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Your DVR can help your love life!

Posted by Joanna Weiss  September 3, 2008 10:31 AM

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Yes, that's right. According to the Hollywood Reporter, taking control over your TV can soothe a troubled relationship. Apparently, NDS, a company that makes DVR technology, conducted a poll of 1,000 DVR owners and found 79 percent said their TiVos and TiVo clones had improved their personal relationships . I'm guessing the benefits are twofold: Fewer fights over control of the remote, plus the chance to delay your viewing in order to...take out the garbage? Have that "big talk"? Fill in the blanks yourself. People also said the DVR ranked second to the mobile phone as the household technology they couldn't live without.

So the transition is nearly complete. DVRs aren't nearly as hard a sell as they were when I first wrote about them back in 2001, as early-adopters tried desperately to explain the machines to their non-techie friends. At the time, saturation hovered at a piddling 2 percent. Now, DVRs are available through cable and satellite packages, and by last spring, they were in 26 percent of American households. And now that Nielsen has started to measure "live plus same-day" ratings, the networks aren't doing nearly as much to sabotage the technology by starting and ending shows at, say, 10:02 p.m.

I remember my early-adopter brother telling me, many years ago, that his TiVo changed the way he thought about time. I think I'm still settled on the Einstein issues, but I will say my DVR has changed my TV habits considerably. I seldom watch anything 100 percent live. And as a parent, I have a powerful tool. No need to flip channels when you've stored sixteen episodes of "Peep and the Big Wide World." Plus I can watch "American Idol" on time-delay and avoid the violent ads. And if I didn't catch what Baltar said on "Battlestar Galactica," I can go back and hear it again and again and again. So, it's time for some testimonials...has your DVR helped you find more stable love? A happier life? Do tell.

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11 comments so far...
  1. It has helped me considerably. But sadly it doesn't help all. I have a friend who's husband refuses to utilize timeshifting to pause live TV when it would be prudent to take out the garbage, pick something up, or listen for a minute :). But the DVR is the savior and I'm glad to hear Nielsen is finally counting DVR.

    Posted by David September 3, 08 12:25 PM
  1. Don't forget the close-captioning with the DVR. With my kids constantly talking over shows, my wife and I always have it on when watching a show with them. Tivo rocks!

    Posted by ME September 3, 08 12:48 PM
  1. I watch more TV because of the DVR -- I often set up series recordings/Seasons Passes, where in the past I would have just missed shows. It's let me introduce my teens to some classic shows, like M*A*S*H, which they would have never seen on their own.

    Posted by Jeffrey Henning September 3, 08 01:43 PM
  1. I've been recording a lot more than I could possibly watch. One TiVo holds 70 hours, the other DVR holds 100 hours. I gave myself until Labor Day to get caught up; when that expired I deleted it all.
    It's a great way to audit a show (Mad Men, Life) but I found they weren't worth committing another two hours a week plus the act of watching all the old episodes.
    Still, I would rather have it than not. The ability to glide through a 60 minute shows in 43 minutes is great. And it's "smart"...when a Thursday show gets moved to Friday, TiVo knows.

    Posted by Mark September 3, 08 02:32 PM
  1. Yes, TiVo helps.

    Now, if my SO wants to murder a bunch of brain cells with Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, or any of those other cloned, templated chick shows, she can watch on the nights I'm not home.

    When we watch together, pausing a rare "live" TV show helps when life gets in the way.

    Posted by NotWithoutMyTV September 3, 08 02:42 PM
  1. DVR came in VERY handy during the Red Sox postseason on those nights where I had to work late in the evening...I would go home and start to watch the game from the first pitch, fast forwarding through all commercial breaks and any meaningless game worked out very well (as did the Red Sox postseason).

    Posted by Dan September 3, 08 05:07 PM
  1. We have twin toddlers and I have a job that can interrupt my life 7x24 so it's pretty unusual for us to even get 1 or 2 hours of uninterrupted TV viewing time during an entire week. If it weren't for the timeshifting feature, we would lose so much interest in a program that we would probably never watch TV at all.

    I can't even count the number of times we watched some 3rd rate show and realized how we wouldn't even watch if we had to endure the commercials. Yep, some of them aren't even worth watching when you can skip the commercials, that's pretty bad eh?

    Posted by Clinton September 3, 08 08:31 PM
  1. What will you do if the FCC allows content providers to prevent you from recording shows, or fast-forwarding, or permanently saving them? Search Google for "selective output control" and "broadcast flag" to find out what the MPAA wants to do.

    Posted by FastForward September 4, 08 07:53 AM
  1. We got our first TiVo in September of 2001 ..... we now have two and will not consider an upgrade to HDTV without the addition of the HD TiVo. It's just too much a part of our lives to watch what we want, when we want it.

    When we've been subjected to live broadcast, it's just painful. Especially explaining to our daughter that things aren't on when you want them to be on! We keep a collection of kid's shows for her to watch, and can very tightly control her TV watching accordingly.

    Posted by Jason September 4, 08 08:55 AM
  1. You could build your own HTPC capable of recording HD content, using Mythbuntu, or other distributions such as Knoppmyth, Mythdora, etc.

    It works pretty well for me.

    Posted by FastForward September 4, 08 10:26 AM
  1. No TiVo or DVR here. Almost all the programs we care to watch are signing off for the season... The Closer, Saving Grace, Burn Notice, Monk, Psych and of course the olympics. Interesting almost all were on USA and TNT. About the only TV I'm looking forward to is MORE SOX, Patriots, L&O's, American Idol.

    Still no reason for a DVR/TiVo with nothing else on that I can't wait for repeats.

    Posted by Otis September 4, 08 12:18 PM

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