Sunday, March 11, 2007

Should I buy a Tivo/DVR?

Well about 8 months ago, after much deliberation, I decided to drop my netflix and pick up a DVR. My cable company offered one for a few dollars a month. It’s a great deal, and I believe most companies are doing the same. There are 3 things you should know about getting a DVR.

1. You WILL spend more time watching television. This has been my experience. Many people are spent on the idea that they will spend less time watching TV with a DVR because they can cut all the commercials. In my case, I found that many times when I used to sit down flip through the channels finding nothing on, I would go do something else. Now there is always “something on.” I sit down pick what I want to watch and watch it uninterrupted. It’s a blessing and a curse.

2. You should make sure you are getting a newer model before you agree to take on the extra cost. We won’t get all techie here, but the first thing you want is a duel tuner. This makes it so you can watch 1 show while you are recording another. Second you’ll want to make sure your DVR has as much memory as your cable company can offer you. Go to your cable company’s website and see what set-top boxes your company is offering. Look at the specs for each. You want to make sure you aren’t going to get stuck with 1 they have sitting in the back from 2002. A tuner with around 90hrs of record time or 12-20hrs of HD record time is preferable. I have some friends who have had their DVRs a lot longer than I have. Their older models do not hold half the shows as mine do. In this case they are stuck always making sure they are clearing space on their DVRs. I find I’m only clearing my shows about once a week, and I always have about 5 or so screens worth of choices. If the cable guy brings you an older model, SEND IT BACK.

3. You will use your DVR. No bones about it. The thing is very very easy to use, and you will use it. You use the guide to set recordings either single shows or series. I don’t know anyone who has one and doesn’t use it. As a matter of fact, everyone I know who has a DVR says it has changed the way they watch TV, and they will never go back. It is much like going from dial-up to broadband. You’ll never look at TV the same way.

Overall, I love my DVR. I know it has changed the way I watch TV forever. It lets me watch what I want, when I want. I can go from a great science show to a sitcom with no trouble. You’ll never miss a show, and even though you’ll watch a little more television, you don’t have to settle for rotting your brain to something you dislike, only things you enjoy.