Where's the Sports Fan's DVR?

posted on 04/09/06 at 03:01:39 pm by Joel Ross

First, let me say that I love my DVR. I rarely watch live TV, and when I do, it's mainly because it's just on in the background. Even then though, I still use the ability to pause live TV, or, when I turn on the TV, being able to go back to the beginning of whatever is on. My box guarantees that I can go back 15 minutes, but there was breaking news the other day as we turned on the TV, and we were able to go back about 2 1/2 hours to see the start of it.

Anyway, as the hockey season is winding down, I'm running up against a dilemma. So far, I've recorded all but one Detroit Red Wings game and watched it later that night or the next day. That's 77 games that typically take 2 1/2 - 3 hours to watch down to 1 1/4 hours - 1 1/2 hours with overtime and a shootout. And yes, the extra 15 minutes to watch Pavel Datsyuk in a shootout is definitely worth it. Even with OT and the shootout, though, no game has gone over three hours - it's only scheduled to run 2 1/2, but I can set the recording to go over a half hour without issue. Right?

Right. Until the playoffs start, which happens in a couple of weeks. Then people realize that overtime shootouts are just a clever gimmick to keep butts in seats during the regular season. In the playoffs, there's no gimmicks needed. I vividly remember being at a night club around 12:30 or 1:00 when Yzerman scored over the goalie's shoulder against St. Louis in triple overtime in '96. Or Igor Larionov's triple OT game winner against Carolina in '02. No other sport's overtime is as exciting as hockey's, strictly because it is a fast-paced sudden death match. Yeah, the NFL has sudden death, but there's issues. Baseball is sudden death if you're batting as the home team. Basketball is timed. College football comes close - those get pretty exciting, especially once you have to go for two. But how many sports do you see where they can basically play another game to decide the outcome? Not many.

But that's a problem if you're recording a game. That's potentially six hours of recording time. Do you check after three hours, and if the game is still on, just pick up in OT? Why can't we get a smarter DVR that would have a little more intelligence about when programs actually end, and get that info in real time? Obviously, if a game started at 8:00 PM, and your DVR is still recording at midnight, then you have a pretty good clue that it's in OT, but there's not much you can do about that - at least when you start watching it, you'd know you got it all!

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Categories: Hockey