TiVolution: It's Not Just an Ad Slogan
I'm not sure if TiVo still refers to TiVolution, but it is not hype. When an engineer draws a system, she may include a "black box" that will somehow perform a complicated function, perhaps in the future. Well, TiVo is the "black box" that grabs your favorite television shows regardless of time or channel and records them for you. All you have to do is type in the first few letters of the show (you can type the full name if you really enjoy entering letters), select it, and then TiVo will search its linix-based system program database to find the show (the TiVo box is a computer with a hard drive and it uses the linux operating system...but what do we, the users, care as long as it works). If it's a series like CSI Miami, you can tell TiVo to record it every week. If it's a daily show like The Daily Show, you have tell TiVo to record it every day.
By now, a majority (?) of Americans know what a TiVo does (but this is an experiential product; I could wax poetic about what TiVo does and how wonderful it is, but like a great meal, you have to try it yourself). Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and TiVo is being flattered by various members of the cable television industry. DirecTV is now importing its DVR (digital video recorder) from its BSkyB satellite service in Britain.
http://www.pvrblog.com/ is an excellent source of current events in the DVR (there was a fight over whether to call TiVo like devices "digital" or "personal" video recorders; DVR seems to have won).
Today's research lesson for my terrific students at the University of Georgia as well as you journalists and consumers who frequent my blog. When you find a great site like http://www.pvrblog.com/, you can find other web sites that point to it: a reverse reference service. How? One way is to go to one of the grand old search engines on the web, av.com (altavista.com) and use this search:
This will reveal other sites that have a link to http://www.pvrblog.com/ Logically, many will also be PVR/DVR related. A quick result I found is a link from the Electronic Frontier Foundation which has a story about using your PC to create your own high definition DVR. It includes the following table, accessed on 6 March 2006:
It's reasonable to assume HD-DVRs will be available and that their initially high price will come down quickly. So HD will not slow the DVR revolution, if it really is a revolution.
You may use this content (better still, argue with me!), but please cite my ideas as © 2006, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein. Best viewed in Firefox thanks to Microsoft going its own way.