the past few months, I’ve had problems setting up the recording
options for a few shows.
it’s nothing major… there are simply a few moments occurring every
so often where a couple of televisions shows, a movie or two,
and assorted odds and ends all collide to share some broadcast
point to it being more recent when I say it’s not major because
these days, thanks to the rebroadcast schedule of a few networks
and on demand options, it’s usually possible to find anything
I couldn’t record when I first wanted to.
the actual origins go back several years… and frustrating is a
better word to use, but probably not for the reason (or reasons)
you might expect.
when I discover a recording issue, there are two scenarios far
more likely to be involved than any others. The first is that,
before the scheduled run time, I happen to be looking at the program
guide, and I notice a symbol saying one show won’t be recorded.
The second is that a day or two after a show aired, when I pull
up the listing to look for it, I discover it’s not there.
situations are easy enough to address. The solution being that
I just have to find another way to record the batch of shows I’ve
selected on that night, or, find another showing of the one I
missed. And a little bit of time is usually the only investment
has nothing to do with the frustrations.
the frustrating part is that the networks know damn well that
they are causing the issue.
think you know the drill.
just say your DVR allows you to record two shows at once. The
understandable difficulty is caused by trying to record four.
Right? Absolutely not. It’s usually because I’m trying to record…
oh… I don’t know… let’s say two.
I am getting at is those phantom extra minutes or so some shows
have. They don’t run from 9pm to 10pm. No… they run from 9pm to
10:01pm. And when lining things up, that means it can be really
easy to have two… three… four shows overlapping in that one-minute
window that begins at 10pm. The DVR says no.
anyone figured out why this is happening?
it started several years ago… I seem to recall noticing it for
the first time during American Idol broadcasts… I figured
it was some sort of network plot. Actually, a really genius network
plot. Follow me here…
getting worse, not better. And it is there that my frustrations
begin to really take root, since it means there is zero chance
of this overlap coming to an end.
are playing funny games… and we’re talking throughout the entire
small screen world of “broadcast” networks (those big ones like
ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox), “cable” television (say TBS, AMC, and
TV Land), and “subscription” services (for example, HBO).
they’re not just competing with each other anymore. A game like
having Glee or American Idol running an extra
minute or two truly provided amazing programming decisions for
those reasons I point out. (Or whatever is being broadcast now
that those shows have ended their runs.) You were able to sell
more advertising time during the highly rated show, and you added
in the possibility of decreasing numbers for opposing networks,
while maybe… just maybe… increasing numbers on yours.
quickly leaving that playing field though.
Amazon, Hulu and others have joined the game. On demand libraries
have increased. People are watching television not on televisions,
but on phones and tablets and laptops. Viewers want to fast forward
you know… do you think it’s just a massive coincidence that we’re
getting more and more 15-second advertisements along with increased
cross-promotion of shows? …have you completely missed that there
are dozens of styles being followed by networks for when and how
a “season” of a show is run?
playing field has indeed changed. For lack of a better description,
the old cliché works… the genie is out of the bottle. And
we’re not going back.
not suggesting we should. Frankly, I’m amazed by the number of
exceptional scripted shows that exist right now.
it’s just me… caught in that time period of an age where normal
had been 6pm local news, 6:30pm national news, and an 8pm start
to prime time… trained in that mindset of new seasons starting
in September, wrapping in May, and scheduled to maximize the months
where viewing numbers are being officially measured to determine
combination of typical and routine goes out the window with full
seasons being released in a day or audiences binge watching episodes.
so many ways though, it’s not me. I’m not asking for technology
to slow down. Despite my nostalgic appreciation of newspapers
sending out morning and evening editions, I’m not looking for
us to demand things stay the same. Far from it.
just… well, chaos is a good concept for it.
seems random… lacking organization… chaotic. It seems like something
that might have been an interesting thought… like when NBC took
half-hour sit-coms and increased them to forty-minute super-size
episodes to strengthen Thursday night broadcasts… and yet now
has spun out of control, with unexpected consequences and underrated
competition smacking into the business model and revenue projections.
that extra minute… that shifted schedule… remains. It’s there
right now. You wouldn’t need long to find it, since quite likely
as you are reading this at least one network on your cable… or
satellite… is running a program that started at an odd time.
whatever reason, it annoys me… it frustrates me. And as technology
improves so that I don’t miss anything despite the overlaps log-jamming
DVR options, it’s the thought that counts… the perception and
not the reality.