November 26, 2008

"To DVR or Not DVR, that is the question..."

(Authors Note: I can’t believe that it has been this long since my last post. Things get hectic at times and I cannot spend the time I want to writing. I will be better and more disciplined about this – when monkeys fly out of my butt…)

DVR and sporting events
I just love tech gadgets. I’m not particularly good with them but with a son and daughter in the Gen Y age group (Generation Y, sometimes referred to as "Millennials" or "Net Generation", born 1982-2000, Wikipedia) I never hesitate getting something or trying something or looking into something. We have about 7 computers in our house, most on a wireless network. We all have cell phones and smart phones to keep in touch. We have a gaming system, one that Booth Boy thinks belongs to him, but he has been wrong before (and that is another blog entry altogether.)

So when my daughter MillieJupiter approached me last summer about getting a DVR to go with our cable TV system, I was quick to agree. The fact that she offered to pay for the installation and the monthly fee was a bonus. We called, they came and it was installed in about 9 minutes flat. It came with a guide book but as my father before me, I never met a guide book or instruction manual that I read to learn anything so we quickly moved to the kids showing me what to do. Sure it can look complicated with a remote that looks like it belongs on the space shuttle, but I have never met a remote I could not master either.

MJ uses the DVR to record movies and shows to watch on the weekends and at her leisure. I do similar things. But this blog entry is about another fascinating DVR experience she told me about. She sets the DVR to record a show and then joins the show in progress and starts at the beginning. As commercials comes up, she buzzes through them to get back to the program. If you do it right, you get to the end of the program just as it actually ends, having watched it commercial interruption free. Just for that alone, the DVR is worth every penny. “In time, time shifting”, what a concept.

One final point and the actual point of this blog is something that came up while we watched the NY Giants manhandle another opponent. Do you time shift sporting events? Can you handle the fact that you are watching a contest that has already happened and that other people, right there in your own neighborhood perhaps, could know the outcome before you do. To watch a football game in this manner might get you started 20 minutes behind to watch each half. All of us – Booth Boy, MJ and T Fab P all felt we did not want to do this. It is one thing to watch “The Office” or “House” without the commercial interruptions. It is another thing to find out the Giants or the Yankees won the game dramatically 20 minutes after it actually occurred. Hence commercials during regular TV shows are worthless to us, commercials during sporting events are “must watch” not because of how good they might be but because we have to watch them, can’t fast forward through them.

I am interested in other opinions about this – any one?