The TiVo Dilemma

I just sold my TiVo the other day. R.I.P. the TiVo.

Anyhow, I didn't sell it because I didn't like it — quite the contrary. I loved the TiVo. It worked (well, most of the time — the IR link stuff just didn't cut the mustard some times) and did a great job recording suggestions based on what we gave the old Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down to.

We sold the TiVo because we got a new TV. One that does HD. And our TiVo Series 2 doesn't do that.

For now, we're using a cable box with a built-in DVR functionality. It does a lot of what the TiVo did — records TV shows we program, etc. It doesn't do recommendations, which is a huge TiVo selling point. On the bright side, we don't have to deal with the IR link anymore.

So, TiVo is moving on with technology. Their Series 3 boxes will support CableCard/OCUR standards — which is great and long overdue (but will probably have a minimal monthly fee from the cable company, because the CableCard is their equipment, after all). The Series 3 boxes will have dual tuners, so it can either record two things at once, or record something while you watch something else. My Comcast DVR does that as well. The Series 3 TiVo will still have a monthly service fee — I assume $12.95/month just like my Series 2 did (random: when I called to cancel my S2 TiVo, they offered to drop the price to $6.95; maybe you readers out there [ok, all one of you] can save some money!). The DVR costs me money: $5.00/month. It's less, but negligible in the grand scheme of my bills.

Here's the crux of the issue: The TiVo Series 3 will reportedly sell for around $800 for the unit. I paid NOTHING for my Comcast DVR. I don't understand how TiVo can expect to be successful in selling their boxes. I loved the recommendations, but they are in no way worth a one-time $800 fee plus an approximate tripling of my monthly fees. $800 will probably get you an entry-level Media Center PC, with a lot more functionality.

Is anyone going to be buying this thing? Does TiVo actually expect people to be buying these? Do TiVo's shareholders and analysts expect this thing to go off well?

I just don't see it happening. What am I missing?

TV Shows I’m Hooked On

So, in the same realm as the “what gadgets are in my bag” style of posts, another listing-style topic. Yeah, everyone reading this probably cares as much about what TV shows I watch as what gadgets I lug around with me, but, it's my blog. So there.

  • Sunday Night
    • The West Wing – Very disappointed that this show is getting cancelled after this season.
    • Desperate Housewives – This one may fall off the list; season two is much more blah than season one.
    • Grey's Anatomy – Excellent show. Probably the best on the list. Seattle-spotting is a fun hobby, but let me debunk a few myths from the show: no one in Seattle actually uses an umbrella, it never rains as hard as it does in the show, and it doesn't thunder/lightning here very often.
  • Monday Night
    • Las Vegas – Good show, but it, too, is on it's way downhill. It's just gotten very gimicky lately.
  • Tuesday Night
    • Dirty Jobs – Excellent stuff here; makes me glad I sit in an air-conditioned office all day long.
  • Wednesday Night
    • Lost – So, wow. Just started watching this; a co-worker let me borrow Season 1 DVDs, and we watched all of them in four nights. Rather than wait for Season 2 to come out on DVD, we bought them all on iTunes and watched them in three nights. Now we're caught up. This show is excellent.
    • Mythbusters – Who doesn't love the Mythbusters, seriously?
    • Good Eats – Good Eats is, well, Good Eats.

Luckily, TiVo manages all the conflicts for me and irons out making sure we never miss an episode. Good stuff.