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June 22nd, 2005

A Creative TiVo Suggestion

So, I was flipping through TiVo this weekend and noticed it had recorded a suggestion just a few hours prior. It was a long one – about three hours. But I had time, so I started it up.

I fast-forwarded through the beginning and then started being utterly fascinated by the show. Unlike a reality show, this one didn’t feature regular people. It didn’t have a plot. There was nary a set to be found, and in fact, there weren’t any actors either. The whole thing was lacking what was expected in television – color, commercials, scenes – and instead presented me with a lot of room to think.

If you haven’t guessed by now, TiVo had recorded “SIGN OFF” as a suggestion.

A part of me finds it quaint that, despite the constant reminders of how something is “always” on television, signing off still exists. But it does. And there I was, with a three hour block of it from a channel I hadn’t watched before.

There is something very Zen about TiVo, a device designed to record what I want to watch, recording nothing. Maybe TiVo has finally looked at what my wife and I watch and said, “You know? That’s enough.” Sure, it wasn’t as if I came to the Now Playing list and found nothing but “SIGN OFF” – it was tucked away in Suggestions between an episode of “Ed” and The Blues Brothers.

Maybe TiVo is on to something, though. “SIGN OFF” is thinking room. It’s pondering room. It requires no thought process or participation on the part of the viewer. It’s just a black screen for three hours – that’s it. No sound, no video, nothing. It’s Seinfeld without the show. And TiVo’s recording it freaked me out, just a little.

ps: This is fictional. TiVo didn’t record sign off; it recorded Back to the Future instead. All names and people portrayed in this Ping are purely coincidental.

Posted in Miscellaneous

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