I love my PVR

One neat feature of my PVR than never gets credit is the scale that shows up and tells you what percentage of the show has been watched. Where you are, or more importantly, how far in did you jump, when changing channels. A movie may be worth watching, depending on how much you missed.

An easy bar graph helps me decide.

I can also hit INFO, and it’ll list a few staring roles, and a plot summary. This is basically the same kind of info a printed TV listings would offer.

I’m old enough to say; “I remember when the TV listings were detailed for all 24 hours… not grids. Grids came out first as a nice summary, but quickly, a replacement.

Even the full guides started bundling Monday to Friday in one listing.

I choose not to use the literary famous quote about “them coming for me, and I did nothing”

But I couldn’t resist.

I love my FAV button. It lets me scan 6 channels that are most likely to contain something worth watching… personalized.

I scan SPIKE, SPACE, COMEDY, DISCOVERY, TBS and STAR

If those don’t stop me, I usually go to the PVR list.

The PVR list – Personal Video Recorder… think of it like an MP3 Player for TV shows. Its a list of all the ones my machine downloaded for me.

In other words, a free access version of all the shows I like, old and new. Being a PVR owner means never missing an episode of the shows you like.

Your TV life changes, because you watch whenever you want, and you never miss an episode. You become a SHOW watcher instead of a TV watcher. You watch a few pilots, and pick your favourites.

Then, each week you have them all to choose from. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a HOUSE or BOSTON LEGAL, and sometimes I’m in the mood for Kathy Griffin’s Life on the D-LIST or BIG BROTHER and sometime Star Trek.

It becomes easy to try new shows. Just pick them from the TV listings, up to a week ahead, and then watch them later, with the FAST FORWARD in hand. You can delete it at any time, and then watch something else.

You don’t have to start watching shows at 7pm sharp, or 8pm, or 9pm.

If you come home at 7:58 because you need to catch Survivor, you may pass on out on away the shopping till the first commercial break. With a PVR you, you can do stuff anytime, with paused TV, just like a VCR or DVD.

You can even pause LIVE TV while you’re watching it.

Pausing isn’t just for running off to perform some food related activity. It’s for the phone callers who don’t respect the synchronization of phone calls and commercials – the nerve.

It’s for anything. The baby’s first words are THAT’S HOT needs a pause.

The cat falling in the snake pit. That demands a pause.

Sometimes the pause is required just to explain what you’ve just seen to a friend or older relative who keeps asking who that man is.

Or which hobbit is on which team.

I often need to pause, just for a break. A mental nap and recap.

…and to go get a water. I have since installed a fridge nearer the TV.

Take a water – leave a water.

The next best feature you’ll become addicted to once you’ve lived with it for a while. The rewind, or preset 10 second recap.

The best friend of those who think they may be A.D.D.

What the hell was that? If you’ve ever thought that, or the Christian safe version using HECK or less – then the 10n second recap, or rewind if your best friend. I’ve used it 10 times in a row till I heard a crucial mumbled phrase or two.

—WOW ALERT–

SCAM! SCAM! SCAM!

I was just watching TV LIVE… and a commercial came on that yelled so loud I had to watch. It was a pitchman selling a scam.

A huge money making, 100% legal scam.

Hmmm… I got a chance to watch it again. A well timed perfect example of the power of the PVR. I was able to copy it to the hard disk and output it as a FLASH file. (Remember, this was LIVE TV I was watching Sunday afternoon at 2pm)

ON first watching, I heard the pictures talk about the Sony PlayStation, but the prize listed as a “game station”, which could mean, a $19.00 knockoff.The $2 ticket price per entry was soft spoken at the start of the commercial. I surmised that this scam was going to make THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in one day, from kids who think they’re winning a PlayStation, and have no clue what it’s costing.

Till the bill arrives.

When I watched it a second time, they did say YOU COULD WIN A PLAYSTATION, but it wasn’t directly linked to the call as a ballot… so I’m not sure.

I rewound it again, and discussed the commercial with a friend. I learned only the third time, when a casual PAUSE happened to allow me to read the trust contest may require a $4.00 per week commitment, and can only be cancelled on the Internet. I hope you saw the http://text4win.com and wrote it down in the 3 seconds it was illegible at the bottom of the screen.

The text message is not you ballot.

This particular commercial was placed at the end of the hour on a TV show almost certainly being watched by families. The key demographic of the WANTS and The PAYS FOR together.

Not so much a scam, as evil. Breaking our trust in commercials the way they did with SPAM.

The Internet has trained me to not trust any contests or requests for money anymore. I’m still undecided if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

It’s a problem that much of society relies on basic trust, and that same society is allowing trust to be crushed and destroyed more and more each day. Crushing trust should be among the highest crime. It is a crime against people, but a huge blow to the national moral and morals. (sic)

If I ever win a contest, and will be notified by email, I’ll never know I won. That upsets me, but that’s a whole other zeppelin.

I now resume my TV watching, right where I left off, almost 30 minutes ago.

First, I fast Forward past the commercials.

The bar meter at the bottom of the screen tells me I didn’t miss much. It was over anyway. I click LIVE and start all over again.



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