TiVo: Efficient TV


I've joined the hoards of TiVo devotees. Last night we drove down to Best Buy and while I was picking up the i730, I finally could resist no longer the siren call of the TiVo so I grabbed the big orange box and headed for the counter. I got the TiVo brand TiVo with 40GB of space. It's awesome - as good as all it's press and more.

I tried to explain to my wife what it was going to do - but she just didn't get it. It's "efficient TV" I said, but she just saw that glow in my eyes and hers just glazed over. But once I finally worked through the hour or so long process of hooking everything up and setting it up while she was getting Alex ready for bed she started to see what I meant. When she sat down and we started watching a TV movie and I paused it so she could go to the bathroom, she started getting a glimmer of what was so cool about DVRs. Then when she fell asleep during the middle of Great Expectations, I told her not to worry about it because she could finish it tomorrow, she thought that was pretty damn neat.

I figured it would take a few days before I could get enough content recorded to make the TiVo worth while, but overnight the service is already proving how cool it really is. Before I went to bed, I pulled up all the late night movies that were going to be playing and recorded Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Moonstruck. Awesome. Then during the day today we were doing other stuff, so I set it to record MotorWeek and the McLaughlin Group and then Ana set it to record SpongeBob for Alex. Note that last part, TiVo is so easy to use and straight-forward enough so that my tech-agnostic wife got it instantly and set it to record without even asking me. That's awesome.

So we just got back from our weekly food shopping and Ana's getting dinner made and she just pulled up SpongeBob for Alex who's happy as a clam and I'm like "See how cool this is?" I'm very excited - I'm probably going to cancel our NetFlix account because I'm sure that we're going to have plenty to see from now on.

Okay- for those snobs out there who are like "I don't watch TV" and think my enthusiasm for this box is a bit overboard, here's the thing: I don't watch much TV either. I spend most of my time in front of another screen, but there are definitely moments I just want to sit and relax for an hour or so in front of a good program and unwind. Movies and PBS news shows are usually my favorite things to watch, but at 10 or 11 p.m. when I'm ready to relax for a bit, there never seems to be anything good on and I end up flipping channels for few hours looking for something entertaining. I swear, those times when I'm lucky enough to sit down and watch something really enjoying for an hour, I just turn the TV off after and go do something productive again. Now I can just set up my TiVo to grab all the good stuff out there (that I'm paying big bucks to Comcast to bring to my house anyways) so when I want to sit down and enjoy TV, it's there waiting for me. It's Efficient TV. Awesome.

I've got it set on Medium Quality which is like 24 hours of video. We'll see how long I go before I start hacking at it and adding more disk space. I added TiVo Hacks to my O'Reilly Safari account (yes, it's there... I was amused) and have already done the 30-second-skip trick and some other settings as well. The fact that you can make TiVo produce a bash prompt says a lot to me. This is a cool-ass box!



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