Saturday, May 19, 2007

To DVR or Not to DVR

I have to admit, I'm rather fond of my DVR (digital video recorder, I think). It has made my life much easier in many ways, especially in relation to homeschooling. I can record things off the History Channel to pre-screen and then show my kids...and that comes in handy because they have a plethora of things on the Middle Ages (though not as much as last year when we were learning about the Romans).
It also is much easier to preserve order in the battle of who has rights over the t.v. and when. Two years ago, my son's favorite show was on at 11 a.m., really just as we were finally getting into our lessons. It was the only time it aired, and even though for the life of me, I can't remember WHAT it was, I remember it was one of those things that I thought was beneficial. Now, I simply record it and all I have to do is click on the show, press the "R" on the remote control...and I can even press the little "R" button twice and the every episode is recorded. I am picky about the shows my kids watch, so I can simply record what is okay, and then set up the rule that the t.v. doesn't go on until after 3 p.m., and they can still watch good things, not the garbage that passes for entertainment during the after school hours.

Not only that, but I could be 3/4 of the way through a show, and if I decide right then that it is worth keeping around, I just press that magical "R" button, and the show is recorded. I can also rewind to review baseball plays, fast-forward through commercials, and skip through parts of shows that I don't like. I can record something and watch something else. I can record two things and watch something else. And it is INFINITELY easier than a VCR!!

However, there is something missing, and I never could put my finger on it until it occurred to me tonight. It takes away the sense of ceremony that gathering around a favorite show has. That sense of importance - "we need to get home because 'Airwolf' comes on at 9:00" type urgency (okay, so I was a wierd kid). I know that it will be recorded, and so I know that I can watch it whenever. In the end, I like that convenience, but I miss the ritual...the sense of time and space brought by having a favorite show that was on at a particular time and if you weren't there you missed it until Summer reruns or syndication. I miss the "we have to get the kids in bed so that we can watch "Law and Order" or "Get the popcorn ready because American Idol is on" (or something like that, I haven't gotten into reality shows). And boy do you really become aware of the cyclical nature of cable. Delete an episode of "Mythbusters" and that episode will be back on our queue next week.

(then again, on the whole other end of the spectrum, I miss NOT having a TV, too).

Time to go watch "Robin Hood." It's part of the two part season finale.....but it was recorded, so at least I'll get part of it in. Sigh.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

We don't have a DVR - still in the VCR generation. But I know what you mean about the urgency issue. With us, it is Friday night with Monk & Psych - we HAVE to be home to watch. But if we can't be, we record it - NEVER to press rewind and play. Somehow we never get around to watching what we've recorded!