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The history of the TiVo Remote

Tivoremotemolds Gizmodo has an awesome and exhaustive history of the TiVo remote including lots of prototypes and molds and reasoning for why things turned out the way they did.

After 8 years of using it, the TiVo peanut remote is still one of my favorite things about TiVo, and one of the best examples of well-designed hardware interface.

June 20, 2008 in TiVo | Permalink | Comments (6)

TBS ups the ante on annoying commerical insertion

Picture_2 My friend Jason caught TBS going to extraordinary lengths to get people to view an ad about an upcoming show by having an overlay character "walk on" and "pause" the current running show to plug their own show, then the original show was resumed, but right before a real commercial, producing an incredibly annoying result.

It shouldn't be surprising to hear this was the work of Turner Broadcasting, the same company that once proclaimed anyone getting up to use the bathroom during commerical breaks was stealing TV.

With the advent of DVR devices, networks began an arms race to get around commercial skipping: first came product placement, then the overlay ads, and now I'm seeing commercials that seem purposely slowed down so they appear readable during fast forwarding. Turner's latest trick is easily the worst of the lot -- you can't simply skip or fast forward the short ad break and instead have to endure it as the show hangs until it is over.

It's a race to the bottom to see how much you can annoy viewers with ads before they'll give up and look elsewhere for entertainment -- I hope this latest attempt by Turner isn't long for this world.

June 4, 2008 in News | Permalink | Comments (9)