TiVo Idea

tivo-logo.jpgBack in June, I suggested borrowing TiVo’s swivel search and applying it to the iPod. Today, I I’m going to turn that scenario around and suggest taking a feature from the PC world and applying it to TiVo.

Between the death of our TiVo’s hard drive and the start of the fall television season, I have spent way too much time ‘typing’ on our TiVo via the remote. For any of you who has ever done this, I don’t need to tell you what a chore this can be, but if you haven’t, I will try to explain briefly: When you are entering text on a TiVo, you need to use the remotes directional keypad to navigate around the on screen display. It’s akin to hunt and peck typing, except that it makes hunt and peck typing look efficient. Last night, while I was typing my way though three shows, I looked at my laptop sitting on the bed. My laptop that is connected to the home network via wireless. The same home network that my TiVo uses to get its schedule updates. Hmm…

The simple idea I propose is to enable a VNC connection between a laptop and a TiVo to enable text input. The TiVo is, after all, a Linux box, so I imagine that end shouldn’t be so hard, and it would be so handy if I could fire up a VNC client on my laptop and then type out the name of whatever show I was seeking.

I realize this isn’t a feature everyone would use, and it’s not a feature I’d use every day, but I’d sure be glad for it each fall and summer while I was resetting our Season Passes.

Bonus TiVo gripe: When you change the priorities of the shows in the Season Pass list, I understand TiVo needs to recalculate its To Do List when you’re done to apply your new relative priorities to the shows it has in its cached schedules. What I do not understand is why I have to sit and watch the screen while it does so. Surely that could be accomplished in the background while I continued watching a show? Instead, TiVo stares at its navel while you stare at the screen. If you alter the list priorities, then wish to alter a single show’s settings, then rejigger the list some more, you are forced to endure three cycles of recalculation, which becomes annoying in a hurry. TiVo’s interface is usually very respectful of the user and their time, so this seems out of place.

Currently playing: Two Swords, from The English Beat’s I Just Can’t Stop It. Ah, 1980 rarely sounded so good. Listen on iTunes, or go crazy and make a ring tone out of it.

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