A Funny Thing About Tivo and ReplayTV – You Watch Less TV
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There’s a funny phenomena we’ve noticed since getting a ReplayTV, and which we’ve since confirmed with all of our friends and colleagues who own Tivo or ReplayTV recorders – contrary to what one might expect, you actually end up watching less television rather than more once you have one.

In fact, in our house, we’ve probably watched fewer than 10 hours of television the entire year, despite having a ReplayTV disk full of shows which we genuinely like, and not having to surf through dozens of channels and hundreds of shows which we don’t like in order to find something worth watching.


Why is this? The general consensus seems to be that once you know that something is recorded, there for you to watch whenever it’s convenient, the urgency associated with watching it as it airs or not being able to watch it at all disappears. And once that urge disappears, suddenly “when it’s convenient” gets bumped further and further down towards the back of the “what I really want to do with my time” line.

Appeal, it seems, is greatly enhanced by a sense of urgency, which explains all the garbage that is so successfully sold at the last minute at the checkout line in the supermarket.

If you want to see this phenomena for yourself, you’re in luck, because right now at Amazon the TiVo Premiere is on sale for $129.00 – that’s less than half price!

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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4 thoughts on “A Funny Thing About Tivo and ReplayTV – You Watch Less TV
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  1. In response to Kenneth Garrett, I have a DirecTivo unit. It’s a dual-receiver DirectTV satellite receiver AND a Tivo digital recorder. With it I can record two shows at the same time AND watch a previously recorded show , or I can record one show while watching another “live”.

    I don’t know if it’s BECAUSE of Tivo, but I agree with Aunty that I watch a lot less television now than before. Maybe I just have less time to watch TV and now can be selective about what I watch when I finally have the time. I can’t imagine giving up my Tivo!

  2. You shouldn’t have returned it:
    1. Since you are paying for a service, there is a monthly fee (they make that clear). Besides, you really don’t have to pay the fee unless you need the advanced features (advanced program guide, automatic recording, etc.).
    2. Yes, you can. It’s essentially the same setup as a VCR (RTFM).
    Go ahead, stick with a VCR. While you’re at it, why not buy cassettes instead of CDs? Also, I’m sure there’s a way to record something with your satellite service (there’s always a simple way around those things).

  3. I bought one of theses devices, but returned it when I discovered 2 things:
    1. I had to pay a monthly fee for its use
    2. I could not record one program while I watched another program at the same time
    I will stick with a VCR, thank you very much! (although, with satellite service, I cannot record anything. Even the satellite service told me there was no way to do this.)

  4. Maybe some people watch TV less after owning one of those devices, but I personally have watched way more. With TiVo it’s hard not to watch more, especially since you have the option of recording shows that are similar to ones you have rated and/or recorded (not to mention the WishList feature). Really, though, it all depends on how much space you have on your DVR’s hard drive. If you only have 40 hours of space to use, it gets filled up quickly and you have to take time to watch certain shows and make sure to set others to not delete until you say so. If you have more hours, you can wait longer, but it fills up quickly.

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