Monday, April 14, 2008

Memo to Rogers Cable: PVRs should record the selected program, not the channel/time

On Friday, I encouraged readers to consider watching the documentary 'Cure for Love' that aired this past Saturday night on Global TV. I was out of town visiting family this weekend, so I programmed my Rogers PVR to record the doc that was set to air at 7 pm on said channel and watch it last night when I got back.

Unfortunately for me, I didn't realize Global was also broadcasting the Masters golf tournament just before its 7 pm-scheduled 'Global Currents' show, which was airing a shortened version of filmmaker Christina Willings's film. And of course, the Masters ran overtime, pushing the starting time of 'Cure for Love' to something like 7:40 pm or so. And of course, when you choose to record a program that's supposed to air on Global at 7 pm on your PVR, you really are scheduling only to record Global at 7 pm, regardless of what's airing at that time. Thus my PVR recording mostly missed the doc.

Still what I managed to see seemed well-produced and the portraits poignant and conflicted. There was much discussion among the subjects of agony over sexual orientation, of previous self-abuse and suffering. Just as one ex-gay man discussed how his old struggles led him to consider suicide, my PVR recording ended (on the dot at 8 pm.) I certainly want to see the full feature-length documentary, so perhaps I'll have a chance later on DVD or soon at a LGBT festival. I'll reserve judgment on the documentary until that time.

I've had this problem before with my Rogers PVR when taping other shows that either start late (due to some preceding sports coverage or other coverage) or run late (like awards shows which always run late or even 'Lost' which occasionally runs for an extra five or 10 minutes.) PVR recordings miss portions of desired programs.

MEMO to Rogers: The next time you upgrade your PVR technology, please make it possible for users to record the actual shows when they air, not just the station and time selected, and perhaps make it possible for PVR to record the actual show in its entirety, not just its scheduled length which is frequently incorrect. Perhaps this is impossible, but it would definitely be an improvement. Also, it would be nice to be able to record more than just two shows at a time, but perhaps I'm asking too

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