TiVo — A Good Thing or a Bad Thing? And, Some Content Comments

I having been enjoying the new TiVo — Thanks Kim!!  It has been great to set what I will watch on TV, and more importantly, when.  I have also been thinking some about TiVo’s place in the world.  I have already started becoming a packrat with shows; fortunately, there is only so much disk space available.  There is always network transfer to the PC and then DVD burning, though. I haven’t resorted to this yet.  You apparently need TiVo’s free download software to view its programs.  And, with certain content, you either cannot see or see / burn a copy if the material is copyrighted.  I haven’t checked this out yet, but I have heard that keeping stuff in the TiVo box is what makes content providers happier with TiVo.

Philosophically speaking, Kim mentioned that, really, TiVo should allow you to FREE your schedule from TV; that is, you are not tied to the set when a given show demands.  You can watch it when you want — and skip the commercials.  Why haven’t I been on this bandwagon earlier??!?  I agree with Kim’s thinking.  What I don’t want to have happen it to allow TiVo to dominate our time since there is more stuff out there to watch than there is time available.  It must be put in its proper place, or it can easily become a bad thing.

As to the content I have been exploring happily!  I had not seen much of the show Justice League: Unlimited.  Jimmy told me that his boys enjoyed the ’90’s Batman cartoon as well as some other superhero / sci-fi related content, but that JLU was not really appropriate for them.  After seeing a single episode with the kids, I heartily agree.  It really has a lot of mature content disguised with the cartoon images of superheros.  Even some of the characters look provocative — I think that has always been the case somewhat with comics; what is on the show is probably considered tame these days, though.  I am guessing the audience is supposed to be pre-teen / teen??  Or are producers trying to draw in even younger viewers?  It might even be that, as with some of the big budget movies, that the target audience is the kids of 25 – 35 years ago — of which I am one; I am not really sure.  Anyhow, when I watch the show it is interesting, but I definitely see the political / cultural slant to the show.   Some are better than others is my summary. 

On the retro cartoon front, the cartoons of yesteryear are in many ways more appopriate for the kids.  A la, the old Superfriends, Thundarr the Barbarian, Johnny Quest, etc.  I have tried a few of these with the kids.  I have to say I still find “The Tick”, a sarcastic look at superheros, superhero show, extremely funny.

On the sci-fi movie front, last night I re-watched the edited for TV version of Starship Troopers — “… this place CRAWLS!”  It’s a little juvenile, but it has its moments; in particular the action sequences in which the bugs attack and are subsequently blown up, torched, gunned down, etc., while putting up a vicious fight, that’s what I’m talkin’ about!!  In a Far Side sort of way, it’s an exterminator’s dream.  On the TV sci-fi side, I am also catching the first run of Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles.  Looks to be an interesting take on the Terminator world.  And, the great thing about TiVo is I should be able to catch the last season of Battlestar Galactica without missing a single ep!

I haven’t mentioned that Kim’s only request was Extreme Home Makeover.  We have yet to watch one of the four that have been recorded; maybe soon.  And, we are finally able to watch a favorite of ours together:  HGTV’s “What’s With That House?!”  That is a funny and interesting show.  What people do with their houses sometimes is amazing — you keep saying … what were they thinking?!  I have preserved a couple of History Channel shows (that I haven’t watched yet!).  Lastly, I have recorded a couple of sporting events.  Watch live sports with the ability to pause, rewind, etc. is a great feature.  But, waiting until the event is either far along or over is fantastic!  SOOOO many commercial timeouts these days.  It is truly amazing.

I think that some time budgeting is still being worked out.  You don’t really have time to see everything you want.  And, it is not really a good thing to be tied up with TV for a host of good reasons.  Setting the right time priorities / balance is absolutely going to be a requirement for this new device.  So, to summarize, I give TiVo a thumbs up!  As long as it stays a GOOD thing, it will be enjoyed by everybody!

Published in: on January 19, 2008 at 5:04 pm  Comments (2)  

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  1. I’ve loved our Tivo. You’re right, in one sense it cuts out tv time, in another sense it adds to it. I’ve found that I like recording a whole season of a show then watching it all at once. Serial type shows are best with this, like Battlestar Gallactica, Heroes, or Lost. I really like the Sarah Conner Chronicles, and wish I wasn’t already hooked (it’s such a cool concept and new take on the Terminator series). For sporting events, or something I can’t wait to see, I usually wait 15-20 minutes after it starts so I can forward through commercials or slow parts.

    On another note, I’m a few episodes into Crusade. Definately different than Babylon 5. I can see why JMS decided to back out.

  2. I wish I had one. I’ve played around w/ turning our home PC into a DVR. But it just doesn’t work well for a multi-use box. Really need a PC you can dedicate to that service.

    I’ve lost your email address. Drop me a note sometime. We have some catching up to do. Brandon Hindmarsh batchman0002@yahoo.com

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