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Got a TiVo? "Digital Video Recorders Give Advertisers Pause"
New York Times ^ | May 23, 2002 | AMY HARMON

Posted on 05/23/2002 3:59:46 AM PDT by The Raven

Digital successors to the VCR that eliminate the frustration of recording television programs have crossed a popularity threshold, raising alarm among advertisers and TV executives who see the devices as a threat to the economics of commercial television.

Digital video recorders, or DVR's, make it so easy to program and play back shows — they do away with videotapes by storing 30 hours or more on a hard disk — that their owners often choose to watch what is on the machine rather than what is on TV. Ignoring the networks' painstakingly planned schedules, they watch prime-time programs late at night and late-night programs before dinner, often oblivious to the channel on which it originally appeared.

They also see fewer than half the commercials they used to, compressing hourlong shows into 40 minutes as they fast-forward through the advertisements that the television industry has long depended on to pay for its programming and profits.

One in five people who own a DVR like TiVo or ReplayTV say they never watch any commercials, according to a recent survey from Memphis-based NextResearch.

Numbers like that have provoked gloomy pronouncements from industry executives. Some even come close to accusing habitual ad skippers of theft.

"The free television that we've all enjoyed for so many years is based on us watching these commercials," said Jamie C. Kellner, chief executive of Turner Broadcasting. "There's no Santa Claus. If you don't watch the commercials, someone's going to have to pay for television and it's going to be you."

But such admonishments appear unlikely to sway DVR owners. By recording the shows they know they want to see, many say they have escaped the scourge of channel-surfing and the empty sense of wasted time so often associated with watching TV. Although sales of DVR's are still small compared with those of other home entertainment devices like DVD players, analysts say the remarkable enthusiasm they inspire makes their broad adoption only a matter of time.

"I can do e-mail and I can go on the Internet but I've never been able to program the VCR," said Kay Friedman, 66, of Morton Grove, Ill., a TiVo owner who takes special delight in waiting until 9:20 to watch "The Practice" on Sundays so she can skip through the commercials even as it records. "I'm hooked."

Dismissed until recently as too expensive and complex for the average consumer to set up, DVR's are now a fixture in more than a million United States households — about 1 percent of the total — a number expected to grow to 50 million over the next five years, according to Forrester Research. Fueling the growth are cable and satellite companies, who plan to build DVR features into their set-top boxes, greatly simplifying the set-up process. Cox Communications, Time Warner and Charter Communications have already announced plans to make these services available to consumers later this year.

TiVo, which markets its own DVR and licenses its service to others, costs $300 to $400, plus a $12.95 monthly fee. Sonicblue's ReplayTV 4000 costs $699 for 40 hours up to $1,999 for 320 hours of storage; the company said it expected sales to increase when it introduces a lower-priced machine later this year.

The television industry has known about DVR's for years, of course. But as the popularity of the digital technology begins to undermine many of the basic assumptions that have governed the television business for decades, broadcasters, cable programmers and advertisers are scrambling both to resist and to adapt to people who can rearrange schedules and skip commercials at the press of a button.

"You start losing marginal dollars when people who you thought you were buying are not viewing," said Daniel Jaffe, executive vice president of the Association of National Advertisers. "This is not just a theoretical problem that might be happening somewhere down the line. This is happening now."

Some advertisers are re-evaluating their buying strategies and demanding new ways of measuring audiences. Steve Sternberg, director of audience analysis for the advertising firm Magna Global USA, circulated a memo recently that asked, "If an advertiser buys `NYPD Blue' on Tuesday night, and 10 percent of its audience watches it on Friday after midnight, should that audience be given equal value as the `live' prime- time audience?"

There is an important distinction, Mr. Sternberg said, between "zipping and zapping": "When people switch channels, they are going from something to something else. There are losses for one channel, but gains for another. With fast-forwarding there are only losses."

Others are trying to turn the technology to their advantage. Coca-Cola has paid for advertising that appears on the screen of a ReplayTV user when a viewer pauses a program for more than a few minutes. Last week, Best Buy announced that it would embed electronic tags visible only to TiVo users in 30-second commercials featuring the singer Sheryl Crow it is running on MTV. Viewers can click on an icon to see 12 additional minutes of the Best Buy "advertainment," while TiVo records the continuing MTV programming so they can watch it later.

"We need to start to understand how we're going to have to reach our consumers with this new technology," said Mollie Weston, a product manager for Best Buy's image advertising. "It is going to force us to put advertisements out there that people are actually going to choose to watch."

Indeed, advertisers take heart in data from TiVo that showed its viewers fast-forwarding through this year's Super Bowl and using the instant replay function for the Britney Spears Pepsi commercial more than any other segment besides the winning field goal.

Because DVR's are connected by a phone or high-speed Internet line from a viewer's home to a central server to get program schedules, some advertisers envision downloading commercials aimed at individual people based on information from databases compiled through other sources. Members of Purina pet clubs might get pet food commercials, for instance, while the owner of a BMW lease that is about to expire might get an advertisement on the automaker's new convertible.

"There's a lot of things that are going to start to change," said Ira Sussman, director of research for Initiative Media North America, an advertising buyer whose clients include Maybelline and Home Depot. "We're going to have to start thinking more about the importance of product placement within programs, placing more relevant, highly targeted messages. But we see it as a glass half full."

His research reflected a less rosy picture for the television networks, however. "We've found people recording programs and watching them on their own time are often not realizing what network they're coming from anymore," Mr. Sussman said. "That's a real brand equity that might be lost on the networks' part, if you're trying to put something next to `Friends' but no one's watching `Friends' live."

Much of the television industry's response to the new technology so far has focused on a lawsuit that seeks to ban the sale of the newest version of ReplayTV, which allows its customers to set it up to skip commercials on playback automatically, without even requiring them to fast-forward. The machine also allows its owners to send shows to each other over the Internet.

A group of media companies including Viacom Inc., the NBC television network, the Walt Disney Company, AOL Time Warner Inc. and Twentieth Century Fox has asked a federal court in Los Angeles to stop Sonicblue from selling the device, saying it contributes to copyright infringement. To win, they need to prove that the machine is fundamentally different from the VCR, whose distribution was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1984 after a similar challenge by the entertainment industry.

Lawyers for the companies now argue that the court's endorsement of consumers' right to "time shift" television programming in the 1984 case was based on the assumption that copyright holders would not suffer significant financial damage as a result. Over the protests of privacy advocates, they are demanding detailed information about which shows ReplayTV owners record and which commercials they skip.

Sonicblue's chief executive, Ken Potashner, concedes that on average ReplayTV users skip more than half the commercials. But he says it is up to the networks and advertisers to come up with creative ways to persuade viewers to watch. The ReplayTV machine records all the commercials, and users must choose to set it to skip them automatically on playback. They can always reset it if they choose.

"What are they going to attack next, the mute button?" Mr. Potashner said. "We've provided an efficiency improvement for a consumer who is compelled to skip a commercial. What they should do is work with us."

A victory in the companies' case against Sonicblue will not stave off the fundamental shift in culture undermining their business, industry analysts say. Consumers have embraced digital technology that allows them the greatest flexibility in the way they shop, communicate and consume all kinds of media — and it is not likely to be different in TV.

"We've trained people that you can buy things at 3 in the morning in the nude on the Internet and make a call to anyone from anywhere on a cellphone, and the idea that CBS is going to determine when I watch `CSI' flies in the face of that trend," said Josh Bernoff, an analyst with Forrester Research. "TV networks are going to have to figure out how to make money from a TV viewer that is not nailed to the chair waiting for the commercial to end."

If it is good enough, even dedicated DVR owners can still be tempted to watch live television, complete with its inconvenient interludes. Chad Little, a ReplayTV owner who started a Web site called Planetreplay.com, where viewers can trade with each other, regularly records about 10 shows, including "Junkyard Wars," and "Everybody Loves Raymond." Sometimes he makes an exception:

"Buffy," Mr. Little said, referring to the vampire slayer. "There's times I'll watch it straight through with commercials and everything."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Miscellaneous
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Dancing through commercials is a godsend.
1 posted on 05/23/2002 3:59:46 AM PDT by The Raven
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To: The Raven
Finally. Now we need the algorithm to automatically stop recording during ads.
2 posted on 05/23/2002 4:01:29 AM PDT by lavaroise
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To: The Raven
They're selling hacked TiVOs on Ebay that lets people record up to 200 hours at standard play. That's more than a VCR tape can hold. And you can either buy it upgraded ready to set up or buy an upgrade kit yourself for it. The advertisers don't get it about the popularity of DVR's. What people like about them is you can watch television when you want to and you decide what you want to watch, not the networks or the advertisers. No wonder it drives them bonkers.
3 posted on 05/23/2002 4:06:09 AM PDT by goldstategop
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To: The Raven
I have a VCR that skips commercials. Aside from the obvious savings of the cost of tapes, why would one of these boxes be any better?
4 posted on 05/23/2002 4:07:34 AM PDT by Skooz
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To: Skooz
Its the digital picture quality. And a big hard drive (the prices have dropped and are still coming down) can hold a LOT more programs than any analog VCR tape can. The longest VCR record time at extended play mode is 10 hours. By contrast, a DVR can record up to 200 hours of programming. Think of going on vacation and NEVER having to miss a single show again. That's what's making devices like TiVOs so popular.
5 posted on 05/23/2002 4:10:57 AM PDT by goldstategop
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To: The Raven
Jamie C. Kellner, chief executive of Turner Broadcasting. "There's no Santa Claus. If you don't watch the commercials, someone's going to have to pay for television and it's going to be you."

An odd remark coming from someone affiliated with Ted Turner.

6 posted on 05/23/2002 4:12:19 AM PDT by FrdmLvr
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To: The Raven
I've had a Tivo for about one year. I couldn't do without it. I've watched very little "live" TV since I got my Tivo.

I've also watched very few commercials since I got my Tivo. That's had an unexpected effect. Commercials are a significant part of our culture these days, and sometimes I feel out of it when I hear my friends talking about commercials that I've never seen.

However, I'll live with that kind of "out of it" feeling.

7 posted on 05/23/2002 4:13:19 AM PDT by Rum Tum Tugger
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To: The Raven
Does anyone sell a DVR without a TiVo-type service. I want a DVR that I can use just like a VCR, recording what I want to see and watching it when I want to see it. I also want to be able to pause real-time programs. I don't need a programming service like TiVo. It is not a necessary function in a DVR. Does anyone make a DVR without some kind of on-going programming service?
8 posted on 05/23/2002 4:16:20 AM PDT by JoeGar
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To: JoeGar
You mean there's a monthly bill?
9 posted on 05/23/2002 4:18:21 AM PDT by Skooz
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To: JoeGar
Intervideo manufacturers a WinDVR for the PC. If you can get a huge second hard drive you could record it all there and play it back without the need for a TiVO set top DVR box. Just run a cable between the PC and your TV using a scan converter (if the PC lacks a TV out jack) in between if necessary and you're set.
10 posted on 05/23/2002 4:19:42 AM PDT by goldstategop
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To: Rum Tum Tugger
Aside from the "entertainment value" of some commercials, I'd say that tv ads have zero effect on my purchase decisions. I buy either what I like or what I can afford, usually the latter.

The cost of those commercials do factor into the cost of products though.

11 posted on 05/23/2002 4:21:58 AM PDT by csvset
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To: The Raven
Isn't this thing illegal under the new copyright abomination?
12 posted on 05/23/2002 4:23:43 AM PDT by Maelstrom
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To: The Raven
If these do catch up, you will see more real-time 'news' program (I love those pompous cretins paraded on the cable newsies) and more 'shows' available for purchase on DVD with the abbreviated 'on the air' version becoming more like a infomercial attempting to sell viewers the 'real thing'.

Technically speaking, isn't it true that the TiVo pricture quality is a lot lower than that of the original broadcast?

13 posted on 05/23/2002 4:32:23 AM PDT by A Vast RightWing Conspirator
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To: Maelstrom
I could be wrong, but I think I saw a "how to roll your own" DVR using your PC in Computer Shopper recently. Struck me as the sort of thing that had some (version 1.0) standard software and other standard parts. Something that will be much more integrated and much cheaper in no time.

Someone puts schedules on the internet in the proper format, etc., and we're all done. I figure I'll move to it in about a year.

14 posted on 05/23/2002 4:32:46 AM PDT by Blagden Alley
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To: JoeGar
Does anyone sell a DVR without a TiVo-type service.

A lot of people think they want that before they try the service.

However, it's the service that makes Tivo so great. Without the Tivo guide and related information, a Tivo wouldn't be nearly as valuable.

15 posted on 05/23/2002 4:33:24 AM PDT by Rum Tum Tugger
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To: goldstategop
How big a hard drive is needed for say 30 hours of recording? Where can I get the necessary software and hardware? I'm computer illiterate.
16 posted on 05/23/2002 4:33:27 AM PDT by american_ranger
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To: The Raven
Lawyers for the companies now argue that the court's endorsement of consumers' right to "time shift" television programming in the 1984 case was based on the assumption that copyright holders would not suffer significant financial damage as a result.

Rights are, by nature, independent of "financial damage" suffered by third parties. If the "financial damage" is the result of violating someone's property rights, that is wrong in itself. If the "financial damage" is simply lost revenue because people aren't buying what you're selling, tough toenails.

17 posted on 05/23/2002 4:35:10 AM PDT by steve-b
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To: Rum Tum Tugger
and sometimes I feel out of it when I hear my friends talking about commercials that I've never seen.

Do your 'friends' feel out-of-it when you talk about the Constitution? They should.

18 posted on 05/23/2002 4:35:14 AM PDT by CWRWinger
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To: The Raven
The industry is going to counter this trend by implementing advertisements directly within the programming. They won't base the revenue entirely on commercials then, but you'll have shows where every take includes items from their sponsers or perhaps entire episode where the set is an outlet of the sponser. Imagine a commedy series where each episode occurs within a Wal-Mart or some local mall. If this trend keeps up, it's coming (that doesn't mean I'll watch it, though!)
19 posted on 05/23/2002 4:37:21 AM PDT by Caipirabob
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To: Maelstrom
Isn't this thing illegal under the new copyright abomination?
They can pass laws against rain on holidays too.....

-Eric

20 posted on 05/23/2002 4:38:34 AM PDT by E Rocc
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To: Rum Tum Tugger
Post number 15 brought to you by:


TiVO: TV Your Way

21 posted on 05/23/2002 4:41:16 AM PDT by Skooz
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To: Skooz
As I understand it there is a monthly bill AND they track everything you watch. Big Brother anyone? Me, I love ads. Ads are commerce. Ads are freedom. I don't watch enough TV to justify buying one of these anyway-mostly news shows and I prefer to see these live for some strange reason.: )
22 posted on 05/23/2002 4:42:24 AM PDT by Musket
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To: lavaroise
Now we need the algorithm............but AlGore ain't got no rythmn
23 posted on 05/23/2002 4:43:13 AM PDT by MadelineZapeezda
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To: JoeGar
I am a happy TIVO owner. You can buy the unit and not pay the monthly fee, and you would be able to use it just like a VCR. However, the really neat feature of TIVO, which requires the monthly fee (or, a one-time fee of $250) is the "Season Pass." It enables you to record every episode of a given show with one relatively easy setup. It gives you the option of recording only first-run episodes, or repeats as well. I went to Europe for two weeks, and when I came home, all my favorite shows were ready to watch. The screen is very user friendly. It tells you the name of the show and the date it was recorded. When you finish watching it, it asks if you wish to keep it or erase it. You can even program the thing to record every movie that stars a particular actor. I am very pleased with the service. I paid the one-time fee which is well worth the money.
24 posted on 05/23/2002 4:44:10 AM PDT by TruthShallSetYouFree
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree
I am a happy TIVO owner. You can buy the unit and not pay the monthly fee, and you would be able to use it just like a VCR.

Thanks for the info. It sounds just like what I want.

25 posted on 05/23/2002 4:48:03 AM PDT by JoeGar
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To: american_ranger
How big a hard drive is needed for say 30 hours of recording? Where can I get the necessary software and hardware? I'm computer illiterate.

In that case, I'd suggest you buy a Tivo. Getting good A/V results from a PC isn't for a computer illiterate. I'm using a Home Theater PC to drive a video projector and surround sound, am very computer literate, and it just isn't that easy to get this stuff all working right.

If you really want to go down that path, there are people who sell pre-configured HTPC's, but a Tivo would be much cheaper just to get the PVR functionality.

26 posted on 05/23/2002 4:49:26 AM PDT by FreedomPoster
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BTW, a great way to learn a lot about this stuff is at the AV Sciences Ultimate Forum. There are many knowledgeable users, a good sprinkling of industry people, good FAQ's around, etc. Tivos and PVR's in general are covered in the forums labeled "Digital Video & Audio Devices", about 3/4ths of the way down the page.
27 posted on 05/23/2002 4:54:39 AM PDT by FreedomPoster
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To: FreedomPoster
Let's try that link again.
28 posted on 05/23/2002 4:55:39 AM PDT by FreedomPoster
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To: MadelineZapeezda
..but Al Gore aint got no rhythm..

Good one.

29 posted on 05/23/2002 5:06:00 AM PDT by Drawsing
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To: JoeGar
Here's a Link to a compny that performs the upgrades. I bought a unit from them with an extra-large hard drive. It was delivered without a hitch. All I had to do was plug it in.
30 posted on 05/23/2002 5:09:27 AM PDT by TruthShallSetYouFree
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: Skooz
I use a Hauppauge WinTV-PVR with a WD Caviar 100GB HDD with an 8MB Buffer. I can capture/record from cable tv and video camera. It all works great and looks fabulous on my 21" Trinitron monitor.

:o)

32 posted on 05/23/2002 5:21:10 AM PDT by IoCaster
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To: The Raven
I do not have TiVo, but I do subscribe to the DISH Network satellite system and I have one of their Dish Player receivers that is very similiar to TiVo. I can save 12 hours of programming, fast forward at up to 300x regular speed, pause and rewind live programming, search for and record favorite shows, etc.

Mine is an older model, but the one currently out now hold about 30 hours of programming. However they are due to release a new one any day now that holds (gulp!) ... 72 hours of programming!! Oh happy day!

33 posted on 05/23/2002 5:26:54 AM PDT by The G Man
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To: goldstategop;Skooz
There is SO much more you can do with a DVR than a VCR. One great feature is that you can pause or rewind anything (realtime and live, not just what you recorded) you're watching at any time because the device is always recording.

Watching a big game and need to use the restroom? Just hit pause, then "unpause" when you get back. Missed some dialogue because the kids were screaming? Just hit rewind and see it again. Remember I'm talking real time and live TV, not just what you've already recorded.

Also it's all digital. The recording quality is exactly as good as when you first watched it from the source ..... forever.

The ones that are designed for cable are OK, but IMO you're missing the boat if you're not using them with a 32 bit digital satellite signal. With a digital satellite signal there will NEVER be any snow, interference or static ever. You either get it or you don't.

Some cable companies are now hawking a "digital" signal. What they don't tell you is that it's a 16 bit signal as opposed a 32 bit signal from satellite. Like your video card, 16 bit allows several thousand colors, while 32 bit allows several million.

34 posted on 05/23/2002 6:00:40 AM PDT by AAABEST
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To: The Raven
The complaints from broadcasters about how consumers record TV programming is actually an outgrowth of something that Alvin Toffler's landmark book The Third Wave.

That book--published in 1979 when the home VCR began its rapid rise to ascendency--said that with VCR's and newer home video playback technologies it would completely overturn the whole idea of television programming by the broadcasters. And indeed it has happened; David Letterman's rise in popularity was possible because Neilsen Research found out his old NBC late-night show was one of the most-recorded shows on VCR, so people could watch in the morning after getting a good night's sleep. Today, VCR's have become so inexpensive that many households have more than one of them, which means you can do things like record two programs at one time and watch a third all at the same time.

DVR's are an extension of the VCR idea, only that programming the recorder is much more sophisticated and you can skip through the program (and the commercials) even faster. And unlike VCR's, DVR's usually have consistently good picture quality.

The New York Times article is just pointing out that television network executives still have not figured out the impact of home video recording and how it has completely changed viewing habits in many households.

35 posted on 05/23/2002 6:15:21 AM PDT by RayChuang88
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To: AAABEST
Some cable companies are now hawking a "digital" signal. What they don't tell you is that it's a 16 bit signal as opposed a 32 bit signal from satellite.

Heh, you should check out the cable company where I live. The "digital service" that they hawk as being far superior to the "dish" isn't even digital! Only the upper channels (ie, past 70) are actually digital channels and those are all premium movie channels (ie, an additional fee is requried for them), the lower channels are still analogue! Of course, you do get the feature of the box receiving programming information for every channel...of course, that feature often breaks and needs updating, and sometimes it screws up to the point that the information pops up on the screen whether or not you want it there.

Oh, and the default connection for it (used by the installer) is an RF line to the TV. The best connection it supports is composite video with L/R RCA stereo sound output. It looks like there's a model available with S-video and S-P/DIF output, but the cable company doesn't provide it. Component (with progressive scan)? Forget it.

I'd consider a PVR if anything came to the TV with reasonable quality -- as it is our cable connection signal is so degraded that we need a powered line amp.
36 posted on 05/23/2002 6:19:50 AM PDT by Dimensio
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To: E Rocc
They can pass laws against rain on holidays too.....

Yes they can, but they haven't yet. When they do, they're going to come and arrest you and remove from you your legal right to defend yourself, if not jail you.

Why you? Because it rained and someone is to blame.
37 posted on 05/23/2002 6:28:28 AM PDT by Maelstrom
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To: Dimensio
I'd consider a PVR if anything came to the TV with reasonable quality -- as it is our cable connection signal is so degraded that we need a powered line amp.

You sound like a perfect candidate for a satellite dish. Why haven't you got one?

38 posted on 05/23/2002 6:30:41 AM PDT by AAABEST
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To: Choco Taco
Next step: a TiVo that detects the screen presence of objectionable individuals (e.g., Jesse Jackson or Yasser Arafat) and skips over the time they are on the screen.

With more computing power, it could do on-the-fly CGI to (for example) make Billzebubba's nose grow as he talks.

39 posted on 05/23/2002 6:32:58 AM PDT by steve-b
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To: AAABEST
I don't have such control in the household :(
40 posted on 05/23/2002 6:34:35 AM PDT by Dimensio
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To: Dimensio
Here's what it is coming to: Sitcoms will no longer "break" for commercials -- they will give little mini "infomercials" lasting several seconds, many times throughtout, so the people will not switch.

"Brad, darling, please pass me the Parkay Margarine that is 100% free in fatty turboacids."

41 posted on 05/23/2002 6:36:19 AM PDT by ImaGraftedBranch
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To: Dimensio
Here's what it is coming to: Sitcoms will no longer "break" for commercials -- they will give little mini "infomercials" lasting several seconds, many times throughtout, so the people will not switch.

"Brad, darling, please pass me the Parkay Margarine that is 100% free in fatty turboacids."

42 posted on 05/23/2002 6:36:20 AM PDT by ImaGraftedBranch
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To: The Raven
. Some even come close to accusing habitual ad skippers of theft.

If skipping the commercials is theft, promising us entertainment in exchange for watching them is fraud.

43 posted on 05/23/2002 6:41:29 AM PDT by tacticalogic
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To: The Raven
Tivo is great! You have to experience it to appreciate the difference between it and an VCR. I've not use a VCR in years.

I bought a 30 hour Tivo and added another drive to give me about 120 hours of time. But you can determine the quality of the recording. My 120 hours is for lowest quality, I only have about 40 hours of best quality, but that is definately enough for me.

Tivo puts you in control of what you watch.

44 posted on 05/23/2002 6:49:25 AM PDT by tje
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To: Skooz
You have to use it to know. But once you cross over, you never go back.

You can digitally fast forward a whole show and see what you think. You get a whole new perspective on how shows are put together.

And if you like how to shows, you can save them and re-run at will. Yes you can use tape, but it is not indexed, and has no name/description while in the recorder. The indexing alone makes them worth the money. The time shifting and ease of finding what you recorded makes it a slam dunk. Pausing and re-winding live TV is really useful.

And best of all it pus you back in charge of what you watch when.

I now have 4 DTV-Tivos. Bet Rush has 55. I paid $100 each.

tarpon

45 posted on 05/23/2002 6:52:11 AM PDT by snooker
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To: american_ranger
>>How big a hard drive is needed for say 30 hours of recording?

40 gb

46 posted on 05/23/2002 6:53:37 AM PDT by snooker
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To: Skooz
"Aside from the obvious savings of the cost of tapes, why would one of these boxes be any better?"

It's incomparably better. For one thing, the TiVo lets you watch one show while recording another; you can even record two shows at the same time while watching one from the hard drive. So it's really more like two or three VCRs, not just one. But it also lets you pause, rewind and fast-forward a show while recording that very same show, something VCRs can't do no matter how many of them you have.

Here, for example, is how I watch football (which is the only Big Four network programming I watch). I have NFL Sunday Ticket, so I get about 13 games to choose from. I'll pick the two most promising ones and tune the TiVo to them. Whenever a commercial break comes up on one of them, I hit pause and flip to the other game. When that game hits a break, I pause it and flip back to the first. I never see any commercials, and I never have to sit through the sports droids' chatter during injury time-outs and official review. Plus, I have my own instant replay, so I can rewind to see great plays that the broadcast crew doesn't consider interesting.

They can have my TiVo when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers. If they think it's stealing, then they can do what NFL and HBO do and charge me a subscription. But they're not going to do that, of course, because then they'd find out just how many people don't watch their sludge.

47 posted on 05/23/2002 7:13:07 AM PDT by Fabozz
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To: snooker
"You can digitally fast forward a whole show and see what you think."

Yeah, that reminds me of another trick: Turn on closed-captioning and go into the first fast-forward mode. You watch the show 2-3x faster, but the subtitles still appear, barely slow enough to read. I love watching documentaries that way—it feels sorta like the brain-dump machine from The Matrix. :-)

48 posted on 05/23/2002 7:16:36 AM PDT by Fabozz
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To: JoeGar
I have dish network and a PVR 501. I don't have to pay a monthly service fee for the online channel guide.
49 posted on 05/23/2002 7:29:53 AM PDT by Tao Yin
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To: A Vast RightWing Conspirator
Technically speaking, isn't it true that the TiVo pricture quality is a lot lower than that of the original broadcast?

No.

---max

50 posted on 05/23/2002 8:11:36 AM PDT by max61
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