Saturday, March 09, 2002

FELLOW BLOGGER AND D.C.-AREA EDITOR Meredith points out how annoying it is when people use "TiVo" as a verb (as I did recently).

I can see that.

But I must lapse into techie-chivalry to defend my beloved black box from Meredith's follow-up comment: "Use the VCR!"

Use the VCR? That's sort of like saying "What's wrong with a goddamn horse and buggy?" in response to somebody calling his BMW a Beemer.

Forgive her, TeevSter, she knows not what she speaks. It's difficult to conceive of what a life-changing technology the digital video recorder is if you haven't spent a few days with one, and I understand that's been a problem for the TiVo and ReplayTV and Ultimate TV people as they try to sell these gadgets.

The whole "pause live TV" thing gets a lot of attention, and it is neet. (Sorry — I've always preferred the depilatory spelling for the "cool" meaning as opposed to the "tidy" meaning.)

And the set-it-and-forget-it aspect, to borrow a Ron Popeil phrase, is great too. No need to remember to put in a tape and do the programming every single time you want to see every single one of your favorite programs. But you knew that, right?

I think my favorite thing about TiVo, though, is the on-screen catalog. The random access. The list of what you've recorded; you click and it plays. No more labeling tapes, fast-forwarding through tapes, trying to remember what's on what tape. And if you want to pause one program and resume watching it later, that pause stays paused. Your desire to watch another program from the same day has no bearing the way it would with a videocassette. Use the VCR? You use a VCR for VCR stuff: making tapes for the permanent collection.

I promise: My next entry will not be a love letter to a piece of technology.

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