Here’s something that usually works great for me: TiVo.
Except not so much this week. On Saturday night, our remote got lost when we had friends over. So we’ve gone without ever since.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with TiVo, it’s a DVR. Well, not just a DVR…it’s a way of life. Seriously. It’s changed the way we watch TV.
Gone are the nights of being steamed because the kids didn’t get to sleep before Lost started. Gone are the days of endless channel surfing because there’s nothing on. Gone are the days of giving up watching a great show just because it happens to be on when you’re not around. Gone are the days of your kids watching whatever happens to be on next because you didn’t turn it off in time.
With a few clicks (beeboop!) of your remote, you can set up a Season Pass so TiVo records every single episode of Lost and saves it until you delete it.
Your TiVo box connects to your phone line (or for those of you who live in the 21st century, wireless internet) and downloads the schedule for the next two weeks for every single channel you get. No more wondering what’s on. And you can even filter the schedules so you’re only looking for kids’ shows, or movies, or sporting events. Wanna see what movies will be on next Friday night? No problem. Hmmm…that’s a good one, I’ll TiVo it. Oh, it’s on against America’s Funniest Home Videos? I’d rather TiVo the movie, thankyouverymuch. (If you have a newer box, it’s not an issue…it can record two shows at the same time.)
And have I mentioned Kids Zone yet? You can set the box up so that when you turn it on, it’s automatically set to only show the kids’ programming you’ve selected. Hate Barney? Your kids never have to know it exists. Is SpongeBob Squarepants a bit too rude for your two year old? It doesn’t make the list. Only the shows you actively select to record appear.
When you’re ready to watch Grey’s Anatomy when the kids are in bed, just enter your password and TiVo shows the Now Playing list of every show the box has recorded.
It’s amazing. My kids get their fill of Phineas and Ferb when they have time to watch it, we watch The Daily Show every night before bed at 10 pm (though it’s not on till 11 pm). And if we have a busy day and the TV doesn’t go on, no biggie: TiVo will save the good stuff till we get around to it. There’s always something good on! And you can pause it (even live TV), rewind it to catch that joke you missed because the dog barked, and of course, fast forward through the commercials.
And I understand that if you hook it up to the internet, it has a lot more functions: movies, music, photos. Maybe I can convince Mr. Hoagie that it’s worthwhile someday soon.
For more great ideas, check out Rocks in my Dryer.