My wife is used to cable. This idea of there being finite set of tuners is not something she cares about. If I even try to explain tuners to her, she doesn’t want to hear about it: she just wants the thing to work.
But she just got the dreaded “No tuner available” message this morning, and she was at all pleased, and has talked more than once about going to cable because of this problem.
Frankly, she is right.
A DVR needs to work for consumers who don’t want to know about there being a finite set of resources (tuners). It just needs to make things simple.
Here is what I suggest: if a user attempts to watch a live show, and there are no tuners available, a dialog should pop up that asks if the user wants to cancel some current recording so he/she can watch the show.
If the user indicates yes, then the user is shown a list of all current shows being recorded, and can pick one recording to be cancelled. If he/she does that, the selected show is cancelled, and then the user is taken to the show they wanted to watch in the first place.
Yes, this does mean that a current recording might be cancelled, but this is by user choice.
And it clearly automates what a more knowledgeable Tablo user might do. I have done this myself.
I have gone and stopped an active recording so I can watch a different show. But I know how to do this.
My wife does not.
My feature request is to make this free-up-a-tuner process really, really easy.
I actually think this is a critical feature for a DVR, especially one with only two tuners.
This problem has shown up repeatedly at our house, and is a very serious problem in respect to the Tablo experience.