Monthly Archives: October 2006

Addicted To Time Shifted TV: My Tivo Broke

My Tivo broke. It did this reboot thing and then froze in perpetual reboot. So after about 2 weeks, I pull out the mega home entertainment cage in which it sits and unplug/replug the Tivo to restart it. Then, when it finally successfully boots up, I notice there is no video coming from my DirecTV box. I call DirecTV customer service and, amazingly, they help me fix it fast (not bad for customer service).
In weeks past I would have panicked; to miss my favorite TV series would have driven me crazy! But now I don’t care. I have my video iPod and buy all my TV shows through iTunes.
TV has certainly transformed. I used to watch TV all the time and found that annoyingly I’d have to be home at the same time favorite shows were on. Depending on the show and/or the time, that was either easy or damn near impossible. Then, the VCR gets invented and now the game is to remember when to program the VCR, assuming you can figure out how to set the clock which was the biggest running joke of the hardware UI community for decades.
Then TV shows became boring to me. Somehow writers of TV shows didn’t have the right formula to interest me. All we saw were stupid reality shows and the knockoffs, which I hated. I stopped watching TV altogether.
The introduction of Tivo to the world helped a bit. But still, it was the content that mattered, not the technology.
Today is a different story. Some really fantastic storytelling is happening in lots of shows, and in very creative ways. Plots that twist and turn, humor of the darkest sort (my kind of humor!). Lots of delving into science fiction which I naturally love. My favorite shows:
Desperate Housewives
Battlestar Galactica
But all of this show watching was made really palatable by technology. Given my busy lifestyle, I am now never in front of the TV when a show is on. First it was Tivo that saved the day. Now I could time shift my TV watching to when I wanted to watch and not at the network’s whim. But even that was too restrictive.
The next big innovation was the video iPod and the selling of TV shows through iTunes. Now I could not only time shift TV, but I could bring it with me! Wow! Sitting on a plane or airport lounge, I could watch a show there while waiting to board. Using a iPod dock connected to my TV, I could watch an iPod show on my TV. It was the ultimate in portability – and I didn’t mind watching shows on that little screen as well.
Great content, great technology. What more could I ask for?