The good folks at TiVo have decided that now would be the optimum time to unleash their initially-much-talked-about-but-not-so-much-talked-about-anymore product on Canadians, a mere eight years after its release to the U.S. and U.K. markets. (Way to capitalize on a phenomenon, fellas!)
TiVo can be credited––at least according to Canada.com––with “making TV watching less of a laborious task,” which is a relative understatement considering how exhausting sitting through commercials can be to the average viewer. Don’t you hate that watching TV is so frickin’ laborious?
TiVo will be releasing their “Series 2” DVRs (PVRs to you backward Canadians) to a variety of Canadian retailers in the next few days. The American invaders may have a fight on their hands as both Rogers and Bell offer PVR systems for the HD fan, something TiVo can’t claim as yet. Perhaps unsurprisingly, TiVo does have an HD-capable “Series 3” DVR available to consumers in the US, but there don’t seem to be any plans to make those available to Canadians for the time being.
What the TiVo does offer is a significantly lower price than its Canadian counterparts ($199 for the DVR, compared to up to $600 for some of the locally-available boxes), although they do charge a $12.95 monthly subscription fee. More pricing info is available here.
More importantly, TiVo has a super-duper list of extra features that allows viewers to record two shows at the same time, track your favourite TV shows (“Gossip Girl”…you know you like it), and something called Season Pass. We suspect the technology is based on an advanced form of x-ray diffraction, or possibly sublimation. No one can ever really know for sure.
It remains unclear how Canadian PVR users will be affected by the new Canadian copyright legislation that’s rumoured to be just around the corner. A recent article in the Toronto Star suggested that the new legislation would likely introduce exceptions to the Copyright Act for recording television programs for personal use and transferring music or video to your MP3 player or computer, as well as modernizing the provision for “backup copies.”
We say, avoid all the hassle of the modern electronic age. Buy a Betamax.