My TiVo Addiction

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution interviewed me a few days ago about my TiVo-watching habits.

Micha Ghertner, a 24-year-old Georgia Tech economics major, said he almost never watched TV live anymore. "I can't stand the commercials," he said. (TiVo users who fast-forward through the commercials do end up catching fleeting digital images of each ad.)

Ghertner even went on a "Law & Order" kick last year when he had TiVo record every episode on every network, which meant five or six a day. He watched only the ones he hadn't seen before, but it still took several months for him to catch every episode.

"When I canceled that option, it was like a great weight lifted off my shoulders," he said.

He buys movies on DVD but watches TiVo first "because I feel obligated."

I put off purchasing a TiVo for as long as possible, even in the face of the rave reviews of friends, because I feared it would increase my TV watching habits dramatically. That didn't happen - the quality and not the quantity increased, but it did make TV watching feel like more of a chore and a responsibility; I worried that if I didn't keep pace with the recordings, I would lose the chance to watch what I wanted. Still, I wouldn't trade my TiVo for anything. It has become an absolute necessity, in the same way that once color televisions and remote controls came out, no one would go back to black-and-white and get-up-off-the-couch-and-change-the-channel-manually.

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An unforeseen benefit to

An unforeseen benefit to TiVo
Since I was so spoiled by TiVo, I am now forced to make a choice. Watch bad TV, or no TV at all?

I can't stand to channel surf anymore. I can't stand to sit through (ugh) commercials anymore. If I'm forced to make that choice, I choose no TV at a...

Jonathan, Some of the

Jonathan,

Some of the higher-end Tivos (the one's with built-in DVD recorders and the like) come with a free basic service - no monthly fee, but not all of the nice TiVo amenities, like Season Pass (the ability to have your TiVo record every episode of the season without further prompting). Basic service is still an improvement over VCRs, but to get the full TiVo experience, you gotta spring for the premium service.

I'd spring for the largest size you can afford, unless you really don't watch much TV. 80 hours seems workable, though my model had 250 gigs, and records HDTV (but its pricey and hard to find). You can add an additional harddrive later using third party upgrade kits.

You don't need a phone line to use TiVo, but it does need to communicate with the central server. There is a network option; some models have a built in network adaptor, others have a USB port and you need to purchase a USB network card seperately.

If satellite is an option where you live, I would recommend DirecTV, which comes with a cheaper satellite receiver/TiVo combo, and is only $5 or so a month, compared to regular TiVo service at $12 ($15?) a month.

Alright Micha, you've

Alright Micha, you've convinced me. I'm gonna git me a Tivo.

What's this "service" stuff? Can you use a Tivo without the service? Is it better to go with the 80 hour box? Do you need a phone landline to use Tivo (I don't have one)?

TiVo is the Bomb TiVo is

TiVo is the Bomb
TiVo is absolutely and completely changing how I watch television. I was skimming blogs and ran across this quote on Catallarchy where Micha Ghertner is interviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Micha Ghertner, a 24-year-old Georgia Tech economi...

Jonathan, After finishing

Jonathan,

After finishing with Law and Order (both the original and SVU - I don't like the other versions), I moved on to CSI (Vegas only), ER (I only started watching it recently so I had a lot to catch up on), and now, most of my favorite stuff is on HBO: Deadwood, Carnivale, and Six Feet Under. Battlestar Gallactica is fun, as is 24 and Lost.

My new interest is The Ultimate Fighter reality TV series. Caesar's 24/7 is the only other reality show that interests me.

That reminds me, I wanted to

That reminds me, I wanted to blog about this...

TiVo has actually helped me to defeat my dependence on TV. I had TiVo (with DirecTV) for about 7-8 months. During that time, I was (and still am) a big proponent of TiVo. If you're going to watch TV, a TiVo is the greatest invention in the world. All of a sudden, I no longer had to be a slave to the shows I loved. I didn't have to worry about whether I was going to miss something on at a certain time. And every time I sat down to watch TV, I got to watch something I liked. I never watched live TV, I always watched saved content, because there was more than enough.

Then I moved into some temporary housing, pending my upcoming move. The TiVo was gone. Any time I sat down to watch TV, I had to channel surf to try to find something good. I had completely lost my memory of the schedule, so I never knew what was on. Rather than sit through that nightmare, I just stopped watching. Now, I either play with the dogs, get online, read, or sit around and hang out while my wife watches MTV and the food network (which I don't argue about, as I don't have anything better to watch anyway).

TiVo and "Is anything good

TiVo and "Is anything good on? Ever?"
This guy sounds like he has a TiVo passion, or perhaps a TiVo infatuation, not a TiVo addiction....

I agree, Tivo is great. But

I agree, Tivo is great. But now that I finished watching all the Buffy episodes, I don't know what else to record.

Micha, In case you missed

Micha,
In case you missed it, I passed you the Caesar's Bath meme - http://www.exploittheworker.com/exploit/archives/000225.html

What do you TiVo besides Law and Order? Some days I don't feel like there's enough content on television to really justify investing in TV-related equipment...

The best thing that I have

The best thing that I have done in regards to my Tivo was to add another 120 gigs/hours with a weeknees upgrade. For $100, I got effectively unlimited storage on my Tivo. (Think gmail's 2gig.) By the time something slips off of it, it is certain that it is something that I really didn't want to watch. I mean, if 60 hours of stuff ends up in front of it, I wasn't getting around to watching it.

I had my first encounter

I had my first encounter with TiVo few weekends ago at a friend's house watching a wrestling pay-per-view. It was great to be able to rewind and watch sequences in slow motion. (It did add like 45 minutes onto the show, though).