Brad wrote about TiVO. He wondered why I haven’t written anything about it.

Isn’t it obvious? I’m not writing because I’m spending all my time watching TV.

Seriously, with all due respect to the feelings of the people who put down TV for political and programming reasons, there are some things worth watching on TV. The problem is that I don’t have the time to sit around (or stay up) to catch the few shows I want to see.

TiVO solves that problem for me. Rather than watching crap, I set the box to find a show I want to watch and it records it. You say “so what?” OK–unlike a VCR, TiVO finds the show whenever it’s on, on any channel, forever, avoiding repeats if I want, until I tell it to stop. That way I don’t have to keep looking for when Extreme Homes or Hometime is on, for example. Then I can watch or delete them as I find time, on my schedule instead of the TV’s. That is worth $5 a month to me.

The second big thing to TiVO is the 30 second skip. This is a button you can set up to skip 30 seconds ahead instantly–no waiting for fast forward. The first big attraction of this is to skip through commercials by hitting the button five times to instantly skip ahead two minutes, for example. The second big attraction is to skip through parts of a show you don’t want to see. I do this with the TechTV show The ScreenSavers all the time.

I can watch an hour show in probably 30 minutes this way.

I’ve actually cut down my TV watching by using this box, and I watch the stuff I want instead of junk. That seems to me like a solution to a problem.

Now, I can catch junk with TiVO too, like Futurama episodes (I never saw them when they were on prime time). But at least I get to choose.

Hey, I can even search genres or interests for shows I might want to catch–that’s how I set TiVO to record the AMC broadcast of George Pal’s The War of the Worlds. I haven’t watched it yet, and I may just delete it if I don’t get a chance to play it in the next few weeks–but it was so easy to set up I couldn’t resist.

TiVO (or any programmable digital video recorder) helps you intelligently watch TV without being a political extremist.