As a kid growing up in the 80’s, I remember one of the era’s most popular inventions, the VHS recorder.
Those big, bulky devices that you would hook up to your television and record shows on tape. Like the machines themselves, video stores sprung up like dandelions in a yard of weeds, selling “memberships” that allowed you to rent movies to take home and watch. The quality wasn’t spectacular, the tapes only held about 4 to 6 hours of shows, but this was the hot item at the time, right alongside the Sony Walkman.
It wasn’t until a small, unknown company came along that would change the way we record shows forever – TiVo.. I remember hearing about their black box that you would hook up to your television, be able to record shows without the use of tape, pause and rewind live tv and view an on-screen television guide. TiVo gave birth to the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) and remains the leader in the world of DVR’s. While cable and satellite operators came out with their own version of the DVR, none could compare to the features, ease of use and following that TiVo had.
I was one of the original subscribers, ordering my TiVo box online and patiently waiting for it to arrive. When it finally did, I was instantly in love and rushed back online to order one for every TV in the house. A few years after the original TiVo was released, a new version came out with upgrades including more recording space and a model for the then-emerging high definition market. Called the “Series-3,” these are currently the boxes that power my television viewing.
Life with TiVo is interesting. I don’t usually watch “live” TV but spend time going through the hundreds of shows that are stored on the various DVRs throughout my house. Being able to network the TiVo boxes together allows one to watch a show in the bedroom that was recorded on the box in the family room. I spend time “thumbs upp-ing” and “thumbs-downing” shows I don’t like, watching YouTube videos on the TV through the TiVo and renting movies via Netflix and watching them through the box as well. I’ve developed one side effect of TiVo viewing and it’s something I wish we could do in real life. Rewind. Often I find myself listening to someone talk or listen to something on the radio and I find myself looking for the remote to go back a few seconds to hear it over again. Silly, but true.
A few weeks ago, I got an email from my friends at TiVo touting the release of their latest box which is guaranteed to revolutionize the way we watch television. Again. TiVo Premier is now available as the next-generation DVR that’s billed as a cable box, movie box, web box and music box all rolled into one. With a brand new HD interface, the new TiVo Premier still gives you all the features TiVo users have come to know and love but adds more movies on demand, enhanced search capabilities, full 1080p support, and for those of us wanting to save the environment, it’s now ENERGY STAR compliant.
Whether you have an older TiVo you want to upgrade or you’re looking to embark on this wonderful journey, the new TiVo Premier is now available and you’re going to want to get one. Trust me!