Parks Associates Blog

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wanna see a ticked-off wife?

With great fanfare, Verizon has now brought its Interactive Media Guide (IMG) to the FiOS TV service in our neighborhood. I actually was awake at 2-something in the morning a couple of nights ago and heard our bedroom set-top clicking away, like it was digesting many lines of code.

I think that the set-top has indigestion.

The IMG brings some new search functionality and 32-bit graphics, which really adds some depth to the program guide, the Widgets, and the video-on-demand titles. And, the new primetime VoD offerings (although limited) are a nice feature. I watched Friday Night Lights last night. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to get emotionally invested in another TV program.

The IMG is nice, but not if it comes at the expense of the wife's happiness. And, I've got a major quibble with the performance of the system now. It is painfully slow. Now, I realize that channel changing is not quite as instantaneous with digital television services as it is promised, but volume adjustments occur at a snail's pace now. I'm finding the time lag between hitting the menu button and the main guide coming up to also require more time than I'd like. The way that DVR recordings are organized is also new and different - I'm not sure I'm 100% behind it, at least right now. But, that's not even the worst part.

Last night, my wife (suffering from a cold) just wanted a break. After chasing the kid around, feeding him, and getting him to bed, all she wanted to do was catch up on last week's recorded episode of Grey's Anatomy. She was not a happy camper when she discovered that (for reasons unknown), every episode recorded was the high-def version. So, she got audio, but no video. I don't think that the IMG activation would have caused this, but it didn't matter. She was mad. And, she doesn't like the "warming up" message that pops up on the screen prior to intitiating certain services.

Thank goodness the trash needed to be taken out last night. The Apostle Paul wrote in one of his epistles something along the lines of "not letting the sun set on your anger." In other words, don't go to bed with an argument still looming. Wise advice from a 2,000-year-old writing. But Paul never had to deal with time-shifted television.

I'm hoping that some of these things are just the nature of the software taking hold and us growign accustomed to the new uses. I sure hope so. The family needs to stay happy.

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