[mythtv-users] To "Live TV" or not to "Live TV" within myth...

Matt S. skd5aner at gmail.com
Fri Dec 19 23:54:03 UTC 2008

On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 3:14 PM, jedi <jedi at mishnet.org> wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 09:30:13AM -0800, Steve Peters - Priority Electronics wrote:
>> Hello. I just can't seem to get myth to work properly. There's always
>> something that it's messing up on.
>> Live TV absolutely never has the voice sync working. All recorded shows and
>> all movies work just fine. So I'm stumped on this one.
>    Mebbe you should consider not trying to use the DVR as a TV. Even when
> we still had our Tivos we really didn't do that. We kept around a separate
> tuner for that. If you can't wait until the show ends before you start
> watching it, you're not going to really benefit that much from a DVR. You
> won't be able to skip the commercials much.

Sorry Jedi - I don't mean to pick on you, just thought this was a good
time to comment on a recurring theme here...

I know you mean well, and contribute a lot to the community, but
responses like that are way too common on this list and I think
they're not necessary.  How does that help the guy and his problem?
MythTV provides a Live TV feature, and basically has forever (it was
even completely refactored almost 3 years ago) - at least in the last
5 years I've been using it.  Anyway, some folks (including myself)
sometimes want to watch live TV.  In fact, I sometimes *miss* channel
surfing as a lot of times I discovered new shows, or learned things
that I wouldn't have EVER setup as a recording rule (or even have
known that I would want to watch them) - a lot of history channel,
discover, TLC, A&E, etc.  Now I rarely see those things because it's
not worth it for me to constantly find the one-off programs that those
networks show and try to record them.  Also, unless it's a widely
publicized or highly acclaimed series, or a very special one-time
event, how am I supposed to know to record something new?   DVRs are
great for series and recurring recordings, but beyond that it's only
as much as you can discover, and how do you do that unless you care to
keep up with entertainment news or read network websites (which I have
much better things to do with my time).

In addition, sometimes I just want something on in the background that
I don't have to pay attention to.  According to myth, I have 155
recording rules with 733 matching showings over the next 14 days.  I'm
sure there's folks with more and folks with less, but pretty much
anything I record, I want to pay attention to.  Even with all those
shows, I record, I get tired of the same 50 shows poping up, believe
it or not.  Just like people get bored with 200+ channels, I get bored
with the same stuff my mythbox records.  I can't just record
everything in the world and hope that some of it peaks my intrest.

Another use case is when I have visitors, especially those who might
stay overnight or a few days.  My recording rules aren't necessarily
what they want to watch, nor would I want them deleting my recordings
after they got done watching what I had been saving to watch.  It's
also harder to explain than just "turn on the TV and browse for what
you want to watch".  My parents had a DirecTV Tivo for 2 years, it
broke and they replaced it with a DirecTV DVR 2 years ago.  They still
watched live TV 98% of the time, because they like to watch the news,
keep the TV on in the background, etc.  I think it took them 2 years
to even learn (or care) that they could pause Live TV.

What about super bowl parties?  Do you want to explain to your friends
they should wait two hours so it can automatically skip some
commercials by the time you get to the end?  Lots of folks actually
want to watch those commercials too.

Bottom line, it's a feature *lots* of people want/use... and it's
frustrating when a feature people want/use doesn't quite work for
them.  Telling people they should have a paradigm shift isn't
necessarily the right advice.  I think sometimes, some folks lose site
that TV in general is a distraction and we don't have to completely
give up the concept of Live TV and go 100% recordings 100% of the
time.  Obviously Live TV doesn't get maybe the respect it deserves
because of the use cases of the primary developers, but Issac did
spend a lot of time reworking LiveTV a few years back, so it probably
isn't going away anytime soon - and I'm glad for that.  Truth be told,
I probably only use live tv within myth 5% of the time, *maybe*.  If I
need to watch LiveTV, it's easier a lot of times to just use my cable
STB - especially if I'm handing the remote over to a guest.  Don't
take this as a complaint against myth, I don't really have many
complaints about the live tv implementation like some do in regards to
a "delay".  It has it's faults, but I actually like how live tv is
treated almost like a near-real-time recording.  Anyway...

Both have their pros and cons.  A DVR should not be about just coming
back to recorded programs, but it should be about timeshifting TV (0+
minutes) after it's aired. (my opinion)

Anyway, that's my yearly rant, not necessarily directed at anyone in
particular :)


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