Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I Love My DVR

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Just the other evening I was remarking to my wife the merits of the DVR: To be able to digitally record a television program with the press of a button and have it available for later viewing without the hassle of blank DVDs, videotape (who remembers that experience?), or summer re-runs. And to be able to skip commercials... almost too good to be true!

My wife and I don't have a lot of time to watch TV, but there are a couple of shows that we enjoy together. So we digitally record them with our cable set-top box, and when we can spare a few minutes, we replay the recorded shows. (At last count we have about 50 hours of catching up to do - we may never catch up!)

Some call it TiVo (just like some call a small adhesive bandage a Band-aid: it's a brand name). Some just call it recording a show. Whatever you may call it, my guess is you love it.

Launched to the public in 1999, the Digital Video Recorder offers features such as time-shifting, pausing live TV, instant replay, and dual tuners. Pretty much anything a viewer could ask for is packed into a typical DVR set-top box.

Advertisers don't like the DVR. Viewers can simply race through commercials with a click of the fast-forward button and then get back to the program. (I have become quite adept at moving through a three-minute segment of commercials in about 15 seconds, and then slowing to normal speed just as the program resumes.)

I have written all of the above to ask this question: Has life become like a DVR?
  • Do we put off enjoying life until later when we hope to have more time to enjoy it (not appreciating what is happening around us until the weekend or our vacation)?
  • Do we "press a button" and push aside the "now" so we might have a "later" (not spending time with our children so we can make more money)?
  • Do we skip through the "commercials" in our life thinking they are not valuable (not listening to the people seeking to engage us in conversation)?
  • Do we try to replay over and over again the good experiences hoping to forget the bad ones (bragging about our accomplishments while not admitting our mistakes)?
What if we had to live life only as it unfolded, without any promise of the future, without any replay?

You know, I believe that is the way life was meant to be lived: In real-time.

Question: How is your life like a DVR set-top box? Share your thoughts below in comments.

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