Gimmie Java!

The HT Guys love their Starbucks. If you want to say thanks, a cup of joe will do just fine! Starbucks-Donate

Watch the Videos



Podcast #706: Ultimate DVR

We have been using DVRs now for the past 10 years or so and they have come a long way since when they were first introduced. But with that said there are still a few features that could take the DVR to a whole new level. We have a few ideas for the Ultimate DVR and so do you.

Download this Episode.

Listen to the show

Today's Show:



Amazon Prime:

Sign up for Amazon Prime and enjoy:

  • Free Two Day Shipping!
  • Instant Streaming of TV Shows and Movies
  • Instant Access to thousands of Kindle Books
  • The HT Guys gratitude!


Ultimate DVR

We have been using DVRs now for the past 10 years or so and they have come a long way since when they were first introduced. But with that said there are still a few features that could take the DVR to a whole new level. We have a few ideas for the Ultimate DVR and so do you.


Pause In One Room And Pick Up In Another

Most of our DVRs can already pick up recordings in different rooms at the last played spot but it's a bit cumbersome. The way it works for most of us is to turn on the TV in the other room go to the recording list select the show and then hit resume. We would like to make it simpler. How about when you hit pause you are given an option to select another TV for continuation. Then you turn off the TV and go to the other room and turn on the TV. A dialog box will already be displayed on the screen asking you to hit play to resume. With a single click of the remote you are back in business!


User Profiles

User profiles would make life much easier for homes with multiple inhabitants. The interface should allow for quick filtering of the recorded programs based on users. That way we don’t see the shows that our children and/or spouses recorded. Anytime a new program is added to the season pass manager it will show up in everyone’s list until you accept or reject it. You can also show the full unfiltered list with a simple toggle.

But the real power will be in tracking where you were in a program. If someone in your household watches a show that you also have in your list it should not indicate that its been watched by you until you watch it. If someone else is 30 min into the show and you are 15 min into the show the DVR should keep track of that as well.


True iTunes/Netflix/Amazon/Youtube Integration

It would be great if you could log in via your DVR and then whatever subscriptions/TV/movies you have purchased would show up in the program list. Sure you can switch over to a Smart TV application or external set top box. It would be really cool if they just show up in the playlist.


Listeners Ideas

I would like to be able to record 4-6 shows simultaneously, watch DVR from my phone, set recordings more easily (too many steps), watch from any TV/device.

-Shawn in Stafford, VA via Facebook


Due to there being so much content out there to watch, some intelligence can be added to recommend shows that you would like based on what you record and shows that you watch via the "Catch Up" feature. I find that there is a lot of good stuff out there, but we just don't seem to find it and if we do find it, the shows are a few episodes in already.

For shows that you generally record, highlight them within the "Catch-up" section. I prefer to watch via "Catch-up" then via the recorded shows since then I don't have to skip commercials.

-Glenn in South Africa via Facebook


Cloud based dvr so that recordings are available to view on all devices. Could be practical now that dsl speeds are much higher these days.

Integration of catch - up and on demand within the EPG. This could allow for scrolling 'back in time' through the epg to launch a catch up show, straight from the epg itself.

-Duncan via Facebook


In today's day and age, if a game runs late, the dvr should automatically adjust

-@409SWH via twitter


An interface that's easy to use with less clicks. The @XFINITY X1 DVR is example of poor/stupid UI.

-@HiFiGuy528 (and many others!) via twitter


Honestly, way before any fancier feature, I'd just like the damn thing to work SMOOTHLY. My Comcast box is just slow enough responding to button presses that it drives me crazy. I spend an inordinate amount of time just trying to fast forward through commercials without overshooting the beginning of the next program segment. Then, rewinding... Then, oops, back forward... Then back... Then screw it, I'll just watch this last commercial. At the end of a program I hit stop and WAIT for the option to delete, then hit OK and WAIT for it to delete, then WAIT for it to respond to the "exit" button for the DVR menu to go away. Then I'm about 10 seconds away from smashing the remote. Also, on the Comcast DVRs, you have to add about 3 minutes to every recording because the thing acts squirrelly near the end of any recording, in ways too specific and weird to explain here. Oh, AND, for no reason, they changed the play button's function during playback from simply showing the play timeline to now pausing the program. GRRR.... So the feature I want the most? JUST WORK RIGHT.

The next complaint is simply the guide / schedule. Program reruns show up as new and either don't get changed to a rerun listing until right before it airs, or never change and get recorded, filling up the drive. And our local PBS station CONSTANTLY has errors in listings. On other stations, series recordings just disappeared for the upcoming season, and we had to re-create them. Nuts.

So then after all the basic stuff, I'd like one DVR that remembered where you were in any recording, no matter how you were playing it back (recorded or on demand), and could play back to TINY little players around the house, or as DLNA to anything that uses that standard, or to mobile devices wherever I am. But mostly I don't want big ol' boxes with every TV simply to be able to see HD. That's infuriating, and one of the reasons I was so excited to recently read about efforts to set a software standard by the FCC that could be licensed to whomever, so we don't all have to rent so many infernal boxes! :-)

-Lee via Facebook


I would like DVR's to go away. All shows should be available from any device at any time, including FF/RW capability. My cable company (Brighthouse) only has shows available from the current season and FF does not work. The capability to download a show to a mobile device so it can be played off-line should be available as well. So far, I have only seen this from Amazon.

-Andy via Facebook


1. External HD with no size limit (user upgradable/replaceable)
2. easy downloadable recordings (for archiving)  
3. easy way to backup all settings to an external computer

-Bob via email




Download Episode #706

Reader Comments (2)

Regarding wire and cable management, rather than zip ties I have had great success using double-sided hook-and-loop tape, i.e. "Velcro". Here's an Amazon link:

I've also found it at Harbor Freight in the aisle near the zip ties.

October 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Just listening to this eposode on Ultimate DVR features. Most if not all of these features are already available in the project linuxMCE. It does DVR and HTPC and Home Automation. Problem is once you start getting it operational, you just want it to do more and more.

October 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNeil

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>