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The Daily Show and their TiVos

How does The Daily Show compile all their amazing clips of politicians saying one thing one day, and the opposite thing several months before? From a long New York Times profile of Jon Stewart and his operation of the show:

The day begins with a morning meeting where material harvested from 15 TiVos and even more newspapers, magazines and Web sites is reviewed.

Crazy, huh? I suppose that's what it takes to record every 24hr news network around the clock, every day of the year. I wonder if they could reduce some of those by going to dual tuner TiVoHD models and dropping terabyte drives into them? I'm also curious if they store archival video footage onto file servers, or if they're only tracking the past 24hrs of the news cycle each day.

August 16, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (21)

TiVo auto-delete flag seen in the wilds again

Startrek2_2 Back in 2005, there were reports that a few recorded shows on TiVos were auto-deleting themselves due to a "copyright flag glitch" that TiVo said was a mistake and was rectified. A reader of this blog named Jeff sent in screenshots and a report of the same behavior popping up around a Star Trek episode. Here's his email and screenshots below:

I just got home from a day of running errands and turned on my TiVo in order to watch a favorite Star Trek episode (The Galileo Seven) that I had recorded earlier today at 1:00 PM.

When I looked at list of shows I had recorded I was surprised to see a flashing red flag next to the program with the following informational text: "Due to policy set by the copyright holder, this recording: Can only be kept until today at 3:26 PM. Cannot be transferred to VCR, DVD, or any other media device. To learn more, visit www.tivo.com/copyprotection"

Umm, that's a whopping < 3 1/2 hours in which to view the program -- how generous! Oh, and the link that they suggest you visit that explains the issue returns a "Page not found" error. Spiffy!

I thought that this had happened before and was deemed by TiVo to be a "mistake." Looks like the "mistake" is back!  I'm not sure if any other folks out there have seen the same thing.

Screenshots below the fold:


I'm sure we'll hear it was another accidental glitch, but two things jump out as still pretty amazing about this. One is that the episode in question is decades old and isn't exactly the kind of high value content like brand new primetime shows or paid on-demand movies that the feature was likely designed for. The second is that still three years after the first time this problem surfaced, TiVo still hasn't put anything up at the URL they give you to get more information about it. It seems like someone should at least put a pointer to their FAQ item about it.

August 16, 2008 in TiVo | Permalink | Comments (3)

How To Watch The Beijing Olympics Online

As the start of the Olympics draws near this list of tips on how to watch the Olympics online at Silicon Alley Insider should come in handy.

Last night my wife and I spent about an hour scouring the next two weeks of listings, setting up every recording we could find for our favorite sports (me: road, track, mt bike, and bmx cycling events, her: swimming and soccer). I noticed that even with an upgraded 750Gb drive in my TiVo, recording dozens of 3-to-8 hour blocks of HD programming is going to max out our TiVo if we don't stay on top of it and watch/delete every couple days during the next two weeks.

Having the chance to see things live online will be a nice addition to that as well, in the cases where events we like are tape delayed until primetime.

August 6, 2008 in News | Permalink | Comments (2)