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DVR Rage

Yesterday morning, I e-mailed my friend (and fellow Hoya) Anthony to ask how long it took him to catch his breath after the end of Saturday's Georgetown-West Virginia game. His answer?

Catch my breath? More like overcome my anger.

All he did was pause the game to check on his kid upstairs, and then:

during that time my Tivo decided I'd much prefer to be watching "Just Shoot Me." So with about a minute and a half left, it changed the channel. After swearing profusely, I went online to learn that we had won at the buzzer.

The substitute was one of TiVo's suggestions, based on what other programs people watch on this digital video recorder (Anthony wanted to make it clear he wasn't the one tuning into that type of sitcom). And somehow, this TiVo--an older model with a lifetime subscription--didn't think to stay on a program that had been paused, instead flipping over to a show that no human had asked to be recorded.

Thankfully, my satellite service's DVR doesn't try to find more stuff for me to watch (I barely have time to stay on top of the shows I ask it to record). But I do frequently have to tell it to back off when it's about to change channels to begin a scheduled recording--which somehow always coincides with a game that's gone into overtime. (Yes, we have a cheapo single-tuner DVR. I've been holding off on upgrading while I ponder whether to stick with our current service or switch to Fios--assuming that Verizon's deployment in our neighborhood hasn't stopped at the cross street and will make its way down our block too.)

You'd think that a DVR would be a little more polite in these situations. Even if it can't notice on its own that the game's gone into OT, it should at least be able to detect when somebody's pressed a button on the remote in the last 15 minutes, and then ask if it should proceed with the scheduled recording.

How often do you find yourself squabbling with whatever device--VCR, DVR, DVD recorder--you use to time-shift TV shows?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  January 29, 2008; 11:18 AM ET
Categories:  Video  
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