Monday, November 14, 2005

TiVo Overlap Protection

If you pay attention to the little messages your TiVo tries to send you, you may have noticed that the latest and greatest TiVo service update arrived recently. This introduces a new, highly requested feature to make the lives of the TiVo community better all around. Let's review the problem.

The networks, as you have undoubtedly noticed, have started screwing with start and end times of their shows, to make lives harder for the DVR set. One show starts a 8:02, and ends at 9:01. Meanwhile, on another competing network, your favorite show starts at 9:00 sharp. TiVo thinks the shows overlap, and will only let you schedule one show to record. The networks claim this is to deal with small differences in the lengths of individual shows. We all know that's a giant load of crap. Anyhow, up until now, your only recourse was to go do the manual setup dance, and tell your TiVo to record 8:00-9:00, and then 9:00-10:00. Kind of defeats the purpose of the whole season pass thing.

So now the TiVo crew comes to the rescue (finally), with Overlap Protection. If TiVo detects that two shows for which you have season passes overlap, but only by a few minutes, it will record as much as possible of both shows. The show with the lower season pass priority will be chopped off to record the higher priority show.

This is truly one of the most useful, simple features TiVo could have added. Nice work!

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