Broadband-connected TiVo DVR users: do you use “Search by Title” or “TiVo Search” in “Find Programs” to find shows? Why?
I don’t know if this was an informal usability poll or more in the way of Twitter marketing. In all likelihood, it’s a bit of both. But if my early morning math is correct, ~90% of Twitter respondents prefer the original, less powerful Search by Title. Of those, the majority cited TiVo Search’s speed issue as a factor in their choice. No surprise, really. The new 16×9 optimized UI is beautiful to look at, but too slow to launch and frequently laggy when active. Which is typical of all the tacked on “HME” Java apps, pulling UI elements and data from the cloud. And the primary reason why I prefer the sprightly, little $99 Roku box over TiVo for Amazon VOD and Netflix streaming.
I doubt these performance observations come as a surprise to TiVo, and it’s something I’ve previously discussed with product guys Jim Denney and Bob Pony. I’m hopeful they’re working on a variety of improvements – such as caching graphics locally or even replacing/updating the entire OS (without requiring new hardware). Time will tell.
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Bonus Coverage: While at Dash Navigation, I worked for/with Robert Currie, one of the guys behind Strangeberry – the Java platform and company, acquired by TiVo, that played an instrumental role in producing HME.