Putting Your Television to Work

What's all the big fuss about over TiVo?

TiVo works as your robotic television manager, constantly scanning upcoming show listings to separate your favorites from the trash. It juggles the recordings to avoid possible overlaps, and it saves the good stuff until you're ready to watch it.

Simply put, TiVo makes you the boss of your television. You're no longer at the mercy of the networks, their rigid scheduling, and their loud commercials. You no longer have to watch "whatever's on" when you sit down. Your TiVo insulates you from the bad aspects of TV, catching only the good.

It's surprisingly easy how TiVo does this. You select names from a list, telling TiVo your favorite show titles, movie titles, actors, directors, or subjects. With a few pokes on the remote, you can even type in subjects like "parrots" or "James Bond." TiVo scours the show listings for the next two weeks, automatically scheduling and recording shows that match your interests.

TiVo immediately tunes to the right channel at the right time — unattended — and records your show. It repeats the process as often as needed to record whatever you want.

When you feel like watching TV, you choose from TiVo's list of recorded shows — shows you know you'll enjoy.

  • If a sneaky network bumps your favorite sitcom from Wednesday to Thursday for some reason, don't worry: TiVo still grabs it. It knows these things.
  • If the network preempts your show because of a late-running ball game, TiVo grabs the late-running ball game. (Of course, everybody else also missed the show, so you don't feel so bad. TiVo will still catch your unwatched show when it repeats, though.)
  • After awhile, the concept of watching live TV will seem foreign and outdated. You'll forget when your favorite shows air, because you no longer care: That's TiVo's job.
  • If you arrive home 20 minutes after a favorite show started — and you've told TiVo to record it for you — you can watch the show as soon as you walk in the door. TiVo plays the show from its beginning for you, all the while continuing to record the rest of the show.
  • TiVo substantially lowers your movie rental tab. Why rent a movie when your TV is filled with so many movies you already want to watch? It no longer matters that the good films aired at 4 a.m. — TiVo stayed awake to record them for you. (And you no longer must remember to put in a videotape; TiVo never needs them.)

All this, combined with TiVo's ability to let you control your own instant replays, its compatibility with your computer, its swiftness at fast-forwarding through commercials, and its eagerness to record shows for you that it thinks you might enjoy based on what you're already recording, make it clear why TiVo owners can't stop singing its praises.

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