Playing The Man Who Fell to Earth: The Home Game
In Nicolas Roeg's 1976 sci-fi cult classic The Man Who Fell to Earth, David Bowie plays an alien (no typecasting there) who comes to Earth in search of water for his nearly dead homeworld. In a scene that has now become a cliché in sci-fi films, he quickly educates himself on everything having to do with Earth history and customs by watching dozens of TVs simultaneously. It's hard not to feel a little bit like this character after you've mastered all of TiVo's features and you find yourself with more must-watch programming than you know what to do with. With so much good stuff to watch, you'll find yourself wanting to accelerate everything, knowing that you can skip through whatever you're not completely enjoying. You'll learn how to apply the various viewing techniques outlined in this chapter to consume shows in at least half their broadcast times. You'll fast-forward through intros, setups, tired action sequences in movies (do we really need to ever see another long-winded car chase?), or other uninteresting parts. And if you have more than one TiVo, or an enabled dual-tuner DirecTiVo, you'll really feel "alienated" once you start doing two things at the same time (recording two shows while watching a recorded third show or jumping back and forth between two paused live shows). Our increasingly digital world allows us to pick and choose what bits we want and to skip the rest. TiVo brings this to television. Of course, you don't have to watch TV in such a hyper fashion; you can serve it up any way you likethat's the whole point (although we wonder if there's anybody that doesn't accelerate the TV montage once they have the tools to do so).
We'd like to think that all of the time saved not watching shows in real-time and skipping over commercials is being used for the betterment of humankind ("I've saved so much time with my new TiVo that I've started volunteering at our local senior's center!"). But in point of fact, it's probably just resulted in watching more TV ("Using my TiVo, I can now record and watch all of the dating shows that make me question my faith in humanity and my own self-respect!").
In Chapter 2 and in this chapter, we discussed TiVo's hardware and software and all that you can do with it. In the next chapter, we'll look at the critical link between you and your TiVo, namely the remote control.