Category: Television

Go Tivo yourself

Let’s take a step into the way back machine and rewind our Tivo story to 1987-88. Time Warner was shutting down the Full Service Network (FSN), an experimental excursion into interactive television. Jim Barton one of the architects of FSN and Mike Ramsay both former SGI executives got together to start Tivo. Their ideas somewhat […]

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Tivo UI issues

Tivo is often praised for it’s superior user interface. Here are some of the problems and issues you haven’t heard about. Tivo can not be easily setup without a phone line. Yes there are tricks to do this and sometimes they even work but it’s amazing that it’s 2005 and the only way to setup […]

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Recycle Bin

People make mistakes. A core principal when designing software is to plan and expect mistakes. The user interface should anticipate human errors and allow people to make mistakes without punishing the user. Recently after watching a show on Tivo the interface offers to delete the show or keep it. Moving quickly I deleted a show […]

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Vod Casting – video on demand

Many people have now heard of the term PodCasting but broadcasting audio to your iPod is just the beginning. The next wave of content will be brought to your TV, on demand. The new underground word of the day is VOD-casting the VOD stands for Video on demand and in the next 5 years it […]

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TV 2.0 fix this idiot box

I’ve had to fix the TV for my grandmother about 10 times over the last two months. These visits have been like an informal usability test. The problem is that technology features are driven by different tv companies and departments. Each contributes to the problem but doesn’t take resolnsibility for the entire user experience. Here […]

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Wires and Cable Design

New cables, wires and connectors get invented all the time. Usually these new cables replace some standard, or update a common method of connection. Inevitably each cable design fails to learn from the cables that came before it. Basic Principals for Cable Designers Cables should be designed such that it can be plugged in and […]

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The big HD myth

Some people believe that 2006 will be the big year for HDTV. Although I’m sure plenty of HD sets will be sold the overall experience of watching HDTV will leave people with a sour user experience. Two different channel numbers for the same channel – How is the person watching a show supposed to know […]

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RCN discovers a new form of energy

I was having problem with my new HD cable connection to RCN so I called their technical support department. After waiting almost 30 minutes on hold I finally spoke with someone. I was experiencing static, pixelated images and staggered pictures. After a breif description of the problem the tech support person started to ask about […]

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RCN HD-DVR Sad

This is a quick list of issues I found with the RCN HD-DVR (October 2004). From my understanding the Comcast HD-DVR uses similar if not the exact same software. Ports on the back of the DVR are not labeled at all Remote has a large number of buttons (62) many of these are modal and […]

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The computer is the TV

Today there are millions of people who pay a cable or satellite company between $30-$90 a month for 100 channels that they don’t watch. These same people pay hundreds of dollars for DVR’s and media centers to record shows that they end up deleting and if that’s not enough they pay for Netflx to deliver […]

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