Thursday, January 12, 2012

12 Changes For 2012 - #8 - Timeshift

Today's suggested change is no big secret. Most of my friends beat me to it. And I am a late adopter of timeshifting. (Tivo has been out since 1999!) But now I cannot imagine getting through a week without using it.

Timeshifting is simply using a device to record television shows. The two usual choices are buying a Tivo or renting a DVR from your cable company. You save them to save shows and view them later. Or watch a show while it is recording, pause it, then resume where you left off or fast forward through recorded portions. It is very easy once you're used to it. And fairly addictive after that.

Here is why you should timeshift: FREEDOM!

First, you get to watch what you want when you want. No more being forced to watch specific shows at specific times. No more adjusting your schedule to appease the TV. A couple of clicks of the remote and you can record months of episodes, an entire season if you'd like, and view it whenever you please. Timeshifting also allows you to record one channel (or more) and still see another. So you no longer have to pick between shows, if you have multiple favorites playing at the same time.

Second, you can skip what you don't want to see. Namely: commercials! These days, the average hour of television contains seventeen minutes of advertising. And, if you're like me, most of it does not appeal or relate to you. By fast forwarding, you can cut out more than a quarter of wasted time. Do that with just a couple of shows, and you've recovered an entire hour you can use elsewhere. Do that once a week, and by the end of the year you've recovered more than two days of time.

Optionally, Netflix is starting to get a big selection of television series which you could watch. And Hulu is almost as awesome. But those products take a little longer to decipher, and don't have the same variety as if you do all the recording yourself.

Renting a DVR from your cable company might cost a few extra dollars each month. But figure out how much 52 hours of your time is worth. Probably much more than the price of a DVR? And what is the value of living by your schedule rather the the TV guide's?

Give it a try. If you're like me, you'll wish you had done it much, MUCH sooner.


Chris said...

I still don't know what Tivo is....

We just got an LCD TV this year...we still had our CRT, and it played our VHS quite nicely....

THe first thing we watched on our Samsung 40"-er...A Christmas Story on VHS. :)

We do use Netflix through the Wii to watch most everything...since we have no cable or satellite - that's all we get. Either netflix or DVD/VHS...that's how we roll

Unknown said...

@Chris - Thanks for the feedback. I love Netflix, especially their recommendation engine. Since you're familiar with such systems, you should check out Hulu. Really great service, especially for free, and I imagine it won't be long before everything is delivered that way. My favorite part of Hulu is that they actually take steps NOT to deliver commercials which you find unappealing. After a while, the few commercials you see match your tastes. If I have to watch commercials, at least it is something I like!

Thanks again for the feedback!