Need Different ways to Search channels

Discussion of the new user interface for the HDHomeRun app.
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pvcleave
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:28 pm

Need Different ways to Search channels

Post by pvcleave » Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:56 pm

I know HD Homerun is not going to get a normal guide. However, what is there, needs major improvements. I never realized how bad it was, until I had to set up things to record on it. The people at HD Homerun are so convinced that there ways is the right way, they will not change.

To do what I needed to do, cannot be done on the HD Homerun DVR by itself. I normally use Emby, but becasue of a computer issue, I cannot record at the moment. My daughter loves the Hallmark Christmas movies. I need to record only the new ones. I have no way of knowing that from the HD Homerun app. So what I do, is look in Emby and find the movies and search for them one at a time in HD Homerun. It is a much longer process. Can you imagine seriously going out two weeks in HD Homerun to see what is on? Also, you can only look at one channel at a time. Also, looking at one channel often messes up and gives almost no info. The discover tab is fine for that moment in time, but that is it. If I want to find a movie, I can go to the movies tab, but it does not show me the channel. That is important, is it HD, is it on a channel with commercial's? Filters would be nice, information would be nice. Is a movie a premier, if it is a series, is it a repeat or new episode. To get this information in HD Homerun, you click into each show and maybe you get some information.

My adult daughter is unable to record shows on HD Homerun, it is not user friendly, for finding shows or movies, in many instances. Yes, in the way the designers do things it works. But this model that this is the only way to do things, is not a way to get customers.

I will be fixing my computer and abandoning HD Homerun. I always knew the interface was horrible, but needing to use it, just reinforced how bad.

That's my rant.

NedS
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Re: Need Different ways to Search channels

Post by NedS » Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:01 pm

pvcleave wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:56 pm
I know HD Homerun is not going to get a normal guide. However, what is there, needs major improvements. I never realized how bad it was, until I had to set up things to record on it. The people at HD Homerun are so convinced that there ways is the right way, they will not change.

To do what I needed to do, cannot be done on the HD Homerun DVR by itself. I normally use Emby, but becasue of a computer issue, I cannot record at the moment. My daughter loves the Hallmark Christmas movies. I need to record only the new ones. I have no way of knowing that from the HD Homerun app. So what I do, is look in Emby and find the movies and search for them one at a time in HD Homerun. It is a much longer process. Can you imagine seriously going out two weeks in HD Homerun to see what is on? Also, you can only look at one channel at a time. Also, looking at one channel often messes up and gives almost no info. The discover tab is fine for that moment in time, but that is it. If I want to find a movie, I can go to the movies tab, but it does not show me the channel. That is important, is it HD, is it on a channel with commercial's? Filters would be nice, information would be nice. Is a movie a premier, if it is a series, is it a repeat or new episode. To get this information in HD Homerun, you click into each show and maybe you get some information.

My adult daughter is unable to record shows on HD Homerun, it is not user friendly, for finding shows or movies, in many instances. Yes, in the way the designers do things it works. But this model that this is the only way to do things, is not a way to get customers.

I will be fixing my computer and abandoning HD Homerun. I always knew the interface was horrible, but needing to use it, just reinforced how bad.

That's my rant.
Everything you mention seems like it could be accommodated without having to do a "traditional grid guide", which is about the only thing we've flat out said that we won't do. I don't believe we've ever been opposed to a channel-specific search, and ideas for more flexible/customizable recording rules is constantly being looked at in the company (I think it would be awesome to say "record everything with the word X in the title on channel Y, for example).

I think tag-based "filtering" could be an idea worth exploring. I've already mentioned this internally regarding episode listings that have hundreds of episodes. The idea of season folders wasn't well received, so I bought up the idea of a season-filter, and that could even go along side other filters (maybe as checkboxes so more than one could be selected?) for things like "unwatched" and "new/recently aired episode". I could imagine search filters using the same logic, where they would have "new" the ability to search specific channels, if something is a "movie" or "show", etc. .

pvcleave
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:28 pm

Re: Need Different ways to Search channels

Post by pvcleave » Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:23 am

Actually being able to search multiple channels at times in the future, cannot be done without a grid.

Another issue, is the data in the guide. It always seems incomplete. In other guides I can see, new, repeat and so much more.

It just seems insane to so flatly refuse to do a traditional guide. A grid is the only way to clearly see what shows are coming up and ending on multiple channels at once.

On your guide I can see what is on now. To see what is on next, for each channel, you need to look at each channel and look at the time it starts. The discover tab is nice, but not it is not as efficient as a grid. I can see shows that are on now, but not channel. As an example, NCIS, is it on CBS, or a repeat on a cable channel. I also don't know if it is on an SD channel or HD. While I may care about it being in HD, my wife doesn't.

I just do not understand the problem. I work for a large company, doing reporting. Now I have over 100 projects, with many huge differences in budgets, time frame, and other data points. In order to get a picture of all products and how they fit together, we use graphs, charts, and grids. This allows management to see large amounts of information about multiple projects. I just could not get away with the design choices you are using. They are inefficient for looking at large amounts of data of programing. There is nothing wrong with your choice, they work, but in certain situations. Just as a grid would not work in all situations. The only point I am trying to make is, give users a choice. Emby, my cable box, and other guides, they all have multiple ways of looking at information. Even TV Guide magazine has multiple ways.

NedS
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Re: Need Different ways to Search channels

Post by NedS » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:30 pm

pvcleave wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:23 am
Actually being able to search multiple channels at times in the future, cannot be done without a grid.
Yes it can. I just described how it could work. One could search for "Christmas movie" and then check off which specific channels to apply the search to.
Another issue, is the data in the guide. It always seems incomplete. In other guides I can see, new, repeat and so much more.
I hate that too, and I mention it whenever I get the chance. They're looking into it.
It just seems insane to so flatly refuse to do a traditional guide.
It's complicated, there are reasons, but we can't get into them. That sounds insane, I know, but there's nothing I can do about that, and this is just how it is if someone wants to use our software (which is just one option with our hardware).
A grid is the only way to clearly see what shows are coming up and ending on multiple channels at once.
That's fair, but our approach is to appeal to the on-demand/streaming crowd who wants to supplement their cord cutting with live OTA, and it's becoming less and less important to know what is on *now* vs what is available to record and watch later.
On your guide I can see what is on now. To see what is on next, for each channel, you need to look at each channel and look at the time it starts. The discover tab is nice, but not it is not as efficient as a grid. I can see shows that are on now, but not channel. As an example, NCIS, is it on CBS, or a repeat on a cable channel. I also don't know if it is on an SD channel or HD. While I may care about it being in HD, my wife doesn't.
I don't think a grid guide is necessary to display if something is a repeat, SD or HD, or what channel it is on. We have some concepts we are working on that should help address a lot of these issues.
I just do not understand the problem. I work for a large company, doing reporting. Now I have over 100 projects, with many huge differences in budgets, time frame, and other data points. In order to get a picture of all products and how they fit together, we use graphs, charts, and grids. This allows management to see large amounts of information about multiple projects. I just could not get away with the design choices you are using. They are inefficient for looking at large amounts of data of programing. There is nothing wrong with your choice, they work, but in certain situations. Just as a grid would not work in all situations. The only point I am trying to make is, give users a choice. Emby, my cable box, and other guides, they all have multiple ways of looking at information. Even TV Guide magazine has multiple ways.
In certain use cases a grid guide is absolutely better, but do to some complications and factors both inside and outside of our control, a traditional grid guide is just not going to happen. We might get something that is functionally similar, maybe even very different than what we have now, as time goes on and we explore various ideas. In the meantime we can do a few things:

* We can do the best we can for other situations that don't need a grid guide. Our guys have a vision, and they're going to do the best they can according to that vision.

* We can make our software as open as possible so that people can tap into the DVR engine and the hardware and make their own software interface. The unofficial Kodi PVR add-on is amazing for people who like traditional grid guides. Yes, those options don't have support for DRM cableCARD channels, but that's a legal hardline.

* We can also explore options like Android TV Live Channels, which allows a traditional grid guide and CableCARD DRM channel support, but has no DVR API for us to tap into. I think we did the same thing for Fire TV, but Amazon hasn't approved it yet.

* We can also look to solve-problems/express-data/discover-content in other ways other than a traditional grid guide.

People seem to forget that we used to just sell hardware, and the software only came later because we wanted to add our take on how to make a client, and later how to make our own DVR service. We never stopped supporting third party clients and services, and we even went out of our way to support them. We absolute give our customers a choice, and far more than any other competing company that makes network tuners.

nateb
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Re: Need Different ways to Search channels

Post by nateb » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:25 pm

This won't help most of your points, but just FYI, you can do a search for a channel number in Discover, and it will list everything that's going to be on that channel for the next two weeks. So like if Discovery were 234, you could search for 234 in Discover, and it would list everything on that channel.

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