The Joy of TiVo

"Type the phrase 'TiVo changed my life' into Google, and you will summon an afternoon's worth of reading." -- Warren St. John for The New York Times

If there is a Cult of TiVo, then I admit I am a part of it.

Digital Video Recorders are a great invention, allowing people to time-shift their television viewing habits. The greatest DVR of all is without a doubt the TiVo brand.

From the effortless user interface to the peanut-shaped remote control, it is a marvel of design and function. I've seen other DVRs and, honestly, they don't compare. TiVo has perfected its features, which others have copied but not mastered -- the Season Pass, the Suggestions titles, the Wish List.

I'm no longer tied to the schedules of TV programmers. Now I can watch shows anytime I want, I can pause live television, fast-forward through commercials or boring parts, replay scenes (or commercials) that I want to watch again.

I can now record two shows playing at the same time. I can now "subscribe" to my favorite programs and have each new episode recorded automatically when it airs so I never miss an episode.

There's been controversy about lack of privacy with TiVo's use of viewer data to sell advertising and its plans for detailed tracking of its watchers' habits. In some ways, it would seem to be a more accurate measurement than Nielsen ratings, but it still isn't a viable option for gathering all the demographic information that marketers crave.

TiVo is still the top DVR around. Try it and you'll know why.