11 years ago a little device was launched in the US called TiVo. It apparently revolutionised Television viewing for the whole country. I had often heard of the device as it is constantly mentioned in TV shows and the like, and when it was announced last year that TiVo was coming to Australia is was skeptical.
Unlike the USA where they have a large number of competitive networks, we are fairly limited here in Australia. The TiVo unit does NOT hook up to an Austar/Foxtel service to clarify that straight off the bat. I’ve been using my TiVo for the past three weeks, and I must say all my fears have been thrown out the window, and the device has opened my eyes to a wide selection of great viewing.
For those who aren’t familiar with WHAT TiVo is all about let me fill you in. Basically it’s a VCR for the new ages. Featuring 160gb of storage, through the use of an Electronic Program Guide that is accurate, you can tell the device to record shows for you. The TiVo has 2 HD Tuners, so this means you can record 2 shows, and you can be watching a third recording while this is happening!
A simple and intuitive user interface, I had my partner up and running in minutes, and soon I found my hard drive filled with “So you think you can dance” and “Australia’s Next Top Model”. With a simple rating system of Thumbs up or Thumbs Down the TiVo adapts to your viewing. If you for instance give three thumbs up to Oprah, the TiVo will record shows for you that based on your ratings, it thinks you might like. This is a nifty feature as it recorded a bunch of shows I never would normally watch, and I enjoyed most of them.
Another cool feature is the “Season Pass” which allows you to tell the unit to record every episode of a TV series for instance. When in this mode you can also setup the unit to record based on inputs, I have told my TiVo to record anything to do with Soccer, so whenever something Soccer related comes on TV it will record it for me.
TiVo is out now, priced at $699 and available at Harvey Norman stores. It is great value for money, a simple and easy to use interface, allowing you to record you favourite shows, pause live TV, and when the update comes out next year we could be seeing a TV revolution in Australia