The most important development is the triumphant return of DirecTV service and my beloved TiVo brand DVRs. It took 38 calls to various powers that be, three separate trips by installers, a pole mounted dish several parsecs from my unit and a football field worth of cables, but dammit, all is right in the universe and I'm free of the evil clutches of Comcast (except for phone and internet, which both seem to work fine). Among the many things to be thankful for with this development:
- A recorder that actually works. It doesn't mysteriously and suddenly think Chuck airs on Wednesdays, and then records nothing on Wednesdays (because as we all know, Chuck is on Mondays). You set up a season pass on TiVo, and glory be -- it works! It remembers the day the show airs and actually gives you the options to record only first run, or repeats and first run, or any showing. How novel!
- Searches longer than 6 days. You can look out in the future over two weeks (only for TV shows, sadly. Not for lottery numbers or game winners) and find shows by time, by channel, by title, by actor.
- The ability to pick up programs where you left them. On TiVo, if you stop watching a Lost rerun about 20 minutes in, and go to live TV or another show, when you return to said ep of Lost, it will pick up right where you had been. On Comcast's TiFaux, you had to start over at the beginning and then FF all the way to that part again.
- The 30 second skip. A long known TiVo "hack," you can program "end of line" button to act as a brilliant 30 second instant skip. Perfect for going through commercials. (If you don't know how to do this, it's easily findable with a google search, but I'll give you the skinny here. While watching a recorded program, just hit the following buttons in quick succession: 1. select 2. play 3. select 4. 3 (number three on the keypad) 0 (number zero on the keypad) 5. select. You'll hear three quick confirmation beeps and bingo! 30 second skip.
- NFL network. Just in time to hear more than I ever wanted to know about what a lying dirtbag Bobby Petrino is! And Bryant Gumbel's incompetent play by play!
- NFL Sunday ticket! Hey, I can watch my beloved Falcons again! And not just Ravens and Redskins games! I can track all my fantasy players in real time on the screen and on the laptop, too!
- Station numbers I remember! I never quite got the hang of where some of my favorite channels were on the cable system. But I definitely recall 206, 209, 244, 501, 245, 242 and others.
- Favorite channel grid. I love how in TiVo you can change the onscreen guide to only show the channels you want. No scrolling through all the home shopping crap, jesus-freak programming, Disney pablum and home and garden bullshit.
- All the stuff I've recorded before! Now I can revisit the all of last season's BSGs and Lost. Gigs of Caruso sunglass removal to fall asleep to. Eps of the brilliant Andy Barker, PI. Last season's UGA games.
- Customer service that actually helps you. Of course, I never have to call DirecTV customer service because the product actually works (compared to Comcast, who I actually added to one of the coveted one-touch speed dial numbers on the crackberry). In a little under 4 months, I went through 4 different TiFaux units and had customer service visit no less than 13 times.
Ahhhh, yes. Welcome back TiVo. Burn in Hell, Comcast.