Some minor nits

Compared to the problems I was having, complaining about missing Wishlists seems pretty petty. In other words, if all I can complain about right now is Wishlists, then I'm doing pretty well.

But now that the HR21 has been working for a little over a week with no major problems, I'm noticing the smaller things. One of them is Wishlists. I really miss them. The HR21 has a feature called Autorecord which is the closest thing to the Tivo Wishlists. However, it's not the same.

For one thing, the Tivo lets you define and manage Wishlists. You can do things like list the Wishlists you have set up, or show the upcoming matches for a given Wishlist. Also with the Tivo, you don't have to auto-record everything - you can just use the Wishlist to search for shows (sort of like a saved search) and then select the ones that you really want from those matches.

The HR21 Autorecord feature doesn't do any of this - at least not that I can find. The auto-recorded programs appear in the To Do list with everything else, but there doesn't appear to be any way to quickly find what programs match a given Autorecord, for instance. Again, if I hadn't had Tivo before, I probably wouldn't even notice - in fact, I probably would never even have figured out the Autorecord feature exists at all (or how to use it). The only reason I found it was because I went searching, because of the Wishlist feature from Tivo.

This is a big difference between the Tivo and other DVRs. With Tivo, you find features seamlessly in the process of using the device. And when you do find them, they are obvious. You don't have to refer to a complicated "how to" guide to use them. All you need is the remote and the feedback the user interface provides. With the HR21 (and other DVRs I've seen people use), you literally need a huge cheatsheet with codes and "secrets" for how to use the features. It reminds me of the situations with the iPhone vs. other cell phones - the iPhone features are "natural" and people figure them out without a manual, and can actually use them - many other so-called "smart phones" have more features than the iPhone, but the user's of those phones don't even know it (or don't use them) because the features are so "unnatural", so difficult to find and so difficult (impractical) to use.