Getting the Most Out of Tivo

TivoEverbody's familiar with Tivo, the company that basically jump-started the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) industry. Nowadays, there are other companies that produce DVRs, particularly companies that produce DVRs for the various cable companies (who like to have their own company-branded box that they can rent to you for a monthly fee even though they provide no extra value). But Tivo is still the gold standard.

Tivo worked hard to produce an interface, and a user experience, that just works. Period.

To make it clear how well Tivo works, my wife has turned into a Tivo demon. She uses Tivo at least five times as much as I do, and she's completely internalized how to use it. She barely even looks at the buttons on the remote as she beep-beep-beeps's and starts another show recording.

Tivo worked hard to produce an interface, and a user experience, that just works. Period. It's amazing. Because this is the same woman who couldn't program any of the VCRs that we have EVER owned.

In fact, I finally had to go out and buy my own Tivo box because I never really ever had a chance to use her box. It was like my shows got crowded off the box because she was using it so much.

And I'm not the only on who's had this experience. My brother now owns three Tivo boxes. And, though he hates to admit it, he even tried one of the sorry excuses for a DVR that Adelphia likes to claim is a DVR. Sorry, Tivo is still the the gold standard.

So, now I've got my own Tivo box. I've scheduled it to start taping the shows that I want to watch, but always seem to miss ... like Heroes. I'm also training it to automatically record the types of shows that I like. I've had to lay down the law to my wife though ... "thou shalt not record your shows on my DVR, and most especially not QVC."

Tivo also has some capabilities that look interesting to me as a computer geek. For example, if you connect your Tivo boxes to your home network, you can transfer shows between boxes and watch them in whatever room is convenient. Then there's TivoToGo, which lets you download shows to a computer, where they can be viewed and managed using a free product called Tivo Desktop.

So, I'm going to start experimenting with some of these Tivo-related technologies. Expect to hear more later on my blog.


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