Amazing Discovery

About 2 months ago, I installed and brought on-line a brand new Humax DVD burning Tivo. And I discovered that the new version of Tivo burned into the current machines had different features than my old Sony Tivo which was now at least 5-6 years old.
I immediately set my Tivo to record some of my fave shows. And then I started noticing that in my Now Playing List, my Tivo was actually recording semi-random stuff. Well, not so random. It was taking my Season Passes and inferring what I might like, and then randomly taking up my extra hard drive space with related shows and movies.
And then…in a moment of boredom, I start watching some of the shows. I then realize some of this is pretty good. And that I’m glad that I’ve got a list of shows/movies that there is a good chance I’m interested in watching. And it’s now TIME INDEPENDENT. I don’t need to watch the channel guide and then leap to the TV at the time a show I want to watch is being broadcast. Sure I had licked the time dependence thing by setting Tivo to record shows I knew I wanted to watch. But now, I’ve got a whole universe of shows which I am not sure I want to watch, but it’s there if I wanted, all 500 channels now pre-filtered and sitting there waiting for me to watch WHENEVER I WANT TO WATCH, not when the networks want me to watch.
I remember an article about Yahoo! in the New York Times a few weeks back, Terry Semel was talking about the millions of channels that he wants to make available to everyone. But I think Tivo’s solution is getting closer to the real answer. We’re talking about MY CHANNEL. A (semi) personalized experience of all possible TV shows out there filtered to what I want to watch with a bit of serendipity thrown in. Here I sit, experiencing a bit of the future of video media.
O’ the battles the person who put this feature into Tivo must have fought! How could that person have gotten past all the Requirements Documents and reams of consumer research, internal politics, trying to get it prioritized high enough on development schedules. Is this person drained of all energy fighting those battles or working on? Or was it the CEO who demanded this feature and gotten it in as boss?
When I encounter great features and services, I can’t help but think about how these features and services come about, and the struggles people go through to get them built. After living in that world and watching it get harder and harder, I applaud when I see truly great stuff get out there.
The future is coming. Even if it takes screaming and kicking to get there.