Earlier this week the Vintage Buffalo column talked about the wonders of the Series 1 TiVo, and that got me to thinking about the wonders of DVRs (Digital Video Recorders) in general. How in the world did people function without these miracles of modern television viewing?
Okay, perhaps “miracle” is a bit strong of a word, but as someone who has owned a VCR since the late 1970’s, when I first got a TiVo I thought I had died and gone to Nirvana. As a TV watching family that also happens to almost always have someone out of town on business, we were all sick and tired of the piles of video tapes laying around, and not knowing which shows were on which tapes. Then, it almost never failed, the show you wanted to watch was third on the tape, but other people wanted to watch the first two shows, so you had to wait for them to get through those, and … you get the idea. It was never fun.
The TiVo, and other DVRs like it, changed television viewing as we knew it. The idea you could pause live television, back it up if you missed something someone said and so on was like stepping into some sort of wacky future world. And pulling up shows when you wanted them from the recorded list? Genius!
The only feature that ever made me raise an eyebrow to the device was allowing it to pick shows to record it thought I might like. After coming home from work to find my TiVo engaged in recording about its fourth rerun of That’s So Raven, a show I have never even watched once, I turned that service off.
DVRs are almost as common place as televisions themselves now, but every once in a while I still find myself smiling at the lack of video cassettes cluttering up my life.
What do you think? Were you ever amazed by the wonders of the DVR?