Recorder wars: TiVo vs. DVR

I have a queston for TiVo users.  Bear with me while I rant a little. I’ll get to the question in a bit.

I love my DVR.  Usually.  But it’s not smart enough to know when a show goes over its time limit.  Case in point, while the Rose Bowl finished in its allotted time, ABC “had” to show some of the post-game hoopla—for nearly 10 minutes.  Consequently, my recording of Better Off Ted (an episode I hadn’t seen before) started 10 minutes late.  So not only did I get only 20 minutes worth of entertainment (ok, more like 14.5, taking commercials into account—because you know the networks aren’t going to cut commercial time), I missed a huge chunk of the ending.  Fortunately, Better Off Ted is not “must see tv” for me, but still, I might have missed one those golden lines that Phil rambles off; although I can’t imagine anything funnier than “It’s like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, if you massacred the chainsaws.”

This happens all the time on TNT, because they butt the shows right up against each other, going so far as to overlap the ending credits with the opening of the new show.  A week or so ago, they aired “Refuge, Part 2.”  It’s one of my favorite Law & Order episodes, and it’s Benjamin Bratt’s last appearance.  Even if we hadn’t had Rey Curtis doing all the things we fans loved (speaking Spanish, tackling bad guys) the last few minutes were gold.  Rey Curtis says a heart-felt goodbye to Lt. Van Buren and Lenny Briscoe, and walks out of the 2-7.

That scene depicted the real friendship between Benjamin and S. Epatha Merkerson and the legendary Jerrry Orbach.  In fact, they interviewed that the tears in their eyes were real.   I knew TNT would cut the show short, so I even recorded the following show.  But there’s a time blip between recordings, so missed the ending of Lennie & Rey’s exchange, Rey walking out the door, and the poignant look between Lennie and Anita.  I suppose I could have just set a manual recording for the time, but my success with that has been iffy.  I wouldn’t complain so much, but L&O season 9 isn’t out on DVD yet.  I do have it on video tape (somewhere), but geez!  Who watches those any more?

So, here’s the question.  I’ve heard claims that TiVo knows when a show has gone over schedule and adjusts its recording accordingly.  So, if you TiVo owners planned to record, say, the premiere of Glee last summer, did you get to the end of the show, or were you  unceremoniously cut off during “Don’t Stop Believing” because American Idol ran long?  Inquiring minds want to know.

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5 responses to “Recorder wars: TiVo vs. DVR

  1. I’m not sure, but I think it probably depends on the service you’re subscribing through.

    I have a TiVo box upstairs and TiVo subscription for it through DirecTV, but it’s a very old box and doesn’t have all the new features of TiVo, because not long after we got it, DirecTV and TiVo parted ways. So my downstairs box is DirecTV’s DVR. Essentially, NEITHER feed recognizes if a show has gone over.

    The only thing I can do is use the option to extend the recording. Instead of recording the following show, you set the show you’re recording to stop an hour later, or whatever. When the local CW station had a baseball game this fall and pushed Supernatural to, like, 11:00 p.m., I set its regular recording to go three hours longer.

    But stuff gets cut off all the time. Like Scrubs always went like 30 seconds over, and the very end got cut off between ending Scrubs and starting the show after it, which we also recorded. It’s annoying.

    But whenever I complain like this, I have to remind myself of the days of VHS and single-show recording and no jump-back button and stuff. I’m a little spoiled. 🙂

    • DVRs really have changed the way we watch tv, haven’t they. I even find myself wishing I had the jump-back capability on the car radio.

      I’ll have to check about the “extended recording.” I’ve never seen it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. ‘)

      BTW, people are beginning to comment on the legitimacy of my Super Stats. Heh.

  2. Jump back on my kids’ conversations, too! LOL

    I’m outraged that anyone would question your legitimacy! I’ll have to go see what they’re saying…

  3. On the Verizon FIOS DVR , there is a record function to extend both the end and the beginning of a recorded show.

    I use the extra 5 minutes for all recordings as a matter of course.
    Then fast forward to the show I’m recording.

    There is a selection for a longer extension as well.

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