Danny Iachini’s Weblog

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Adaptable DVR

Title says it all?  Probably not, let me explain – a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) is a machine that you feed your cable through before it gets to your TV.   TiVo is the best-known DVR on the market, but all cable companies that I know of have their own devices.

The way the DVR that we have allows you to set up recordings in advance (whether it’s a one-time deal or a whole season recording), and you can watch it as soon as it’s done (you can watch it live while it’s recording as well…).  This is really handy when it comes to recording a movie on USA or a TV show on NBC, and I absolutely love the functionality (I’ve been able to watch lots of great movies and TV because of it — commercial-free because of the fast-forwarding!).

The one problem with DVR though, is that it isn’t the best at recording sporting events.  If I want to record the World Series of Poker, sport stacking, or something else that is edited down from it’s entirety to fit into a nice half-hour or hour long segment, then I’m set!  But if I want to watch the mens finals of the Cincinatti Masters tennis tournament, it’s a little more tricky.

Set from 3-5 PM this past Sunday afternoon, I wasn’t sure if I’d be around to see it, so I set up a recording.  When I went to watch it Sunday night, I enjoyed watching the amazingly tight first set (serve was held all the way through the tie-break) and the exciting breaks in games 3 and 4 of the second set.  But then a message pops up — “Recording Finished – Delete? Save?”.  Where’s my third option?!  “Watch the rest of this exciting match?”

Since NBC had it scheduled from 3-5, at 5, the recording finished.  With just about 30 minutes of warmup and pre-game, there were 90 minutes for tennis with commercial breaks.  I don’t know what tennis the NBC schedulers watch, but when a 5-setter can take just about 5 hours (4:48 for this epic (OMG! I didn’t blog about that?!) Wimbledon final between Federer and Nadal), I don’t know why they would schedule a 3-setter for 2 hours (with warm-up).  So when that message came up, I frantically searched through future times on NBC, ESPN2, and the Tennis Channel, to see if it is going to be replayed, and I sadly could not find another time.

So now I’m sitting here – unfulfilled that I was unable to view the end of what was shaping up to be a really great match.  I have to look up the score and just pretend I got to see the rest of some terrific tennis.  ::sigh::

If only my DVR could have adapted to the extended coverage — recorded the next hour… juuuust to be safe.  Maybe someday NBC will be able to dynamically update the schedule sent to my DVR so that it will know that it isn’t over yet…

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August 4, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. You know, we have Tivo, and whenever you schedule a recording of a sporting event that might run long (I’ve only tried football games, but I presume it would be smart enough to do this for tennis matches, too) it asks you if you want to add some time, because the event might run over its time slot. It defaults to an extra hour for football, which is about right. We love Tivo!

    Comment by Michael I | August 5, 2008

  2. Well that’s pretty handy! Maybe it’s just our cable provider’s fault. I’ll have to see if I can make suggestions to them somehow. I sometimes plan ahead and think to record the next time slot, but it just completely slipped my mind on Sunday..

    Comment by dannyiachini | August 5, 2008


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