How can the software continue to be so lame?

Apparently people have been waiting for things such as bulk delete and faster syncing for some time. Supposedly we now have it… Well if we do it is very lame. I say this as someone who has written software for forty years and understand the need for immediate user feedback and interaction.

The bulk delete worked for me once or twice and failed after a few MINUTES, and the syncing is still taking forever and restarts when the App gets priority, seemingly from the beginning.

Way back when during the User Interface wars thirty years ago it was recognized that THREE seconds was the maximum you can make anyone wait for any feature to complete. This was studies done by Digital Equipment Corporation.

What the Tablo is doing can easily be accomplished in this time frame for interactive responses. Your software “staff” apparently does not understand how to architect for this process.

So for BULK DELETE. When I say “delete” anything you simply MARK it as deleted in your database / file system. Don’t do the delete at that time! You have a background task that does the delete sometime later. You can have an idle process that just deletes one item at a time when nothing else is ongoing with the system. Garbage collection.

For Synch you are sending all the same data over and over again to the App running. All you need to do is query the LAST SYNC DATE OR ORDINAL and then send any updates. You don’t need to send anything it already has accumulated. And if the sync stops because the app goes to the background, when it goes to the background it WRITES OUT the last entry to a field it got so it can START at that point again when the App runs again.

For Queuing a recording you send the info on what you want to queue and the Tablo just returns that it has gotten the recording request. The App doesn’t wait until the Tablo does whatever is needed to setup the recording, it should IMMEDIATELY be available for more use.

I have written plenty of firmware for small devices in addition to Android apps and mostly big big programs which are running many complex tasks. What you guys are doing is really in many ways trivial in the regard to user interaction. But you are not looking at the solution correctly. This is not a lot of work in any regard but basically if the user has to wait for this interaction forget getting more users. Goodby Tablo.

This message is done in a constructive way because it just seems your software people are totally missing how to architect for the user experience. If you were working for me or anyone I have worked for they would not find what is released acceptable. My last commercial software was Onscreen Display for forty HDTV manufacturers so I understand what am talking about.

Feel free to contact me via email and perhaps phone if you desire further input. I do not monitor your forums.


Sounds like they could use your expertise. Send them your resume, maybe they’ll hire you.


It’s on the roadmap! No wait, wrong thread :wink:

Feel free to spin up a business and make something better with your vast knowledge of architecture and usability. I think most people here, including myself, are satisfied with the solution.


Just a suggestion… As a qualifier, as a degreed Engineer with a BS and an MSEE, I also have a LOT of industry experience, most of it in tele- and data-communications, but a smattering of other industries as well. I started off as a hardware engineer back in the days when most of us wrote our own code for processor based designs, and have extensive experience in analog design, digital/logic design, processor development, software/firmware, interface design, digital signal processing (back in the day when we did it from scratch, not having access to off the shelf, canned software) packaging, etc., etc., taking products through the entire development process, from inception, through, qualification, regulatory approval, production, providing seminars for our customers (most of the major & minor national and international players in the telecommunications industry), making pitches to potential investors in my companies, etc., etc., etc. I started off as a very green Jr. Hardware Design Engineer and advanced through the engineering ranks, to very senior levels, mentoring younger engineers along the way, before moving into Sr. Management, becoming VP of Engineering at several startups that I co-founded. Along the way, I managed to pick up some patents as well, including a nifty one that ran a super efficient DSP algorithm of my own creation that did some fairly complex signal detection in real time in noisy telecommunications environments back when we were using relatively slow 8052-type processors clocked at about 2 MHz.

So much for my bona fides… and I only point them out to show that I know what I’m talking about when I make my comments here on your posting. You make several valid points, but when you start off insulting the hard working folks at Nuvvyo by asking “How can the software continue to be so lame?” and insulting the software staff that “apparently does not understand how to architect for this process”, and then claim at the end that “this message is done in a constrictive way…” but then go on to berate the software people for “totally missing how to architect for the user experience.” This is a sure-fire way to almost guarantee that anything positive you might have to say, and you did make a couple of good suggestions, would be ignored. As someone who has mentored several hundred or more folks from entry level technicians and engineers, to Jr. and Senior level managers, interacted with folks in production, marketing, sales, etc., I have never started off insulting anyone for their “Lame” designs" or “poorly conceived” plans, or anything else. It’s probably not the best way to gain their cooperation, or to develop them into high performing employees. As someone who has had the opportunity to lead high performing teams, I can state for a fact that they didn’t get that way on their own, and it wouldn’t have happened had I exercised leadership techniques as exemplified in your posting.

I do admit that I had a little chuckle at the end when you offered “Feel free to contact me via email and perhaps phone…” as I don’t really expect them to, but of course, I could be wrong.

P.S. I’ve been a Tablo user for 2-3 months now, and since moving it from Wi-Fi to a hardwired Ethernet connection into my router, performance and usability have been near flawless. I’m having a great experience with my 4 tuner Tablo, and would not have a problem recommending it to any of my friends.


At least he waited an hour after first joining the forum to bash the product…

“I love the UX of my Smart TV!” ~Said no one ever


I lol’d.

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Probably first post/last post.

But I agree if you feel strongly about it send them your resume and see if you can help … ergo be part of the solution and not the problem… or feel free to roll your own product … its a free market… there are quite a number of chip/board vendors who will provide the ATSC tuner hardware and you can roll up an alternate application… (see MythTV if you want a place to start for DIY).

Well I only joined because after waiting for this feature rollout and seeing they have not fixed problems which are easy to fix some input on how to fix their user experience was needed. I will note there are other subjects of people leaving their products because of these issues. Obviously they have not addressed these issues and something trivial like saying keep X copies of a particular program is not even completed.

If it took me an hour to get the posting off it was because was trying to make it complete, readable and useful rather than just a crass comment that adds no information but makes one look like a joker.

Regarding the skilled person who has trained many and does not like my delivery, hey I have as stated forty years myself working for big and small companies. As I have said the user experience would not be acceptable to retain my job. And yes I have written millions of lines of code and perhaps twenty computer languages as well as hardware environments. And have done User Interface work for lots of companies in addition to my own companies. My connections to Tablo are all the fastest possible and going to the Internet wireless can do 200Mbps and wired 400Mbps so speed is not an issue.

For those suggesting I start a new company no longer do that in the US. I would just like to be a user. If you are happy then you probably don’t know what I am talking about and miss the entire concept the computer should respond as fast as I can use it.

The sad thing is all this is so easy to fix, but any postings one gets ad hominum attacks rather than discussion of the issues. Generally I stopped posting to forums more than twenty years ago because this turns into a waste of time.

The Tablo products are very nice, but it baffles me how they can miss such user interaction issues such as this. I would rather support a small company rather than deal with TiVo. As stated although I am being critical about their current implementation the spirit is in improving the product. When you see the number of promises people have heard and the timeframe for getting them out it is pretty surprising. But at least hopefully they are open to better ideas than they seem to come up with currently.

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Well lucky for you, there’s choice. If you think this lacks features, go try simple TV and let me know how that works out for you. Simply put, if you don’t like it, trying something else…


thanks that really added to the conversation.


To be honest, I don’t think a topic like “How can the software be so lame”, is a topic worthy of “Adding” anything to, and what “Conversation” has been had in this thread has come across as mostly your bloviating and bashing. So it hasn’t seemed like all that productive of a thread anyway.


right. their software works really well and the problem is the user. he is a jerk and a moron. he smells and his breath is bad.

regardless of my delivery, my personal way of conveying information or if you like it, the hard facts as stated are their implementation is lame.

everyone can continue to say all the mean, nasty ugly things they want about me. go right ahead. the software implementation continues to be lame.

deleting one or a hundred shows should take less than a few seconds. but the problem is the poster complaining. say it again someone else. or someone else say create your own company, make your own device, use a different device.

you are right it is not a productive thread. because beyond my first post all it has been is people doing ad hominem responses and there is not one TECHNICAL response here.

someone who lives on this board can probably count hundreds of requests for bulk delete. but even when they get around to implementing it does not work, much less work in a few seconds.

if you are satisfied with the way the software functions you have a very low level of acceptance. so go ahead and tell me i am bloviating and bashing some more. i have no interest in anything other than getting the software working better.

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Jim has a point.

Not getting surround sound on a product brings us back to the 20th century, just like waiting for bulk delete.

It really should be done in the background. Just like a single episode delete shouldn’t take 3 seconds.


@Jim17 I agree with your assessment. Sometime coming out and saying the honest truth about their UI is better than saying…well it’s good enough.


I should restate that IMHO they have done a very nice job with the overall App and product. The UI in general is good. (When I was in the Sun OpenLook group it got to the point with GUI where if half the people said it didn’t suck that was pretty good.) Their presentation and such is well done and I don’t have any complaints about it.

The underlying client/server mechanism though is where it all falls down. They need to queue requests correctly and be smarter in that regard to be asynchronous. Most everything I do now is all threaded and asynchronous so one is not waiting on anything. One can do this even on the smallest platforms if they think about it. The Tablo experience would be much improved.

“Lame” means hobbled, not totally broken. The interaction is like walking with crutches when the user could be jogging.


I second that. If you’ve got the recording quality settings up as high as we all want them to be, wifi just isn’t going to cut it. Get creative if you have to and wire it in. It’s worth it. The only issue I’ve ever had with the Tablo to-date is with my wireless devices. That reminds me… I need to go post another feature request. LOL.

My impression is that they’re working on the “hard to get right” features. I don’t have a complete sense of their budget or team size, but if they’re like most startups I’ve worked for, they’re small and lean and working as fast as they can. I’m sure that once they get the major things worked out, they’ll start turning around for UI/UX clean-up and refinement.

I don’t quite have the pedigree you older gentleman have, but since we’re all putting it out there, I’ve been programming since I was 10, developed critical infrastructure for naval missile systems, and worked military signal intelligence, before moving into mobile development for the last 6 years. Most of the time I’ve been employed, I’ve been a team of less than 6, and usually on a shoe-string budget in a small startup.

I like where Tablo is now. I’m excited to see the level of commitment they have to their product, and the interest they have in hearing what their users have to say. There’s an active user community here. Yes, some of us may be “Tablo zealots” just as some of us are “Apple disciples” (I’m that guy)…

Listening to Jim, I’m reminded of a story from when I was first starting out in my first real software job right after college. I spent weeks working my butt off developing a web application to the specs my boss gave me. I got it all done and my boss was happy, but he asked one of our senior hardware engineers to give it a spin and send me comments. The first sentence in the email I got from him was “Seriously, what is this crap? It’s totally useless.” I nearly quit my job that day. Instead, I called up my boss and asked him what this guy’s beef was. Turns out he was an old civil war re-enactor who was a brilliant hardware engineer, but his personal interface was what one might call “rough around the edges.” He ended up being one of my favorite folks to work with over the years, but that’s because I got to work with him and know him. Here, all I see is your screen names. So how we speak has to ring true to what we really intend to communicate. That’s more than just being careful about what we say. It’s also about being careful to listen to what other people intend to say.

I think Jim has a lot of very valid points. I hope someone from the @TabloTV team took the time to read through the “personal interface” and think about what he was really saying.

I also think Jim came across a little rough around the edges and it set some folk’s hackles up. Meh. Deal with it, folks.

What I think the real issue is, here, is that we’ve all gotten used to what the big cable folks give us, which is, to be blunt total and complete crap. Tablo is so much farther beyond what my cable box from a huge multi-billion dollar company has given me for years, that of course I’m saying “this is pretty good.” But yes, it can be better, and yes, it should (and I’m sure will) be better.


yes, somewhat intentional. people tend not to listen these days if you are too smooth around the edges.

and I can tell you this is nothing compared to working with companies making Consumer Products. when Samsung stops the line because your company has what they perceive is a software bug you better believe there are no team building events. you stay up as many hours as it takes to fix before sleeping.

@Jim17 I appreciate all you have written here—knowing very well the response you would receive.

I just don’t think it’s realistic to expect anything to change at Nuvvyo or on the forum.

The Tablo is never going to be an acceptable DVR for the living room (partly because of ineptness and partly because transcoding to H264 is a problem—they should have saved the MPEG2, incorporated HDMI and only transcoded to H264—using a tuner—when streaming elsewhere).

I have DirecTV now, for (NFL) Sunday Ticket, NBA League Pass and the soccer channels; but the world is changing. I think soon I’ll be able to watch the Packers, Celtics (and Clippers), Milan and Barcelona via streaming options and I’ll have to take switching to an OTA DVR more seriously. Right now, the clear choice is TiVo with lifetime. Who knows, in a year or two, the locals might be available via streaming also. Perhaps my next DVR is going to be Apple TV.