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DVR Scheduling Optimizer


Here’s my next great idea.

First a little background: I have DirecTV and the built-in DVR service. I can schedule on the web or with my phone or directly on the box itself. Since I record shows, I am not concerned with when a show airs originally (for the most part). What this means is I don’t care if there’s a new episode of “How I Met Your Mother” Mondays at 8PM. I just come home and see what shows have been recorded for me and I watch them. Of course I don’t want to watch shows a week late or anything but 1-2 days is ok. What is most important to me is that all my shows get recorded. My DirecTV can record two shows simultaneously.

The issue I am looking to solve is we (my roommates and I) have so many shows being recorded that it’s impossible to figure out what’s the best way to schedule them in order to not receive conflicts. For DirecTV, you can tell it to record a show “if possible”. You can also rank shows in terms of priority or importance. For example: If Colbert Report, Amazing Race, and Top Chef were all scheduled to record at 7:30 PM on a Wednesday, but Top Chef was ranked lower than the other two, it would never get recorded. The way around this is if you are willing to watch Colbert Report later in the day (most shows have multiple reruns, sometimes just later the same night), you can get all three shows that day. You just need to tell it to record the Colbert Report (series) at the 11PM time slot instead.

Currently there’s no easy way to do this. I could make a Google Calendar or spreadsheet and work it all out but that’s very difficult and time consuming, especially when I add a new show. This data is readily available (DirecTV, TV Guide, etc) so I don’t see why a web app couldn’t handle it automatically. I just put in all the shows I want and it creates a recommended recording schedule with priority listing.

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