Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The revolution will not be DVRed

On the KTLA morning news program Wednesday the "tech guy" Rich DeMuro (the second person they've had in that slot) did a story about a family who records so many shows that they need three DVRs. (The specific mention during the piece of "our friends at AT&T U-verse" revealed it to be a not-really-veiled promo.) The tone seemed to be, Wow, look at this mother and daughter who really like watching TV, rather than, Egad, check out these freaks who haven't figured out how to delete programs from the queue after watching them.

My wife and I have had two DVRs for several years (one for the TV in the living room, one for the TV in the bedroom). (I wrote about the glory of DVRs in this post over a year and a half ago.) Much of that time both were generally over 75% full (and occasionally over 90% full)—and each held 100 hours worth—because of all the shows and movies recorded. When we got a HD flat-screen TV last November we also got a new HD DVR unit and that one got filled within months.

And we don't save much after watching (unlike, as best I could tell, this featured family—but the news story didn't really identify the habits of the interviewed family for me to be sure), so we're watching a fair amount but recording new material at an even faster pace. We have had to delete something without actually having watched it in order to free up some room on the hard drive so we could record more new stuff (which clearly suggests that in the moment we fancy that we'll want to watch something later but it's only the ease of pressing one button on the remote that facilitates the notion; months passed and we never quite felt like playing it, and if something has to go this is what can be sacrificed).

Does that make us devotees to the medium? Perhaps. Does it make us overly ambitious about what we think we'll actually have time to watch given the ease of recording? Almost certainly. Does it make us worthy of even a short interview piece on even a local news program? No. But if we were to be featured in such a story, should it not address both aspects of what recording so much entails? Well, I guess that's more than one should expect from a photogenic dweeb masquerading as both a journalist and as a nerd.

Not that the morning news is worth recording, and not that it isn't filled with other fluff, but had this particular episode been something being played from the DVR, the "tech guy" segment definitely would have deserved to be fast-forwarded through.

Sponsorship during the news is bordering on ubiquitous, but blending it in seamlessly is what separates the professionals from the amateurs, and the oldest station in Los Angeles (even though it's only a CW affiliate) can do better. But it's still better than the unwatchable drivel over on KTTV's Good Day LA.

That's why I tend to eschew the morning news (other than to catch a weather report) and... you guessed it... watch something recorded on the DVR.


  1. We have two DVRs, and we use perhaps 15 percent of their capacity. There's just not enough worth recording. The only reason we have two is that one is hi-def and the other is not, and one is for my shows and the other is for hers.

  2. Gee, you kids and your newfangled thingamabobs. I'm still using a VCR and I have stacks of tapes all over the place, pre-recorded movies and TV shows I taped off the air a while ago. Gee, maybe I should watch that episode of X-Files I stumbled across the other day. Let's see, that series wrapped up two years ago, right?


So, what do you think?