Sunday, February 15, 2009


Like many Americans, we have cable TV service with a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). This is a marvelous device that enables us to easily record programming for viewing at a later time. This concept is known as “time-shifting.”

The problem is that my wife and daughter don’t seem to understand the concept of “later.” They perceive the DVR as a permanent electronic library; a place to collect things they enjoy, but may not choose to view for months or even years.

Typically, I record a movie or a series episode and watch it at the first convenient time (often the following day) and then I delete it. My wife and daughter record things that they have to be in the mood to watch. Moods being what they are, the likelihood of a given mood striking at a convenient viewing opportunity is remote at best. When this rare event occurs, they will watch the program, and then leave it on the DVR in anticipation of the next rare mood swing.

The DVR has a fixed capacity, which is prominently displayed on the selection screen. Once it creeps up over 70%, older items on the list are flagged for removal. I can’t let this happen, or I will have to explain the technology to my wife and daughter. It won’t help. Neither of them will understand why their particular show has been deleted, while all of mine are still there. It will seem unfair, and they will harbor a grudge against me.


So I find myself watching programs until the wee hours, just so I can delete them to keep the DVR under that 70% mark. But it’s a losing game, because they keep collecting more and more programs, which means I have an increasingly narrow window of opportunity to watch things that interest me. Sooner or later, the confrontation will occur. All I’m doing is time-shifting it.


Christina said...

Hhhmm maybe it is a girl thing, we have a DVR and I do the same thing. Normally I go on binge's when they have those free movie weekends with HBO. I DVR every movie I have never seen and then proceed to never watch on the DVR.

Again...maybe it is just genetics and ya can't fight it.

Anonymous said...

I think they have a new anxiety for this"Feeling the need to watch the things on your DVR"