As you may know, TiVo has sort of come to Canada. While this may excite a number of Canadians I know, it does little for me. I don’t watch much TV, and the thought of paying a monthly subscription fee for channel data (on top of whatever the box costs) is distasteful. I’ve been contacted by a couple of people who assemble MythTV boxes, but they’re going to run me about CAN $1000. That’s too much for my meagre recording requirements.
In fact, if my VCR weren’t on its last legs, I wouldn’t be thinking about this issue at all. It is, however, so I found myself in FutureShop looking at DVD recorders. You can get one for about $300. Throw in five rerecordable DVDs (I’ve never been one to permanently save recorded stuff), and Bob’s your uncle.
The only permutation to this plan is a DVD recorder plus hard drive like this one. They’re pretty much double the price of the straight DVD recorder, and provide TiVo-like functionlity without the scheduling data. You can, for example, start watching a two-hour movie that you’re recording 20 minutes after it started. $650 seems like a lot of money, though, for a VCR with delusions of grandeur. Plus, all I’m really doing is paying an extra $350 for a little firmware and a 250 GB hard drive.
Unless I suddently lose the use of both arms (and therefore watch a lot more TV), the only things I’m going to want to tape (heh, ‘tape’) are hockey games and “The West Wing”, and only when I’m not around to watch them live. I’m thinking that $300 for a 21st-century VCR should suffice.
UPDATE: Travis is dumbfounded by my lack of TiVo love.