TiVO KillFilters
September 8, 2004 8:30 PM   Subscribe

TiVoFilter Is there any way to create killfilters in TiVo? Essentially the equivalent of a Season Pass, but to mark a series as "ignore every instance of this series"? [mi]

Thumbs-down and WishList sub-categorizing/prioritizing isn't getting the job done. Manually deleting crap to reduce conflicts with good stuff is defeating the purpose of automation. There's gotta be a better way, right? Educate me, oh wise TiVo-ones. (This is a standard Series2, by the way.)
posted by nakedcodemonkey to Technology (19 answers total)
 
Doesn't a "3 thumbs down" work for you? That's essentially what it's supposed to do...
posted by LairBob at 8:33 PM on September 8, 2004


Oh...guess I posted too fast. Beyond the thumbs, I don't know of any formal way to do that with a TiVo, other than deleting upcoming episodes one by one through a Season Pass/Wish List (which is hardly worth it, and would require updating every two weeks anyway).
posted by LairBob at 8:35 PM on September 8, 2004


I am assuming that you have an auto record wishlist that is recording the series, when you want stuff from anything but the series in question. Apart from thumbs down and adjusting the priorities in the season pass manager, there's not much you can do.
posted by riffola at 8:44 PM on September 8, 2004


Maybe you could be more specific. This might just be a case of an overly-broad Wish List or something.
posted by bcwinters at 9:09 PM on September 8, 2004


Thanks, yeah, here's an example: I've got a WishList for Documentaries. Which is good, but what I don't want is the "Crime" or "Reality" subcategories or any episodes of shows like "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" or "Making The Video". These unwanted items end up being in conflict with stuff I do want. Or here's a broader example: all members of the Game Show or Reality categories could be forever blocked. That'd be swell. Aside from giving 3 thumbs down (done) and then manually removing from To-Do lists (done constantly), is there any way to convince TiVo to never select certain title/categories/keywords/whatever?
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 9:36 PM on September 8, 2004


Setting thumbs-down to something you've set an auto-record wishlist won't do the trick. It's like setting a season pass for a show you've given 3 thumbs down to. You're basically telling it to record regardless of your feelings about it.

Have you tried creating autorecord wishlists for documentaries only with the subcategories you're interested in instead of "Don't specify a sub-category"?
posted by lynda at 9:58 PM on September 8, 2004


Like Lynda said, it seems the solution is to create X amount of lists for ever category inside Documentary except "Crime" and "Reality."

Or if you're looking for movie documentaries, couldn't you do Movies > Documentary wishlist?
posted by ALongDecember at 10:12 PM on September 8, 2004


Yep, I have created a set of subcategories instead. Slightly better, but doesn't solve the problem for two reasons. One, because there are certain unwanted series within generally wanted subcategories (ex. "Liberties Kids", an animated kids show, is categorized as Documentary/History). And two, because some series are cross-referenced between wanted and unwanted subcategories. TiVo snags that stuff on the premise that it matches a Wishlist "want", which is why I'd like to find a way to override those auto-selections with a "don't want" designation.

But it sounds like manual filtering is really is all that's available. Unfortunately, every time I delete every showing of something like Ripleys, it turns out that within hours TiVo has added more showings of it to the To-Do list. *sigh* Quit that, darn it.


Does ReplayTV or any other DVR offer more flexibility options for blocking unwanted content?
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 2:01 PM on September 9, 2004


You're making wishlists for entire categories of shows? I wouldn't do that -- you'll get a lot of stuff you don't want, and spend too much time deleting them. Wishlists are good for recording "every Kevin Smith movie" but you would never want to record "every cartoon."

Instead, give two or three thumbs up to exemplars of the kinds of show you like, and turn on auto-record suggestions, or else manually review the suggestions periodically. Then set up season passes for the specific shows you want from there, or manually record an episode or two to see if you like it.
posted by kindall at 2:33 PM on September 9, 2004


I agree with kindall.
posted by rushmc at 3:56 PM on September 9, 2004


I'm with Kindall, you are asking for way too much and then complaining that you get it. Have a little more faith in the thumbs up/thumbs down/TiVo suggestions and get season passes for shows that you actually like.

If you're big on one-time-only specials, there might be a way to filter for that in the wishlist too (at work now, can't check my tivo) but i'm not sure. Otherwise just peruse the guide for the next two weeks of what's on the history channel, pbs, or other favored channels. I used to do this with the food network, before i figured out which personalities/shows i liked, i would just record the shows about food that sounded tasty. Takes about ten minutes, once every two weeks, which sounds like way less time than you are spending on this now.
posted by rorycberger at 3:57 PM on September 9, 2004


You're making wishlists for entire categories of shows?

Argh. Again: subcategories. Lots and lots of subcategories. Which TiVo then uses to select programs that, at best, barely fit within the subcategory and others than overlap into categories for which a WishList has deliberately not been made.

Have a little more faith in the thumbs up/thumbs down/TiVo suggestions and get season passes for shows that you actually like.

Literally every series I have any opinion about already has been rated, and those that are predictably enjoyable have their season passes. Yet TiVo is still passing up 3-up programs to record 3-down programs. Looks like when resolving conflicts, WishLists are granted higher priority than ratings.

If you're unaware of a way to accomplish this goal, that's useful to know. But why criticize the question itself? Both watch filters (i.e. SeasonPass/WatchList) and kill filters are old hat in mail and usenet clients, so considering TiVo is a Linux appliance I must disagree that it's "way too much" to wonder whether any of the current DVR models offer a feature that is the negative complement to its watch filtering.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 5:27 PM on September 9, 2004


Again: subcategories.

Yes, again, wayyyyy too many shows. A good wishlist should match maybe 5-10 shows at most, otherwise it's just going to record too much crap. The category/subcategory stuff is good in conjunction with other types of criteria but it's far too broad on its own. Just accept the fact that TiVo has some features that are there more because people would bitch if they weren't ("why can't I record every cartoon?") than because they're actually useful.
posted by kindall at 6:23 PM on September 9, 2004


Looks like when resolving conflicts, WishLists are granted higher priority than ratings.

YES! That was my whole point. Lose the wish list, just let it record based on thumbs up/thumbs down. TiVo treats wishlists just like season passes (that's why you can adjust their priority in the Season Pass Manager), and then records the TiVo suggestions if there is time/space left over. Thus your wishlists are getting in the way of what you actually want. Lose them.

But why criticize the question itself? ... I must disagree that it's "way too much" to wonder whether any of the current DVR models offer a feature that is the negative complement to its watch filtering.

Actually, I wasn't criticizing your question, I was criticizing the way you are using wishlists. I meant that you've set a wishlist, asking for "way too much" stuff, you get that stuff, and you are not happy. Problem=Wishlist. Lose it. Be happy. Sorry if I was unclear and you took offense.

If you want a direct answer to your original question: No, there are no killfilters in TiVo. I can't speak for ReplayTV, and you probably won't get any responses to that question unless you post a separate question for it, since your original question was only about TiVo. I guess now I am criticizing a bit, but constructively: your original question is fine, and I think it's been answered; if you are still curious about ReplayTV or other services, you may wish to ask again on the main page about that.
posted by rorycberger at 8:43 PM on September 9, 2004


Oh, also:
Argh. Again: subcategories. Lots and lots of subcategories. Which TiVo then uses to select programs that, at best, barely fit within the subcategory and others than overlap into categories for which a WishList has deliberately not been made.

It seems that you've already come to the conclusion that the WishLists suck, so why are you still using them? Lose the Wishlists, give TiVo a chance to record its own suggestions based on thumbs up/down, and occasionally scan through the guide for one-time specials, etc. that look interesting. Problem solved, no Killfilter required.

Having said all of that, I should add that a killfilter would be pretty handy - and the thumbs up/down stuff has never quite seemed powerful enough to me - but TiVo is what it is, and you have to figure out the most effective way to record things within its limits. It's been my experience (and apparently yours as well) that wishlists are highly ineffective, so I recommend that you get rid of them. If this isn't enough, you might still want to look into ReplayTV, et al. though I don't know if they will be any better.
posted by rorycberger at 9:01 PM on September 9, 2004


It seems that you've already come to the conclusion that WishLists sucks

Funnily enough, that hadn't occured to me at all. But it does sound like the consensus from more experienced TiVo-ers is that WishList is the real. Interesting perspective. I'd just been going along with the manual's recommendations, unaware that the feature is not considered realistically useful. No wonder it's been a pain! Okay, I'll try suspending the WishLists and see if Suggestions can do it better. Thanks, everyone!

(If anyone knows about the situation with other DVRs, any leads would still be welcomed. rorycberger, point well taken about changing the question. Still, it'd feel rude to post two questions in a row. Doesn't Matt frown on posting too often?)
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 9:41 PM on September 9, 2004


Still, it'd feel rude to post two questions in a row. Doesn't Matt frown on posting too often?

Good call, I guess I didn't mean for you to ask another question right away, but if you are still curious in a week or so then you might try a follow up. At the very least I'd wait until this thread is dead, then check the archives, google it, etc. and then ask if you still can't find the right info about ReplayTV and other services.

Funnily enough, that hadn't occured to me at all

Also, strangely enough, it hadn't occurred to me that you are brand new to TiVo. Give it a little time and you'll get the hang of it. It's definitely an imperfect tool, but it can be oh-so-wonderful once you figure out how to make it work for you. Happy TiVoing!
posted by rorycberger at 10:01 PM on September 9, 2004


one last thought: You don't have to completely give up on Wishlists - they aren't entirely useless - just know what you are getting into when you sign up for one. If you make them specific enough - e.g. Documentaries with a (fairly uncommon) keyword such as Hitler, or Submarines, or Egypt, or whatever you are interested in - they can be good for catching that occasional gem that you might otherwise miss. You should be able to view the upcoming programs that match your wishlist, and if it gives you a list of more than about 5 then it's too broad, so start over.

Also, once you get all of this figured out, you'll likely find that TiVo records way more than you have time to watch, so don't worry too much about catching every single show that might interest you. Focus on the stuff you know you want to watch and work on finding other stuff as you have time for it.
posted by rorycberger at 10:17 PM on September 9, 2004


I use wishlists, but I never (hardly ever) use them to automatically record stuff. I find it easier to use them as a targeted TV guide. I then browse through all my wishlists every week or so and then select the stuff I want to record. It seemed easier to me then deleting all the stuff I didn't want it to record.
posted by FreezBoy at 6:43 AM on September 10, 2004


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