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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

DVR goodness and The O.C.

September 7, 2005

To all my friends and family members who’ve I’ve ignored on Wednesday nights, I’m sorry.

Rest assured, I now will be taking phone calls during Lost. And there will be no more hiding, when you ring the doorbell during Veronica Mars.

You see, life, as I know it, has changed. I recently purchased a digital video recorder, more commonly known as a DVR. Or as I like to call it, the smartest machine on planet Earth.

This TiVo-esque little black box, affectionately termed FauxVo, has magical powers. You can actually pause live television for up to two hours, to take a phone call or answer the door, and then pick up where you stopped watching. I know, I always thought the ability to freeze live moments was only a fictitious ability of the Charmed Halliwell witches, too. But, that was before I met my DVR.

You can fast forward through a recorded program with the super speed of Clark Kent. You can record two programs simultaneously, while watching another one live. You can choose name-based recording, and the DVR will find all the episodes of a show, or just the new episodes, and record them, regardless of any changes in program length or broadcast schedule. Take that NBC, the network that commonly lengthens sitcoms an additional 10 minutes to discourage viewers from flipping to another network.

You can search for programs, by actors’ names or by show title or by content information. Want to record every rerun of Friends for the week? Not a problem for the DVR. How about every show featuring Tom Selleck? It’s easy for the DVR.

You can actually watch a 30-minute show in about the same time it takes to microwave a bag of popcorn. OK, so I’m exaggerating somewhat, but you get the idea. It’s fast.

Admittedly, the first few days with my DVR, I had trust issues. I set my VCR as a backup, so I wouldn’t miss Inside 9/11 or the new show Prison Break. But, the DVR didn’t let me down, despite a power outage while I was out of town.

So, call me a geek if you like. I don’t mind. For a small monthly fee, I’ll finally be able to have some peace on Thursday nights, despite the networks’ plans to make me choose between Smallville, Joey and The O.C.

Just so it’s clear, I am not getting kickbacks from Dish Network or any other company to hawk DVRs. Although, if they would like to sign me on as a spokesperson, they can send those checks to Jennifer Biller at Tube Talk.

I am available for personal appearances, even on Wednesday nights now.

The O.C. Returns! - Don’t forget The O.C. returns this week. When last we saw the Orange County gang, Marissa had just shot Trey. OK, so it wasn’t’ exactly a “Who Shot J.R.” cliffhanger, but I’m hoping the pampered princess at least gets community service – or therapy. Will Seth reunite with Summer? Will Sandy pluck his eyebrows? Will Julie Cooper-Nichol return to her wanton ways? (I just love saying that name.) It all happens in – sing it with me – “Cal-I-for-nia” at 8 p.m. Thursday on FOX.

Originally published 9/7/05 in The Exponent Telegram newspaper.


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