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>>> TiVo starts recording before changing channel -- result is X-rated video for children <<<

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Old Post 12-04-2001 10:36 AM
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gizmoaddict
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As a fellow parent, I think you are seriously underestimating the resolve of your kid! YOU are the one that has allowed the programing into the kid's environment. Why does it make ANY difference whether the kid sees HBO from TIVO or straight from HBO. If the kid knows how to find a show in the Now Playing list, he or she CERTAINLY knows how to find (or stumble onto) HBO while just changing the channels that YOU have subscribed to. It's a parent issue, not a TIVO issue.

Best regards,

Gizo Addict

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dgh is offline Old Post 12-04-2001 11:05 AM
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Actually, TiVo does have parental controls that allows passwords on channels and viewing shows with selected ratings. You're right though that a parent had better set similar controls on the satellite box/cable box or lock up the cable box remote because kids can figure out how to bypass TiVo.

As I remember, parental controls was added for DirecTiVo (where they are not easy to bypass) and SA users inherited them because TiVo wanted to keep the code equivalent on all platforms. SA users should be careful about developing a false sense of security.


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HTH is offline Old Post 12-04-2001 11:01 PM
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HTH
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quote:
Originally posted by MighTiVo:
Also can you please provide specifics regarding the external influences that can cause a delay of sending IR commands ranging from 1 sec to 20 MINUTES!


In my specific situation, I had those IR pyramids from Radio Shack. Someone else in my building apparently got one of those video senders. So when my TiVo went to record Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the air was filled with RF from their video sender, interfering with my RF-receiving IR-transmitting pyramid, causing it to emit unwanted IR.

28 minutes later, they apparently turned off their video sender. This stopped the extraneous IR, and the TiVo was no longer blinded and could transmit. The channel changed 28 minutes late. My TiVo happily recorded 28 minutes of the wrong channel, then the cast reading the closing credits of the show in a style of the host's choosing.

The IR circuitry has only a single bus for two-way communication. It doesn't have separate Rx and Tx lines. As long as IR is being received, IR cannot be transmitted. As long as IR is transmitted, IR cannot be received. It's first come, first served, even if the IR received is garbage data. If either side monopolizes the bus, the other is blocked.

(Apparently my corresponding remote interference to their sender during prime time was more immediately annoying to them and they ceased using theirs. Meanwhile, I repositioned my equipment such that I can now detect when such interference is occuring and can adjust for it.)

The TiVo does wait to start recording until after it has placed the last digit in the transmit queue. The time that digit is actually transmitted is sigificantly later.

This is not new to 2.5.1. We went over this when 2.0.1 was released as well.

Perhaps you should address your concerns toward HBO if they're airing movies with nudity in morning cartoon hours. I haven't had HBO in a long time, but I seem to remember that they never showed movies that included nudity until the evening.

And just to make it clear, no, I don't work for TiVo.

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Timor non suffocabit res novas.

[This message has been edited by HTH (edited 12-04-2001).]

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mschwab is offline Old Post 12-04-2001 11:28 PM
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mschwab
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quote:
Originally posted by MighTiVo:
I can not imagine any circumstance where the change to start recording AFTER IR is sent . . would . . . adversely effect TiVo customers.


I can! With the unreliability of IR control over my Dish receivers, I often use the comforting appearance of the 3 digits at the beginning of my recordings as a first indication that the channel change was successful. Or, if I skip in and what's recorded doesn't seem right, I skip back to the beginning to see the channel change as a diagnosis aid. This let's me quickly see which shows didn't get recorded, so I can delete it (and hope my backup TiVo got it successfully!).

I'm not saying that parents don't have a legitimate problem with this, I'm just answering your statement that you can't imagine why anyone would like seeing the channel change.

I don't have kids, but I have been embarrased by the flash of a nude scene when the in-laws are over to watch something. Otherwise, I consider it a bonus!

Setting up a MR at 6AM one time (with KAM=1) and then forgetting about doesn't seem like an onerous workaround. Most nude scenes don't come up during the day, so this should greatly reduce the chances of this occuring (which were already pretty low).

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HTH is offline Old Post 12-04-2001 11:28 PM
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HTH
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quote:
Originally posted by dgh:
Actually, TiVo does have parental controls that allows passwords on channels and viewing shows with selected ratings. You're right though that a parent had better set similar controls on the satellite box/cable box or lock up the cable box remote because kids can figure out how to bypass TiVo.


And that they don't go to the store and buy a univeral remote. And that they don't have any hacker friends who have sound samples on their computers that they can send through their laptop's headphone jacks into the IR blaster cable to control a cable box locked inside an opaque cabinet to change to whatever channel they want.

If you want total control, you must exert draconian control: enable parental controls on the cable/sat box, and never record any mature or adult programming for yourself (nor enable suggestions) until the kids leave for college.

Or just relax and let them learn human physiology on their own. I had HBO in my bedroom in high school and I turned out fine.

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Timor non suffocabit res novas.

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CoosCoos is offline Old Post 12-05-2001 03:30 AM
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No offense, HTH, but I don't think we can use your 28-minute experience as a plausible scenario in this debate.

And I think some of you, especially Otto -- yeah YOU, buddy! -- are missing the point on this whole thing. This issue should NOT be about channel changes being missed, and TiVo recording an entire hour of adult material under the mistaken title of "Blues Clues".

The issue is about recording a few seconds of material on the channel the cable box was on prior to changing the channel.

The facts are:

1) TiVo knows if you have a cable box or not.

2) TiVo knows what your IR speed setting is.

SO either have TiVo delay recording based on the speed setting (i.e. 1 second for fast, 2 for medium, 3 for slow), or allow for a user adjustable time - say between 1 and 10 seconds - that is only used if you have a cable box. This is an easy software fix -- just not a high priority.

The default, of course, should be no delay whatsoever, to make allowances for those who do not have a cable box.

Will a daily manual recording on a 'safe' channel work around this? Yes.

Will using parental controls help? Yes.

Will being open and honest with children about sex also help? Yes. *shudder*

Should TiVo look into this as a way to continually improve their product and make it more "family friendly"? YES.

(Should they work on this before "batch save to VCR"? NO!)

And whoever it was that was using the first few seconds of a recording to verify whether or not the channel changed correctly . . . well, you're missing too many channel changes and need to fix that -- mess with the codes, build a fort, move to the Bermuda Triangle, or whatever . . .


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mschwab is offline Old Post 12-05-2001 03:50 AM
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mschwab
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Exclamation

quote:
Originally posted by CoosCoos:
And whoever it was that was using the first few seconds of a recording to verify whether or not the channel changed correctly . . . well, you're missing too many channel changes and need to fix that -- mess with the codes, build a fort, move to the Bermuda Triangle, or whatever . . .


That was me, and I wrote the FAQ on this stuff, remember!

I used to have forts, then I disabled the built-in IR blasters, and messed with different configurations ad-nauseum for over 2 years now! And the best I can do is 95-98% success. Missing one Buffy a year is not acceptable in this house, so I schedule the Buffster to record on two different TiVos.

The bottom line is that IR sucks as a reliable remote control mechanism, but that's all we Dish and cable users have. Some people say they get 100% with IR with every possible configuration (even just using the built-in). If that's really true, I guess they are just lucky and I'm not!

BTW, those who keep saying this is a cable box problem only are forgetting the Dish users!

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Will Cunningham is offline Old Post 12-05-2001 04:00 AM
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Wink

mschwab, I had to laugh when I read your post. I totally agree that missing any Buffy is not acceptable. I even just made plans to get one of my back-up TiVo' to record it also to prevent the unthinkable. The part that really cracked me up is that I have missed exactly 1 Buffy each year since getting my TiVo.

The first incident was due to lack of season pass manager feature and I got stuck with "That 70's Show" instead of Buffy. The latest involved setting my Season pass to "Keep at Most" 5 episodes while also setting it to "Save Until I Delete".

TiVo has addressed both issues with later releases (2.5 gives warning when trying to setup that kind of season pass now). That said I still don't quite trust TiVo with a show as important as Buffy. lol. I have 2 TiVo's grabbing it and plan to add a VCR to the mix "Just in Case". hehe.

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dgh is offline Old Post 12-05-2001 04:25 AM
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dgh
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quote:
Originally posted by HTH:
In my specific situation, I had those IR pyramids from Radio Shack. Someone else in my building apparently got one of those video senders. So when my TiVo went to record Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the air was filled with RF from their video sender, interfering with my RF-receiving IR-transmitting pyramid, causing it to emit unwanted IR.

28 minutes later, they apparently turned off their video sender. This stopped the extraneous IR, and the TiVo was no longer blinded and could transmit.



Aw come on that's cheating

This is not a TiVo issue. You're routing TiVo through some additional device and that device had a problem. It's not an IR problem because the problem was RF. TiVo was probably completely unaware of this but apparently those blocks knew enough to keep the last command queued up until the interference went away.

I mean I could cheat by putting another video buffer in between the cable box and TiVo and due to the delay it caused, you'd get hours of wrong stuff recorded but you can't blame TiVo for some extra hardware you've inserted.

Of course, this just made me realize that smart kids will go to the family room in the middle of the night and put a piece of tape over the cable box when it's recording mommy and daddy's porn so their cartoons will come off the same channel

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MighTiVo is offline Old Post 12-05-2001 04:56 AM
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MighTiVo
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quote:
Originally posted by HTH:
In my specific situation, I had those IR pyramids from Radio Shack. Someone else in my building apparently got one of those video senders. So when my TiVo went to record Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the air was filled with RF from their video sender, interfering with my RF-receiving IR-transmitting pyramid, causing it to emit unwanted IR.



Thanks, interesting story..

quote:
Originally posted by HTH:
The TiVo does wait to start recording until after it has placed the last digit in the transmit queue. The time that digit is actually transmitted is sigificantly later.



I do not believe this.

I think TiVo decides to record and starts two threads 1 blanks the screen and then records, the other starts sending the channel change. The screen blank and recording thread are blind to the type of connection Serial, or IR and the IR speed.

This is what I think should be corrected.
The simplist automactic method would be an internal variable blank time calculated by the type and speed of control connection. Another more robust method would be to have interprocess communication for recording to start.

There are certainly others and there are certainly detail of this description, perhaps all of it, that are incorrect as I am on the outside looking in. But based on how the system works and discussions with TiVo this seems to be what happens.

TiVo could certainly clear this up with a developer presence here.

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HTH is offline Old Post 12-05-2001 05:22 AM
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HTH
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quote:
Originally posted by dgh:
This is not a TiVo issue. You're routing TiVo through some additional device and that device had a problem.


No, the TiVo was not being routed through anything. The only interaction was between an IR source and the TiVo. For me, the IR source was a remote control sending pyramid. It could have easily been a child playing with a IR controlled Cyber Spider or other IR controlled toy. It has been reported by others that constant use of their own TiVo remote during a channel change causes delays in the application of channel changes (imagine someone holding down Fwd to frame through a show slower than Slow allows). It could even be sunlight striking the TiVo's eye.

Regardless how contrived you think the example is, it still shows that the delay between when TiVo may think a channel change has occurred and when it actually occurs can be significant, even if only a single second, because a delay of 28 minutes (and more!) can be forced.

quote:
TiVo was probably completely unaware of this but apparently those blocks knew enough to keep the last command queued up until the interference went away.


...and they don't communicate back their successful completion.

quote:
Of course, this just made me realize that smart kids will go to the family room in the middle of the night and put a piece of tape over the cable box when it's recording mommy and daddy's porn so their cartoons will come off the same channel


Now that is an interesting workaround. I hadn't thought about that: make the TiVo change the channel to the adult channel, disconnect the IR Blaster, change to a safe channel, and child has access to adult material. Child doesn't even need permission inside the TiVo software to change to the channel.

Alternate solution: get a V-chipped TV. I haven't tested this, but such a TV could theoretically block even the brief second of nudity from another channel at the start of the recording, if the rating is omnipresent in the signal.

It might be foiled though if the user frames back or hits pause at just the right time.

"Securing and Circumventing" is such a fun game, isn't it? Much more fun than "Snakes and Ladders".
How much would a V-chip license push up the cost per unit? Remember, it's not just cost of materials; there's the cost of redesigning the hardware to incorporate the materials to recoup as well, in man-hours and wages.

Better to have a secured adult TiVo and a safe children's TiVo that doesn't receive any adult programming at all.

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Timor non suffocabit res novas.

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controlio is offline Old Post 12-05-2001 05:41 AM
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Wow, I can't believe I didn't think of that.

Yes, V-Chips in your TV (or a separate breakout box) are the answer. XDS is the only reliable way to not have an R or NC-17 movie displayed to your kids for the first few seconds. This WILL work no matter what, even with the IR-taping scenerio a few posts back, because TiVo now (with 2.0.1 and higher IIRC) passes all XDS signals through.

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[This message has been edited by controlio (edited 12-04-2001).]

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dgh is offline Old Post 12-05-2001 05:45 AM
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dgh
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quote:
Originally posted by HTH:
The only interaction was between an IR source and the TiVo. For me, the IR source was a remote control sending pyramid. It could have easily been a child playing with a IR controlled Cyber Spider or other IR controlled toy. It has been reported by others that constant use of their own TiVo remote during a channel change causes delays in the application of channel changes (imagine someone holding down Fwd to frame through a show slower than Slow allows). It could even be sunlight striking the TiVo's eye.



But it sounds to me like you're saying that TiVo knows - ie TiVo waits for the appropriate time and then sends. In your earlier message I assumed you had knowledge of TiVo's IR design and knew that the hardware had no way of reporting status. That's why I suggested spanking the HW designer.

However, now it sounds like there is no knowledge of where the communication gap is. (Right?) It may be software or hardware but the point is, you're saying TiVo knows (at some place inside the TiVo box) that it is waiting to send the IR. Therefore assuming the HW and SW is all designed with this in mind, there's no reason the recording task can't know when the IR actually got sent.

Without seeing any internals, I would guess that the hardware reports status but the software isn't looking or at least not waiting. In my experience most HW designers are too smart to create write-only hardware because they know it drives the SW guys nuts. On the other hand, the SW guys often don't get around to making full use of the status information until "the next release".


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controlio is offline Old Post 12-05-2001 08:42 AM
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Oy, I hate people that speculate.

The IR port/blaster is a DUMB interface. It is write ONLY. The delay feature is simple... oversimplifying it, the TiVo writes the following to IR:

40bf1ae0 (maybe a "1")
wait 100ms (depending on the speed you selected)
40bf1ee0 (maybe a "2")
wait 100ms (depending on the speed you selected)
40bf1ce0 (maybe an "enter")

The TiVo isn't waiting for the IR driver to say "Ok, I sent the first digit, now what?" It simply dumps the entire channel changing command into the IR, and when the IR gets around to it, it sends the commands out. That's what HTH meant when he said it works using a buffer. It's like pouring water into a funnel... excess water collects at the top of the funnel until it has enough time to travel down the hole at the bottom. There can be no checks to see when everything is "done".

In the "interference" example given above, TiVo's IR receiver is being saturated with junk commands that it is trying to decipher as quickly as possible. Think of this as water being pushed back up into your funnel. Only when the junk decoding stops is there enough time to issue the command. Again, all of the above is an oversimplification, but is pretty much how things go (unless I missed something?).

Understand now?

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[This message has been edited by controlio (edited 12-04-2001).]

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CoosCoos is offline Old Post 12-05-2001 10:07 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by controlio:
The IR port/blaster is a DUMB interface.

Understand now?



I don't see why people are hung up on what the IR interface is doing. That isn't the point! Who cares about 'verifying' the channel change? That can't be done, and IR has nothing to do with this except to let us know the maximum amount of time the TiVo expects to take to finish the IR send.

For instance, I have my digital cable box on the "slow" setting because anything faster starts missing digits. On this slow setting the IR blaster waits roughly a second between each digit. Whether that's three different IR blasts with a second in-between, or one IR blast I don't really care.

But because the TiVo knows I'm using "slow" it should do the following:

1) Send the IR command to change channels
2) If the IR speed is "slow", wait three seconds.
3) Start recording.

It's that simple. No verification necessary. No IR talk back and forth. Now if that Step 2 was user adjustable, even better. Default it to zero, but let people change it up and down. If they use "medium" speed, make it 2 seconds automatically. If they used "fast", set it to 1 second.

Now, is that so hard to understand?


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badcrc is offline Old Post 12-05-2001 11:11 AM
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badcrc
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CoosCoos you're my hero, I thought this was already clear but apparently people just can't understand a simple thing. Threads like this make me want to pull my hair out .

Also if you can't debug your channel changing enough in the IR setup tivo gives you for that purpose, you've got a problem. I've found the IR to be very reliable on several different setups, cable & directv, (no Dish), and I never had a problem getting the IR to work well using just the IR setup menu. I never had to look at a recording to see what channel it changed to, and even if tivo did change to a wrong channel you should be able to tell that from watching the recording if its that important to you.

Bottom line, seeing a few seconds of the previous channel including channel change is not necessary, and even though I don't have kids, I wouldn't want my nieces or nephews watching the simpsons on my tivo and seeing some nude scene before it. This should have been fixed in 2.0.


[This message has been edited by badcrc (edited 12-05-2001).]

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dgh is offline Old Post 12-05-2001 12:30 PM
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dgh
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quote:
Originally posted by controlio:
Oy, I hate people that speculate.


Why? I'd say speculation is one of the foundations of our economy and of scientific and engineering progress. Not to mention that fact that it finally induced someone to provide a description of how crude this bit of TiVo hardware is.

quote:
Originally posted by controlio:
Understand now?


Yes. Thank you. From your first post in this thread, I couldn't even tell whether you knew what you were talking about. This one was vastly better.

Like I said before, spank the guy who designed that (assuming it was designed within the last 20 years) and get on with a more up-to-date design.


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dgh is offline Old Post 12-05-2001 12:41 PM
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dgh
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quote:
Originally posted by controlio:
40bf1ae0 (maybe a "1")
wait 100ms (depending on the speed you selected)
40bf1ee0 (maybe a "2")
wait 100ms (depending on the speed you selected)
40bf1ce0 (maybe an "enter")



Just to make sure I understand, you're saying that in HTH's case, the "1" went into the queue, then when the "2" arrived 100ms later, the IR interface didn't just queue the 2 but also queued the fact that the "2" arrived 100ms later. There's actually a time-aware interface on the queue?

Then 28 minutes later it finally emitted the "1", waited the 100 ms. sent the "2" etc. ????

Or did it just emit "12ENTER" 28 minutes later with no delays? (In which case I assume it didn't work.)


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Dave Hicks
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[This message has been edited by dgh (edited 12-05-2001).]

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MighTiVo is offline Old Post 12-05-2001 01:45 PM
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MighTiVo
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Well I tried and tried to repeat the IR interference causes sending delay and couldn't do it. Oh well.
Regardless this is only one cause, perhaps a very rare cause, and one that TiVo certainly can't do anything about.

They can however do something about the known delay of IR sending that is part of how TiVo operates.

I too have dish and I disagree that seeing the channel numbers input is a positive thing. If TiVo started recording after it sent the IR, you should see the Sat banner with the show title and the channel number which would let you know you got the right one. You can't do anything if it drops the first digit instead of the second, so why record that information?

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pauly666 is offline Old Post 12-05-2001 02:53 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by controlio:
Wow, I can't believe I didn't think of that.

Yes, V-Chips in your TV (or a separate breakout box) are the answer. XDS is the only reliable way to not have an R or NC-17 movie displayed to your kids for the first few seconds. This WILL work no matter what, even with the IR-taping scenerio a few posts back, because TiVo now (with 2.0.1 and higher IIRC) passes all XDS signals through.





One problem - the update rate of Content Advisory information (V-Chip) in the XDS protocol is "within 5 seconds of the last" according to the spec (EIA-608B). You may not have a valid input for a while, which means you'll still see the offending video.

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>>> TiVo starts recording before changing channel -- result is X-rated video for children <<<

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