The Perfect Marriage: TiVo and Netflix

My husband, maybe to mock my attachment to my typewriter, or maybe just to give me the good news, sent me this article, today. It breaks the much-awaited news (at least around our place) that two of the greatest entertainment inventions: TiVo and Netflix, are going to join forces.

This is akin to the Wonder Twins putting their rings together, proclaiming “Form of Digitial Video Recorder” and “Shape of Video on Demand” and it becoming so.

Now, if you have followed my blog, you know I am definitely at odds with the spread of technology. Am I against it, however? No, of course not. I love it and I use it constantly, as most people do today. However, as it becomes smarter, it must, I believe, become a force for good and not evil.

The Wii, for example, is a force for good. Is it still a video game that keeps kids inside, away from nature? Yes. BUT it gets them up, moving, interacting with technology, with instruments, jumping around. And, by the way, it is still the parents’ job to place limits on children’s interaction with technology (even the Wii) in the first place, to ensure they have a balanced experience, that they can still identify leaves, and not just a leaf in general. Lazy parents reap what they sow.

SO, to tell you WHY I think the marriage of TiVO and Netflix will be wedded bliss, here are the reasons:

1) Limited commercial access – Sure films have their fair share of commercials/previews edited into them, but with the wonder of TiVo, we can fast forward through the bits we don’t want to watch, thus reducing ours (and our kids’) exposure to advertising. Colin and I “don’t watch commercials.” I like to say it as a sort of snobby (you say elitist?) proclomation whenever we have guests, but it is true. We watch almost exclusively recorded shows, and as a result, we don’t watch commercials. When we do watch live TV, we usually pause it for 10-15 minutes and chat, so that we have enough buffer to fast forward through.

2) Immediate access to queue – Right now, Colin and I have to edit our Netflix queue online, then wait a few days for the new film to show up in the mail. OK, a few days is no big deal, but when you can cut that out with direct downloads, the experience of choice will be immediately integrated into our TiVo Playlist. I expect Netflix will see a boost in customers as a result.

3) Direct Download is greener. – Less paper for mailings, less plastics for DVDs equals less production of disposable waste.

4) Better quality and more choice. – Who doesn’t watch crap on TV because there seems to be nothing else available? Another episode of Friends… Or Wheel of Fortune? Colin and I have been gagging to a gaggle of well-written HBO, Showtime and other network series that we could not get while we were subtracted from TiVo overseas, including “The Flight of the Conchords,” “Extras”  and “Lovespring International.” Netflix provides these, en masse.

I know there are those people who say “No” to TV. Sometimes I am one of them. But TV, like any technology, can be a force for good or evil. It is an opportunity to relax, to create conversation, and a place to exhibit an art form. And with these superheroes TiVo and Netflix joining forces, I think they make TV the best it can be, and provide us with ways to spend our time with TV in a limited way, without all the cacophony of Tony the Tiger and Monster truck ads to distract us