I am willing to wager that I was one of the first 1000 TiVo owners. I had an original Philips 14 hour unit when they first hit the shelves (although it was back in 1999 or 2000 when I was pretty much buying everything online using a bajillion free coupons the etailers were throwing around, courtesy of brilliant venture capitalists. But I digress), and I am definitely one of the ‘converted’. TiVo has changed my life.
Not necessarily for the better, mind you. I used to watch TV quite infrequently, I followed NO shows religiously, and didn’t really mind re-watching Days of Thunder on TNT every other weekend (it IS a new classic, after all). Fast forward to today (do-doo, do-doo, do-DOO!) and I have a couple of dozen Season Passes, and commercials cause me physical pain. I cannot (I will not!) watch TV without the ability to time-shift.
Now I want more. I want the handy little peanut-shaped TiVo remote to have some control over life events. I’d like a 30 minute buffer. Now of course the ideal would have me able to make changes once I’ve rewound, but I’m not greedy. With the buffer, I could plan to do a few things time-shifted. For example, I could skip through bus rides. Or waiting in line at the doctor’s office. Now I run the risk I might miss something interesting (for example: Apparently here in San Francisco, when a bus is driving through Chinatown, instead of the standard $1.25 fare, a can of pineapple juice works in lieu of payment. I would never have guessed such a thing, but it’s true!), but I’ll take my chances.
But the real reason for the buffer is something else. It’s actually my favorite button on the TiVo remote. It’s the Instant Replay. Oh do I love the Instant Replay. From a few reports I read most TiVo owners use it for catching wardrobe malfunctions in action. It’s great during sporting events in general, and also handy if you need to hear The Donald say “You’re Fired” a few extra times.
How many times has something caught your eye that you wish you could see an instant replay? Something funny happens, and you barely saw or heard it. Boo-boop! A touching moment, such as seeing your child’s first steps. Or being asked to marry someone (now in these cases you probably also need the record button to work). Boo-boop! Not a day goes by where I fail to see some event transpire and just wish I could see it again. Boo-boop! Boo-boop!
I’m not quite sure if TiVo Suggestions would work out too well for me in life. For example, I have two friends who enjoy a little tobacco dip. If I hang out with them twice in a week, would I find myself buying dip at the corner store? Also, if TiVo notices I have two bad meals at Thai restaurants, would I lose the whole category? Until the TiVo Suggestions works well enough to know that liking Arrested Development (undoubtedly the funniest show on television, by the way, and shame on you for not watching!) does not mean I would probably like Teen Wolf Too, both starring Jason Bateman.
One other key feature for me is the ability to prioritize what I want to delete. With my life TiVo, I’d like to set a few ‘episodes’ to “Save Until I Delete”, such as “My wedding day”, or “Trip to Club Med.” Other things, like “Missed the Flight in Chicago and had no Luggage and got Sick in the Hilton” I would quickly get rid of (not to mention “Peed my pants in the 2nd grade”, which also gets three thumbs down!) to make room for better content.
Finally, having a Season Pass or some Wishlists could be fun. Automatically record all my vacations, or any times I get together with my college friends. I don’t see TiVo-For-Life happening any time soon, but it would surely be worth the $12.95 per month!