I’ve been a TiVo user since 2001 and I’ve owned 7 TiVos. It’s a great product because it is extremely easy to use yet offers an impressive array of features. However, I think TiVo can offer even more functionality without compromising, and perhaps improving, the simplicity of the user experience. Here are my ideas:
- Seamless multi-room experience: I want every TiVo in the house to display the exact same recording content even though it’s distributed across multiple boxes.
- Single Season Pass / To Do List: I don’t want to manage Season Passes on each TiVo, I want them to talk to each other and come up with one master Season Pass list.
- Coordinated Recording: I don’t want there to be recording conflicts when there is a free tuner available on another TiVo. Pool the tuners and record scheduled shows on any available tuner.
- Single Now Playing List: I shouldn’t have to browse my recorded shows based on which TiVo they are stored on. And I shouldn’t have to be sitting in front of a specific TiVo to delete shows from it. I don’t care which one a show is stored on. List all available shows in 1 list. Stream the shows in real time if stored on a different TiVo so it doesn’t have to copy the entire thing locally.
- Email/SMS Notification of Conflicts and Upcoming Auto-Deletions: I don’t want to go sit in front of my TiVo and specifically search for recording conflicts. Send me an email or SMS a few days in advance. The same goes for shows that are about to be deleted. And give me the option of which show to cancel instead of always dropping the lower-priority season pass.
- Complete Online Management: Allow me to manage every aspect of my TiVo online. This includes Season Passes (and their priority), manage my channel listing, view upcoming showings, manage WishLists, etc. This should include a feature that backs-up my season passes in case of hardware failure.
- Record re-runs only if the first-run episode was missed: Sometimes TV services goes out, sometimes there is a conflict, there could even be an issue with TiVo that caused the recording not to happen. Take note that this episode was missed and record that episode when it is rerun.
- Text input: TiVo doesn’t have to redesign the peanut remote to give us text input capability. Just release IR and TCP/IP commands for all letters of the alphabet and let third-party remote manufacturers create the hardware. If they do decide to release their own keyboard TiVo remote, that would be a nice bonus. But creating additional codes takes almost zero times and resources.
- An Official iPhone Application: There needs to be an official iPhone application that does everything. Remote control of any TiVo in your house. Season Pass management. Remote scheduling. Steaming shows stored on your TiVo. Copying shows over from your TiVo to your iPhone. Everything that you do sitting in front of a TiVo, you should be able to do within an Official TiVo app for iPhone.
- Clear QAM channel mapping: Even if this is manual, allow users to take advantage of the free/unencrypted HD channels that are available over cable without having to mess with cable cards.
- HD Component Video Recording: Take advantage of the “analog hole” to record HD video from any device. This would allow a TiVo HD to work with pretty much any HD Cable or Satellite box. If the analog encoding hardware can’t be incorporated inside of TiVo, make TiVo work with the Hauppauge HD PVR (via USB)
- Pie-in-the-sky: Direct Steaming Playback of Video Files stored in a file share. This feature is a bigger stretch than any of the others, but I’d love to see it implemented. Let browse the shared folders on my Windows Home Server and steam the files directly to TiVo without having to use TiVo Desktop or a video transcoder. Even better, display the cover art and movie description (stored in XML files along with the movie) and replicated the features offered by the Media Browser plug-in for Windows Media Center.
Interested in seeing what suggestions others have? Here are some great posts with some different ideas: