Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Time Shifting

One of the things that I really have come to enjoy is my DVR. I know that there are many out there that prefer to stay completely away from the television, but I rather enjoy the opportunity to relax and unwind while watching a little bit of television.

There were many things that used to bother me about using a VCR. First, you could only record one show per VCR. Second, the way ours was wired, you had to be watching the channel that was recording. Third, if you were watching a show on playback, you couldn't be recording. Fourth, if you didn't watch your shows soon enough, your tape was full. Fifth, you either had to watch from the end back or commit to a long period of watching shows, so you could leave the tape where you were able to record. It made it really hard to record and watch shows. When possible, I tried to be home and available when shows were on so that I could watch them live. When I couldn't, we had to plan when we would watch the shows. I felt a little bit like a slave to the TV/VCR.

Now, we have a DVR and I control the TV instead of it controlling me. You can record two shows. Of course, if you have the TV on when you are recording two shows, you either have to watch one of those shows or something that was previously recorded. If your show moves days of the weeks, the DVR knows. You can elect to record all episodes or only new episodes.

Having a DVR allows me to always have a show that is appropriate for my children to watch available. Most of the shows that we record for the kids are on while we are away. Curious George, Little Bear, Backyardigans, Blue's Clues and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse are amongst the shows we record. Another benefit is we are able to tape from commercial free networks. We typically only allow 1 or 2 episodes in the evening, generally while I am attempting to make dinner for the family. My son, who has grown up with a DVR learned early on that we could pause shows so that he could run to the bathroom or take a break. So much so that he didn't understand why we couldn't pause TV at Grandma's house or when he would watch a show upstairs from time to time, while I was showering or taking care of chores upstairs. He also didn't understand the first time he watched a show with a commercial, why his show was being interrupted. Oh my!

For me, the nice thing about the DVR is I can watch the shows I want when it is convenient for me and in a fraction of the time, because I can skip commercials. I can start a show one evening and finish it the next. I can start watching a show 10 minutes late and finish at the regular time because I don't spend time watching commercials. It really is a lot more convenient for me.

Now, it may sound like I watch a lot of shows, but really, I only watch about five shows - CSI, Without a Trace, Monk, Lost, How I Met Your Mother and two reality series - Amazing Race and the Biggest Loser. The rest is "filler" - I tape Hidden Potential and House Hunters. I enjoy seeing different houses and what your money can buy across the country.

Check out Works for Me Wednesday over at Rocks in My Dryer for even more tips and tricks.


The Pennington Point said...

I'm with you! I love skipping commercials, watching just what I want to watch when I get to sit down and most of all...pausing when the kids come into the room. Great post! Lisa~

Phyllis Sommer said...

this is so true. we've been tivo-ing for almost five years now and i don't remember how to watch tv any other way. i agree with you - the control over what the kids watch is the best part. there's no channel-flipping, no commercials, it's wonderful. they just don't get it when their favorite episodes get deleted, tho....some we've saved for months!