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putzareeno is offline Old Post 06-26-2004 09:06 AM
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putzareeno
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start/stop times

New to forum-please forgive me if this has been discussed. Is there any reason, given the digital encoding sent along with av signals, that a TiVo shouldn't be able to start/stop exactly when a show starts and stops? I think it outrageous that, given the technology use in broadcast signals (and satellite signals) that I loose the first/last few minutes of a program because a TiVo must be set to start/end at a specific time, rather then when a program begins or ends. Broadcast TV signals send this information along with their signals so affiliates know when to start/stop local programming. Sstting my TiVo to start/end a few minutes earlier/later doesn't work- even regularly scheduled programs never start or end at the exact same time each broadcast. Anyone know of any way around this with or without a hack?

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innocentfreak is offline Old Post 06-26-2004 09:45 AM
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Honestly this is more the fault of the network and not of Tivo. Tivo records the show based on when the network says the show will start and stop. If you are missing a few minutes you can always buffer your season passes but watch out for conflicts. To find more discussion try doing a search for NBC. What shows are you regularly missing content on?

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vatothe0 is offline Old Post 06-26-2004 10:41 AM
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vatothe0
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There is a guy somewhere at the head end of the network that is behind in his programming. When that guy doesn't start a commercial at exactly the right time, those bits and pieces add up over a day and shows end up starting later or maybe even early. I have this problem all the time trying to record Aeon Flux on MTV2. Often the end of the show will get cut off.

I doubt the networks would share what the codes they use in the vertical blanking interval. If they did that, Tivo could just not record the commercials at all. Replay TV used to sense the frame or two of black between program and commercial, but that almost put them out of business.

If it's really eating at you, write/email/call the network and get them after their master control operator that is screwing up your shows.

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David Platt is offline Old Post 06-26-2004 06:48 PM
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How would taking advantage of signals like these help with not missing the first few minutes of a program? Wouldn't the TiVo already have to be on the proper station in order to receive the start signal?

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ZikZak is offline Old Post 06-26-2004 07:12 PM
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ZikZak
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Re: start/stop times

quote:
Originally posted by putzareeno
New to forum-please forgive me if this has been discussed. Is there any reason, given the digital encoding sent along with av signals, that a TiVo shouldn't be able to start/stop exactly when a show starts and stops? I think it outrageous that, given the technology use in broadcast signals (and satellite signals) that I loose the first/last few minutes of a program because a TiVo must be set to start/end at a specific time, rather then when a program begins or ends. Broadcast TV signals send this information along with their signals so affiliates know when to start/stop local programming.


Contrary to what you seem to think, there is no publicly available encoding in the commercial broadcast signal that indicates the beginning or end of a program. The technology exists to do this, but nobody actually uses it. There is no possible way TiVo can know whether a network is behind or not or whether what's on is actually what's been scheduled.

Keep doing what you're doing--- pad the recordings on either end to ensure that you reliably get the whole program. Some networks are always exactly on time (GSN is really good about this); some are always cutting off the beginnings (FOX); and some always cut off the ends (Showtime). You'll quickly learn which programs need padding most and in which direction.

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putzareeno is offline Old Post 06-27-2004 04:40 AM
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putzareeno
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Thanks for the feedback. I realize that networks aren't willing to share the technology to do this, but it's my understanding that it's there- although this may be wrong, I've been told that the information is "visible" in the the thin horizontal lines that are found in the thick black bars that are visible if your horizontal hold was out of whack and your screen was rolling. I can understand them thinking that it'll be used to skip commercials (a la Replay), but I just think that, in this day and age, with the technology that's out there, that this is a issue that doesn't seem to be solvable. Last I checked, the airwaves are ours- I'm not asking for a way to skip commercials, just a way to capture the entire program that's either being broadcast at no charge or that I've already paid for. It really doesn't seem like it should be too much to ask- for example, I don't think I've ever been aware of a radio program starting or ending at a time other then when it was supposed to.

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newswatcher is offline Old Post 06-27-2004 08:11 AM
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newswatcher
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I have this start/stop problem with TCM (I record a lot of old movies), HBO and Showtime, but not with FMC. TCM always has a 1:45min movie as 2 hours on their network because they show intros/outtros (about 2-4 minutes average) and filler shorts between movies (some of which are quite good BTW) after the presentation. So I start and stop by adding 3 min to front and 3-4 min to the actual ending of the movie so I save about 15-18 mins.

With FMC, if the movie is 1:45 then my record time shows 1:45. There is no reason TCM, HBO, Showtime, etc., couldn't also do that. They actually do it on purpose so you record their promos for future showings, which can come in hand but takes up valuable space for a DVR40. No wonder larger drives are so popular!

So my "trick" is to look up the actual timing of the movie on imdb.com, estimate start/stop with my TiVo and it works most of the time. But as vatothe0 pointed out, times overlap somewhat due to network timing delays for whatever reason.

It's a bummer to end up with 2 hours of time taken for a 1:38 min old movie on TCM. Twenty-two minutes is 22-minutes, it takes up space. Also,
as has been dwelled upon many times on this forum, the TiVo doesn't allow you to see just how much time is left on the harddrive to record, so I just could, manually, what I've recorded to get somewhere in the ballpark.
A time/space remaining software config shouldn't be that much of of problem. I can see how much space is on my computer but not on my TiVo.

A waste and should be a priority for TiVo to allow it's customers to see how much time is available so valuable programs are not lost due to eyeball guessing on our part. We pay for it. It should be available. IMHO.

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ZikZak is offline Old Post 06-27-2004 07:17 PM
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ZikZak
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A Free Space Indicator is probably the most requested feature on this forum, so you're not alone.

There actually is an FSI under system 4, if you open backdoors, but it's very wonky. But perhaps that indicates that they're working on it.

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dirtypacman is offline Old Post 06-27-2004 08:45 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by vatothe0
There is a guy somewhere at the head end of the network that is behind in his programming. When that guy doesn't start a commercial at exactly the right time, those bits and pieces add up over a day and shows end up starting later or maybe even early. I have this problem all the time trying to record Aeon Flux on MTV2. Often the end of the show will get cut off.




This was my first major run in with this issue. I had set up a season pass for Aeon Flux on MTV2. Let the whole season play out (without watching any of the recorded programs) dropped them on DVD to archive. Few weeks later sitting down to start a marathon showing and to my disappointment about 75% of them where missing 2-3 minutes each. ARGH!

Padding programs has been a common practice since then with me.
SPORTING EVENTS are another program I always pad by an hour.

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ccwf is offline Old Post 06-28-2004 01:13 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by putzareeno
I realize that networks aren't willing to share the technology to do this, but it's my understanding that it's there- although this may be wrong, I've been told that the information is "visible" in the the thin horizontal lines that are found in the thick black bars that are visible if your horizontal hold was out of whack and your screen was rolling.
The ability to transmit program start times and durations has been part of the broadcast standards for nearly a decade and the technology has been available for longer than that. Write your congresscritters and ask them to force stations to broadcast accurate program start times and durations..

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