Saturday, November 11, 2006

Taming the TiVo® tirade

Ken -- who knew increased storage capacity stirred such deep passions? While it may challenge the fundamental premise of blogging, I have to tell you -- neither you nor I are the measure of all things.

Ken outlines a very sensible approach to using a DVR, and it goes to the heart of the system's appropriate use. TiVo recorders and other DVRs are designed primarily as temporary rather than archival storage units. All that being said, with the viewing habits in my house I think we can come up with ways to fill an 80-hour hard drive.

First off, there's the programs that I want to watch, and those that my wife wants. She's continually frustrated that the quilting shows she's interested in come on while she's working. Save those, and you're adding 2 hours a week. We both like "ER," but not the time slot. Add an hour (for the weeks its new). I'm interested in the silent films TCM runs. They're two hours a pop, but they're not run all the time, so figure an average of an hour a week. I could go on listing programs, but in the interest of brevity, lets just say that all told, we would probably record about 10-12 hours a week.

Now I'll be the first to give props to Ken. In his daily workout he not only burns off unwanted fat, but blows through his digital avoirdupois at the same time. Record, watch, delete. Do that on a daily basis and sure, you don't need a lot of space.

Weighing in at about twice Ken's body mass I could certainly benefit from his regimen, but my schedule's a little different. Both my wife and I have narrow windows of time to watch TV -- and sometimes those windows disappear. I don't watch in the morning -- that's when I do paperwork for DCD Records. My wife's required to be on call several nights a week, which limits her viewing time even further.

There have been times when we have not watched TV for a solid week. Plus there are some things I don't want to watch right away. D.W. Griffith's "Intolerance?" I'll save that for a snow day. There's two hours of storage that won't be freed up for months. I'll delete it when I'm done of course, but in the meantime there it sits.

Large storage capacity gives me the flexibility to hold that film for an ideal viewing time without having to forgo daily or weekly programs we want to record.

Iron Man Ken may keep his digital storage lean and mean, but Stay Puffed Ralph prefers a roomier fit.

- Ralph

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