Thursday, December 18, 2003

I picked up my Time Warner Cable DVR Box yesterday. This box replaces a digital cable box that we had in our living room. In the first 24 hours of use, I've been very impressed with the box. This is Time Warner's attempt to get in on the TIVO wave. It has its advantages over TIVO. First, you don't have to fork over $300 for the box, and the monthly fee is less than TIVO's $12.95.

Using this box, I may never miss a TV show again (I wanted to watch the President Bush interview the other night, but forgot to tune it in until it was almost over). This box has a hard disc inside, and it records using MPEG video.

Any time you turn it on and watch TV, it is recording the show. That means that if you missed something, you could hit the "instant replay" button, and it will replay the last 30 seconds. Or, hit the pause button to answer the phone, then resume the show when ready. This is a great feature. It's like power windows in cars. Until you had them, you didn't realize how convenient they are.

The box also does standard recording. From the program guide (the same guide that is in the standard digital cable box), you can select any show and press the "record" button. The box will then ask if you want to record just that one episode, or the "entire series." It also offers options for recording all episodes (including reruns), or just the first run episodes. It can also search for the same show on any channel. For example, I asked it to record Seinfeld, and it records the show anywhere it finds it, on any channel, at any time. It's flexible enough to let you specify to only record shows on weekdays, weekends, or a specific day of the week, or a specific time of day.

We've already used it quite a bit. My wife was able to catch Oprah yesterday, I've grabbed 6 episodes of Seinfeld already. There was a segment of the O'Reilly Factor that I missed, so I simply "rewound" it and watched it.

I've been reading a lot of comments on message boards from folks who have been having problems with this DVR box. I'll test it out and see how it works. So far, so good!

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