It’s been over a month since our TDS TV was installed so I thought it was time to update you on how it’s going. In a word? Fantastic.
For me, the bottom line is that the menus all work the way I think they should. We had our previous provider for over 2 years and somehow no one in my family ever really got the hang of the menu logic. With TDS TV, there hasn’t been any hunting around hoping I’m getting the right thing, or accidentally selecting something I didn’t want. I just go to the menu and I easily find what I want to do without pulling out the manual or trying 10 different things before I get it to work. Love it.
In fact, as I mentioned during my install, it’s so easy a child can do it. The problem is, if you can call this a problem, it might be TOO easy, as we’ve discovered. My son, who is 9, has become “King of the Recording People.” That kid records anything and everything (including “Annoying Orange”—ugh) because it’s so simple to schedule recordings.
We keep telling him he needs to stop monopolizing the DVR but honestly, despite his recording habit, we haven’t run out of room yet. (If you’re ever wondering how much space you have left, go Menu, then Recorded TV, and then DVR Free Space.) There IS a fix for the kid who saves too much. You can modify the recording settings to only keep a few episodes at a time. We’ve done that and it helps keep my son’s habit under control.
In addition to the highly-intuitive interface, we’re also loving these other features:
The “watch next episode “option. It’s nice to not have to go through the menu to select the next show, especially when you’re watching a few episodes in a row to catch up (of maybe “Storage Wars,” just as hypothetical example, of course). It just streamlines the whole process and saves you the time of cutting through the menus which we appreciate.
The Onscreen Caller ID. I’ll admit, I’m quite surprised we like this. I honestly thought this was kind of gimmick before we had it. Now, I think it’s great and would miss it if it were gone. Why? This might sound strange but I think it’s because I actually don’t get much time to watch TV. When I do get a few minutes to watch a show or we all agree to watch something as a family, it’s sort of a big deal. As such, it’s frustrating to have the phone ring, stop the show to find a handset, only to discover it’s an “unknown caller” or someone else who I can easily call back later. Now, we know who’s calling without having to jump up and stop the show. I also like that the kids don’t scream from downstairs, “Who is it??” when they hear the phone ring. If they’re watching TV, they can see who’s calling for themselves and find a handset if its one of their friends.
The “watched program” distinction. It’s really, really, really nice to see at a glance what you’ve watched and what you haven’t. It just makes it faster and easier to find the show you want to watch. I believe my son likely gets the most use out of this feature (when he sorts through his lllooonnnggg list of recordings to pick the new ones!).
One change that has come with TDS TV, that’s neither a good or bad thing—just different—is that we have become a bit more conscious of how we’re using the TV. I believe TDS would call this “stream management.” A few times we’ve had minor pixilation issues because we had too many TVs going at once. Once we turn off a set-top box that’s not being used (or switch Cartoon Network to a non-HD channel because really, like the kids really care?) it solves the problem (and as I mentioned in my last TDS TV blog, the SD picture is great!). And, I will happily take this infrequent occurrence over weather-related down time.
And want to know a secret? There will be a new On-Screen Voice Mail feature coming in August, so watch for updates!