Grit Blogs > The Open Book

The DVR is King

By Jean Teller, Sr. Assoc. Editor


Tags: television, Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, Stargate Atlantis, The Closer, Burn Notice, Saving Grace, DVR,

There are guffaws and mouths agape when I explain my television/video setup, and more than one person walks away, shaking a head, as if to say, “Crazy person!”

DVR_King

At one time, I had three VCRs hooked up to one TV. Nowadays, since my cable company has gone all digital, I have a DVR and two VCRs. With the federal mandate for all over-the-air television channels to be digital by February 2009, many cable companies have followed suit. My provider offers three tiers of service, all digital and many high definition, and one tier of analog channels (converted from the digital). All of which means I can record two digital channels at the same time, record two analog channels at the same time, and view a fifth live.

So I actually now have more recording capacity than I did before the digital revolution. But if anyone had told me that a couple months ago, it would have fallen on deaf ears. I was more than a little resistant to the DVR craze, despite assurances from two of my sisters that I would love having a DVR.

Digital television is changing my viewing habits. I find myself watching TV through the DVR more often than not, though I’m not recording as much at the moment as what I have in the past. That will change in the coming weeks, though.

The writer’s strike earlier this year definitely affected what I watch, and no longer watch. After shows began appearing again, I made a conscious choice to drop several network shows from my regular viewing/recording. That decision, however, doesn’t affect some of the cable shows I enjoy.

A digital converter box (my first test of the digital waters) found its way into my house the week before the return of Battlestar Galactica on the Sci-Fi Channel. And now the DVR is here in time for the return of Burn Notice on USA, Eureka and Stargate Atlantis on Sci-Fi, and Saving Grace and The Closer on TNT.

The problem will come in the fall (which, of course, at this point in time depends on a possible actors’ strike; the latest news I could find is on The Village Vidiot blog) when I have to decide which network and cable show to watch when. So it will probably be a good deal that the DVR and VCRs are hooked up.

Have a fun and safe Fourth of July!

jean teller
7/18/2008 4:35:54 PM

Oops, messed up the links! Hope this works! Tim Goodman over at the San Francisco Chronicle is at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2008/07/18/DDDI11QRAT.DTL and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences's listing is at http://www.emmys.tv/


jean teller
7/18/2008 4:31:21 PM

Thank you, Jenn - glad to be here! Hey, Kate, I've heard of Madmen. And it's done well for itself, being one of two best-series nominees from basic cable - a major first. Check out the Emmy nominations (Tim Goodman over at the San Francisco Chronicle has this report, www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2008/07/18/DDDI11QRAT.DTL), and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has a listing for this year's awards at www.emmys.tv/. I'll check out Madmen this season, thanks!


kate will
7/18/2008 3:10:12 PM

Jean, I am waiting anxiously for the second season (starts July 27 I think) of Madmen. It's a terrific show set on Madison Avenue at the dawn of the Kennedy era. The sets are divine, and the costumes and plots a reminder of those good old/bad old days in the 60s. I was a kid, but I recognize it all--and the writing is excellent.


jnemec
7/17/2008 9:59:07 AM

Go Jean go! Welcome to the 21st Century! :)


jean teller_1
7/10/2008 8:16:08 AM

Hey, Sis, I did check out some cute 15- and 19-inch HD flat screens, and one of those might be in my video future. Surround sound might have to wait for a bigger house!


sister4
7/9/2008 10:57:06 AM

As a sister who has encouraged the use of a DVR, I am thrilled to see such progress! DVR first, big screen plasma and surround sound next.


jean teller_1
7/8/2008 10:09:15 AM

Thanks, Bill! I now have quite a few blogs bookmarked, and I'm always looking for good TV writers! I'll check out Mr. Goodman's blog. Thanks for the "insider" tip!


bill kiley
7/4/2008 3:24:39 PM

Hi Jean -- As a fellow "TV NUT" I can highly recommend a gent named Tim Goodman, who is the veteran TV editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. He's on the web, and he also has a blog. He really knows all phases of TV and tells it like it is.