Transplanted Life
Monday, August 23, 2004
I love technology
I got a box full of love in the mail from Nat today. Well, she probably doesn't see it as full of love, but I certainly do. It includes a few DVDs, a couple of toys, and the ReplayTV I/Martin bought about two years ago.

Those of you who have not experienced the joy and wonder that is the ReplayTV, or its worthy competitor Tivo, probably don't understand why I was so excited, and why I decided to dedicate the afternoon to hooking it up, making a trip to Radio Shack for the necessary wiring, etc. I ask a simple question - do you watch more than four or five hours of TV a week? Yes? Then you need one of these things. You hook it up to the cable line and the phone line (newer models than mine are ethernet devices). It uses a modem to download a TV schedule for your cable system, and then you go through that schedule and select what you want it to record. Or you can have it search the schedule for titles, actors, directors... all that good stuff. It spools what you've selected to a hard drive, for you to watch later. You can tell it to record every episode of a series (along with how many to keep), and it will do that automatically, even if the show changes timeslots or channels.

I know, I know - it just sounds like a fancy VCR. But can a VCR let you watch one recorded program while you're recording another? Does it have a "Skip 30 seconds" button on the remote to get you through commercials nigh-instantaneously? Heck, how about watching a program that runs at 8 at 8:15, and catching up by the end? And that's before you get to the feature that just blows everybody away, which is when you're watching something like a ballgame live, the phone rings, and you hit "pause". The show actually pauses, and you can pick right back up where you left off (along with fast-forwarding, rewinding, etc.).

It is the coolest consumer electronics toy on the market; Nat says she had to buy one for herself when I asked if I could have this one "back". She wound up with a dual-tuner beast with something like a terabyte of storage (okay, I exaggerate). Carter thinks the technology's kind of cool, but doesn't watch that much TV. I imagine Maureen will be somewhat appalled at the new bunch of wires in the living room at first, but it should be out of the way for now.

And it'll get used right away; I plan on recording the ballgame tonight while I'm at work and my roommates are watching the Olympics (and Carter tells herself she's all manly for watching sports, as if the Olympics count) and getting through it in two hours before I go to bed. Sure, you can do that with tape, but then there's the question of adding an hour or two of padding for extra innings or a hugely offensive game and not being able to actually start it...

Yeah, I'm coming off like a huge nerd over something that's not such a big deal. But, really, it's like multiple orgasms - it sounds nice to a guy, but you can't really conceive of how nice it is until you're experiencing it.

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