My Name is Wendell and I'm a TiVoHolic
November 12, 2003 7:41 PM   Subscribe

"Wow! I have a lot of shows to watch... Will I ever catch up?” Reuters reports on TiVo addiction, and it's tonight's #1 story on Keith Olbermann's Countdown, a news show with less viewers than TiVo has owners. When they put up a transcript, it'll be in here. Still, Keith asked one very good question: "Is it just part of the inevitable pattern of technology that everything starts as a luxury, becomes a necessity and finally becomes something for which we need therapy?" (I was able to do my own transcription because... I got it on my TiVo!)
posted by wendell (34 comments total)

Hmmm. I work an average 14 hour day (ho hum!), and we're caught up almost all the time (except for the wild backlog of West Wing that will vanish once Bravo recycles their programing). I hate to sound like an ad, but Tivo has really changed my (our) life - no more aimless flipping, no more wasted evenings finding that we've watched really, nothing, but on 186 different channels.

[humor] Perhaps Cori Martinelli (from the article) should get herself checked for an anxiety disorder? [/humor]

Perhaps if I spent less of my day posting to and reading Metafilter I'd spend less time at work and more time home watching Tivo? Nah.
posted by anastasiav at 7:55 PM on November 12, 2003

It's bad. There's something to be said for the old-fashioned way, where if you miss a program, you miss it, and you're lucky if you see it in 6 months as a rerun. With a Tivo, the missed shows are just waiting for you... FOREVER!

P.S. Upgrading hard drive = feeding the addiction.
posted by smackfu at 8:02 PM on November 12, 2003

9 Hours of Star Trek every day on TV and a satellite card for my computer at "work". Why do I need a TiVo again? :-)
posted by shepd at 8:04 PM on November 12, 2003

Tivo? Is that like eMule?
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:13 PM on November 12, 2003

I would buy Tivo if it had a floss dispenser.
posted by stbalbach at 8:48 PM on November 12, 2003

Is this TiVo something you need to watch TV to know about, because I don't watch TV.
posted by rschram at 9:47 PM on November 12, 2003

...on Keith Olbermann's Countdown, a news show with less viewers than TiVo has owners.

I love that show! But then again I have a Tivo too.
posted by spilon at 9:52 PM on November 12, 2003

I've been TV-free for the past month or so (in between cable/satellite systems, should be remedied soon) and I missed a few key shows. Then I found and I'm all caught up. Last sunday's show was online hours after it first aired. Leave it up to geeks to archive their shows in several formats and bitrates the same night something airs.
posted by mathowie at 10:23 PM on November 12, 2003

Every time I go down to Super 88 in Allston, that Keith Olbermann is on the air, muted. I still don't understand how the man abandoned ESPN and became a semi-legitimate news anchor. Can Kenny Mayne be far behind?
posted by tingley at 10:55 PM on November 12, 2003

I don't know what I want to watch until I sit down and start flipping through channels. I'm as likely to stop on Trading Spaces as I am NASCAR racing, a documentary on World War I tactics, or a National Geographic special on the Bantu tribe.

It's the fun of flipping through the dial that keeps me subscribing to satellite TV, not the possibility of hour after hour of stuff I like.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:12 PM on November 12, 2003

For the truly addicted there's always therapy.
posted by Pharkas at 11:18 PM on November 12, 2003

I don't have a t.v. You people are slovenly dogs.
posted by The God Complex at 11:52 PM on November 12, 2003

Well, I have a t.v. and a tivo, but I agree. You're dogs.
posted by eatitlive at 1:14 AM on November 13, 2003

Only TiVo fans know the radical disappointment of settling in to watch a recording of, say, a biography of actor Johnny Depp, and discovering that TiVo has captured a kitchen knife infomercial instead.

I don't think I'd have been too upset to miss that fascinating biography..

Tivo is no longer available in the UK, which is a bugger, as I want one. A friend of mine has Sky+, which is like a Tivo but doesn't automatically record stuff, and he's pretty impressed with it. I'm waiting for ntl: to come up with something similar. Given their track record I won't hold my breath.
posted by salmacis at 3:05 AM on November 13, 2003

matt... for other cool animation stuff you might've missed, check out There's all kinds of goodies there to help you get your tv fix, plus it's run on a private network. They have a truly excellent collection of the various Adult Swim stuff.
posted by ph00dz at 4:23 AM on November 13, 2003

“I get to the point now where I skip going to the gym so I can keep up with watching “Dawson’s Creek” reruns”

This is one burdened individual! Won't someone think of the slovenly Katie Holmes fan? Can the government come in and regulate this?
posted by keli at 4:50 AM on November 13, 2003

Without self-control, people will feel out of control. High-tech not required.

If you feel overwhelmed, just hit "delete" (on YOUR Tivo...don't touch mine!)
posted by rushmc at 5:29 AM on November 13, 2003

What kind of person bitches
over an embarrassment of riches?
posted by rushmc at 5:29 AM on November 13, 2003

I haven't watched TV in months, due to a number of things, but the main reason being I hate adverts. However, I'm still watching Angel and Smallville episodes that haven't been broadcast over here, thanks to the wonder that is the internet. I caught up from the first episode of Smallville to the latest one broadcast yesterday in just under a week. If a Tivo could do that, I'd be hooked.
posted by Orange Goblin at 9:36 AM on November 13, 2003

I've got 2 120G directivo's at home (that's roughly 107 hours of recording time, give or take some). I have some shows that are over a year old on them that I haven't watched yet, and I'm just now getting around to finishing off some shows from last season. Haven't even started watching any of the new shows this year (at least I can find out if they're cancelled before watching them). And of course hockey season seriously cuts into the time available for watching stuff.
posted by piper28 at 9:37 AM on November 13, 2003

My other half wishes he had this problem right now as he is going thru withdrawals * since he is overseas. He also made a Tivo commercial* that fits him and these people in the article.
We love our tivo's and it really makes watching tv elsewhere almost unbearable.

*warning: these two links are self (well, husband) links
posted by thatothrgirl at 9:48 AM on November 13, 2003

Ever since I stopped watching TV, I discovered I have even less free time available (because of all the new stuff I get to do.)
posted by NewBornHippy at 10:04 AM on November 13, 2003

I've been TV-free for the past month or so (in between cable/satellite systems, should be remedied soon)
Does it freak you out as much as it does me that the creator of PVR Blog said that?

Here's a self-link to a life without TiVo-and-cable horror story (12 channels, 8 with the State of the Union Address).

Good poetry, rushmc. Original or an Ogden Nash I've never encountered?

OGob, if you're watching 'Smallville' on your computer, you're still watching TV. IMGDO (In My Generally Dismissed Opinion), if you're watching a DVD of Bullwinkle Season I, you're still watching TV. Back when I brought a VHS of "The Matrix" home from Lackluster Video, I was still watching TV (Damn, I never returned that thing...). There are lots of ways to "watch TV' (I'll bet Matt's 'TV-free' claim would fall apart under my broad definition)... TiVo's one way, the question is how THAT way plays into some people's personalities to become a problem. Excuse me, I have to catch up on last night's eps of "Angel" and "Good Eats"...
posted by wendell at 10:35 AM on November 13, 2003

Kill your television.

(no cable, no satellite, no TiVo)
posted by swerve at 11:14 AM on November 13, 2003

Modifying my Tivo remote to make the 30 second skip a head button has made me so happy. I hate commercials, and skipping over them en masse brings a smug grin onto my bathed-in-the-blue-glow face.

My wife was skeptical about the value of Tivo when we(OK, I) purchased it, but when we had to send ours in for a week for hard drive repair she literally gave up trying to watch TV in frustration after 3 days. It's shocking to realize how different the experience of watching TV is after you get used to your Tivo.
posted by dglynn at 11:15 AM on November 13, 2003

30 second skip is an absolute godsend to tv watching. The only thing I watch live nowadays is sports (and even then, I'm often reaching for the remote when the commercials come, only to remember I can't do that). Even if I'm watching something that's on that night, I do other things until after the show has started simply so I don't have to watch the commercials.

Now, do I watch more tv than I used to? Yeah, maybe. However, because I can watch it when I want, I find that it lets me do more non-tv stuff, because I'm not a slave to the broadcasters timing decisions. And with three tivos at home, there's always something to watch if I'm in the mood. Admittadly, it does get a little disturbing when you start thinking that it'd be nice to upgrade the storage space on the tivo yet again, because 107 hours isn't enough, and those 120G drives are getting awfully cheap these days. Which reminds me, I need to go and hack caller-id support back into my tivos.
posted by piper28 at 12:36 PM on November 13, 2003

Good poetry, rushmc. Original or an Ogden Nash I've never encountered?

All original, I'm afraid. :)

Does anyone have one of the new Tivos with recordable DVD?
posted by rushmc at 12:38 PM on November 13, 2003

The hard drive comes in 40-hour or 80-hour versions.

...unless you're an early adopter, in which case you settle for 14 hour, which is really more like nine hours at an adequate bitrate. These people have nothing to complain about. Pansies.

It's true, there was a time when I would lie awake at night worrying about shows getting prematurely deleted. Fortunately, along came Bittorrent, and I don't really worry so much anymore. Downloading is more of a hassle than programming the TiVo, but it makes for a darn good backup plan.

*pets TiVo*
posted by Galvatron at 12:52 PM on November 13, 2003

wendell - perhaps I should have said I've stopped watching the physical television. Watching TV to me means sitting down in front of the television, and doing nothing else but watch. When I watch stuff on my PC, I have it in a window set to "always on top", and work, browse websites, and chat to people whilst watching.
posted by Orange Goblin at 1:32 PM on November 13, 2003

shortly after the appearance of canned goods in the marketplace, i became hopelessly addicted to the use of a can opener. god, just thinking of the feel of the crank between thumb and forefinger, the raw sexuality of the blade biting it's way through metal, the insouciant way the top pops erect when nearly severed causes me to shudder in giddy anticipation. fortunately, i got help.
posted by quonsar at 5:37 PM on November 13, 2003

(remember, you are the open speaker at the soup can open metting)
posted by clavdivs at 5:39 PM on November 13, 2003

Is this TiVo something you need to watch TV to know about, because I don't watch TV.
Then why the hell would you comment here? Thanks for wasting space.
mefi: we don't watch TV because we're better than you
posted by ac at 5:48 PM on November 13, 2003

q, nowadays those manual can openers are just considered "gateway" appliances for the real problem: Electric Can Openers. Now that's an addiction. Although I've heard that trying to beat the Cuisinart habit is even harder. Anybody out there ever go on a bender with a blender?
posted by wendell at 6:27 PM on November 13, 2003

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