…or: You’ll have to prise that peanut out of my Cold Dead Hand
I have had my TiVo for two months. Here’s the story so far.
- There is always something to watch. This is a good thing.
- One remote to rule them all – the “Peanut” remote that comes with the TiVo does everything (unless I want to watch a DVD).
- You can pause anything – even “live” TV. This is a revelation that will change the way you watch TV.
- Once in a while, TiVo will make a suggestion. Sometimes it finds something I do not like – a couple of presses of the thumbs-down button followed by a delete and I will not see that again. However, it has also found some gems that I have enjoyed.
- It has taken a few weeks, but we have learned to use the “instant-replay” button for those “what-did-they-just-say?” moments.
- Oh, and we never watch commercials anymore. I can cover half an hour of Tom and Jerry in twelve minutes. This may anger the marketing dweebs who seem to believe that we should suffer ads in DVDs, Theater Movies and Cable TV. I disagree - if I already paid for it, I don’t see why I should have pay again by being forced to watch ads?
- I can also compress and download TiVo-ed programs to my palmtop. This will almost certainly infuriate TV execs, who believe that I should pay more to watch the same content on a different device. They’ll just have to live with it.
Those are just the TiVo functions – there are other “non-TiVo functions” that are the icing on the cake.
- I can move programs off the TiVo and “park” them on a PC. In theory I can watch them there, but that requires a DRM-upgraded version of Media Player which I will not install. Copying is not all that fast (about 25% of real-time), but then it does not need to be. Programs can be moved back to the TiVo at a later time. This is a good thing, as it means that I do not need to upgrade the 40GB HD in the TiVo.
- I can rip all my music CDs to MP3s, park them on the computer and play them back through the TiVo. This is a very nice feature.
- I can also view pictures stored on the PC though the TiVo.
- I can remotely schedule a program through the web. This is a very impressive and useful feature.
All in all, it lends a whole new meaning to the phrase “must-see TV“.