THE FUTURE OF TELEVISION

I went downstairs to see what awaited me on my TiVo. The redundantly-named but otherwise excellent Navy NCIS* had been recorded. Dan Rather was on at the beginning with New Hampshire coverge and my guess is the show will be either interrupted with (now outdated) New Hampshire updates. The show turns out to be a repeat, so no biggie. But two questions arise:

1. Given that a.) only the political junkies such as those who read and maintain this blog care enough about the results of the New Hampshire primaries to need intermediate results and b.) there are all manner of 24-hour news stations, blogs, other Internet sources, etc., why do the major networks bother to cover relatively routine news like this anymore?

2. Given that TiVo (at least the DirectTV version that I have) is satellite driven, why can’t it recognize that the program in question isn’t on and adjust itself accordingly–including continuing to record ballgames or other shows that are running over the scheduled timeslot because something preempted it?

*The “N” in NCIS stands for “Navy.”

FILED UNDER: Media
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Paul says:

    2. Given that TiVo (at least the DirectTV version that I have) is satellite driven, why can’t it recognize that the program in question isn’t on and adjust itself accordingly-

    Because there is no way for your TiVo to know. It dials up once per day to get guide data but it is a slave to the guide. There is no data coming from the dish to tell it what is really on. A TiVo, for all the bells and whistles, is really just recording time and channel just like a VCR.

  2. Tiger says:

    Re Paul’s comment: However, is that not a feature that technology could be able to provide, just as they could require codes to be implanted at the beginning and end of commercial breaks to allow machinery to stop recording during commercial interrruptions. I seem to remember they had these strings of numbers that you could use to automatically program VCRs to record, so you input a sonic code into the soundtrack of the air play to identifies the beginning and end of programs.

  3. Paul says:

    I started to address that but brevity won.

    Yeah, you could encode a signal in there somewhere but that would require another new standard. I suspect all that will land in the final HDTV standards… Well, that is all but the commercial tags. Don’t hold your breath on that one.