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>>> Free space remaining indicator <<<

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Old Post 08-12-2000 07:31 AM
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gwwilhelmjr
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Cool Free space remaining indicator

I have a simple feature I'd like to see in TiVo. Please add a 'free space remaining' indication in the Now Showing area. I sometimes like to know how many minutes of recording capacity remain at a given record quality. This info is, of course, available within the system. It's just a SMOP to put the info somewhere on the (a) menu.

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Old Post 08-12-2000 09:58 AM
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Nonesuch
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Thumbs down

Before I upgraded, my TiVo never had any 'free space' available- Any space not taken up by shows I had recorded and not gotten around to manually deleting, was occupied by 'suggestions' automatically recorded.

I'm not sure how much utility such an indicator would have.

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Old Post 08-12-2000 10:09 AM
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gwwilhelmjr
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Thumbs up

My 30 hour TiVo is *not* always filled up. Besides... Inquiring minds want to know.

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Old Post 08-14-2000 07:51 PM
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RLBrooks
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I'd like to see it too. If TiVo went even further I'd be nice to see a disk space map screen showing percent of disk space used by each of the different recording qualities along with free space available.

Cheers... Russ

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schiavonir is offline Old Post 08-14-2000 11:06 PM
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schiavonir
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I agree with the original suggestion. Yes, TiVo is usually full with your programs plus suggested recordings, but I find I'm often adding up the time I've taken up so I know how close I am to running out of space. I also don't want TiVo to stop suggesting shows, so I like to clean up old shows to leave room for suggestions. I know, you can use the number of suggestions as a rough gauge of remaingin space, but without an accurate indicator, it's all just guesswork.

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schiavonir is offline Old Post 08-15-2000 12:41 AM
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schiavonir
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I agree with the original suggestion. Yes, TiVo is usually full with your programs plus suggested recordings, but I find I'm often adding up the time I've taken up so I know how close I am to running out of space. I also don't want TiVo to stop suggesting shows, so I like to clean up old shows to leave room for suggestions. I know, you can use the number of suggestions as a rough gauge of remaingin space, but without an accurate indicator, it's all just guesswork.

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Old Post 08-15-2000 02:46 AM
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Dr. Zed
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Cool

I would like to see it simply so people would stop asking for it.

Seriously though, it would have no value. Even if it tells you how much free time you have at the moment, that value will be changing constantly.

Scenario:
You turn on your TiVo, and you check your "free space". You have 2 hours free. You say, "Well, I guess I can record something then". You start a recording (or schedual one) and Tivo responds (I will need to delete X shows sooner).

Why does it have to delete something? Don't you have "free space"? No, you don't. What you have in a window of time during which there is free space. If you record something, that recording is going to want more space-time than the "current moment" provides.

I would love for someone to actually explain what they think such "infomation" would be useful for. The only possible use would be if you didn't have any season passes and didn't record suggestions. In any other case, the number would simply be confusing and misleading to people who would think that it actually meant something useful.

Dr. Zed

"You have 4 hour free for the next two hours, after which you have 3 hours free for another half hour, then you will only have 1 hour free, if you are watching live TV, otherwise, you will have no free space. You will then fluxuate in free space from zero hours to a half hour as various programs are deleted to make room for other programs of different lengths. This will continue until such a time as you actually delete something manually, at which point everything will be recalculated. Have a nice day"


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Stephen Tu is offline Old Post 08-15-2000 03:16 AM
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Yes, of course "Free space remaining" NOW, by itself, is not really that useful. What I've suggested several times in the past is a bar graph, which shows in different colors:
1. Space currently taken up by "now showing" programs (not suggestions).
2. Space To Do list will consume in the next day.
3. Space To Do will consume on the second day.
4. Space on the third day ... and so on.

That way you can see instantly whether the next days shows will start bumping off your programs, so that you know you better watch them. Or, if you go on vacation, you can just cancel programs until the bars don't hit the limit until you get back ...

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Old Post 08-15-2000 03:45 AM
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Dr. Zed
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Cool

Thank you Stephen, that is at least something that makes sense to me.

The only really useful statistic when it comes to "free space" is at what _time_ will schedualed recordings start getting deleted. That way, if it says that it will need to delete something by tomorrow at 2 PM, and you know you won't be able to watch something tomorrow before that time, then you either need to watch something today, pick something that you want it to delete, or accept that it will delete something that has expired.

Unfortunatly, I don't think that "when will stuff get deleted" will satisy people who want to know how much "blank space" there is. It might make sense on a Replay, where blank space actually matters since you are basically partitioning the drive into your not-really-schedualed recordings. On the TiVo, space is an illusion. It's something to be filled, and shifted and recreated.

Maybe it comes from having a 14 hour unit with 28 season passes on it.... I don't think that it's the case that "I don't have free space and therefore don't understand", I think it's that I have realized that you don't need free space to make recordings. If there's 14 (or 30 or 72) hours of stuff on your TiVo, then let it delete something you have already choosen not to watch for something you have asked it for.



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Old Post 08-15-2000 05:11 AM
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Tyson Boucher
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quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Zed:
It might make sense on a Replay, where blank space actually matters since you are basically partitioning the drive into your not-really-schedualed recordings. On the TiVo, space is an illusion. It's something to be filled, and shifted and recreated.



But there are not-really-scheduled recordings on the TiVo too, in the form of suggestions. Maybe I'm the last person in the world trying to make the suggestions record specific shows, but there are a lot of shows I want to see occasionally, but not as often or absolutely as if I had a season pass, or with as much irritation as if I had to schedule each showing I wanted.

So I like to keep an eye on the amount of space I have left, so I'll have the room to record a fair number of suggestions too. Maybe I'll just give up and make them all season passes and shuffle them around occasionally to get a mix of shows. In any case, I agree. Everything would be easier if there were a way to see exactly when shows will be recorded and deleted, but maybe you and I are alone in wanting a better alternative to expiration.

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Old Post 08-15-2000 10:37 AM
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pshlortz
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well; the way I see it...

a) space remaining should be space remaining ignoring the auto-recommendations; so it WOULD have meaning

b) not everyone uses the sugggestons feature and some people don't even pay for the service. so yes it is of use.

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Old Post 08-16-2000 02:45 AM
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Dr. Zed
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I agree with many of Tyson's points. However, most of the "I want to free space for suggestions" would be solved by knowing at what point the drive would be full to the point that it would begin deleting non-suggestion programming. Knowing how much free space you have "currently" means absolutly nothing.

quote:
Originally posted by pshlortz:
well; the way I see it...

a) space remaining should be space remaining ignoring the auto-recommendations; so it WOULD have meaning

b) not everyone uses the sugggestons feature and some people don't even pay for the service. so yes it is of use.



Even ignoring any suggestions, the number would still be TOTALLY meaningless.

Example:
You have 4 hours available.

What does this do for you? Does this mean that you can record up to four hours worth of stuff without bumping something? NO. What it means is that, at this very MOMENT, you have four hours of free space. A couple of hours from now, you might only have two hours. A few more hours and it might be totally full. Or it might not. You can't tell from that rather meaningless bit of information.

If they actually added such a feature, people would quickly realise that it doesn't work and they would complain about it constantly. You would get tons of people saying, "Why does is say that I have four hours and then when I tell it to record something it says that it has to delete other things sooner?"

The following has the suggestions aspect removed, but it's still shows how etherial "current available space" is.

"You have 4 hour free for the next two hours, after which you have 3 hours free for another half hour, then you will only have 1 hour free. You will then fluxuate in free space from zero hours to a half hour as various programs are deleted to make room for other programs of different lengths. This will continue until such a time as you actually delete something manually, at which point everything will be recalculated. Have a nice day"

What could you posible gain from such information?


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Old Post 08-17-2000 12:38 AM
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marcusinaustin
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Wink

Hey "DR." I think those 16hour days in the ER are getting to you. Have a drink and chill. This isn't Crossfire, you don't have to get worked up about it. If some people want the "free space" let them want it, why does it seem to get under your skin so much? It's just a silly forum.

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Old Post 08-17-2000 02:38 AM
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gwwilhelmjr
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Red face

The gas gauge on my car shows how full the tank is NOW, not how full it will be if I keep on driving, rest awhile, get out and push, or stop at the next filling station. This is a simple request for really simple information that clearly must already exist within the system. How/if I might find it useful is really no cause for argument. If you do not find it useful, then, by any means necessary, don't look at that part of the screen. I'm not sure what's more annoying - your having to ignore information you claim not to want, or my having to defend my desire to see those parameters.

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Old Post 08-17-2000 04:54 AM
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Dr. Zed
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quote:
Originally posted by marcusinaustin:
Hey "DR." I think those 16hour days in the ER are getting to you. Have a drink and chill. This isn't Crossfire, you don't have to get worked up about it. If some people want the "free space" let them want it, why does it seem to get under your skin so much? It's just a silly forum.


Don't worry, I'm not getting worked up. I'm simply trying to make people understand that what they are asking for is not what they think it is. Don't mistake my verbosity for agression or irritation, it's just how I am. I just can't seem to make brief posts.

quote:
Originally posted by gwwilhelmjr:
The gas gauge on my car shows how full the tank is NOW, not how full it will be if I keep on driving, rest awhile, get out and push, or stop at the next filling station.


Let's continue with this....

How upset would you be if you got in your car, saw that you had half a tank of gas, drove ten miles out of town, and RAN OUT OF GAS! For one, I would be upset that my gas gauge didn't function. And it's not just that my gas gauge is "faulty", it's designed that way!

This is exactly what you would get with a simple "free space indicator". The number it would give would not have any bearing on reality after a couple of hours if anything was schedualed to record.

The whole reason that I bring up these points and ask questions (some of which are simply being ignored) is to TRY to open a discussion that might actually result in something. I'm not just saying "It's a bad idea, drop it." If that was the case, I wouldn't continue posting. However, I can't think of a single way to actually salvage this idea. The closest thing would be the "how long until TiVo would delete something (non-suggestion)". No one is saying, sure, that would be better.... they are simply defending a broken concept with a minimum effort of actually refuting my points.

quote:
This is a simple request for really simple information that clearly must already exist within the system. How/if I might find it useful is really no cause for argument.


This is totally wrong. How useful the information is extremly important when it comes to if TiVo should add something. If the information is:
- useless
- misleading
- erratic

.... would adding the information be a good thing? You can't expect TiVo to add something simply because _you_ want it. I still contend that you don't understand the true nature of what you are asking. The fact that you won't actually produce a single use for the information prevents the conversation from being productive.

quote:
If you do not find it useful, then, by any means necessary, don't look at that part of the screen. I'm not sure what's more annoying - your having to ignore information you claim not to want, or my having to defend my desire to see those parameters. [/B]


Feel free not to justify your position, that's your choice.


Now, since this post has been derailed from actually discussing the topic at hand and is being made personal, I will attempt to get the discussion back on track.....

=======================================================
=========

Why a simple "free space indicator" won't work and why "when will (!) items start getting deleted" would.

First, to state what I hope is obvious, the only point of "free space" is to record programs. Whether they are schedualed, spontaneous or a TiVo suggestion is not relevant to the points I will make.

Ok, now what it the _concept_ behind a "free space indicator". The concept would be that it would let you know that you can record more stuff. For example, "3 hours free" would mean that you can record up to three hours more.

Unfortunatly, TiVo is not that simple. Every single item on the To Do list has allocated a "window" of time, both in HD space and duration of that space. Unless you have a very short To Do list, your To Do list will probably exceed the capacity of your drive. Every time TiVo records, it automatically uses free space if available.

Now, if your TiVo says, "You have 3 hours of free space" and you tell it to record a one-hour show, you might expect it to just say "Ok..." and you probably wouldn't expect it to tell you how it has to delete things to make space. But it would....

Why would it have to delete things if you have free space? The answer is simple, you only have that space free AT THAT MOMENT IN TIME. To make a recording, TiVo not only wants you to have that space free now, but it also wanted that space to be free for the next few DAYS. That's why a free space indicator wouldn't work. To know if you really have "free space", you would need to know the "free space" over the period of time you plan on keeping the recording. TiVo has NO WAY of knowing this....

TiVo could say it has 6 hours free, it could say that it has 2 hours free, regardless of what it free "at the moment", to use the space, TiVo will have to decrease the duration of other shows. It's not really about "space", it's about "time". To have anything useful (and to not simply be misleading, which is bad), the TiVo would have to give you a map of free space over time.

Of course, even that becomes meaningless if you actually watch and delete things. If someone could actually demonstrate a valid use for a free space indicator, then I wouldn't mind the suggestion. However, since such an indicator would actually be very misleading, it would be a bad idea....

=======================================================
=========

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ILoveMyTiVo is offline Old Post 08-17-2000 05:27 AM
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ILoveMyTiVo
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As already suggested, what I want to know is when shows I want to watch will be auto deleted. More specifically the one piece of data I want is:
- Assume nothing else is deleted
- Assume all shows in the todo are recorded, and nothing else
- Ignore suggestions
- At what time/date (or at which scheduled recording) will something I requested to be recorded be deleted for space

Several times, I have ended up with my TiVo very near full (= 0 or very little space for suggestions). At night, I will add up all the recordings, and then go to the todo list to add up the recordings set up for the next day to see if anything will be deleted the next day. If I need to, I might specifically choose shows to delete (instead of the oldest ones) or save something to VCR during the night. Otherwise, I might go through the whole list and mark them to save longer knowing it will complain if there won't be enough space for the todo list. But this takes a long time especially since save longer is a pretty slow operation.

To be complete, some kind of graph over time would be needed (as previously mentioned), but what I frequently want is just the one number.

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Old Post 08-17-2000 07:10 AM
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Dr. Zed
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quote:
Originally posted by ILoveMyTiVo:
As already suggested, what I want to know is when shows I want to watch will be auto deleted.....

To be complete, some kind of graph over time would be needed (as previously mentioned), but what I frequently want is just the one number.



This _would_ be a useful bit of information. This is the "when will (!) items start getting deleted" that I was refering to. Btw, (!) is supposed to be the expired icon, not just an exclamation point (just in case anyone didn't get it).

You really wouldn't need a graph, at most, you would just need a projected delete time listed for each show. In practice, not that much information would be needed.

At minimum, you could simply have a single time when deleting would start. This might be enough.... if you see that something wouldn't actually be deleted until 10PM tomorrow, and you knew you would be watching TV before then, then you could feel safe and you wouldn't need to know the timing of other shows, since, assuming you delete things, it would change anyway.

Something that has been suggested before is the ability to adjust the priority of items from Now Showing so you can control what will be deleted. I think it would be nice if you could take recordings and move them down into the "suggestions".... when combined with the "when would stuff need to be deleted", it would allow you to move shows into the "freely deleted" suggestions area until the "duration" of your free space was more to your liking. Continuing the example from before.... if you thought there was a chance you might not watch anything before 10 PM, you could select something that you would want deleted first and march it down into the next section so that it would be deleted before your other recordings. At this point, if the "when will stuff be deleted" only changes to 11PM, you might march another show down. If it then reads 6PM the day after tomorrow, you could stop, feeling a bit more safe.

Some reasons not to display a projected time for each program is simply that it's that much more for the processor to do, it would clutter the display, it will change frequently enough that most of the info wouldn't be needed, etc. However, I could see displaying a projected date for all shows that would be deleted within the next 24 hours, plus one additional show (so if nothing is in the 24 hour zone, you know how far the zone is, plus, they need to keep calculating until they pass 24 hours, and there's no point throwing out the first "out of range" value).


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Old Post 08-17-2000 07:40 AM
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gwwilhelmjr
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Sorry, doc, but it is _you_ that does not get the true nature of what I am asking. Or perhaps you do, but want even _more_ info still (I can accept that). Either way, you're right about one thing: if my gas gauge read half full, and I drove ten miles and ran out of gas, I would be mad - and that could only be true if the information it provided was just plain wrong. What you've missed is the implied assumption that I know the approximate rate of fuel consumption of my vehicle and, more importantly, THAT NOBODY DRIVES IT BUT ME. Similarly, I don't let TiVo record on its own suggestions - I review them once each day and schedule myself which of its suggestions to "take". Therefore, I know exactly what is TiVo's rate of fuel consumption, making its current status exactly relevant.

So, try my analogy again. My gas gauge tells me how full my tank is. This corresponds (roughly) to x miles of driving starting now. My TiVo gauge tells me how much free capacity remains, right now, at a given quality level. I then can know, with certainty if I need to watch something now or save it to VCR, or if I can continue to record for another day without doing either, while losing NOTHING. The 'useless, misleading and erratic' information of current free capacity is critical to this decision, and I really don't want to stop and add it up myself (converting for different quality levels) each night, around 11:00 pm, when I make this decision.

Perhaps what you want is a more sophisticated 'gauge'. For example, the travel computer in my truck tells me how far I can continue to drive at my current rate of fuel consumption - it's simply doing the next calculation for me. I can do that one in my head once I know how many gallons are left - but it all begins with knowing how many gallons remain. (And I certainly don't want to have to measure them myself each time I do the calculation.)

Despite your assertions to the contrary, for the way I choose to use my TiVo, knowing exactly how many minutes of recording time are available
at any one (or all) of the recording qualities would make some things easier. It's not a bad idea, nor a useless one, it simply doesn't fit your paradigm of how you use your TiVo.

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Old Post 08-17-2000 09:03 PM
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Coz
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quote:
Originally posted by gwwilhelmjr:
It's not a bad idea, nor a useless one, it simply doesn't fit your paradigm of how you use your TiVo.


Bravo! I was going to throw my 2cents in, but I couldn't have stated it any better. Doc, I appreciate your trying to inform people that the suggestion is not as cut-and-dried as they might expect, but that DOESN'T make it "useless" or "meaningless." The car analogy is good, but I think a more appropriate analogy would be the number reported as "free disk space" on a computer. Sure, my e-mail client is constantly downloading new e-mail, I'm deleting old documents and my Netscape and Photoshop cache are constantly changing the amount of free disk space reported, but I would never want to do away with that feature either--it at least gives me an INDICATION of where I'm at, if it's not totally accurate at any given time. Sheesh, now I HAVE given my 2cents!

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Old Post 08-18-2000 03:16 AM
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Dr. Zed
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Even without suggestions, your TiVo drives itself. Unless you are really good at keeping track of exactly how many hours it is going to record each night, and the duration that will be assigned to those shows, and the current duration of existing shows, a "current amount of space available" really won't tell you much.

gwwilhelmjr stated....

quote:
I then can know, with certainty if I need to watch something now or save it to VCR, or if I can continue to record for another day without doing either, while losing NOTHING.


Only if you knew exactly how many hours TiVo would be recording until your next "session". Rather than providing you with "free space" and then making you browse the To Do list and reference durations and do math, what would be so much better is what I keep bringing up, a "how long until TiVo will need to delete something (other than suggestions)".

From Coz....
quote:
Doc, I appreciate your trying to inform people that the suggestion is not as cut-and-dried as they might expect, but that DOESN'T make it "useless" or "meaningless."


If it was just that it's not "cut and dried", then I wouldn't bother. It's more than that. It's that people seem to think that a "free space indicator" would do something that it wouldn't.

quote:
the number reported as "free disk space" on a computer.... it at least gives me an INDICATION of where I'm at.


Yes, but your computer doesn't have the same "time" issues of a TiVo. If you walk away from your computer and come back the next day, your hard drive should be approximatly where you left it. If you have 800 megs free, and you download a 650 meg file, then you wouldn't expect to have any problems.

With TiVo, if you have "3 hours free" and you record a two-hour movie, you will find that TiVo will have to shorten the duration of enough shows to account for a 2 hour (size) by 3 day (duration; 3 is simply an example). TiVo's resource is (size*time), not just size.

I've asked for an actual example, and the only thing that I seem to be getting is statements that they want to make sure they have enough free space so that something doesn't get deleted before they can deal with stuff. Current free space would only work if you then sift through the To Do list and do a lot of math. It would be a lot easier to just have projected time when things would start getting deleted, which is something that actually takes "time" into account.


A "free space indicator" would work fine if the user doesn't mind doing the work for it. That means taking the value, going to the To Do list, finding each show that will be recorded up to the next time the think they will be watching and do the math.....

The problem with that is that the average user probably _wouldn't_ do the math, or even be aware of the problem. Your average user, would use the "computer analogy" and think that having "3 hours free" means they can record 3 hours of stuff without causing something else to be deleted. That would be wrong and they would get upset when their stuff gets deleted.

A simple "free space indicator" wouldn't take time into account (unless it's a rather complex space/time graph).

Dr. Zed - who has an easier time discussing space-time in physics, than space-time in a TiVo.


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