Tivo guilt

johnjohn320

Diamond Member
Jan 9, 2001
7,572
2
76
Text

Holy crap people are whiners.


LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Bloated? Overstuffed? Ready to slim down? You're not alone -- and we're not talking about post-Thanksgiving torpor.


"TiVo guilt" weighs on many owners of the digital video recorder.

What's weighing many folks down these days isn't too much turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, but too much "House," "Grey's Anatomy" and "CSI."

More and more people are becoming turned off by their TiVos. Digital video recorders (DVRs) revolutionized television for many viewers, freeing them from endless VCR programming and buying and keeping track of tapes. But it turns out that very ease is providing users with more than they can watch -- and turning a joy into drudgery.

"You want to watch TV, and what do you have? You turn on your DVR and you have a homework assignment," says Brad Berens, chief content officer for iMedia Communications, who analyzes how media advances change people's behavior.

"Economists call this 'opportunity costs,' " explains Berens. "You're sitting there and you have to weigh, well, 'I have to watch this thing, because I promised myself when I told TiVo ... I want the whole season of that! Go get it! And go get things like it!' And so you've committed to this decision and it's a burden -- suddenly your relaxation has turned into more work."

Actress Amanda Peet ("Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," the forthcoming film "What Doesn't Kill You") can relate. She told CNN that her TiVo is filled with programs ranging from the Ken Burns' documentary "The War" to the Sunday morning news shows -- and she's struggling to delete any of it, though much remains unwatched.

"I do have weird OCD where I need to clean out my TiVo," she said. "Like we've had Ken Burns' 'The War' on there forever and we're not gonna watch it, like I'm not gonna watch it cause I'm too scared. Or we'll have back episodes of um, 'Meet The Press' -- I'm obsessed with my Sunday shows like 'Meet The Press' and 'Face The Nation.' ... They're like from before the election, I'm like 'I can't [delete them], I have to watch them' and [my husband says], 'It's already happened, you've already read everything you're going to read about this stuff.' " See who else is afflicted with "TiVo guilt" »


"TiVo guilt" isn't a new development -- a quick Google check offers articles using the phrase dating back at least two years -- and it has its parallels with procrastination involving previous technologies. (Who didn't have a stack of never-watched VHS tapes collecting dust?)

But the explosion of TV channels -- not to mention TV shows, movies, music and webisodes available via the Internet -- has made the situation infinitely worse, says Berens. iReport.com: Share your DVR confession

"With infinite media, you have infinite choices, and therefore you have infinite opportunity costs," he says. "Your satisfaction index of the thing you actually choose can never be equivalent to the infinite opportunity costs, so we're in this position of being behind the cognitive eight-ball all the time."

Berens and others have written about "eventness," the phenomenon of experiencing something in connection with other people. The longer a program sits on your DVR before you watch it, goes the theory, the less satisfying an experience it will be.

But plenty of people who've never heard of "eventness" or "opportunity costs" are growing alarmed at their ever-increasing DVR playlists.

"I've got three weeks' worth of 'The Mentalist,' two weeks worth of 'New Adventures of Old Christine' and 'Gary Unmarried,' three weeks worth of 'Ugly Betty,' two weeks worth of 'Fringe,' two 'Inside the Actors Studios,' one 'Shield,' and two 'Without A Traces,' " wrote columnist Elissa Bass of The (New London, Connecticut) Day recently, tallying up more than a half-day's worth of programming. "I look at them and I start to wonder: Do I still like this show? Should I just delete them and knock them from my season pass? Is there really such a thing as too much TV?"

Fortunately, as the saying goes, recognizing you have a problem is the first step toward a solution, says Berens.


"I think that if you give things a name, that's a wonderfully empowering gesture ... because now [viewers] know what it is and know that they can take control of their media choices, they can take back that remote and hit the delete button and not feel guilty -- all you need to know is that other people are feeling it, and then I think the guilt can go away."

So take heart, sufferers of TiVo Guilt: You're not alone, and deleting month-old programs -- and even an ill-advised Season Pass or two -- just might increase your enjoyment of what you do watch.
 

MrDudeMan

Lifer
Jan 15, 2001
15,069
92
91
The only reason my TiVo annoys me is because the menus are INSANELY slow. It takes forever to delete things because you have to wait for the pretty animations to scroll the menu. There is also no way to delete multiple things at once.
 

Fritzo

Lifer
Jan 3, 2001
41,885
2,125
126
Dish Networks DVR is pretty quick, but it's not the easiest to use. I don't mind the episodes piling up---it gives me something to watch while I'm in bed and there's nothing on.

I wish they would up the production on The Universe on Discovery...god I love that show. I watched the parallel universe episode and it blew my wife's mind :)
 

Sasiki

Senior member
Oct 18, 2004
589
0
0
I don't even have cable or satellite. TiVo guilt is something I will never have the opportunity to experience.
 

nakedfrog

No Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
58,144
12,318
136
Originally posted by: Fritzo
Dish Networks DVR is pretty quick, but it's not the easiest to use. I don't mind the episodes piling up---it gives me something to watch while I'm in bed and there's nothing on.

I wish they would up the production on The Universe on Discovery...god I love that show. I watched the parallel universe episode and it blew my wife's mind :)

Wow... it was so deep, it blew your WIFE'S mind when YOU watched it :Q

It would be nice if there was a batch delete option in the 622.
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,240
7
76
Originally posted by: Fritzo
Dish Networks DVR is pretty quick, but it's not the easiest to use. I don't mind the episodes piling up---it gives me something to watch while I'm in bed and there's nothing on.

I wish they would up the production on The Universe on Discovery...god I love that show. I watched the parallel universe episode and it blew my wife's mind :)

I have The Universe on record all.
New episodes have already started for this season, New one is on tonight at 9pm EST on history channel, Titled: Sex in Space
 

Ns1

No Lifer
Jun 17, 2001
55,413
1,570
126
I got like 30+ hours of shit on my DVR. I don't know what to do. I stayed up until 1am last night watching Top Chef.
 

Jeraden

Platinum Member
Oct 9, 1999
2,518
1
76
This happened to me in the past. When I got mine I set up Mythbusters to record. Well, that show apparently has reruns so often that no matter what I did I just couldn't keep up. Before I knew it I had like a 30 episode backlog. So I'd just start fast-forward watching them to clear them out, realizing I wasn't even enjoying the show anymore, I was just watching them to get rid of them. So eventually I wisened up and cancelled that pass and just watch it live when I'm flipping channels since its apparently always on. :)

Few other series's met a similar fate. Monk, Supernatural - I had multiple season backlogs before I gave up even trying to watch them and got rid of them.
 

Riverhound777

Diamond Member
Aug 13, 2003
3,363
61
91
I can see where they are coming from, but come on, it isn't that much of a problem. I have a crapload of AOTS episodes since it is on daily. I just delete 4-5 and watch the most recent one if I don't feel like watching them all.
 

lokiju

Lifer
May 29, 2003
18,536
5
0
Wow, what a terrible article.

If I record something and later decided I don't want to watch it, I delete it.

I always set shows to record that look like they might be interesting and often times after watching one or two episodes I realize it's not for me so I just delete whatever it's already recorded and remove it from my queue.
 

Tsaico

Platinum Member
Oct 21, 2000
2,669
0
0
I just set mine to leave it for 14 days, then auto delete. If I do not have the time to get to it in two weeks, then I don't need to watch it.
 

JS80

Lifer
Oct 24, 2005
26,271
7
81
Damn, that article pretty much summed up my DVR experience. I can say that the only shows I "must watch" on my DVR are South Park, WSOP, The Universe, and Top Chef. I've pretty much given up on Fringe, etc.
 

Sumguy

Golden Member
Jun 2, 2007
1,409
0
0
The only things on my TiVo are Planet Earth, Taxicab Confessions (thought it looked interesting but I wanted to sleep), and two movies that I can't remember right now.

There used to be a lot of other things on there, mainly Scrubs and South Park, but I never felt compelled to watch them. So I just let auto-delete take care of them.
 

aplefka

Lifer
Feb 29, 2004
12,016
2
0
The people I sublet from have so much shit on their TiVo and it never fails that the one time a month I decide to record something and set it to manual deletion, they delete it to make space for the 7th episode of some effing home decoration show or similar crap. So frustrating.
 

ric1287

Diamond Member
Nov 29, 2005
4,845
0
0
People are too stupid to even use Tivo, hilarious.

All tivo needs to be perfect is overlay (or w/e its called) menus so I don't have to cut out from the channel im watching just to check whats on the hdd.
 

sciencewhiz

Diamond Member
Jun 30, 2000
5,885
8
81
Originally posted by: Sasiki
I don't even have cable or satellite. TiVo guilt is something I will never have the opportunity to experience.

I find plenty to fill my tivo on broadcast TV. I don't have cable or satellite either.
 

tw1164

Diamond Member
Dec 8, 1999
3,995
0
76
I don't see what the big deal is about having old shit on your tivo. I only have an hour or so to watch shows that's not TV-Y after the kids are asleep. I have shows that are 3 months old waiting to be watched.
 

torpid

Lifer
Sep 14, 2003
11,631
11
76
I have a different kind of Tivo guilt. I finally had enough of the satanic corporation Charter, easily the worst-run company in the history of the universe, and placed an order for satellite today. But I have a Tivo S3 with lifetime service, and I feel really guilty about betraying it. And I will feel even more guilty when I sell it, hopefully for several hundred dollars...
 

SludgeFactory

Platinum Member
Sep 14, 2001
2,969
2
81
This is partly why I haven't bothered to upgrade my Tivo with a giant hard drive, it would just fill up with a billion shows.

Access to all this media is nice, but it becomes a problem if you can't periodically step back and take stock of what you really have time to consume. Doubly so if you're the OCD/collecting/hoarding type.