Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Rise of the DVR - The Demise of the TV Guide

No, this isn’t about the fact that the TV Guide magazine changed from its smaller bookish format to a larger, magazine sized publication. That in itself was bothersome since the smaller size didn’t require a lot of space next to the TV (or wherever one kept it) and the new version seemed HUGE in comparison.

This is about the rise of the DVR.

Since I’ve gotten a DVR, I have never looked at a TV guide. Ever. There’s no need. Everything you wanted to know about what’s on TV for weeks on end are right at your fingertips. And even more fantastic is the fact that you can select to record a program right as you look at its information in the guide. No more VCR programming numbers, no more remembering to set the time to record, etc. etc. It’s a timesaving wonder.

But, there seems to be some resistance to some people to the use of DVRs. Is it the added cost the cable companies charge? Is it not having the right kind of TV with which to use it? Is it because some people are techno-phobes?

Regardless of the reason, one thing is for sure. As the proliferation of DVRs will rise, the TV Guide will likely die out. Some weekly newspapers have scaled down or even discontinued creating a weekly program guide. With the change in format, the TV Guide seemed to be trying to reinvent itself as an entertainment news magazine with less focus on the program guide. I don’t think it will be enough. With programming available on DVRs, and faster access to entertainment news on line, I don’t see the TV Guide surviving, as a program guide, longer than five more years.

I’m sure that will please millions of trees.

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