Wednesday, March 30, 2005


The DVR (digital video recorder) is an absolute must-have, life-altering product. It is really just the VCR gone digital, but so much better.

  • there are no tapes. everything is saved on your hard-drive, i.e. cable box.
  • it is completely user friendly, controlled by the remote.
  • it allows one to pause and rewind live tv - great for the spousal interruption/nag.
  • it is "smart". you easily program it to record shows automatically.
  • best of all, fast forwarding allows for quicker and commercial free viewing.

It all started with TIVO, but then the cable companies all went out and developed their own dvr boxes. I have Time Warner's, it holds 20 hours of programming and costs maybe $9 bucks a month. I am pretty sure that the othe cable companies will be offering dvrs soon, if they don't already. Comcast will actually offer TIVO boxes by 2006.

Personally I would probably pay $90 a month for the dvr, it is worth that much. Let me explain via today's dvr usage.

  • This morning I taped The Wiggles for my son - there is no guarantee that he is ready to watch it at 9 am. In fact that show is taped automatically for me everyday.
  • I catch the tail end of a CNBC guest's commentary, I rewind and hear his whole statement.
  • I tape Pardon the Interruption daily. It is a great show that many can't watch because it is on at the most inconvenient time of 5:30 pm. Since they list upcoming segments on the margin of the show, with the dvr it is easy to watch only the subjects of my interest. Also, my wife hates the show (too much screaming) and I can only watch it when she is out/busy.
  • I taped the Celtics/Mavericks game. The dvr cuts my viewing time on pro basketball from 2.5 hours a game to no more than 1 hour. NFL games get cut down from 3 hours to less than an hour when I skip the commercials and the huddles. Golf viewers also benefit greatly from dvr fast-forwarding.
  • I also taped tonight, Lost (a tremendous serial thriller) and Law&Order. Then later on at night I tape Bill O'Reilly. I always watch O'Reilly the next day and it usually takes no more than 15 minutes after I skip over the segments on Michael Jackson, Laci Peterson, etc.

I could go on and on about the dvr's benefits. I never miss ER by going out on a Thursday. I never have to choose between 2 different shows on simultaneously. I always have stuff to watch late at night when there is seemingly nothing on. And don't underestimate the pause button for when the phone rings or dinner is ready.

For some people, the dvr makes them watch more tv, and others will end up watching less. But everyone who has it watches tv more efficiently. The dvr's real benefit is as an unbelievable timesaver. I don't want to hear any excuses - get the dvr. It will alter your life.

What is 9 bucks a month? 2 Starbucks lattes?

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