Sunday, July 10, 2005

Uh Oh, TiVo!

Well, not really TiVo which is a registered trademark of TiVo, Inc. and I don't want to mess with them. What I really mean is "Uh Oh, I purchased a competing product manufactured by Sony Corp. which is wholly unrelated to TiVo, Inc. and TiVo-brand hard-drive-based personal digital video recorders." Unfortunately, that is harder to rhyme.

See, I have an LL.M. in intellectual property law and these things make me nervous. Plus, I feel for any company with a brand whose name is so ubiquitous that it moves toward becoming the generic term for the product. Companies like Xerox, DaimlerChrysler (makers of Jeep-brand vehicles), Johnson & Johnson (Band-Aid brand bandages) and Kimberly-Clark (Kleenex brand tissues). Keep up the good fight, TiVo. Don't go the way of aspirin.

Anyway, I got one of these gizmos because I don't have cable and don't watch much TV. Makes sense? It does to me. You see, when I do want to watch something, I get really annoyed when I miss it because someone took the tape out of the VCR or, just as likely, I screwed up programming the VCR. Or-- in that special circle of hell reserved for the people at WTTW, the PBS station here in Chicago--when something interesting inexplicably moves around the schedule.

The unit I bought has the bonus feature of being able to transfer programs not locked down by a copy protection signal to a DVD for my enjoyment elsewhere. We'll see how this works out. Right now, I am not sure what 85% of the buttons on the remote do.

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