I got a rather shocking email from my brother today, and he didn’t waste any time getting to the point. The first sentence reads thusly:
“I once said that my TiVos were more important than my refrigerator and microwave. I left the refrigerator and microwave plugged in and unplugged all my TiVos.”
Many of you know from numerous previous blog posts that I’m a huge TiVo fan. I bought a Series 1 TiVo when I first saw it on a late night infomerical. I’m not sure I even knew how much it cost when I picked up the phone to order, I just knew I needed to have one. And at one point my brother was probably even a bigger TiVo fan than I was.
But, 10 years later, a helluva lot has changed, and it’s all due to the Internet and increasingly ubiquitous high speed bandwidth. So now that we can get more TV than we can handle through Hulu, the TV network web sites, iTunes, Xbox, Netflix, and numerous other outlets, is TiVo still relevant?
Every month when I get my FiOS TV bill, I’m increasingly thinking no, painful as that is for me to say. TiVo changed the way we watch traditional TV, sure, but it hasn’t kept up with the way we watch TV in the age with all the media sources we have at our fingertips. TiVo was born in the age of 56K modems, but other than the addition of things like YouTube, Rhapsody, and Netflix streaming, it still does the same thing it did 10 years ago, and I’m not sure these recent and rather paltry additions make it worth keeping.
Until TiVo itself isn’t tied so much to cable, it’s getting harder and harder to justify keeping it. I hope TiVo has a longer term gameplan like maybe morphing into an all-in-one box that lets me use Hulu, Joost, Netflix streaming (which I do like), etc. all from that famously easy-to-use TiVo interface, kind of like a hacked Apple TV without the hacked part. And TiVo if you haven’t thought of that and like the idea, you can have that one for free. 😉
I know as little as I watch TV these days, it would be cheaper for me to buy the shows I do want to watch, not to mention being able to watch most of them for free on Hulu and other places, so between cable fees and TiVo fees, and the fall of one of the last great defenders of TiVo (my brother), I’m starting to consider it more seriously.
Have any of you cut the cable and gone full Internet and other outlets for you TV watching needs? I’d be curious to hear some practical pros and cons from those of you who have, and if I get brave enough to make the switch I’ll be sure and share how it goes.