January 10 2011

Hey DVR! It’s Time to Get with the Program!

So for the most part I watch only DVR-ed shows. Apologies if this is technically me-centric. I know everyone has a different situation with the DVRing.

(FYI my top shows are: American Idol, Jersey Shore, Breaking Bad, McLaughlin Group, Jerseylicious, Millionaire Matchmaker, Office, 30 Rock, Letterman, Dog Whisperer, Whale Wars, Deadliest Catch, Intervention, I Survived, Hoarders, Entourage– and I’m open to suggestions.)

And for years, I’ve given my DVR a pass on being wonky. It still feels like new technology working to get the kinks out etc. But the amount of issues my DVR is having is really starting to pile up. Like:

* Sometimes it seems to forget to record something like it’s some kind of stoner.

* Sometimes it’ll just record like two minutes of something and then stop because it’s in a mood.

* Often it will record reruns when I specifically tell it not to.

* It’ll not start recording a new season unless I remind it.

* Sometimes it’ll flag reruns as new and my whole DVR will all of a sudden fill up with some Whale War marathon or some crap.

* The ‘Find Shows’ keypad and interface sucks worse than the Apple Newton.

* When I flip channels there’s like a 1-second pause now while it sorts out where it’s going.

* And worst of all is the dreaded ‘cut-off’ when a show goes long. This is especially bad for shows like Intervention when I just want to see if the person if friggin cleaned up or not!

So here are my suggestions for fixing the DVR situation:

1. Make the Default setting for recording a series– New shows only. 10 minutes over. (I’ll change it if I want something different).

2. I feel like the DVR works based on the show title. Alphabetical style. Like the DVR will look for the words ‘Intervention’ and ‘New’ and decide to record it. They should switch to code based identification. So when an absolutely ‘New’ show comes up. It should be N398478. And that’s the show that gets recorded. Don’t base it on description or time!

3. The ‘Find Shows’ thing should be simplified. I don’t need to see the total listing of every show on TV ever with subcategories. New shows people actually watch should be brought to the forefront first. And then there should be subcategories for ‘Movies’ or ‘Drama’ or whatever.

4. At the home base they should have someone monitoring sports events and stuff and be able to control extending recording a show. A football game goes into overtime and someone at some computer somewhere at Time Warner can monitor stuff to start recording later or whatever.

5. Btw something has gone wrong with the ‘Start Over’ feature. Not sure if you have this but sometimes I get a pop-up window that says ‘Start Over’ click Select. And you can start the show over. Great! But that’s now changed to ‘Enhanced TV’ which brings you to some On Demand bullshit. Something about the Enhanced TV is conflicting with the Start Over feature.

I can go on and on and I wouldn’t say anything if things were simply status quo. But like with all upgrades it seems like things have been gradually getting worse. And slower. Sliding into a state of complication and add-ons and extras. Just like they do with software. I’ve considered making the big switch from Time Warner over to Verizon Vios or whatever but I fear it sucks all over everywhere too and then I’ll be doubly pissed! Just fix this sht!

ok bye!


timmy says:


Lassie says:

Timmy fell in the well….again. Woof woof, time to rescue the little retard… again.

Nicol says:

I have basic cable so I watch a lot of iCarly. My second tv is so old, it is the kind with a vcr attached to it. Yeah I still have about 8 VHS tapes. I am always about 10 years behind on technology.

Todd in Ohio says:

I feel your pain. I asked my DVR to record only “new” episodes of Entourage and currently have like 15 episodes waiting to be watched, all of which I’ve seen. And when the “start over” feature actually works, what’s with the no fast-forwarding capability?? I had to tell “The Amazing Race” to record 2 hours past the show time due to all the football games going over. Nothing like having 55 minutes of “60 Minutes” and 5 minutes of the show you actually told it to record.

Ray Man says:

That’s technology for ya ‘Todd in Ohio’. I bought this brand of DVR back in 2005 (I believe it was a Chinese brand) and it worked great at first. Then things started to go wrong. The date/time on the display would be off; the device would turn on all by itself; and the recording of shows would actually freeze. Don’t get me wrong, the device still plays DVDs great, but it’s the recordings that pisses me off. I checked a forum a couple of years back and found out that there is a specific item in the machine that’s faulty. I talked to my Dad about and he said it wasn’t worth replacing. Do you think it’s time for a new DVR?

the REAL weeze says:


Ginger Campaign says:

Don’t you forget to record my final campaign speech on your DVR Todd.


WTF?!??!?!?!?!?! says:

Not if my life depended on it.

Anonymous says:

No one was asking you.

WTF?!??!?!?!?!?! says:

Go shit in your hat anonymous/Ginger/JFK and whatever other half a dozen names you use.

Anonymous says:

You’re funny.

Pathetic, but funny. Like a cripple.

WTF?!??!?!?!?!?! says:

You, a certified retard, laugh at cripples? Why does that not really surprise me.

LovesCheese says:

AMEN Brotha! I’ve had a Tivo, a Dish Network DVR, a Comcast DVR and all of them have had issues. :SHAKING FIST IN ANGER: the thing is! Now I’m not sure if I have mis-programmed the DVR or if the DVR had a mind-fart and didn’t record something and the shows have been on break lately, so I never know when something has been missed or if it just isn’t new this week. I love the DVR and I hate the DVR.

And if I show is offered in HD and Standard, shouldn’t it just automatically record in HD for you?! Who wants standard when you can have HD?! COMEON!

KP says:

Hey tOdd, we share the same tastes. My DVR list is about the same. I just found 1 girl 5 gays on Logo and it is pretty entertaining, also like Tosh.O and I am thinking of setting up the new show “Scared Straight” I think it is on A&E. Disappointed in my Strange Addition and Hoarders, I feel like they milk it a lot and drag it out, taking those off the list.

Clevegal42 says:

Time Warner Cable sucks my big left toe! I have the same problems – the worst is when it just doesn’t record. That’s your job, TWC DVR! And I always have to extend my Amazing Race because football and golf go over. And when I have back to back shows set up to record it manages to cut off the last few seconds of Show 1 and the first few seconds of Show 2. And that Conflicts thing is a joke…it should be able to know that my Toddlers and Tiaras is also available at midnight, so record it then dumbdumb and record the other shows at the normal time. OK, so maybe that last one is my problem, but still TWC DVR stinks…but I can’t live without it because I’d rather have it suck than not have it at all.

TWC is my only option, but something tells me that it is the same all over…all those other companies get you with their glitz and glamour but then once they got you, it’s all the same.

My Butt Here says:

You could always do a full reset of the DVR to put back to default settings and then reprogram.

Martin says:

I’m sorry Todd. All my friends with DVRs say the same thing you did. I’ve had mine for over a year now and never had a single glitch, though. Of course, now that I said that, it will probably spontaneously combust tomorrow…

naisy says:

my dvr doesnt even have an option to record only “new” episodes. u have to know when the new shows are on. it will ask you if u wanted to record all shows on this channel at any time or this show on this day in this time slot. which is okay if u know when shit is supposed to come on. never fails to record…but i can only search for shows using the date and first letter of the name of the show and then have to scroll down thru all the titles to get what i want. (example: for true blood id have to go thru ta…te….ti…and so on until i got to the “tr’s”) and yea, it always misses the ends of my shows πŸ™ (but i can set it to record a couple minutes past, just too lazy)

naisy says:

btw…house is AMAZING and this new show no ordinary family is growin on me. the hubby likes lie to me ur missin out! πŸ˜€

me says:

Too much reality tv on your list. For someone wanting to be a tv/movie writer (what ever it is you’ve got going on that you can’t talk about) I’m surprised you don’t watch more shows that involve writers.

Krankor says:

I had the same problems plus more. I finally gave up and gave my DVR back to the cable company two years ago. The one I had with DirecTV worked much better. Of course, everything works better with DirecTV. However, I’m still on cable (too lazy to switch back). I miss the DVR sometimes, but it’s nice to not live in fear that it won’t record a show.


oddtodd7 says:

Vote Ginger!!

Stoner McDope says:

I just got a DVR. It works real good hooked up to my bong and my 8-track player.

Dogcatcher says:

What I don’t get about DVRs is the monthly fee – what “service” is being provided for the $5-$6? What a scam… put that on your list of things that need to change about DVRs.

Anonymous says:

Just call Time Warner and get a new box. When i had problems, cablevision sent me a new box free (next day), and included return postage for my current unit. Only problems were that I had to reset the new box with all my old shows, and I had to watch the shows stored on my old unit before returning it. new one works great.

MsM says:

I watch shows from cable on the internet. I couldn’t even program the time on a VCR. I don’t care about sports, so that’s not even an issue, and the only reality shows I watch are American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars. I watch mostly fiction. Castle, The Good Wife, Burn Notice, White Collar, Haven, Human Target, Lie to me,Bones,Psych, and NCIS.

Matty N. says:

Welcome to the world of the HAL 9000.

KittyKarin says:

You watch Millionaire Matchmaker?!? That’s too funny because I thought of you when that million with the bald head was on. He didn’t have your glasses and was way, WAY creepy, but still thought of you when I saw him. You aren’t as creepy as him, are you?? That guy was totally scary.

You should lie and say you’re a millionaire to get on that show!

IT"S ALL CRAP!!! says:


IT"S ALL CRAP!!! says:


Nate says:

Christ you have no taste in tv todd! Jerseylicious, are you kidding me???

optional says:

Good I’m glad it’s not just me. Is yours a Comcast DVR because I have the same exact problems.

Earp says:

Furthermore tOdd don’t forget the way a DVR keeps you trapped in the relationship; making it hard to exchange one for another by having shows/movies recorded that you don’t want to lose! It’s like it says, “You can’t just dump me ya know! We have movies and shows yet unwatched! Oh look here’s “Starship Troopers”!! Remember how you haven’t watched that in years, but haven’t had the time? If you trade me in, and then the movie isn’t aired again you’ll be sooorryyy!! Better not let me go!!”

Nita says:

I have a FIOS DVR (no TWC where I live) and I can’t say the interface is all the easier to navigate. I still have a pet peeve for when shows run over so I set all of my shows to record for an extra 5 minutes and have just gotten in the habit that if a football game runs late on Sunday night, I will be recording Simpsons and everything else late as well. I am home most days so it’s easy for me to see this coming but if I were out and about all day long, it would totally piss me off.

As far as New vs Repeat, I want to say it’s something in the guide data, not the episode coding when it comes to programming and FIOS has the same f’n issues. I can’t tell you how many reruns of Two and a Half Men have been recorded when I tell it New only. If I remember correctly, one thing the TWC DVR has over the FIOS one is that you can tell it what channel to record the show on so if it’s syndicated on something like TBS, at least it won’t catch those. No such luck on FIOS.

Maybe you just need a new box or a firmware push or something? Good luck!

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