The DVR is King

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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!”

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!