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

Steve Peters - Priority Electronics steve at priorityelectronics.com
Sat Dec 20 01:00:32 UTC 2008

>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 :)

Matt - Thanks for the rant. I too hate getting the "if that feature doesn't
work properly for you then don't use it" responses. I figure that most
people do watch live tv from time to time, and for most of those people, it
probably works just great. My system is pretty new, so I imagine that it
should work, especially when I see people saying they're using Pentium 3
CPU's and it works great.


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