Man, what are the guys at TiVo thinking? I love the little device for how it records my shows and lets me watch them at any time and fast forward through the ads, but they’re really starting to test my loyalty lately. First they price their new Series 3 TiVo, capable of recording high definition programing, at an absurd $800. That pretty much puts it out of reach of me or anyone whose guest bathroom I’ve ever seen. So I have bupkis hooked up to my new HDTV while my old TiVo sits upstairs on our standard def TV recording episodes of Sesame Street and Smallville like the cavemen used to.
Then, though, TiVo announces that they’re raising their monthly fees for the service. You can sign multi-decade contracts to bring them down a bit, but most of us will be paying $20 a month or $200 a year! Whisky Tango Foxtrot? And that means to get that new Series 3 TiVo I’ll have to pay over a grand in the course of a year? Really.
It would be quite satisfying to say “Well, I’ll just purchase a competing product, then.” But the truth is that TiVo is pretty much the only game in town. When we first moved in back in MAY I asked my cable company for a DVR, which costs like $10 a month, hardware included. They cheerfully put me on a waiting list, and we haven’t heard from them since, despite at least one trek through their byzantine phone system to complain. So I got nothin’.
Now, I know that for some people, like say those being eaten by hyenas, that this is an absurd thing to rant about given all the other troubles in the world. And that’s true, but I’m sure I could find more worthwile targets for my angst if I could record PBS in high def.