“TiVo is really about speed,” CEO Tom Rogers told The Huffington Post in a phone interview Wednesday.
That same day the company launched the TiVo Bolt, a new set-top machine that records TV, streams programming from online services like Netflix and — in an interesting new twist — lets you zip through your favorite shows in record time.
Bolt, which costs $299.99 before additional service fees, contains “QuickMode” and “SkipMode” features, designed around getting through programs faster.
QuickMode will speed up your recorded shows by 30 percent without warping the audio, so you can spend less time going through a given program. And SkipMode will bypass commercial breaks with one touch, depending on what you’re watching. Walt Mossberg noted in his review that SkipMode only works with 20 channels so far, and it only works on shows recorded between 4 p.m. and midnight. That’s apparently due to the manual work required to “tag” ads so that the Bolt knows to skip over them.
“If you’re an average American that watches an average of five hours of television a day, the combination of those two [features] would save you 700 hours in a year, or about 29 days of saved time, which is an incredible calculation,” Rogers told HuffPost.
It’s hard to complain about too much of a good thing, but let’s face it: There’s a lot of solid TV out there and hardly enough of time to watch it all.
Consider the seven (!) drama series nominated at the Emmy Awards this year alone. If you wanted to watch the latest seasons of “Game of Thrones,” “Better Call Saul,” “Downton Abbey,” “Homeland,” “House of Cards,” “Mad Men” and “Orange Is the New Black,” you’d have to give up around 3,949 minutes of your life. That’s close to 66 hours, or nearly three entire days of straight viewing. We’re not even getting into comedy or the trove of quality shows that weren’t nominated for Emmys this year. (“Jane the Virgin,” anyone?)
Nielsen reported earlier this year that the average American adult really does watch about five hours of TV a day. If you limited yourself to five hours of viewing a day, it would actually take a little bit more than 13 days to get through the Emmy-nominated dramas, and who knows what other shows might’ve premiered in the meantime?
To hear Rogers explain it, the TiVo Bolt could be a tool to help break people out of that quicksand.
“We have lives now that are so occupied on so many fronts, and people are talking about freedom from their devices,” Rogers told HuffPost. “Here’s a device that’s totally in sync with what people want from their devices — a combination of traditional television and streaming services — but instead of forcing you to use more time, it frees up time.”
Our suggestion? Get through your TV lineup and use the extra time to sleep.
Or watch “Jane the Virgin.” Your choice.
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