Entertainment » Jim Harris

Do you really want that TiVo?


Several people have told me they’ve asked Santa to bring them a TiVo this Christmas. I’ve warned them that, although it’s the best thing to hit TV since the VCR, it can mess with your mind. The Digital Video Recorder (DVR), which can be ordered with the DISH satellite, or the subscription-service TiVo that’s sold at all the big box appliance stores, allows you to record a large number of hours of digital TV to a hard drive, and even better, it allows you to go back to whatever you just momentarily missed because the phone rang or the baby started crying and see it again. It means I can now decipher “West Wing” dialogue, even if I sometimes have to run it back and see the words close-captioned. It means that while Jefferson-Pilot announcers go on and on about the previous big play that just occurred without a replay being shown, I can watch my own replay. Over and over. And over and over. Like that play when Peyton Hillis fumbled against South Carolina and Matt Jones made a half-hearted attempt at picking it up and then fell on the ball and failed to recover it, and the Gamecocks converted it into a game-turning touchdown that essentially meant I wouldn’t be watching the Hogs in a holiday bowl game. It means “time-shifting” a show 15 minutes or so, going and doing something else, then watching it and flying through the commercials. It means no cumbersome VCR tapes and sometimes only having to push two buttons to record a show while you’re out. Here’s the strange part, and I understand I’m not alone in this: Now, when I find myself watching TV elsewhere, where there is no TiVo or DVR, I might suddenly want to rewind what I’ve just seen, only to catch myself. I’ll want to TiVo the radio (TiVo will soon become a verb in Webster’s) to hear that last caller who just took Rick Schaeffer and his homerism to task on Drive Time. I’ve even wanted to TiVo basic conversations with others, wanting to re-hear what I apparently wasn’t paying attention to. It’s downright scary. We have one TV with a DVR, and two others without. Lately I’ve tried to spend more time watching the ones without it to retrain my TiVo-less brain. Meanwhile, the VCR gathers dust. MORE HOLIDAY MUSIC: A diverse array of local musicians, from Lawrence Hamilton to the Meshugga Klezmer Band to rocker Jim Mize, have come together for “Holiday Album Vol. 1,” presented by Arkansans for Drug Free Youth. Dave Hoffpauir, who drums in the Sara Thomas Band and has been with some other top Little Rock acts for several years, pulled together the many artists and the songs on the seasonal CD. John Crowley mastered the disc at Loudmouth Studio in Little Rock. The 20-song CD of well-known favorites includes the Philander Smith Choir (under Hamilton’s direction), Lagniappe, the Harding University Choir, the Vilonia High School Band, Rose City Boys and Girls Club Ensemble, Oliver Thomas, the University of Arkansas at Monticello Big Band, the El Dorado High School band and choir, the Little Rock Parkview Magnet school orchestra and choir, Alex Bachari of Little Rock Central High, and St. Edward’s Catholic Church’s Hispanic Choir. Call 375-1338 or 888-313-0388 to order a copy. For more information, log on to www.adfy.com.

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