared to other tivos, well, all I have are series 1's (a hughes and a sony) and this thing is like lightning compared to those.. granted both have 120GB in them, but my wife actually chuckled at how fast the tivo guide and recordings were.. so unless the series 2 boxes were light years faster than the series 1 boxes, I have a hard time believing this thing is significantly slower than other series 2's (it is the exact same hardware after all with more memory and essentially the same software).

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Geof in CO is offline Old Post 05-14-2004 12:42 AM
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Geof in CO
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Well for one thing with the DirecTv grid you can get the next 1.5 to 2 hours of programming on each channel. That shows a lot more info that the next 1/2 on every channel except the one that is highlighted.

With the TiVo you only see whats on now or in the next half hour. Sometimes I like to pick programs that end before (or right at) my bedtime. Finding that with the TiVo guide is more work: Seeing what's on each channel for the next 1.5 hours is more work with the TiVo guide. If you want to see all programs that are on a particular station then the TiVo guide excels. But the only efficient way (that is if the guide were faster) to see the programming for the next 1.5 to 2 hours on every channel is to use the DirecTv guide. Sorry but I don't want to have to keep hitting the button to see what's on every channel for the 1.5 hours (and then pushing the buttons even more to get a program description).

BTW, even the TiVo guide is unacceptably slow.

FYI: With the E86 if you highlighted the channel logo (instead of a time slot) it would show the next six programs on that channel (similar to the Tivo List Guide). And the E86 guide draws to the screen in a second (or less).

I do not clearly recall off hand but I don't remember DD or LB or HD info showing up in the TiVo guide unless you have the program highlighted. With the D* guide the LB, DD, HD logos are plainly visible even if the program is not highlighted.

Speeding these guides up does NOT negatively affect anyone - but to those of us who do use the guides the slowness is a major PITA and big time mistake (IMO).

-----

btwyx,

Yes I see your point but the Now playing list only includes what you've set up to record (or TiVo suggestions). At one point you had to figure that out in advance. I don't want to sit down and scroll thru the guide looking at every program on every channel for every moment in time to decide what to record. Certainly there are some programs I always want it to record. But, for example, I did not set it to record Battle of the Bulge the other night and I found that only by wading thru the guide, so I watched that live while the other TiVo tuner was recording some commercial ridden program.

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Last edited by Geof in CO on 05-14-2004 at 01:01 AM

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Geof in CO is offline Old Post 05-14-2004 12:47 AM
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Geof in CO
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Right on target mchaney.

borghe,

No one is saying your way is wrong....but lets face it, we each have our preferences. Like I said earlier, I wish I had quick access to both guides. And I don't think anyone is saying the Tivo is a stinker. I do think we're saying it could use some significant improvement regarding Guide speed...personally if I thought this thing was a stinker it would be gone by now.

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Last edited by Geof in CO on 05-14-2004 at 12:53 AM

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