Essay about Making the Switch to HDTV

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This past week, I FINALLY made the transition to HD television. Oh, for a long while, I've had a TV capable of the appropriate resolution, and enjoyed the pristine picture with DVDs and BluRays. But I always held out making the switch for "regular" programming because I was brand loyal (to a fault?) with both DirecTV and TiVo.

I love DirecTV, and for me, their service, performance and customer support has been second to none. (Hell, I may even wind up moving because of it, but that's another story for another day). For years, I've had the DirecTV receiver with integrated TiVo (and before that, I had seperate TiVo boxes). When I was at someone else's house, or during a hellish 5 month relo situation where I was tortured with the TV gang
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So this week, I pulled the trigger. (Just in time to read 108 tiny names written on a lighthouse mirror wheel on Lost!) Obviously, I can see a HUGE difference in the HD picture. That goes without saying. But what I wanted to briefly ruminate on is a comparison between the DVRs. I thought I would be completely aggravated without the comfort and familiarity of the TiVo interface, but I have to say, just a few days later, I'm really at peace with the decision. Here are a few initial observations:

Things That Work with Both:

* The ability to customize the onscreen program guide. When you have a channel selection that reaches into the hundreds, there are obviously channels that you're never, ever going to watch. I don't want to see them cluttering up my screen when I scroll through the guide. It was just as easy with the new DVR to create a "ShanTV Guide" that completely eliminated all shopping channels, all religious cult programming, all kids and parenting channels and anything having to do with cooking, health, hockey, soccer and "reality" shows. * Watching and pausing two channels at once. This was a great TiVo exclusive feature for a long time. Most DVRs allow you watch one channel and record another, but what I liked about TiVo is that you could actively watch and pause two programs on different channels at the same time, flipping between them. (For example, you can watch a game on one and pause when it goes to commercial, then

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