I joined a new breed of tv viewers this afternoon when I took delivery of a V-Box from Virgin Media. As well as lots of other wonderful features, I can now pause live tv. Never again will nipping up to the loo mean missing a key part of a tv movie. Never again will getting a phone call mean missing a goal during a live footy game. Never again will answering the front door mean missing David having a melt down in Corrie.
Ok based on those examples, I guess I'm not sure if all this technical wizardry is 'one giant leap for mankind' or even a tiny step for me. I rarely record anything broadcast on tv as it is. Even if I find out I've missed a show, there are so many other ways to see it again.
This thing will store 80 hours of recorded shows. 80 hours !!! I could almost go away for an entire weekend and record everything shown on tv. Then I could spend the next weekend watching it.....and recording the current tv in the background. Wonderful. What progress.
So why did I ask for it ? Well actually I didn't. Virgin Media just gave it to me. When I rang them to ask for my tv/phone/internet services to be turned back on after my winter in Florida, they said I could have all 3 restored for a little bit less money AND get one of these V-Boxes thrown in. I said I didn't want it.
"But you can record 2 different channels while watching a third one"
Hmmm I find it hard enough to find that one channel to watch. Don't need it
"Well you can pause live tv and so never miss a vital goal or a key movie moment again"
Hmmm well that MIGHT be useful I suppose. Nope, don't need it.
"You can record 80 hours of television"
Hmmm I've had a dvd recorder for 5 years and recorded 3 tv shows. Don't need it.
"You can watch tv channels that are broadcast in High Definition.....all 5 of them"
Hmmm don't have a HD television. Don't need it.
"You can have your existing cable box moved to another room"
Waste of time as I don't have or want another tv in the house. Don't need it.
But hang on, are you saying this V-Box will replace the old crap cable box I've had for the last 10 years or so ?
"Yes sir, it will"
I want it !!!
And so it was installed today and I've the bright new remote control to prove it. I still can't read any of the displays on the front of the box from my armchair as the letters and numbers are like those on the bottom row of an eyesight chart. Is it just me ?
But never mind. I've gone up to the toilet 4 times since the nice VM people left just so that I can use the pause button. I've only had to 'go' once and the other times I've stood at the top of the stairs so as not to upset The Box. I may well grow tired of this function.
I also went into the kitchen to fix a bite to eat, safe in the knowledge that I wasn't missing a second of the featured item on QVC as it was being recorded. I've never watched QVC in my life before but I've got 23 minutes of it now if you ever pop round my place.
7 hrs 37 mins left.........what can I record next ?? It's all so exciting.
Speaking of excitement, Madeleine McCann's name has featured several times on various news programs today. Madeleine who ? Oh don't even go there.
Her parents have been over in Brussels today at the European Parliament urging MEP's to introduce a Europe wide child abduction system like the Amber Alert used so successfully in the USA. This alert system was set up after the abduction, 12 years ago, of 9 year old Amber Hagerman from Arlington, Texas who was snatched off her bike and found dead in a drainage ditch 4 days later. Her abductors have never been found.
Whatever you may think of the McCanns (did they, didn't they ?), this alert system would be a good thing here. But what concerns me more than anything else is that, because this case is so high profile and because the parents are so gifted in media manipulation, then any similar process might be called the Madeleine Alert......and I just couldn't take that. No, no, no.
I wonder if I can set my V-Box remote to permanently pause tv any time the McCann name is mentioned.
I'm off to check out the instruction manual.