Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Am I addicted to Tivo?

Stacie and I just got back from a business trip to Orlando. It was cool that we both got to go at the same time. It also helped the company save money since we drove and obviously shared a hotel room. The two things I missed most for the week were Dundee and Tivo. Holy crap, I just can't watch regular TV without it anymore. Every time I am not at home I realize how my attention span isn't made for having to watch what is "just on" or wait for something I am interested in watching. It made me remember how I got to this point.

Many years ago while I was still working for the cable company, I had a coworker buy a Tivo. He used to hammer on me everyday about how I needed to get one. After he told me what it could do, I really wanted one. I asked him how much it costs and it ran about $600 after the lifetime membership. This made my decision to pass much easier. After all, one of my benefits was free movies on demand and my VCR still worked great. As the years progressed,I worked more hours and Tivo started to drop in price. I started seriously thinking about getting one but this was around the time that I quit my job so the money was to be spent elsewhere.

Since I was no longer getting free cable, we switched to DirecTV because it was cheaper. I kinda screwed up and didn't get the DirecTV with Tivo when it was offered. Now the funny part is I have loads of free time while I am looking for a job. This is when I want Tivo the most because daytime TV just sucks. I started checking on the price and they were running around $300-$400 for the receivers. I was really jazzed about the combo DirecTV/Tivo receivers versus the standalone Tivos for 2 reasons. First, with the combo unit, you could watch one program while recording another or record two programs at once. Second, since it was broadcast digitally, it doesn't have to encode again and the picture looks the same as if you were watching it "live." Since I had no job, this purchase definately wasn't happening. I finally wore Stacie down enough that she allowed me to purchase one when I got a job.

Shortly after this agreement I started working in the warehouse of her company. With my first check, you guessed it, the first thing I did was go on Ebay and bought a used one. At the time only "new" customers could purchase them in stores. I bought one for around $500 with a lifetime membership already paid on it.

Shortly after I got it, DirecTV changed their agreement program with Tivo and my lifetime membership got wiped out. I wasn't terribly upset because they were only charging around $5 a month for the DVR service. I was really enjoying the Tivo, but I was selfishly recording and watching just the things I wanted to see. This prompted Stacie to decide she wanted her own. I found this funny since she didn't even want me to get one in the first place, but now she can't watch TV without it. By this time, you could buy them as existing customers, so I headed up to Hifi buys and bought a new one for $250. The great thing about doing it through DirecTV is that it is one charge no matter how many of your receivers are DVRs.

Things were going well until my receiver died. Now I have to get it replaced because its driving me nuts, so I go back up to Hifi buys and buy a 100hr floor demo for $200. See a pattern, but at least they are getting cheaper. This satisfied me until DirecTV started really marketing the recording service. They started offering 80hr Tivos for free after rebate. Well for free, I can give it to Stacie and this will replace her 30hr version. This was a pretty easy sell since it cost nothing.

Then my next desire was DirecTV HD with Tivo. These puppies were going for $1000. I gave myself a $250 price point for this unit. Here we are two years later and I found a new one on Ebay for $425 with free shipping and a $200 rebate. Cha-ching, it's $25 less than I was willing to spend. This was around the beginning of February I had just won some good money in Wil's Tuesday game so I rewarded myself with this frivolous purchase. Realize at the time, I only have 2 TVs in my house but 4 Tivos (8 tuners), with multiple boxes on the big screen in the bonus room.

I was screwing around too much with my oldest receivers while it was on and I killed it. It just will never get past the booting screen. Now I'm down to a more reasonable 3 Tivos with 2 TVs, so We decided to move one in the guest room. We now have the ability to record 5 programs at one time. This sounds excessive, but it came in handy on a recent Thursday because many of the season finales were overlapping. It is also my overflow Tivo because I have filled up the HD one since I haven't been watching it fast enough lately. I had some serious watching to do two weeks ago since I was gone last week, but most of the shows are now in repeats so the demand for space won't be as high.

I think this is the closest I have every come to having an addiction.


At 4:45 PM, Blogger jjok said...


Try this out.

If your show comes on at 8. DVR it and start watching at 8:20......then you get to skip the commercials.

I'm sure you've already figured that one out........but it's such a timesaver for us.

At 9:07 PM, Blogger CarmenSinCity said...

I've been thinking about getting a Tivo. I'll make sure to consult with you before I make the purchase since you are such an expert :)


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