A free thinker in the Heartland...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

TiVo Writer Misses The Point

Well if you don't wanna hear about TV or TiVo, you can skip this post. I really like TiVo, it lets me watch TV when I want to.

Anyway, the article from the AP:

Ever get an itch to buy a movie ticket, find your nearest Lexus dealer or listen to the president's weekly radio address on your television?

No? Well, you're probably not alone, but TiVo Inc. is hoping to get more customers tuned into the idea of using their digital video recorders to do a lot more than just pause live TV or hook up season passes to their favorite shows.

Teaming up with Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO - news) and other companies, Tivo began adding online services late last year that let viewers share photos with family and friends, check weather forecasts and real-time traffic conditions, play games, listen to live radio or recorded podcasts, compare reviews of kid-friendly programming, or track fantasy football standings.

If you didn't catch her negative tone, she has a point... the extra features of TiVo do kinda suck. She seems to forget that people get TiVo's not for those extras but for RECORDING TELEVISION!

Why buy a TiVo? You will never miss another episode of your favorite tv shows... showS. I have TiVo set up to record NCIS, Adult Swim cartoons, the Daily Show, Colbert Report, Countdown with Keith Olberman, etc etc etc. I can watch the shows whenever I want to, I can transfer shows to my computer, I can set it up to record movies with my favorite stars (hey I got a thing for Sandra Bullock... so what?) Yes, it is nice to just fast forward through commercials. It is a very nice bonus.... but it gives me a library of content that I can access at any time I have free time. I can record stuff to DVD, and I have heard through the grape vine that you can convert TiVo files to share with others on the internet. Not that I would know anything about that...

Back to the article...

I tested out the features on a borrowed Series2 and liked the first feature I tried — browsing for movie listings and buying a ticket through the online ticketing service Fandango. Still, it didn't completely dazzle me.

After punching in my ZIP code, I got a choice of searching for movies by title or theater, what was opening that week or coming to theaters soon. Movie listings came with short plot descriptions — skimpier on detail than those Fandango offers on its Web site — plus a list of cast and credits and a photo gallery that seemed designed to make up for the lack of a trailer.

With another click of the remote, I picked a theater and showtime, got a prompt saying it would cost me $9 per ticket plus a $3 Fandango charge, then I entered my credit card number, got an 11-digit confirmation number — which I had to jot down because there was no way to print it out — and instructions to head to the theater with the credit card I'd used.

When I got there, there wasn't a line, but if there had been, I'm sure I would've felt cool walking up to the Fandango machine and getting my tickets with a quick swipe of my credit card.

The rest of TiVo's online features struck me as spare, less user-friendly imitations of tasks that seem better suited to a computer.

I agree with her there, a lot of the extras on TiVo can be done much better through a computer, but hey they are just extras. I can't buy local tickets, or browse local theaters very well (BFE Indiana... so I don't fault them), but it is nice that you can get internet radio and even connect to your music files on your computer, and even show your pictures on the TV without bothering with Picture DVDs and stuff.

Maybe future TiVo's will have more power to actually act more like a computer, but the unit I have now just doesn't have the firepower to do much else than record my shows. It doesn't do HD, and the HD TiVo would be SWEET to own, but I don't have the luxury of upgrading right now. I can record the downgraded HD channels on my TiVo, and it may not be HD but it is good enough for me right now.

If you are interested in getting TiVo, drop me a line and I might have a couple answers to your questions... write to markedhoosierATgmailDOTcom. If you are setting up a TiVo, I would be your new best friend if you would use my Tivo Rewards number as a referrer: R4391395

What is TiVo Rewards? If new TiVo subscribers put you down as a referrer, you get points that can be redeemed for nice stuff... even new TiVos!

Yea, I like TiVo enough to make free advertising for them... Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) makes TV watching easy.