Behind the curve

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I have a brother-in-law that buys new technology the moment it hits the shelf. He is always the first one with the newest iPhone, the latest movie-viewing machine, the most recent gaming system.

We take turns making fun of each other.

He reminds me of that scene from "The Wedding Singer," when Glenn buys a CD player for $700. If my BIL would wait, even a couple months, many items would be cheaper and better.

He makes fun of me for waiting so long. When I mentioned the Wedding Singer scene, he asked if I would wait 20 years to buy new technology just so I could get it cheaper.

And I'll admit it. When it comes to technology, I'm usually behind the curve. And it really doesn't matter what form that technology comes it.

I didn't get an e-mail address until I was a freshman in college in 2000, well after all my friends had e-mail. I was the last one of my friends to get a debit card, and it was getting fed up carrying a newborn Bug into the gas station to pay for gas that finally convinced me. We had dial-up internet forever! Well after high speed dial-up, DSL, and then cable internet came along, we were still trucking along with our good old NetZero account. I don't have a laptop. I just got an iPod.

Some of it because I'm cheap (or frugal. Yeah, let's go with that). I'll admit it. It was hard to imagine that paying $30 plus dollars a month just for internet would ever be worth it, when we were getting our dial-up for $6.95/month (we had gotten a special deal by threatening to change services.) So what if I spent much of my undergraduate career wanting to throw things at the computer while waiting for pages to least my frustration was cheap!

The other part of it is I'm always a little skeptical if the new technology will really make things better. Maybe it's just another way to brag about how "with it" you are.

But this week, we've made a change that would have my BIL cheering for joy.

We got DVR.

I wasn't sure we needed it. After all, we had a VCR. I could just set it to record shows while I was at work or at the lake. I had even gotten quite good at setting multiple grograms on the VCR. Yeah, it was inconvient. Yeah, sometimes we misjudged the start or end time and never knew how LOST ended. Yeah, the quality of the picture was lacking (nowhere near as amazing as the HD picture Hubster insisted we sign up for the minute we bought a new TV.) But still, we already had the VCR.

(But now that I think about it, I'm not exactly sure what happened to our old, boxy, non-LCD-flat-panel. I'm beginning to think it may have had some help meeting it's untimely demise.


So, I wasn't convinced.

But we have crazy schedules. Now probably more than any other time. And I've started the nasty habit of falling alseep during the season premier of Psych, or before the champion is named in Chopped. Hubster doesn't really have time to constantly be programming the VCR, especially now that fall premiers are right around the bend.

I was sold on the DVR within 2 minutes of having it. I could record all the new episodes of America's Got Talent. And watch it whenever I want. In HD! We can record two shows at once. No more conflict between Survivor and LOST. And recording is easy: just a push of a button. No more timers, making sure the VCR clock is aligned with the TV clock, worring about how much tape I have left, wondering if I really turned the TV to the right channel.

I thought the cable menu was the best thing that ever happened to TV watching (seriously, how does anyone do it without it?) I've decided now that DVR is going to take TV watching to a whole new level.

I think I'll call my brother-in-law and let him tell me "I told you so."


Alorah said...

LOL! I know what you mean. Once you expierience TV w/ DVR there is no turning back. I loved that you could just skip the comercials. When we had a DVR we would NEVER watch live TV. We would always choose to watch something after it had been recorded. Unfortunately howerver, we curtently don't have DVR or satlite TV anymore. We decided to cut back on it which meant nothing at all because we live where the only reception you get is with a dish. Anyway, I am glad you have entered the wonderfull world of DVR.

Karen said...

I LOVE DVR. I honestly don't know how I lived without it! My brother used to bug me all the time to get DVR and, like you, I just never thought it was necessary. Who cares if you can pause a show and run to refill your water?

These days, we get frustrated with DVR. We have Dish Network and can only record up to two shows at once, and we can't watch something else while it's recording. With three of us living here, our TV watching is frequently hampered by something someone else is recording.

But I still love it far more than the alternative. :-)