Monday, January 11, 2010

Do you remember...

Do you remember time before television?

I remember when my family got our first TV, I was probably 3, so for all intents I have always had it. I was thinking about that this afternoon.

For thirty years I worked in a technology field. I'm not a Luddite, but frankly don't know much about the how and whys of computers, video games, and electronic things which keep pre-teenage boys up at night. I am curious though.

What I have learned about computers is this. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is an old man with time on his hands.

This weekend, while staving off cabin fever, I decided to learn what tricks our home networked TIVO could do. Turns out quite a lot, just not much you'd want it to, which brings me back to the dark ages before television.

I remember going to my ancient relatives homes where life revolved around radio. The world stopped to listen to a program. They were always programs. Their homes were designed for comfortable listening.

Well one trick TIVO can do is play your ITunes, or Podcasts through your TV. Watching radio. Sadly, it's a habit we've grown away from, and is now singularly unsatisfying.

TIVO isn't a one trick pony though. TIVO desktop software will allow you to store saved movies to your computer hard drive, from which you can save them or download them to DVD's. I've done that a lot recently.

Another is viewing the pictures on your computer through your television. I've got a lot of stored pictures. Some I've borrowed from you, and some I've taken myself, but I can't imagine calling the family in to watch my photos on TV.

Only one other feature made some sense, if.

If you had family members scattered around the country. Tivo will allow you to send video to other TIVO subscribers. Want Aunt Marge to see the school pageant? Instead of uploading to YouTube, you send your video directly to her TIVO. Probably .005% of all users will ever try that stunt.

After all is said and done, if you are a TIVO subscriber hook it up to your network, if for no other reason than to get ride of the telephone cords.

No I'm not shilling for TIVO today. Just frustrated.


Photo from


Martha said...

Alas, we can't get Tivo on the prairie -- but we'd love to have it! You can zoom through commercials! That is what Husband Jim wants it for!

And yes, we've always had a television but it is not the "center of the universe" and was always turned OFF when we had company -- it's something Jim and I disagree on -- he thinks it should be on when we have visitors -- I don't!


Patsy said...

We don't have Tivo, and although it seems like our TV is always on, I only sit through and really watch one show a day (a local New England magazine).

Perhaps if I had Tivo, I'd have quality, rather than quantity. Food for thought. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You and I are close in age - I remember our first TV in the early 50s - shows like I REMEMBER MAMA, DIANA SHORE - and so on.

I'm also in the tech biz, but I'm careful and considered NOT an early-adopter of technology. Let someone else spend their money to test it.