TiVo OnePass and the (almost) perfect binge TV machine

TiVo rolled out updated software a couple of months back. Sure, there are still 1999 non-HD versions of some of the settings menus, but the release included a new feature called OnePass.

From an interface perspective OnePass treats programs on Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. as if they were recordings stored on your DVR.  I underestimated how much I’d like that and I also hadn’t considered that it would integrate seamlessly with Comcast’s On Demand.

While TiVo’s interface for Comcast’s On Demand is faster than it is on a standard Comcast set top box, the interface still isn’t nearly as good as TiVo’s native interface. OnePass allows you to completely avoid all of the Comcast menus. TiVo’s integrated search already allowed you to bypass those menus but…OnePass handles it better. Especially if you’re looking to binge.

I added a OnePass for Banshee (I have Cinemax). It worked perfectly, pulling in all the episodes starting from season 1. I added a OnePass for Bosch which is an Amazon Prime show. Worked perfectly.

I get Pivot TV, but I don’t get it in HD (and when it comes to the big screen TV, I’m definitely an HD snob) but I do get Pivot in HD via On Demand. I added a OnePass for Fortitude and set it to “streaming only.” OnePass pulled in all the episode links and, thankfully, there are no commercials in Pivot’s on demand episodes. I’m not sure I love Fortitude, but it looks fantastic in HD.

Since I have that OnePass set for “Streaming only” (I didn’t want to record the SD versions) I was interested to see if it would pull in new episodes as they became available on demand and reflect that new episodes are available. It does!

What’s not to love?

Robert Durst still haunts me

I got onboard the train for HBO’s The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst after the 3rd episode (out of six). I added a OnePass for it and immediately binged on the first 3 episodes. The DVR automatically recorded the remaining episodes as they aired. From a viewing perspective everything worked perfectly. The thing is, when I was done, I couldn’t stop “The Jinx” from showing up at the very top of my “My Shows” list.

I deleted all the episodes. Still there. I deleted the OnePass. Still there! I added back the OnePass and deleted it again. Still there!

What is my TiVo trying to tell me?

The seamless Comcast VOD integration has some kinks

Everyone keeps telling me I should watch Veep. I have HBO so I added a OnePass. OnePass says it’s accessing the HD VOD versions of the episodes, but…it’s not.  The HD episodes *do* exist, but for whatever reason OnePass isn’t pulling them in. Just some mapping issue, but not one I can correct via TiVo’s interface (i.e., if I want to watch via OnePass, I’ll have to suck up the SD versions and if I want the HD versions, I’ve got to navigate the Comcast menus).

Still pretty perfect

Given the number of lingering menus from 1999, Robert Durst may be haunting the top of my “My Shows” list for quite a while, but I consider that and issues like the one with Veep minor nits for now.

What you get is an interface designed to simplify the process of catching up on television series and it’s pretty great. Someday in the not-too-distant future I’m sure Apple will get around to doing something similar and the tech media will salivate. For those of us already using OnePass, that future is now.

1 thought on “TiVo OnePass and the (almost) perfect binge TV machine”

  1. Robert, about 5 years ago I was outlining an idea for a mobile app that could find all related content (episodes in SD, HD, and related – like, the talk shows for Mr Robot and Orphan Black) which could then program a directv dvr remotely to grab it all. My son thought it was stupid. I should have pivoted to Tivo.


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