Future of Television?

In 2002, "King of the Hill" writer John Collier and his wife watched the Oscars with another couple:

"With TiVo [a digital version of the VCR beloved for its ability to store up to 60 hours of programming, to record shows which it thinks a user may like (based on previous recordings), and to race through ads at 60 times normal speed], we smugly announced, 'We'll do things right.'

"So we sat our friends down to a butterflied leg of lamb and a nice bottle of Amarone, and then, at our leisure, we took our apple-strawberry crumble into the den and showed off TiVo's capabilities.

"We replayed the hilarious Reese Witherspoon moment, when her husband let he open the envelope, saying, 'You make more than me, so go ahead,' and we check out Gwyneth Paltrow's dress more than once.

"One of our friends said, 'I feel funny about this -- it doesn't feel like I've earned the evening.' And I said, 'No, no, this is the future of television!'

"Just before Best Actress, TiVo went off. As we sat in stunned silence, the phone rang. It was my friend

['Simpsons' writer] Richard Appel, wanting to know who had won Best Picture!"

[The Academy Awards had run four hours and 23 minutes, a record.]

["Many TV shows have played on the desperate attempts of baffled men to outfox their machines by recording lots of porn films or macho war movies because their TiVos think they are gay." (The Economist, Feb 6th 2003)]

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