Designing Digital ProductsITP

Monday, September 27th, 2004 : Assignment #3

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User1: (r)

1. watching
-user was very comfortable with holding the remote could easily use all of the functions with his one hand. He used hi thumb to navigate.
-he does not have digital cable at home but uses it frequently at friends houses

P9240001.JPG

2. tasks
1-find what’s on TBS at 8
– he hit info, and then scrolled down till he found TBS and the used the left and right arrow keys to get to the correct hour.
— someone else in the room said why don’t you use channel guide wich user did not know about but was hooked when he saw it.
-channel guide- select, scroll through using the arrow buttons then when you find what you want to watch hit select again

how would you check if there is a movie you want to watch on right now and ?#3 about on-demand had the same answer
-hit guide, scroll to HBO on demand, select, scroll through movies and series and then hit select again when you find the one you want.
–messed up once he tried to see what in HBO on demand and didn’t know how to get out so he started hitting a lot of buttons till he was successful in getting out of that mode, and then went back and tried it again

P9240003.JPG

2. information display
-hit info name of show pop up and when it is on, hit info again to get description

P9240004.JPG

4. other menu options
-discovered channel guide loves it makes everything so much easer

problems/ complaints
-on demand could be laid out clearer to navigate through
when scrolling up and down through the shows on the bottom there is a left and right arrow which also changes i think it says what series the particular show is in but for a new user it can be very confusing about where you need to go.

User2: (a)
K is a woman, busy mother of two young kids ( 7 & 4 years). Not much of a TV
viewer, generally uses it to set up channels for the kids.

1. Current Experience:
The family has a handful of channels they watch
regularly, & they know from habit which numbers to go to.K was adept at
switching channels, but that is as far as she goes with using the TV.

userresearch2.jpg

So the general task flows for this user are:

Switch on TV—> Use the remote to jump straight to channels reqd

2. Program Guide:

She had to think awhile, fumbled with a few channels till she came to the
program guide for the day. Thereafter she moved easily through the guide
using the arrow keys.

userresearch1.jpg

3. On-demand:
Has never used this feature, & was unwilling to try it now.

4. Other features:
Was totally unfamiliar with anything else the system
offered, said her husband ( who was away then) was the more frequent &
adept user.

Introduction
>>1st user: male, 33 yrs old, Professional game player. He�s had cable service for over 10 years, and used to play various game devices.
>>2nd user: female, 31 yrs old, Artist.
She often watches TV cable and has already many favorite channels.

Current Experience

>>1st user was accustomed to navigate channel w/ remote controller. He only used the functions what he used to.
>>He navigated the channels starting from his favorite channels which he has memorized. He started from the channel 22 and kept going up the channel till 28. He stopped and hit the channel 105 and started going up the channel in hitting channel + button, again. In case of commercial playing, he�s never watched and skipped all the commercials. He liked watching �fine living�, �food� or �living home� channels. He rarely look down the remote control and he looked getting used to it.

>>2nd user already memorized most program channels which she used to watch. She held up the remote control on her eye level and hit the buttons looking carefully which one she was hitting.

Specific Tasks

Task 1: Program Guide

Find what is showing on TBS at 8 pm tonight.
Probe:
>>1st User hit the guide button and flipped the program list screen with hitting page +/- buttons. He flipped the screen very fast while he was searching TBS channel.
>>During his searching the channel, he kept watching the small thumbnail screen on the right upper side. It played the show where he exited for guide.
>>When he found the TBS channel on the list, he used arrow key to highlight TBS. He answered the movie, �what women want�, is showing at 8PM on TBS.

>>2nd user took longer to find out TBS channel. She hit guide button and scrolled up and down with arrow key. Different from him, she didn�t care what was playing on the right upper thumbnail screen.

Find what is showing on TBS at 8 pm tomorrow night.
>>He simply hit �Day +� button to move to tomorrow schedule staying on the same channel.
>>She used the right arrow key to move to tomorrow schedule. She traveled 24 hours of timeline to reach to the same time as tonight.

How would you check to see if there is a movie that you would like to watch on on right now?
Probe:
>>He hit 201, HBO and changed the channel up/down with pressing channel +/- key.
>>She hit 201, HBO channel which she�s already remembered. Starting from channel 201, channel was going up 208. She hit 81, TMC channel, and hit 81, AMC channel. She seemed to have certain searching root to look up a movie.

Task 2: Information Display

Once they have found a movie ask them to tell you more about it — what time it started, when it was made…
>>He hit info button to look at the specification of the movie displayed starting/ending time and the title of movie. He hit info button once again to see more details about the movie.
>>She hit info button as well to get info and she was embarrassed not to get the more details. She hit info again by mistake and could get description.

Task 3: On Demand Menu

>>On demand seemed to be strange for them. They�ve never navigated on demand menu.

Task 4: Other Menu Options

>>Even though they have their favorite channels in their mind, they were unwilling to set up favorite channels. Hitting specific channel number all the time was more comfortable than setting up the favorite channel for them.
>>He never used �A�, �B�, �C� buttons before, but he knew what those buttons for.
He searched programs with guide button and spent time for a while to look up programs. The time consuming in guide screen got him to be interested in watching little window on right upper side. He expected to see the preview of programs whatever he highlighted during navigating instead of showing the same channel when he exited for the guide screen.
>>She switched channels with hitting last button. While she was watching TV, she stick to a certain channel and kept going back with the last button.

1. watching
-user was very comfortable with holding the remote could easily use all of the functions with his one hand. He used hi thumb to navigate.
-he does not have digital cable at home but uses it frequently at friends houses

2. tasks
1-find what’s on TBS at 8
– he hit info, and then scrolled down till he found TBS and the used the left and right arrow keys to get to the correct hour.
— someone else in the room said why don’t you use channel guide wich user did not know about but was hooked when he saw it.
-channel guide- select, scroll through using the arrow buttons then when you find what you want to watch hit select again

how would you check if there is a movie you want to watch on right now and ?#3 about on-demand had the same answer
-hit guide, scroll to HBO on demand, select, scroll through movies and series and then hit select again when you find the one you want.
–messed up once he tried to see what in HBO on demand and didn’t know how to get out so he started hitting a lot of buttons till he was successful in getting out of that mode, and then went back and tried it again

2. information display
-hit info name of show pop up and when it is on, hit info again to get description

4. other menu options
-discovered channel guide loves it makes everything so much easer

problems/ complaints
-on demand could be laid out clearer to navigate through
when scrolling up and down through the shows on the bottom there is a left and right arrow which also changes i think it says what series the particular show is in but for a new user it can be very confusing about where you need to go.

I. Background
I sat down with a friend in his apartment to observe how he uses his TimeWarner Digital Cable package, which includes a DVR unit. He has been to my apartment and used my TiVo, and endured the constant sales pitch that I’ve repeatedly given him. So he’s familiar with both systems and the basic company information below.

1) Digital Video Recorder
DVR, Digital Video Recorder, records video pictures digitally on a hard disk drive (HDD). This HDD, usually built-in, has capacity of 20 Gb, 30 Gb or 60Gb to store the records. You can program the picture resolution and recording time according to the application; real-time or time lapse recording also available. Overwriting the oldest pictures is programmable.

Event alarm recording which records only when a movement is captured within the image frame is easier to program and more reliable than the Time Lapse VCR’s alarm recording function. You just assign dots over the screen where you want to detect the movement. As DVR records digitally, the image quality remains the same regardless of how many times the images are stored or rerecorded. And, you can select images quickly by using time/date or alarm search, or just browsing through.

http://www.cctvconsult.com/pages/dvr.htm

2) TiVo
Independent DVR manufacturer
http://www.TiVo.com/

“TiVo Inc. is a provider of technology and services for digital video recorders (DVRs). The Company’s subscription-based TiVo service is designed to improve home entertainment by providing consumers with an easy way to record, watch and control television. The TiVo service also offers the television industry a platform for advertising, content delivery and audience research. The TiVo service requires a TiVo-enabled DVR. As of January 31, 2004, there were over 1.3 million subscriptions to the TiVo service.”

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/pr?s=TiVo

3) Time Warner
http://www.timewarnercable.com/

“Time Warner Inc., formerly known as AOL Time Warner Inc., is a media and entertainment company. It classifies its business interests into five fundamental areas: America Online, Inc., consisting principally of interactive services; Cable, consisting principally of interests in cable systems providing video and high-speed data services; Filmed Entertainment, consisting principally of feature film, television and home video production and distribution; Networks, consisting principally of cable television and broadcast networks, and Publishing, consisting principally of magazine and book publishing.”

“The Cable business consists principally of interests in cable systems that provide video programming and high-speed data services to customers under the name Time Warner Cable. As of December 31, 2003, cable systems owned or managed by Time Warner Cable passed approximately 18.8 million homes, provided basic video service to 10.9 million subscribers, over 4. 3 million of whom also subscribe to Time Warner Cable’s digital video service, and provided high-speed data services to nearly 3.4 million residential subscribers and commercial accounts. Time Warner Cable plans to introduce its new Internet protocol-based voice service, known as Digital Phone, in most, if not all, of its operating systems in 2004. Time Warner Cable also operates, alone or in partnerships, 24-hour local news channels in New York, North Carolina and Texas. Time Warner Cable’s video services face competition from satellite services, such as DirecTV and the Dish Network.”

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/pr?s=TWX
http://yahoo.investor.reuters.com/FullDesc.aspx?target=/stocks/quickinfo/companyprofile/fulldescription&ticker=TWX

II. Test Case

1) Sample User
Tony, 30-something male living in New York City. He owns an extensive CD, movie, and DVD collection. He’s subscribes to TimeWarner Digital Cable and uses their Digital Video Recorder (DVR). He’s used the TimeWarner DVR for the past eight months. He has never used TiVo, ReplayTV, or any other DVR product.

DVDTVStereoDVR.jpg

2) Charges
Currently he pays approximately $70 a month for Digital Cable, DVR, and selected premium channels. The bill breaks down to about $54.95 for Digital Cable and premium channels, 8.95/month for the DVR, and the rest in taxes and surcharges. The user has a friend who cannot record shows, and is pretty sure she spends about $55 a month.

DigitalCableGuide.jpg

3) Operation
Navigating the Digital Cable Menu was a snap for Tony. He was quickly able to browse through the guide to see the upcoming shows. He is able to change channels easily by entering channel number or pushing the channel up or down arrows. States that the remote has a good weight, easy to navigate, and hold in his hand. He has recorded about 20 shows, but he is not sure if there is a recoding limit. He was not sure if the hard drive is located within the unit, it is. It’s so quick to watch shows, but yet it takes a long time to change the channel. This is because the DVR switches what it is recording to the newly selected channel guide, hit the channel number, or up down. He has used the On-Demand programming feature, but not recently. It comes with digital cable, but you have to pay for movies served by TimeWarner. Although if you have HBO, then you can view any program On-Demand and not pay an extra charge.

DVR.jpg

4) Likes:
1) Being able to record a show and view another show at the same time
2) TV on his own time.
3) The Digital quality is superior than analog cable or standard TV.
4) He likes recording entire season, first runs and repeats. also likes recording shows via the schedule
5) The DVR is able to record a week(s) in advance.
6) He has found outputting recorded shows to his VCR and DVD recorder to be quite useful.
7) He really likes the DVR rewind and pausing features.
8) He can see information for each live and recorded show.
9) Navigating through the DVR menu is simple and easy.
10) The DVR organizes all his shows by date.
11) He has no problems with the User Interface of the Digital Cable Guide or remote.
12) He loves the remote. “It’s so easy to navigate. It’s got a great weight.” He also loves the remote because you can control your cable box plus four other devices: DVD player, VCR, CD player, whatever. After a brief test, he was able to use his universal Time Warner remote to control his DVD player.
13) He loves that the DVR has got picture-in-picture. He is able to record one show and watch another in picture in picture. He is also able to switch between the two, even while recording.

Remote.jpg

5) Dislikes:
1) The complete package is little pricey. He would love too see more competition and lower prices.
2) The customer service is fine, yet not very helpful or really knowledgeable with most DVR issues.
3) When watching live TV, changing channels isn’t instantaneous.
4) He liked the concept of the Wish List, the 30-second jump ahead, and eight second rewind. “I don’t have TiVo, but isn’t this the same thing? F TiVo.”
5) His DVR unit doesn’t have a digital out port, so he can’t make a digital clone or copy of a recorded show. Currently he has to go through the the VCR via an analog connection to record the show to VCR tape or DVD disc. He would like an optical jack to output the recorded shows digitally.
6) To reset the DVR, you have to remove the plug for about 10 seconds to reset the unit. This is not a good feature. He has had the unit for 8 months and has reset it about 8 times, an average of once a month. If he zips through the channels too quickly, the DVR unit gets “messed up”. TimeWarner’s customer service department stated that “it is a computer and if you zip through, it will get messed up.”
7) The only way to navigate through a live or recorded show is with the fast forward feature, but there is no 30 second Jump ahead feature like on TiVo.
8) He would love to categorize recorded shows by more than just the date. He suggested sorting by type, genre, or a field set by the user.
9) The DVR is only able to rewind when the unit is on.

6) Q&A
Q: Would he buy a TiVo?
A: “No. I would have bought a Tivo if TimeWarner had not offered their DVR.”

7) Conclusion
Tony thoroughly enjoys his TimeWarner DVR, though he wishes he had more control over the categorization of the recorded show, the ability to backup the shows digitally, and a lower overall price. He would love to see the TimeWarner DVR have the same functionality, User Interface, and advanced features that TiVo’s have, but he would not be willing to pay a premium for their unit and service. “Why buy a TiVo when one could rent the unit and a lower monthly fee for a unit which allows you to watch and record two different shows at the same time?”

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