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Best Ways To Record TV

Traveling Through Time With Your TV

Let’s say you love “Mad Men.” (Which is not hard to assume, given the presence of Christina Hendricks. Which is just an excuse to mention her name so that the editor has an excuse to post a picture.) But, you are hardly ever home on Sunday nights because there’s a great bar with happy hour specials from 7-11 pm. What do you do? You could build a time machine and travel back in time to when the show started. Or, like in the olden days, you could record it on your VCR, and if like last Sunday night there were scenes with Christina dressed scantily, you could wear out the tape. Now

Here you are, sir.

Here you are, sir.

though, there are digital ways to accomplish watching something besides the time it is on TV and it doesn’t ever have those pesky tracking problems. However, which one is the best?

DVR:

Pros – Comes with your cable box already.
Cons – If it doesn’t work, you have to deal with the cable company; will keep recording your favorite series episodes over and over again after you delete; a VCR may be smarter.
Cost – About $10 per month.
Cool Factor – It does record programs when you’re not around, which is cool; dumb enough that when the robots take over, it’ll probably bring a coaxial cable to a gun fight, which is a great benefit.

Tivo:

Pros – Besides search and DVR capabilities much better than DVR, it also will stream web-based video to your TV so that you can finally watch porn on your TV without getting out your old DVDs.
Cons – The Tivo mascot can look creepy when it watches you watching porn.
Cost – At least $300 for the box and another $12 a month.
Cool Factor – A remote control that has a QWERTY keyboard. Soon you can boast to your friends that the only thing in your life without a keyboard will be the bottle of beer in your hand. (I know I can’t wait until my toilet with a QWERTY keyboard is installed next week.)

Hulu:

Pros – Don’t have to program anything to watch what you want. You can watch “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Family Guy,” “Louie,” “Archer,” “Community”…
Cons – Don’t actually have “Mad Men” available.
Cost – Free! Well, it’s free if they have what you want and you watch it within about four weeks of it being on TV.
Cool Factor – Can brag to all of your friends that you don’t spend any money to watch TV. Except you don’t see any sporting events. And that show. And that one. And…

iTunes:

Pros – If you ever wanted to keep TV shows forever in a format that won’t become obsolete, this is your chance.
Cons – At one time, movies only cost $3 as well, so you’re just encouraging them.
Cost – For the whole season of “Mad Men” that’s about $39 if you bought them as they were released. A season pass saves you $4 and you get behind the scenes footage!
Cool Factor – You get to use Apple for more of your entertainment needs, and isn’t that really the ultimate in cool?

Bit torrent (like http://eztv.it/):

Pros – Completely free and great backlog of every good show, even ones on pay TV sites like HBO and Showtime.
Cons – Probably completely illegal. Have to wait for a show to download, which could take forever on your dial-up modem.
Cost – Free, as long as you don’t get caught.
Cool Factor – Just put on a leather jacket, start smoking cigarettes and use bit torrent for all of your entertainment needs and you’ll be the ultimate bad boy.

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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."

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