Tuesday, December 2, 2008

CNN Examines 'TiVo Guilt'

What's weighing many folks down these days isn't too much turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, but too much "House," "Grey's Anatomy" and "CSI." More and more people are becoming turned off by their TiVos. Digital video recorders (DVRs) revolutionized television for many viewers, freeing them from endless VCR programming and buying and keeping track of tapes. But it turns out that very ease is providing users with more than they can watch -- and turning a joy into drudgery. "You want to watch TV, and what do you have? You turn on your DVR and you have a homework assignment," says Brad Berens, chief content officer for iMedia Communications, who analyzes how media advances change people's behavior. "Economists call this 'opportunity costs,' " explains Berens. "You're sitting there and you have to weigh, well, 'I have to watch this thing, because I promised myself when I told TiVo ... I want the whole season of that! Go get it! And go get things like it!' And so you've committed to this decision and it's a burden -- suddenly your relaxation has turned into more work."

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