Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Time Warner Issues

Dear Time Warner Cable,
I'm not sure this note will adequately express my disappointment and annoyance with you this morning, but I will try.
First, you made me late for work.  I was watching the Weather Channel when all of a sudden my TV went black and my cable box window had weird sequences of letters and numbers counting down to something unknown.  Then the window just showed blinking dashes and then solid dashes, but no matter what it was doing, my TV screen was black.  Finally, it was back up again after multiple cycles of that, and some "mystro" thing loading, but you wasted my time worrying about it.
Second, we just got a new cable box because our DVR broke.  When we got it, I was dreading looking at the DVR list, thinking you might have given us one with the same crappy, illogical setup that my parents have on theirs.  We checked, and I breathed a sigh of relief because our DVR functionality remained the same.  Simple, clean, straightforward, easy to use.  None of this pressing 4 or 5 buttons to get to the same place as I would by pressing 1 or 2.  (Seriously.)
Your little "change" this morning, your little "update," apparently was to put in place that crappy "improved" system.
There is only ONE thing that I can see that is better about the new system.  It tells me what percentage full the DVR is.  That is useful.  However, I would gladly take back my old system where I didn't know the percentage full if it meant I didn't have to deal with all the BS of your new crappy "improvement."
Since the screen finally came back up, I got to see all the wonderful things you did.  For example:
- Programs that we changed from "do not delete" to "delete when space is needed" now say "do not delete" (some of them) so now we have to go back through to figure out what we watched and what we didn't.  (I don't delete the programs when they're done and instead let them delete themselves because otherwise you could end up with a completely clean DVR on a Saturday afternoon and nothing to watch.)
- Programs scheduled to record appear "new" when in fact they were "new" last Sunday.  (coughABDCcough)
- I had rearranged the order on the DVR save list so that programs I cared less about (e.g., Hawthorne) would delete before programs that I would prefer to watch again if I had the time (e.g., Merlin).  You put Hawthorne right back up in its chronological order instead of where I left it.  Do you no longer do "keep longer"?  Do you no longer allow us to manage the DVR so we can "keep longer" the things we like and more quickly trash the things we don't?  I didn't have time to fuss with it this morning since I was already late (see above), so please tell me if this exists.
- Now in order to see scheduled recordings, I have to go to list, arrow right twice, then select title or date.  Before it was List, B.  Simple as that.  Why does an "improvement" mean that I have to press more buttons and decrease efficiency?
- Before when a program was in "danger" of deletion, it would have a little timer thing and tell me about how many days were left before it would be deleted.  It would change from a regular hourglass to a bright yellow one if it was going to be deleted that day.  You have replaced this with a red exclamation danger sign.  That's fine, except what does danger MEAN?  Today?  Tomorrow?  2 days from now?  Less useful than before.
These are all just examples, and I'm sure I will find more examples of the idiocy of this improvement.  Why do program designers insist on "improving" things when they just make them worse?  I see this all the time with computer programs at work, and I don't understand it.  Why change for the sake of changing when you go from something simple, pleasing and user-friendly to something more time-consuming, less efficient and less intelligent?
If I discover at some later time that one of these "improvements" I have cited actually works better, I will of course gladly post here and correct myself.  However, I am not optimistic of such an occurrence.
Please give me my old DVR list set up and functionality back.  This new one really sucks.
Unhappily yours,


M. Alice said...

Experienced the same auto-upgrade today, too (on the UWS). Some trepidation on my part because I had a raft of problems with "Mystro" DVR boxes last year. I kept returning them until a nice girl at the TWC depot offered me an older, more reliable model.

So far, I've found one potentially bad problem:

I set it to record two programs this afternoon (on the Science Channel) and it *seemed* to record them both... but when I played them, they were programs from the GAME SHOW CHANNEL! What the what?!

I do hope this is not a sign of things to come...

tv obsessor said...

thank goodness there are others out there that feel the same way i do...i agree that the only good thing about the new upgrade is that it tells me what percentage of my dvr is used but nothing else, the rest is useless...perhaps there are more of us out there and together we can get this thing fixed

schmoker said...

Time Warner dumped their old software system, which an outside company designed and maintained, for their own system which they do not have to pay for. Hence, the decrease in functionality. This was not an upgrade. It was a change to something cheaper for TW.