Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It's the VCR (uh, pronounced Viccar)

Yeah, lame title, old Monty Python joke, or possibly Babylon 5.

My old Sony VCR is dying. It'll play, it'll record, but it won't keep timer settings for longer than a day, it seems.

So... you can get a progressive-scan, digital audio, DVD player that plays ever disc type ever made for $30... or a mono VCR for $45 at Wal-Mart. The cheapest Hi-Fi VCR I can find is $70, on sale at Sears Appliances.

And why do I need this sucker? Stoopid networks, scheduling all the good stuff at once. Veronica Mars + House + The Unit + Scrubs tonight. One for the TiVo, one for live watching, one for a VCR and I'll still miss something, and languish through crap the rest of the week. Sometimes its only two things on at once, but I'd like to have a relaxing night out somewhere not tied to my glass teat.

The cable nets (USA, FX, HBO, etc) have got it right: They run "The Shield", "Dead Zone" and "Sopranos" (not respectively) several times throughout the week, I can time shift it to whenever I care, and never miss an episode. And in fact, sometimes the main networks get it right, but only long enough to get you hooked: Fox used to run 24 on FX the same week as the first showing, and even recently NBC ran Heist's first ep on USA and Bravo... then cut the cord.

Yes, if I'm timeshifting, I'm more likely to fast-forward or 30-second-skip my TiVo... but I'm timeshifting everything typically anyway.

Hmmm... I need a rant soon on commercials worth watching.

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