How does time-shifting and recording TV alter the viewing experience?  Will this destroy the industry if advertisers can’t guarantee viewers actually watching (rather than skipping) ads?
Mittell, J. (2006). TiVoing Childhood. Flow TV, 3(12). Retrieved from http://flowtv.org/2006/02/tivoingchildhood/

On a personal note, time-shifting and recording tv programs, while it has altered my viewing experience, I feel it has changed it for the better. Instead of being restricted to the time and day that the network chooses to air a show, I have the freedom to watch it when “I” chose to. As for the advertisements, well, we all seem to know how long an ad break will last and whether we will have enough time to make a cup of coffee, go to the bathroom or fed the cat and let the dog out. Were ads being watched at those times? No. We were away from the tv set. Why should the industry be destroyed just because we can now skip the ads when it hasnt been in the past when we could get up and walk away?

Up until about 2 years ago, if anyone mentioned to me TiVo, they would get a blank look – a long blank look.  I’d heard it mentioned on shows that were set in America, but I had never seen it in action, nor had it explained to me.  Then, about 2 years ago, we got Foxtel iQ, which allows us to live pause, rewind, fast forward (to current time point), and record live tv to watch at a later time.  Still, I did not know what TiVo was, but I did know what iQ was.  Then about 4 or 5 months later I suppose, someone overseas mentioned something about a tv program and TiVo was mentioned as well. I suppose I said something back along the lines of that I didn’t have TiVo but I’d tape it and watch it later. At which point a conversation ensued that culminated in me realising that I had TiVo in my home, it just had a different name, iQ.

Reading the TiVo article, I can fully relate to some of the things that Mittell has said:

  • “… self-replenishing library of … programming …”
  • “… offers a title and description of each show …”
  • “being sick meant mornings … watching a parade of game shows, since nothing else worth watching was on.”

I can see that within myself, I have definitely made these changes in my television viewing habits. I have a “self-replenishing library” and I do look at the title and description of a show before I watch it, and I no longer have to put up with mundane entertainment because there is nothing better to watch.  Yes, I have in a way become spoilt.  I would, in a way, like to go back to the days when entertainment came from a book and my own imagination, and not from a television or computer screen, but things change, and in many ways, I am grateful for that change.