Good news, everyone! TDS TV continues to evolve with some pretty sweet new features! For the past month or so, I’ve been part of an internal testing group that is checking out the latest Microsoft Media Room updates. Austin, my fellow blogger, and I divvied up the new features so we had a chance to focus in and discuss each of the new features (you can see his blog here).
Within the Live TV menu, there is now a way to sort the guide by category (Entertainment, Kids, Movies, Sports, etc.). This very cool feature comes in handy for any household that has a wide array of viewing interests–so pretty much EVERY household. In my house, the Sports category was worn out during the month of March. Between golf, baseball’s Spring Training and the World Baseball Classic and basketball’s March Madness, I was constantly using that filter to see what was on where. We also had little nieces and nephews visiting during the test period, so having the ability to filter on Children’s programming was extremely helpful for their stay!
DVR “watched program” Distinction –
If you are like me, you have more than a few favorite programs. And, within those programs, a favorite episode or two that you like to refer back to or watch whenever you need a good laugh or cry. With this new feature, shows you’ve already watched now display in italics within the DVR menu. This makes it easy to distinguish new, unwatched recordings from saved, already watched recordings.
Multiple Favorites Lists – I am an absolute creature of habit. I go to bed at the same time, I wake up at the same time and I have a set routine that I follow every morning. Not surprisingly, my TV habits are also pretty predictable. Despite the many viewing options with TDS TV, I generally stick to the same 5-10 channels that have my favorite programming on them.
With this new feature, I can now build a list of my 5-10 favorite channels, name it, activate it, and the guide is filtered down to show me only what is on my list! This feature allows users to build up to 5 different lists (per set top box!) to filter out your favorite channels. I can build a list for me, my wife, our nieces and nephews and the cat and still have a space left over for another! The lists are simple to access and very easy to turn on and off–a very cool way to personalize your viewing experience.
Panel List Reordering –
Due to the new features, there are new Viewing Options and Guide Options. You’ll see all the Viewing Options when you press the ENTER button while viewing live TV. You’ll get the new Guide Options if you press ENTER in the guide. Because of all these new options, the lists you are familiar with have been expanded and reordered.
With the new options, if you are watching a show and want to add it to your favorites list, just hit the ENTER button and choose the new “Add to Favorites” option and it will be added on the fly! If you are browsing in the guide and come across a show you want to add, again, just hit the ENTER button and choose the new “Add to Favorites” option there. With the upgrade, the ENTER button is a shortcut to many interactive features!
You’ll notice that many of the new features are focused on continuing to enhance the interactive viewing experience without interruption, something I think everyone will welcome.
That’s all I have for now, but it certainly isn’t the end of the plans TDS has for continuing to upgrade the experience! I’ll be back next time to talk about more cool stuff we have on the horizon. Until then, happy watching!
Appreciate the new features. Would really, really, really like ability to create folders so I can be kept my recordings separate from my kids recordings.
Is there any possibility that Big Ten network will be added to channel selections?
This sounds very cool… When can I expect to see this change on my system?
Current plans are to roll out the upgrade in the next month. Keep watching for all the new features!
Those are all nice, but, bring back “reminders” and “autotuning”. Also, it would be nice to have more “on demand” choices from network stations.
PIP where you can really watch two tv shows at one time would be nice. We had that with COX.
I agree with Donna … please, please bring back “Auto Tuning”. That is a huge feature I miss very much. Hopefully it is on the priority list. I also agree with more choices from the networks needed for the “on demand” channels. We have been very happy with having made the switch from satellite to TDS TV.
What happened to being able to hit “last” on the remote and being taken directly back to the last show you were watching? It disappeared a few days ago. Now it takes you to the last 5 channels that have played and you have to choose from there. It was nice having the instant “flashback”.
You can change this by going to menu, settings, television, recent panel, turn off recent panel, save. All set
Is anyone having problems with tiling? We seldom had a problem with the old box, but it’s pretty bad now.
Anybody having a problem with the guide? Used to be able to schedule 12 days in advance, but as of today, can only get to 9 days.
Does anyone know how to get it to show “two weeks” out? The tech did it while he was here, but I forgot to ask how he did it.
I don’t have the option to unlock parental controls for four hours. I have been asking TDS why this is for almost five months now. This is really in response to the fact that parental controls kick on for every new show, often cutting of the last minute of the previous show.
Does anyone else have experience with this? A solution?