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palmyra08
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The (sorry but I say this as a software architect) absolutely IDIOTIC FUNDAMENTAL flaws in user interface

As a long-standing customer (19 years and counting) of NTL and then VM, I am of course treated to always at least one generation older set top boxes as I am on a "barely watching live TV" package.... so total scum in their eyes, but paying ever-increasing ridiculous fees for this privilege.

Believe it or not, I CAN put this to a side, but... as I was recently "upgraded" to Tivo after my old set top box was to be terminated... I discovered how FUNDAMENTALLY IDIOTIC the VM user interface is on absolutely BASIC features that would make any mobile, or multimedia, service provider get kicked into oblivion.

First of all, you have to select every single time the e.g. "my favourites" option to only see the channels you actually have in the TV guide.  1. What is the point of showing non-subscribed channels without explicitly kicking their system to realise, 2. Why does it revert after few hours again to the "all channels" guide after being told explicitly not to??

Sorry, but I designed user interfaces for too many years and this is simply a CRETIN's way of setting up the most basic element of the user interface.

Secondly, I simply cannot find words for the absolute stupidity of only being able to have RECORD & REMINDER  instead of just reminder.

Thinking of power consumption (see their consumption figures when recording vs. just watching) and the insane tedium needed to then make it delete / discontinue the recording, it is just moronic. 

I am sorry, cannot find any milder word for it - anybody who has spent more than a week in user interface emporium would realise. 

VM have spent a lot of money paying company I know, but will not name here obviously, for coming up with this "evolution".

It is a farce.

Even basic things that worked in their previous antiquated box have been killed off and replaced with fundamentally flawed thinking.

This is complete failure in requirement management, concept design and verification. 

So glad to have been upgraded to this abomination, whilst of course V6 is becoming a norm... so can wait some years before this gets obsoleted, and maybe the then obsolete V6 will have fundamental user interface elements working. 

Maybe. 

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Re: The (sorry but I say this as a software architect) absolutely IDIOTIC FUNDAMENTAL flaws in user inter

There are many, many, many, many, many threads on here that discuss the TiVo reminder function and why it sets a recording and all the discussion around that.

But here is the core reasoning behind it from when the reminder function was introduced 7 years ago, at the request of Virgin Media to TiVo US:
https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Forum-Archive/Why-do-I-have-to-record-reminders/m-p/1410522#M85...

As far as I know this function is still unique to Virgin Media's version of the TiVo software, and doesn't exist in any other TiVo box around the world.

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palmyra08
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Re: The (sorry but I say this as a software architect) absolutely IDIOTIC FUNDAMENTAL flaws in user inter

Thanks, the problem is that reminder is fine and it existed before - but... to pair it up in a way that cannot be overridden with record... oh Lord.

Seriously. Where do I begin to describe how this "evolution" is a step back into the Dark Ages of user interface design - and then please, at least make it easy to override or cancel, but how many clicks and selections it takes? gosh.

Don't even get me started on the positioning of the remote control's buttons - the most non-ergonomic and illogical silly placement, see where previous channel is positioned relative to ALL of the buttons related to channel selection.

Who "designed" this and how did VM managers decide to pay for this delivered by that other company... astonishing. 

In my first ever job interview I would have failed in 5 minutes if I made these fundamental mistakes and that was 24 years ago. 

Oh how we evolved.

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Re: The (sorry but I say this as a software architect) absolutely IDIOTIC FUNDAMENTAL flaws in user inter


@palmyra08 wrote:

Thanks, the problem is that reminder is fine and it existed before - but... to pair it up in a way that cannot be overridden with record... oh Lord.


It didn't exist before for TiVo.  The V boxes, and TiVo are two independently developed TV software platforms.

For V boxes, the reminder came first to allow basic channel changing options for a single tuner box connected to a VCR, and the the PVR version came later. So for that platform recording was an add-on function, and the reminder function continued.

TiVo was developed completely separately and was designed from the ground up as a recording box. Originally as a single tuner box, that then had additional tuners options added (the Virgin Media TiVo was the first version with three tuners). It had no concept of the reminder function anywhere its design and coding, and so when it was added at the request of Virgin Media, it was done in a way that cause as minimal change to around 13 years worth of existing software code at that point.


@palmyra08 wrote:

Don't even get me started on the positioning of the remote control's buttons - the most non-ergonomic and illogical silly placement, see where previous channel is positioned relative to ALL of the buttons related to channel selection.

Who "designed" this and how did VM managers decide to pay for this delivered by that other company... astonishing. 


TiVo designed the software and remote, there is no 'other company'. The core remote design is part and parcel of the TiVo platform and a version of the remote goes all the way back to the first TiVo box from 1999:

https://www.tivopedia.com/model-philips-hdr110.php

EDIT: And here's an in-depth article from 10 years ago about how TiVo designed the remote, so it's not something they arrived at by chance:

https://gizmodo.com/story-of-a-peanut-the-tivo-remotes-untold-past-presen-5017972

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palmyra08
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Re: The (sorry but I say this as a software architect) absolutely IDIOTIC FUNDAMENTAL flaws in user inter

Not sure what my recently discontinued smaller box was, perhaps already a Tivo family. 

It had reminder and only reminder, with option to change to that channel. 

Now this one ONLY had reminder + record. Impossible to just reminder and change channel automatically. It will start recording, too. 

It is so silly I had to read the booklet and the quick guide several times to see if this is real or something I am imagining. It is real. There is blurb about it on the forums, about how this is intrinsically linked together.

It is just utter tosh, as our illustrious Boris Johnson would say- but in this case he would be, exceptionally, on the money.

There is no conceivable reason for only having reminder AND record that cannot be overridden, only after it happens, via N clicks to cancel recording.

Evolution. Oh my Lord.

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Re: The (sorry but I say this as a software architect) absolutely IDIOTIC FUNDAMENTAL flaws in user inter

@palmyra08 wrote:

Not sure what my recently discontinued smaller box was, perhaps already a Tivo family. 


You previous box would have been a V HD or V+ HD box. Neither of which ran any version of the TiVo software.


@palmyra08 wrote:

There is no conceivable reason for only having reminder AND record that cannot be overridden, only after it happens, via N clicks to cancel recording.


That could be true - if the UI and underlying platform was designed from the beginning to have reminders and recordings in it. TiVo was not, and had many years of shared code that mean redesigning it for reminders for one version of the platform in one country was not practical.

What now exists for reminders in TiVo is the best achievable solution within the available platform options.

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palmyra08
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Message 7 of 12
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Re: The (sorry but I say this as a software architect) absolutely IDIOTIC FUNDAMENTAL flaws in user inter

Could be - from end user perspective, it is a change that goes backwards as per other "features". 

While it heralded as unique, the fundamental inability to re-instate the direct control over fundamental features is just astonishing. 

This is what I meant by requirement management. There is no continuity and no consistency in thinking. An end user had a user interface that let him cut out unwanted extra tedium and unwanted features or actions by one click,

Now it CANNOT be even selected, and once it starts, then needs N clicks to cancel ALREADY ongoing actions out of user control.

And it is buried in blurb that wants to say this is part of a new philosophy.

Apologies, but a huge step backward is not part of any philosophy, it is fundamental bad design - if only somebody had spent some minutes with a UML user or context diagram and debated it..,. before deciding that this amazing thing is really what they think is wanted. 

Anyway. 

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salomeuk
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Re: The (sorry but I say this as a software architect) absolutely IDIOTIC FUNDAMENTAL flaws in user inter


What now exists for reminders in TiVo is the best achievable solution within the available platform options.


From a user perspective, perhaps substituting 'solution' with 'compromise' here might better reflect our experience? 

I don't know how the software is designed, but reading this thread it would seem to be an argument in favour of OOP!  😉

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salomeuk
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Re: The (sorry but I say this as a software architect) absolutely IDIOTIC FUNDAMENTAL flaws in user inter


@BenMcr wrote:

EDIT: And here's an in-depth article from 10 years ago about how TiVo designed the remote, so it's not something they arrived at by chance:

https://gizmodo.com/story-of-a-peanut-the-tivo-remotes-untold-past-presen-5017972

 

Thanks for posting this, I was interested to read the history of the 'peanut' remote.

However, personally I find the shape extremely difficult. I understand that it probably sits comfortably in the hand of the average customer. But I wear splints on my hands due to disabilities, and can't easily hold the peanut-shaped remote. I can, however, hold a traditional type of flat-backed remote, even wearing my splints. 

Is there, or could there be in the future, an option to request a remote with a flat back? It would also mean I could lie the remote on a table to use it/between uses - something not currently possible, obviously. (Well, without the remote sliding to the floor or catapulting across the room, that is!!)

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Re: The (sorry but I say this as a software architect) absolutely IDIOTIC FUNDAMENTAL flaws in user inter

No plans for a different remote for TiVo as a physical remote.

However with a V6 box or with the older TiVo when it's connected to your home network, you can use the TV Control app on an Android or iOS phone or tablet as a remote control.

https://www.virginmedia.com/help/virgin-tv-using-tv-control-as-a-remote
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