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>>> Update on Thumbs/TiVo Suggestions Issue <<<

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TiVoBill is offline Old Post 05-19-2004 11:13 PM
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TiVoBill
Advanced Member

Registered: Jun 2002
Location: Alviso, CA
Posts: 888

Just an update..

I've been traveling on business so I havn't had a chance to chime in for awhile.

We have tested and verified that the fix to the issue of thumbs disappearing due to a change made the program title/information is working correctly. At this point, Suggestions are working the same way they did before the issue. That's not to say that an individual DVR might have strange Suggestions since that happens on occasion for reasons unrelated the issue that we fixed (search the forum for ideas on getting better Suggestions in general). My best advice is to give THUMBS UP to programs that you like since that will enable to Suggestions engine to best predict that you might be interested in. Be careful when using THUMBS DOWN since you can easily kill off a lot of related programs and end up with nothing.

We are tracking a separate issue right now related to the dwindling list of Suggestions. We believe that also is an existing issue (I remember that happening when I answered support calls back in 1999). We do however want to track it down if we can. Can anybody seeing an issue with a dwindling/empty Suggestions list (and only that issue for now) please send me a PM with their name and TiVo Service Number so that we can take a look at a couple of cases?

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Project Manager
TiVo Customer Support

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DaveLessnau is offline Old Post 05-20-2004 02:11 AM
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DaveLessnau
Love My TiVo!

Registered: Nov 2000
Location: Niceville, FL
Posts: 1100

I've got no problem with my Suggestion list, but as of a few minutes ago, I noticed that my two Thumbs Up rating on Green Acres was missing.

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bbwebb is offline Old Post 05-20-2004 06:21 AM
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bbwebb
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It's disappointing to hear that Tivo is saying that there is no problem. Based on the number of people that have chimed in it appears to me that the problem persists. My suggestions have been totally useless for 2 months now. What was once a feature that was used frequently in my home it is now essentially useless.

Bill
Tivo customer since March 2000

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pninen is offline Old Post 05-20-2004 10:43 AM
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pninen
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location:
Posts: 21

Indeed. I certainly had the problem for several weeks, ending yesterday ONLY AFTER I reset thumbs, rebooted, and had the TiVo call.

I originally had (for several weeks) totally random suggestions, followed by a week of no suggestions whatsoever.

The problem was certainly not fixed when TiVoBill claimed it was.

Other folk likely still have the problem, while TiVo is denying it.

I sent a long email to TiVo via their web site explaining the details. I got a reply that said I didn't provide enough detail (which is just nuts). As long as they are discarding reports such as this, they will never fix bugs in their software.

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MaryT is offline Old Post 05-21-2004 06:49 PM
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MaryT
Member

Registered: Dec 2001
Location: NJ
Posts: 147

quote:
Originally posted by TiVoBill
Just an update..

We are tracking a separate issue right now related to the dwindling list of Suggestions. We believe that also is an existing issue (I remember that happening when I answered support calls back in 1999). We do however want to track it down if we can. Can anybody seeing an issue with a dwindling/empty Suggestions list (and only that issue for now) please send me a PM with their name and TiVo Service Number so that we can take a look at a couple of cases?


TivoBill, the last time this happened that I can recall is when Tivo added the "yellow ball" feature in suggestions back in either the summer of 2001 or 2002.

While we were able to see which suggestions were about to be recorded, the suggestion list stopped regenerating itself and the "feature" was quickly removed with the next update.

I have now sent Tivo my service # TWICE. I'm more than happy to do anything I can to assist getting this fixed. This is the second time in my 4 year history with Tivo that suggestions have become useless.

After the last fix the list became normal again (no religious programming or cartoons) - but then again, after about a week of not adding any new thumbs via recording new programming, the list disappears.

Mary

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TiVoBill is offline Old Post 05-25-2004 05:26 AM
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TiVoBill
Advanced Member

Registered: Jun 2002
Location: Alviso, CA
Posts: 888

A quick update on the "dwindling/no" Suggestions issue.

I received Private Messages from 4 customers who had seen this particular symptom sometime over the last few months (thanks to those of you who wrote!). The person investigating that issue internally is wondering if we can gather some more data. Specifically:

- When did Suggestions begin to dwindle?
- Have you performed either a "Clear program information & To Do List" or "Reset Thumb Ratings & Suggestions" before or since they began to dwindle?
- Have you added any THUMBS to programs since the dwindling issue began?
- Would you be willing to let us turn on diagnostic logging so that we can look at the logs to see if there is anything unusual there?

If those of you who have already contacted me, or new people who are seeing this issue currently, could send me a PM with answers to those questions (and your TiVo service number if you didn't send it already), I can pass the info on to the person investigating. Thanks!

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Bill Dailey
Project Manager
TiVo Customer Support

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pninen is offline Old Post 05-25-2004 03:09 PM
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pninen
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Registered: Jun 2003
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Dear TiVo Bill,

You sound as if you believe this to be a problem you guys didn't know you have. If so, how do you explain the fact that there's a FAQ item on the tivo web site which explains that user should turn off suggestions, power cycle, turn on suggestions and power cycle again? That would seem to be a workaround for a known software bug.

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MaryT is offline Old Post 05-25-2004 08:06 PM
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MaryT
Member

Registered: Dec 2001
Location: NJ
Posts: 147

Thanks TivoBill. I just sent you a PM.

Mary

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TiVoBill is offline Old Post 05-25-2004 08:47 PM
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TiVoBill
Advanced Member

Registered: Jun 2002
Location: Alviso, CA
Posts: 888

quote:
Originally posted by pninen
Dear TiVo Bill,

You sound as if you believe this to be a problem you guys didn't know you have. If so, how do you explain the fact that there's a FAQ item on the tivo web site which explains that user should turn off suggestions, power cycle, turn on suggestions and power cycle again? That would seem to be a workaround for a known software bug.



Issues with Suggestions can generally be fixed with a powercycle as mentioned in the FAQ. The reports we have seen in this thread indicate that a powercycle didn't fix this particular issue though, so we want to see if there is a new issue.

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Project Manager
TiVo Customer Support

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pninen is offline Old Post 05-26-2004 01:06 PM
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pninen
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location:
Posts: 21

Well if there's a known bug where suggestions get messed up and require what you call a "powercycle" (which is really 4 steps, not just a powercycle), then you should be fixing that. It indicates that there's something wrong.

You shouldn't just tell people to powercycle.

Seems to me that you don't need extra new symptoms. You need to fix the ones you already know about.

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pninen is offline Old Post 05-29-2004 12:38 PM
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pninen
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I thought I had overcome the "stupid suggestions" problem. After resetting thumbs, doing the suggestion powercycle, etc, then waiting two days, suggestions started again, and they made sense for awhile.

But within a week, my TiVo is back to making stupid suggestions. It is suggesting multiple spanish language programs for example. I don't speak spanish, and have never watched a spanish language program. It suggested a program on quilting. I've never watched anything even distantly related.

This is different than the way it used to behave. It used to record programs that were related to things I watch.

Now I've got to decide whether I should go thru all that resetting again.

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lajohn27 is offline Old Post 05-29-2004 08:05 PM
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lajohn27
TiVo Freek

Registered: Dec 2003
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Huh?

Pninen:

I don't understand why don't you take TIVOBill up on his offer to turn on diagnostic logging for affected units like yours so .. instead of resetting and all that.. your unit could potentially feed data to the TIVO Engineers to help fix the problem?

Read back a few messages for details on what information you need to private message to TIVOBill ...

John

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jheydt is offline Old Post 05-31-2004 09:05 PM
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jheydt
Member

Registered: Dec 2001
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 53

A couple of days ago I checked the suggestions and found only 4 suggestions. I was not aware that there were problems until I read this thread. Today I went down to check the suggestions out and I had 15 screens of suggestions (more than I have seen before). We don't really use the thumbs very much but occasionally I find a gem on the suggestions list. I have an 80 hr. SA version 2 tivo and I realize that the number of suggestions is related to the number of programs on the now playing list and how much space is left on the hard drive. However, I have never had 15 pages of suggestions. I'd rather have 15 pages of suggestions instead of 4 suggestions.

John

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wug is offline Old Post 06-01-2004 03:57 AM
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wug
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Registered: Feb 2004
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I've already PMed Bill about lack of suggestions, but I thought I'd add more. I've had slightly more potential suggestions listed the past couple of days, but we're talking 8-10 at a time instead of 4-6. Not many more. And now there's the problem that many people (including me) had a couple of months ago, where most of the suggestions are way off. In fact, my TiVo hardly records any suggestions for me that aren't children's programming. I never watch or record children's programming, and I've even thumbed down a couple of things in the genre. From my perspective, it looks like whatever was happening to screw up suggestions is broken again. I'm going to just reset thumbs in a few days if it doesn't clear up. I know it was suggested that we don't, but whatever the fix was just isn't working.

This normally wouldn't be such a big deal, but I have hardly any season pass shows recording now and between illness and just plain having a bad week and half, I'm really missing having something to look forward to seeing on my hard drive. Just when I need to be a couch potato for a few days, my choices are kid's cartoons or live TV. ew.

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tjkrz is offline Old Post 06-04-2004 06:47 AM
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tjkrz
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Registered: May 2003
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I'm still getting garbage for suggestions. It sounds like Tivo's answer is that the suggestions should work right and they're not going to do anything about it, even though there are a lot of people having these problems.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm paying a monthly fee for only half the service that Tivo claims to offer. I think we need to call Tivo and request that we only pay half the service fee until they fix this problem. I'm seriously considering switching to ReplayTV.

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ccwf is offline Old Post 06-04-2004 07:01 AM
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ccwf
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Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Malibu
Posts: 7285

quote:
Originally posted by tjkrz
It sounds like Tivo's answer is that the suggestions should work right and they're not going to do anything about it, even though there are a lot of people having these problems.
My impression is that TiVo is trying to do something about it. This is based on TiVoBill's post reporting on the person working on the issue internally and his request for more information from those suffering the problem to help track it down, along with his request that afflicted owners PM him to give TiVo permission to turn on extra logging on their units.

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a68oliver is offline Old Post 06-04-2004 07:07 AM
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a68oliver
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Registered: Jul 2000
Location: New Castle, IN
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Tivo Suggestions

I usually get plenty of suggestions, just awful suggestions. Prior to March, they were really very good. However, now they seem to be totally random program listings. They don't seem to any longer bear any relationship to my viewing habits.

I sure hope this can be restored to its prior usefulness.

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Alan Oliver
Tivo user since May 2000

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JustAllie is offline Old Post 06-04-2004 10:58 PM
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JustAllie
Back among the boxes

Registered: Jan 2002
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I've noticed that many of the same useless suggestions are showing up on the two TiVos in my house. Normally these two TiVos record quite different suggestions, because my viewing habits on the two machines are quite different. Now they're both recording an odd selection of films and documentaries that seem to have nothing to do with the thumbs I have set on either machine.

I don't rely on suggestions desperately, but I have to say I really miss finding an occasional gem in there that is related to my viewing preferences. Especially now that summer is upon us -- all my season passes are useless during rerun season.

Sigh.

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hutchca is offline Old Post 06-04-2004 11:42 PM
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hutchca
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I agree. I thought the problem was fixed because it quit recording sports and religious programming but it still rarely records anything related to my preferences.
To be fair I have re-set my thumbs a few times. Since the last time I've only thumbed up a few programs. Some Sitcoms and a few movies.

I'm getting suggestions of animated childrens shows, design/makover shows and spanish language shows.

I think the prevously released "fix" for this problem did some good but still hasn't really fixed the problem. It's a shame but I've disabled suggestions again because they're still useless.

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wug is offline Old Post 06-05-2004 12:04 AM
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wug
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I have more suggestions on my list now, but they're only halfway decent. Still tons of kid's programs. It's a shame, because before these problems started, my suggestions were just about perfect. The algorithm must have been changed, because things just aren't nearly the same as before.

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>>> Update on Thumbs/TiVo Suggestions Issue <<<

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