Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting...With Your Tivo

I don't know how I feel about TiVo yet.

Our relationship did not start well. I spent three and a half hours Saturday night trying to hook it up to my rather modest entertainment center. Three frustrating, unnerving, cursing hours. I called TiVo every mean, nasty name I could think of.

Either setting up a TiVo service is just an inherently tricky business, or they simply have sucky installations instructions. At every turn, I would follow the directions for about two sentences and then get completely lost. I had a hundred decisions to make, all based on things I didn't know yet. I had questions on top of my questions. Rolled inside a question. In addition to the setup manual from the box, I spent hours on their website trying to search for answers to my questions.

Should I use the phone or the Internet to connect TiVo to the mother ship? If it's the latter, do I have to use my wireless modem (which requires an additional $60 adaptor, conveniently sold on the TiVo website) or can I use an Ethernet connection? But what if my wireless modem doesn't have an extra slot for an Ethernet cable?

When I tried the phone option, it turns out it doesn't work with Vonage (my internet phone.) That wasted about an hour. Then I couldn't hook up my wireless modem to TiVo with the USB port. In desperation to get TiVo to function, I unhooked the internet cable from my computer and hooked it up to TiVo. I was able to go through TiVo's initial setup, then had to unhook it from the Internet to hook my computer back up. Then I went to bed, feeling defeated.

After letting things marinate overnight, Sunday was a much better day. I figured out a solution to the cable problem that did not involve spending more money or wanting to rip those floppy antennae ears off of the cute little TiVo mascot. I still have yet to figure out how to get TiVo and my DVD player hooked up to the same TV. (They had directions on this, but they were woefully inadequate.) So that will be a project for next weekend.

But I was finally able to start playing with my TiVo. I was able to navigate through all the menus, enjoying that famous TiVo "bloop" noise, and set it to record stuff. It's also filling up my box with shows it thinks I will like. I come home from work and see the red "record" light on, and think, "Oh, TiVo, what are you saving for me now? You're always thinking of my viewing pleasure, aren't you?" (There's an old joke about a man complaining that his TiVo thinks he's gay, based on all the things it records for him.)

Unfortunately, I haven't watched much with TiVo yet, because I haven't had much time at home. I've been so busy with tennis and other social engagements that my poor TV has been severely neglected since Rebecca moved out. This is probably a good thing, but it makes me wonder if getting TiVo was a wise decision right now.

I already feel a deep sense of responsibility to watch all my Netflix, now I have a huge list of shows on TiVo that I need to watch before it fills up and starts deleting things. I don't know if I need that kind of pressure right now.



alm said...

Do not disparage TiVo. TiVo love you and soon you will grow to love TiVo.

I think we might have bypassed TiVo altogether with our DVD player. I"ll have to consult with Dr. Nate to see how it's set up at our place.

Just be warned: TiVo might start out thinking you are a metrosexual black man, as TiVo thoughts for awhile I was. When you set up TiVo to automatically record things, it takes awhile (and several rounds of "thumbs up and thumbs down" for TiVo to start picking up on your tastes. I got bored once and cleared all my preferences and started to allow TiVo to record things for me. I got a hell of a lot of BET, Home and Garden-type-stuff, and Xtreme sports.....

Tim said...

Actually, so far, TiVo thinks I'm black and/or a child. It's been recording a combination of black sitcoms/movies and children's shows. I didn't read about the "thumbs" thing until after I deleted a bunch of them. I'll have to start using them.

TiVo did, however, record a movie that was on my Netflix list. That was pretty cool. How did it know? I didn't even know that movie was on TV.