Monday, November 14, 2005

Damn straight.

My parents were here over the weekend, and I found myself doing exactly what is described below...
Ira Glass on TiVo:
"Married people always want you to get married, people with kids always think you'll be happier with kids, and TiVo owners always believe your life won't truly begin until the day you get TiVo. God knows I believe that. I love TiVo. We actually have two TiVo boxes in my house, hooked up to our one TV. TiVo is based on an idea that doesn't sound so radically life-transforming when you first hear it. You tell a machine what TV shows you like, and it records every episode of them for you. Then when you come home at night, there's a whole list of episodes of The Family Guy you can watch, there's last night's Daily Show, there's every episode of Celebrity Poker Showdown. TV itself is transformed, from a blur of channels you flip through – most of them lousy – to a concise and hope-inspiring list of shows you actually enjoy. Which means that every time you turn on the TV, there's something good on! Always! Every single time! That dramatically changes your life for the better, in ways my sad TiVo-less friends can't even imagine. I'm such a corny and boosterish TiVo user that I've bought it as a present for friends and family. I shouldn't be here endorsing it at all. Yes, they're our newest sponsor but they didn't ask me to write this and they're not paying me for it or anything and actually, I think it's sort of unbecoming for a public radio host to endorse any product. But here I am. I love TiVo. You're nuts if you don't get one. That's what I truly believe and I'm happy to tell the world." – Ira

It's true. It's freaking great. And barely watch any TV these days, but what I DO watch, I can watch whenever the hell I want and without commercials—that means I can catch up on three Daily Shows (or Arrested Develpments, etc) in an hour. It's so damn easy to use, and so smart, I have convinced several people at work to get it. And what Ira says above is the more subtle benefit I never quite realized. It really is a life-altering experience to have something excellent ready to watch every time you sit down. TV can actually be a relaxing time to unwind when you don't have to desperately search for the least crappy thing on.

One of these days, I will put finger to keyboard and write the list of "Top Ten Inventions In My Life." I think about it often...TiVo will be on that list.


ORF said...

I recently visited a childhood friend of mine in Florida because she had a baby. She and her husband watch a LOT of television thanks to the little one and they have DVR, TiVo's generic brand cousin. In short, it is amazing. I'd never really understood just WHY it would be so great until I spent the weekend with them and realized that television can actually be an enjoyable experience. I find myself constantly irritated with TV because of the insipid ads, my total inability to adhere to the schedule, much less remember when shit comes on, and the constant hunt for something that doesn't waste my time or brain cells. It's tough. Also, when I DO remember to get home to watch something, I'm screwed if the MTA is holding up my train. This is stress I simply do not need, so I generally avoid thinking about television. But boy was I in lurve with their DVR. And if I had the means, I'd totally hook myself up with one right away. For the time being, I've got other things I must spend my dough on, but believe me, I understand and appreciate the joy that is TiVo...

Mr Furious said...

We got the TiVo for exactly that reason. Keeping a schedule with a baby (now toddler) is an impossibility. My wife was tired of watching the first fifty minutes of a show to miss the end to run upstairs to nurse our daughter.

I do a lot of freelance work, late at night, so I can never watch the Daily Show at it's proper time.

So, not missing something is benefit enough, coupled with the commercial-skipping and ease of use, lack of tapes, etc. What Ira made clear in his little essay is the less obvious benefit of feeling good and rewarded every time you turn on the TV. It is a beautiful thing.