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The Lanham Factor The (ir)rational thoughts of a (not-so)mad man

I guess I am an atypical guy in that I don't have a big screen TV, I don't have an XBox (nor a PS3, not any other game console), I don't have a big stereo system, I don't have a recliner, and I don't own a DVR / Tivo.  However, I have considered a DVR / Tivo for some time.  I get involved in shows and have to miss episodes because I am at a .NET User Group meeting (or a SharePoint User Group, or other professional association) or some such. 

A few months ago I decided to give online TV a try.  And now I say "Tivo Schmeevo...we don't need no stinkin' DVR!"

I generally enjoy the online viewing experience.  There are a few quirks with some that I've used but overall I really like watching TV on my laptop.  I can watch the show anywhere in the world (assuming a broadband connection).  So unlike DVR / Tivo, I can be mobile with it.  That being said, not all online services are created equally.  Here is a quick overview of the online services I have used.

  • ABC.com (viewing Lost Season 3) - By far my favorite viewing experience.  An ActiveX control is installed to control viewing.  I have only had a few minor glitches and they seem to be related to the player becoming confused about where it is in the playback.  This has only happened once or twice out of over 100 segments.
    • Biggest Perk - Playback automatically pauses after each commercial so you can check email, go to the can, get a drink, etc. without the need to rewind, find your place, etc.
    • Biggest Ding - I hate the need to scroll through ALL the darn shows to get to "Lost".
  • SciFi.com (viewing Eureka Season 2) - By far my least favorite viewing experience.  I found the user interface kludgy.  It was difficult to find the show / episode I wanted to watch.  The quality of the video is poor.  The playback experience with commercials is unwieldy.  Overall I found this to be a bad experience.  I'll await the DVD.
  • NBC.com (viewing Heroes Season 2) - This experience is a close second place to ABC's experience.  It did take me a while to find the episodes (they are not directly off of the Heroes sub-site...explain that one).  The playback experience is interesting.  Instead of an ActiveX control, Flash is used. 
    • Biggest Ding - When a commercial is on the browser is completey bogged...presumably to get you to watch it.  I hate that.  I also hate that after the commercials, playback begins immediately.  I like the auto-pause feature on ABC.com.

So...are you using Tivo or online viewing (or both)?  What do you think?  Can you convince me to get DVR / Tivo?  Or are you sitting there saying to yourself "HECK YEAH!  TIVO SCHMEEVO!"?

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 6:35 AM Entertainment | Back to top


Comments on this post: Tivo Schmeevo

# re: Tivo Schmeevo
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Tivo will change your life, it's awesome. I like the idea of watching online, but to immature for me. I was an early adopter of Tivo back in Spring 2002, can still remember Kim rolling her eyes when I told here we NEEDED this, but I think she might be a bigger proponent of it then me now.

I don't really care for the DirecTV DVR to much, I really love the ease of use and speed of DirecTV Tivo. DirecTV and Tivo split, so they don't offer them together anymore. Not sure about stand along Tivo, but if it's anything like my combo unit, it's sweet.

I have been thinking about completely canceling TV with the availability of online and my declining interest in TV all together, but not ready to make the leap yet.
Left by Paul on Dec 30, 2007 3:21 PM

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