[mythtv] conflict resolution vs priorities

Bruce Markey bjm at lvcm.com
Fri May 30 17:26:23 EDT 2003

Ben Bucksch wrote:
> Bruce Markey wrote:
>> Ben Bucksch wrote:
>>>    * Today, there are Anaconda and Johnny Mnemonic running at the same
>>>      time. I had a hard time to choose, took me maybe a minute, and I
>>>      am still not sure about my choice. If I had to assign a priority
>>>      when I select a recording,
>> This doesn't reflect the difference I see between declared
>> priority based and algorithm guess systems. It is myth's
>> conflict resolution pages where you need to make a choice
>> for every single recording.
> No, only for those where there is an actual conflict. With "every single 
> recording", I mean when I choose a programme to be recorded. I.e. I 
> select a movie in the EPG, say "Record this showing" and will have to 
> set a priority. Or in which dialog would I assign the priority? (see below)

A single record like a movie should default to the top of the
list so you wouldn't need to do anything different than you
do right now. A series should default to the bottom. You
could then sort your list to reflect exactly what you want.

>> In a priority based system, you
>> would have an ordered list of the titles you've chosen. You
>> stack them in the order of your preference. This is fairly
>> simple because most things are a no brainer, You know which
>> shows you prefer. Once you've set the list, the default choices
>> are based on your preference rather than the scheduler's guess
>> and will continue to do so indefinitely.
> As you've seen, I am talking about movies, not repeating shows (for me, 
> TV is mostly Star Trek plus a cheap feed of movies ;-) ). I agree that 
> such a system might work for series or TV shows, but it doesn't for 
> movies. I often don't know them in advance, and there are hundreds or 
> thousands of them. It's hard to rate them all correctly, in advance 
> (heh, even in hindsight) and all in correct relation to every other so 
> that not the wrong one gets recorded in case there is actually a conflict.

I don't think what you are imagining is quite like what I'm
suggesting. You would continue to do exactly what you do now.
If you see a movie title you want to record, you mark it to
record, it wins that time slot and gets recorded. I'm not
suggesting taking away anything, only adding the ability to
give the scheduler hints about what you prefer so that it
doesn't make arbitrary choices for you based on type, length,
and channel number.

>> In either case you would have the occasionally tough choice you
>> describe and would manually choose.
> But the point of the Original Poster was that he doesn't ever want to 
> check the "todo list", so no manual choices. Unless the concrete 
> conflict resolution choice comes up immediately when I select the 
> recording and if there is an actual conflict, based on currently known 
> TV listings.

Having used a system like this, I do look at the todo list
from time to time and see that it hass chosen the things I
prefer so I rarely need to make any changes. I'm certainly
NOT suggesting taking away the ability to make manual choices.
I don't think he was either. You may have inferred that from:

 > There should not be a need for this, the most
 > important (highest priority) recording should be
 > recorded on the highest priorty card that has that
 > channel. period.

I agree. If I want to catch every episode of "Survivor" I
want to know that it will record "Survivor" even if there
is a special episode of "That 70's Show" on Thursday that
happens to be on a lower numbered channel. I know exactly
what he meant and it doesn't mean that you lose the ability
to make manual choices or change your mind. With a sorted
list of preferences you actually have more opportunity to
express what you really want and not leave things up to

>>>          o I have to make the choice not between 2 concrete choices,
>>>            but against some abstract value system I made up in my mind
>> Visit a friend who has a Tivo ;-).
> If I knew one :-). I've never even seen them being sold here in Germany.

Sorry, Ben. If I'd given it two seconds of thought, I knew
you were in Germany. I was addressing anyone who might not
have seen TiVo ;-). My apologies.

>> A simple list of your choices. 1 always gets recorded, 2 is
>> recorded unless it overlaps 1. 3 is recorded unless 1 or 2 are
>> on.
> I assume 1 and 2 are actually conflicting programmes, based on the known 
> TV listing?

No, not necessarily. They probably will never conflict. But
if the networks change their schedule next month, they might.
If that did happen, the scheduler picks the show I already
know I'd prefer. I might notice this on the conflict list
and change my mind. But, if I didn't notice, it would pick
based on my stated preference rather than choosing the one
on the lower numbered channel.

If they never come on at the same time, it doesn't matter
which is number 1 and which is number 2. The important
thing is that they are both above 27, 41, and 13.

>  How is this different from the MythTV's conflict resolution 
> together with "remember this choice" ('record show B, whenever I have 
> the choice between A and B')?

You don't get to make this choice until this conflict shows
up in the listing. With a sorted list, you're ready for
anything that might happen. The other problem is that this
says that you prefer A only in the case that B is on. All
bets are off for any other show. You want to express that
you want to record A if any other show conflicts (period 8-).
Record B over any show other than A and so on.

I've had as many as 80 titles chosen on a sorted list system
(no, I don't watch them all but like to have the variety to
choose from ;-) and I *know* that Survivor will always get
recorded no matter how many titles I choose. I *know* that
"Crank Yankers" won't preempt any other show and won't get
recorded unless there is nothing else on.

If I had a myth box with one tuner and chose 80 titles, the
A or B choice would be an N squared problem. I'd constantly
have to make new A over B choices every time a new combination
of two shows arise. If I added a new show that shows up at
random times on a cable station, it might take weeks or months
until it reflects which shows to preempt and which show not to
preempt. Even then, a new conflict could come up at any time.

> With "priorities", I thought of an integer that I assign to a recording 
> entry, and if there is a conflict between 2 shows, the one with the 
> higher integer gets recorded.
>>>    * If I have the choice between Star Trek and the average action
>>>      movie, I choose ST, but if I have 2 cards with different quality,
>>>      and I can record both, I'd want the action movie to be recorded
>>>      with the better card, so the priority can't really say anything
>>>      about the choice of cards.
>> Even currently, the show that  come out on top by algorithm goes to 
>> card 1 and the next to card 2
> I am not talking about the current system at all in this last point, 
> only about 2 alternative proposals. Well possible that the current 
> system is totally unsuited, I don't know, I have only one card atm 
> (still waiting for the sat dish access...).

I knew you weren't talking about the current system but I was
pointing out that it already does put the show that wins
first place in conflict resolution on the first card and
second place on the second card. If you had a sorted preference
list, you could absolutely be sure which show gets recorded
on which card. Simply move the show you want on card one to
be above the other show on the list and you're done.

>> With a priority list, you could move the show you
>> want on your best card above the other and know that it will
>> do what you want.
> So, I'd rate the action movie higher than ST? What, if there happens to 
> be a conflict later (I watch LiveTV or make another record or whatever)? 
> Then the action movie would get recorded instead of ST, which I don't want.

You'd deal with these issues the exact same way you do now.

You're trying to contrive an example to show that having a
priority list can't handle every possible situation. But
guess what? Leaving it to an arbitrary choice based on the
channel number certainly won't do the right thing either
so I'm unmoved by this example ;-). In either case, you would
want to intervene. It would be easier to 'trick it' into
doing what you want if you had a priority list.

--  bjm

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