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* Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Our ReplayTV Home Is Somewhat Similar

A Life Where TiVo Has Always Existed

"...My daughter was only 3 months old when it arrived and we set it up. As far as my daughter knows, TiVo has always been around. Now that she (and our TiVo) are three years old, and there are some very interesting things I've been able to observe.

First - she doesn't watch much TV (an allotted hour per day), but when she does watch it, she gets a choice of a recent episode of any of her favorite pre-recorded shows (current favorites are Dora the Explorer and Caillou), and she can watch it at any time of day. We get to choose what shows we'd like to allow her to watch, set up a Season Pass, and we're done.

Second - Commercials are an infrequent novelty to her. We always fast-forward through commercials, or watch non-commercial shows. When she does occasionally see a full commercial, she's fascinated, and will often ask us to stop so she can see what's going on. How can we demonstrate to her the evils of commercial interruption, when she has never had to experience it?

Third - Ignorance of Schedules/Programming - she has no idea when her favorite shows are on, never has. She gets quite confused when we are watching a non-TiVo TV, and she asks to watch 'a kids show', and we have to explain that this TV won't do what ours at home does. We've sometimes shortened this explanation to 'This TV is broken', which she seems to accept, and will wait until we get home to watch our 'fixed' TV.

Fourth - pausing taken for granted. She is now the master of paused TV - saying 'Can you please stop this for a minute - I have to use the Potty'....

I compare all of these observations to my TV-watching experience as a child - always excited about Saturday Morning, because that's when cartoons were on - swapping stories about the latest Evel Knievel motorcycle I saw on a commercial with the other kids, knowing they had all seen the same commercials as well. Feeling disappointed when my parents would switch off a show mid-way through because they decided it wasn't appropriate. The pain of commercial interruption, the disappointment of 'nothing's on', or the missed shows that were probably gone for good. (On a side note, anyone else remember the days where if you missed a movie in the theater, you'd never get a chance to see it again?)

There are a lot of other home entertainment developments that have changed since I was a kid, but none so radically as the TiVo experience. I never cease to be amazed when I'm zooming past a commercial with a woman dancing with a 'swiffer', and I hear my daughters small voice say: 'Wait Papa, I wanna see that'." [Eintagsfliegen]

Kids growing up like this view their entertainment and multimedia very differently than the rest of us. Heck, as an adult I'm completely spoiled by this revolution, and the desire for this functionality spills over into other mediums (why can't I press a button to go back 7 seconds and hear what I just missed on the radio or pause it?).

It's an interactive world for them, and they shift everything.

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