(Yo, Facepagers and comedy fans: my latest FB romp is up over at ZuG — Zolton’s Facebook Follies: Faaaaarm Livin’!. It’ll put hair on yer back forty!)
I got a bit of terrible news today. My wife told me Comcast had called up and told us that our DVR is going to explode on August 1st.
Only maybe they didn’t say “explode”. It could have been “stop working”, come to think of it. But that’s almost as bad. In my panic, I may have muddled a few of the details, but the gist is there. Come August, no TiVo. My world, she crumbles around me.
It’s not that I watch a lot of TV, or keep up with the latest shows. Most nights, the machine whirs away taping reruns of Big Bang Theory and Diners, Drive-Ins and Spiky-Haired Douche while we watch it, or don’t, or turn it on and mostly ignore it for a couple of hours. How I abuse my TiVo is not the point here. The point is rather that I have a TiVo to abuse in the first place.
See, that’s the thing. Comcast doesn’t do TiVo. They’ve cobbled together their own DVR system — a Frankensteinian monstrosity cobbled together from the worst rotting parts of obsolete and failed DVR systems, from all the reviews I’ve ever read — and they plop one of those in your house when they install your cable. Unless you ask for TiVo.
“That’s TiVo for you. Better than mailmen, and prettier in high def.”
Of course, when you ask, they say they’ll “check on it”. That’s cable installer speak for “Mister, you must be frigging high if you think that’s all it takes to get a decent set-top box in here.”
So you’ll have to ask again. You’ll likely have to call the office, beg with someone there, plead with another installer, perhaps slip a twenty to one or two or five of them, but finally, mercifully, someone will show up at your house with a TV show record-o-majigger that tapes what you tell it to and whose menus weren’t designed by Coco the crack-addled orangutan.
At least, that’s how it was. And apparently only in Boston and a handful of other areas. If Comcast and TiVo were “in a relationship” when we managed to get our current box, they were hiding it awfully well. From what my wife relayed, I was afraid they’d broken up completely, before even hitting that awkward fumbling petting stage.
As it turns out, it’s just the opposite. Our TiVo is self-destructing in two weeks, apparently, because new improved Comcast honest-to-goodness TiVos are on the way.
Oh, yeah. Looks like Comcast just got to second base. Yowza.
So the “bad” news is actually “good” news, sort of, except it means another long and arduous cycle of scheduling installers and hooking up cables and missing re-re-re-rerun Futurama episodes running at three in the morning because the machine isn’t updated with all our preferences yet. That’s real work, and I’m not looking forward to it.
Maybe it’s possible — for some people — to not go through all the hassle, getting the settings and such just so. But not me. I wanted a TiVo — seriously, NINE years ago, I pined for my set-top savior — for one reason: to tell me what to watch.
I tell it what I like, and it tells me what to watch. The TiVo’s almost always taping something — so that’s what I watch. If it’s not taping, then there’s nothing remotely good on — and I dig into what it’s already recorded. Everything should work that way. I should be able to tell the mailman what sort of letters and magazines I like to receive, and that’s all he should bring. And if, on a given day, there’s nothing new in those categories, then he’ll bring back issues of the stuff I like. How cool would that be? That’s TiVo for you. Better than mailmen, and prettier in high def.
So i guess we’ll soon have a shiny new TiVo to get to know — our first since we moved into our condo in ’09. Maybe we’ll have a nice wake for the old one. Or a marathon to watch all the taped shows that are about to be blasted away, when this thing ignites itself or whatever. I’m a conservationist; I’d hate to waste all those stored pixels. It’s tragic.
Either way, there’s going to be an awful lot of configuration to do — shows to record, channels to check, save times to set — to ensure that the new TiVo approximates the current one as an entertainment provider. The first time that newfangled gizmo suggests a “Jersey Shore” or “So You Think You Can…” anything, it’s going back in the box and getting shipped to Comcast central for decommission. That shit don’t fly in this house, hombre.
I’ll get the ball rolling tomorrow. And maybe have the new machine up to speed in time to catch The Grinch on Christmas Eve. A man and his TiVo can dream, right? A man and his TiVo can dream.