570 Channels and Nothing On

Marc Canter writes: One of the things that has befuddled me – is why TiVO hasn’t taken off more? I mean – it totally changed my life. Why haven’t mroe people picked on it – faster?

Robert Scoble replies: It hasn’t taken off because the acquisition and implementation cost are too high for most people. Look at the rats nest of wires behind most AV systems and you’ll see just what I mean. Also, most people are scared of technology. Seriously. You really gotta get on planes and talk to average users to really understand this one.

Dave Winer writes (about his parents): I couldn’t understand why they don’t get a TiVO. I offered to install it. But I don’t think they understood what it does, or why they would want it. The idea is foreign… TiVO hasn’t reached the masses yet. It surely will. The technology is just too rational for it not to.

Surprisingly, Dave Mancuso has yet to write anything about his TiVO.

TiVO, to me, is almost like a solution searching for a problem. An answer yearning for a question. A response looking for… you get the idea.

If anything, we watch way too much TV these days. Why invest in a device that
a) Makes it easy peasy to watch even more mind-rotting garbage
b) Is usually accompanied by a recurring fee of some sort

I just don’t get it. The technology makes sense to me, and I guess if I were still 22, just out of college, working as a substitute and playing in a band, I’d like the convenience that TiVO offers. Of course, I wouldn’t be able to afford it, because unless my memory is going bad, we couldn’t even afford the Weather Channel back then.

Now that I can afford it, I prefer to spend my time on other pursuits, like spending time with my wife and daughter, reading, playing and listen to music, writing software. You know, healthy, mentally stimulating things. The only time I watch TV anymore is when I’m sick in bed and unable to get to my computer. And even then, in my typical semi-lucid state, I marvel at the craptacularity (look it up) of the crap on the screen.

Now, I used to watch a lot of TV. I mean, a lot. Our evening schedule every night was determined by what was on. Thursday was the NBC sitcoms followed by ER. Tuesday was Frasier and… something else. I don’t really remember anymore. When Grace was born, I pretty much stopped watching TV recreationally, except for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which I gave up on shortly thereafter for unrelated reasons.

The only TV I watch these days is the Weather Channel (which I can now afford), Disney Channel, and PBS Kids. And every now and then, if Grace goes to bed early enough, we’ll watch some HGTV.

So, there you go. I understand, comprehend, get, dig TiVO. I just have no justification for it. Maybe there’s more people out there like that than everyone thinks.

Maybe that’s why TiVO hasn’t caught on.

Because in the end, all you’re really going to record is a bunch of crap anyway.

That’s all you have to pick from.

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