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MSNBC interview with TiVo's Michael Ramsay
July 3, 2003 12:09 PM   Subscribe

A Lifestyle Phenomenon An interview with TiVo's Michael Ramsay where he talks about free celebrity promotion, drop in price, competition, and viewing habits (previously discussed). An interesting read on an American phenomenon.
posted by evening (16 comments total)

 
Well, TiVo fans certainly are rabid.
posted by Hammerikaner at 12:45 PM on July 3, 2003


In our current apartment we had free cable with all the movie channels (our landlord worked for the cable company). He loaned us an extra TV, and being a gadget freak, I decided to see what this TiVo thing was, and picked one up.

To say that TiVo changes your life sounds really ridiculous, but it's also true. I only watch a few shows every week, but I get to watch them when I want them, which means a lot. Watching TV elsewhere hurts, and whenever a commercial comes on, I look for the remote to skip it.

The weird thing about TiVo that my friends and I have noticed is that before you get it, you really think you're going to watch more TV. Once you start using it, however, you watch less. Without TiVo, you watch all the shows you want to watch, and in addition, whenever you just flop on the couch and watch TV, you watch whatever crap is on. With TiVo, you only watch what you want to watch, and you get to skip all the commercials. It actually saves time for me.
posted by AaRdVarK at 1:54 PM on July 3, 2003


I only watch a few shows every week, but I get to watch them when I want them, which means a lot.

I do the same thing without a TiVo, with about the same viewing habits you describe. It's called Usenet. I don't feel the need to proselytize about it, though, and the level of fanatacism many TiVoites express--ie, they just cannot stop trying to get people to buy one--is starting to make me react the same way some very religious types do: I just close them out. It's bizarre.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:08 PM on July 3, 2003


Join us.... JOIN US!
posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:37 PM on July 3, 2003


No TiVo == Worst thing about Canada. :-(
posted by stonerose at 2:51 PM on July 3, 2003


>I do the same thing without a TiVo, with about the same viewing habits you describe. It's called Usenet.

I wouldn't say the same thing. You might as well be comparing tivo to a VCR or borrowing a buddy's VHS collection.

USENET downloads involve a lot of effort. Getting all the pieces, buring VCDs, etc over and over again.

A tivo just records what you tell it to record and stores it for quite a while without you having to do any CD shuffling or browsing newsgroups. At the end of the day lots of goodies are waiting for you. Not to mention a very smooth fast forward, slow motion, program suggestions, dual tuner recording, satellite mpeg2 perfect copies with directivo, etc.

I don't know if Tivo is so great or if TV is just so bad. Its surprisingly liberating not to have to deal with the realtime nature of television. Tivo makes control convienant. People like control. Its a win-win situation.
posted by skallas at 3:05 PM on July 3, 2003


skallas, you're assuming that in my house, my TV and my computer are separate devices. They ain't, I'm like totally converged!! So, for me, click on first part, shift-click last part, download, extract, watch.

I guess those 10 extra seconds I spend vs. someone with a TiVo will add up sooner or later. But then you're out more money than I. Balance.
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:53 PM on July 3, 2003


Wow, I want YOUR net connection, WolfDaddy, if you can d/l entire television programs in 10 sec! (Yeah, I know, Tivo has to record the program too, but it does it unattended.)

Meanwhile...Tivo rules!
posted by rushmc at 6:25 PM on July 3, 2003


rushmc, 10 seconds to set it all up. Sure, it takes awhile to download, but I'm not at home when it's downloading, so I consider that time 'unattended' as well...and my cable connection's pretty durn fast, 300-350K a second from the local server. Sweet.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:50 PM on July 3, 2003


You can lead a horse to water...

Really, if you've never had a TiVo, you've about as much insight comparing it to usenet as a virgin has about sex. Ya know, I do believe there was a time that a fair number of folk were fanatical about various new-fangled expensive contratraptions such as the horseless carriage and the flying machine. Seems like eventually most everyone adopted 'em or died off.
posted by ehintz at 7:12 PM on July 3, 2003


Hey, now, I didn't say I've never used a TiVo.

Besides, in addition to TV programs, Usenet has tons of hardcore gay pr0n. Won't find that with basic cable now willya.

Hmph. Now you've gone and made me do all the proselytizing of a red-blooded TiVoite. Dammit.
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:54 PM on July 3, 2003


Comparing the "downloading of video files off Usenet" to TiVo is like comparing a Kit Car to a Porsche.

(That is to say, they both accomplish similar things, but one requires far less effort and gets you there a helluva lot more comfortably.)

Perhaps the appeal of Usenet downloading is that personal self-satisfaction that usually results in a shit-eating grin. "Look over here, I'm so very smart. I swear, I'm saving time and money doing it this way!"

I'd like to see you get a Season Pass to Comedy Central's "I'm With Busey" with your 300K-a-second-Usenet-cable-connection. Aren't you sort of at the mercy of the uploaders (and your news server's cache?)

Or try pausing the live SuperBowl so you can take a piss. (Oh yeah, Usenet's not gonna help you out with that either.)

Sheesh. Just get a TiVo, you know you want one!
posted by Fofer at 9:58 PM on July 3, 2003


they both accomplish similar things, but one requires far less effort

...assuming you discount all the effort involved in earning the money used to pay for the Porsche, of course.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:32 AM on July 4, 2003


My DirecTiVo was free after rebate. You can probably pick one up for $149 these days.

How much was your video card with TV output again?
posted by Fofer at 10:40 AM on July 4, 2003


...or are you actually watching your shows on your "converged" PC's monitor?
posted by Fofer at 10:42 AM on July 4, 2003


I Bought A 30 Hour Sony Tivo™ when Montgomery Wards was going out of business. It was $75 but was missing the remote. The cheapest universal remote at the time was like $150 learning remote & Sony wanted like $65 for the official remote. So it sat in my closet for a year until i found a cheap $15 universal remote that supported tivo. I finally got to use this thing i have been lusting on for like 2 1/2 years.

Nirvana it was until one day my programing guide fucked up and i had to reset my Tivo. but i could not cause Tivo use's the Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down Button to Start the reset. My Cheapo universal remote did not have these buttons. So i had to order a official remote from Sony and wait for like 10 days. 10 days of hell i tell you.

When i moved last year I decided not to get a phone line cause my work pays for my cell phone. So i could not justify paying $40.00 a month for a phone line just for tivo. I also at the time moved up to digital cable and the fucking ir blasters are worthless. So i gave my Tivo to my mother. She thinks its the greatest thing ever.

I decided to buy a Tivo 2 or a Replay Tv that can get the program guide of a network cable. I have not yet i feel the units are still to pricey. In the mean time i do what WolfDaddy do's i download the shows i want to watch off E-Mule.
posted by Dreamghost at 12:44 AM on July 5, 2003


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