Questions Frequently Asked About TiVo, Answered by Someone Who Loves TiVo Too Much

What’s that? You still don’t have a TiVo? Ahh, you must have some questions about the technology before you take the plunge.

Q: What is the proper term for a lover of TiVo?

A: A lover of TiVo is a “TiVotee” (rhymes with “devotee”).

Q: Will I watch more or less television once I have TiVo?

A: You will not watch any television whatsoever. You will watch TiVo. Television has commercials. TiVo has only magnificent moving-picture programming filled with people you recognize and love because they are famous—not anonymous acting drones who have acid indigestion and limp penises and need life insurance.

Q: Will TiVo change my life?

A: No, TiVo will not change your life so much as He will destroy your previous life, permitting a new and improved life to rise, phoenix-like, from your ashes. Switching from cable television to satellite is “change.” Moving to TiVo is closer to rebirth.

Q: Is TiVo expensive?

A: This question makes no sense. In a future world, where mankind has destroyed its remaining clean air and drinking water and such necessities require payment, will you be asking how much it costs to draw breath? I didn’t think so.

Q: Is TiVo male or female?

A: TiVo is commonly referred to as “He,” though this is a mere convenience, as TiVo encompasses all things, living or no. TiVo is the heavens and the earth and anything that might be beyond the heavens—like bigger and even more sophisticated TiVos. Expert linguists have been working to develop a pronoun that more accurately reflects the universality of TiVo, but as of yet all attempts are unpronounceable in every language except Fortran.

Q: How does TiVo know to record programs for me that I might like?

A: The long answer the TiVo marketing executives would like you to believe is that TiVo uses a sophisticated algorithm that compares your viewing habits to the behavior of other TiVo users, but the truth comes in a one-word answer: druids. Druids have spells, magical spells that they cast to determine your deepest wishes and desires when it comes to television viewing. Do not be afraid! Druids engage only in friendly, white magic. Wiccans (i.e., lesbians), on the other hand, are a different matter. They should never be allowed to own—or program—a TiVo.

Q: Will TiVo work if I only have broadcast television?

A: Yes, TiVo will “work.” TiVo would work if you only had one channel that showed Balinese folk dancing 20 hours a day and that infomercial with Chef Tony and his knives for the other four. The larger issue is that if you have only broadcast television, your TiVo will be very, very sad. You see, TiVo exists in order to bring pleasure to His owner, and His level of pleasure is directly correlated to the number of channels He has to choose from. To not have at least 75 channels for TiVo to monitor and peruse in His unceasing desire to please is tantamount to cruelty or neglect. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to kick a door down to take an underutilized TiVo away from a family that’s heartless enough to have only basic cable.

Q: When I go on vacation, should I have someone watch after TiVo?

A: Unlike your children, your mother, or your spouse, TiVo will not make you feel guilty for leaving Him behind when you take that vital jaunt to Branson to catch a week of Yakov Smirnov sets, but once you own TiVo, you will lose the urge to do anything except lay completely nude on the couch in front of this blessed machine.


TMN contributing writer John Warner’s first novel, The Funny Man was recently published by Soho Press. He teaches at the College of Charleston and is co-color commentator for The Morning News Tournament of Books. More by John Warner