Wednesday, October 26, 2005

American Idol and your DVR

Don't know how many American Idol fans there are out there. Oh wait, it's only the hottest show ever on TV, so probably most of you are. The ratings on this show are insane. Apparently last season American Idol on Tuesday night was the #1 watched show. Guess what the #2 show was! American Idol on Wednesday. People are really getting antsy about having to wait until January for the next seaon to start. Have a look at this American Idol website, where you can discuss all the latest Idol news with other like minded individuals.

It seems last year Fox tried all sorts of tricks to foil DVR users, in an attempt to get people to watch the extremely expensive commercials aired during the show. I've read reports saying a 30 second spot cost over $700,000. We're talking about a regular show here, not even the finale or anything. Now that's insane.

Anyhow, if you have a Comcast HD-DVR, you may have noticed that they were actually blocking fast forwarding of episodes of American Idol last season. According to at least one user, the fast forward button ceased to work, and a little "no" symbol appeared on screen:

American Idol blocking fast forwards | PVRblog

Fox, apparently not satisfied with the standard NBC trick of mucking with the start and end times of their shows, marked some new episodes of Idol as "reruns", even thought they were indeed first run episodes. This caused many DVR users, who have their season passes set to record only first run episodes, to miss them entirely. Better, Fox seems to think, people not watch the show at all, than to have them watch and skip through the commercials. Seems like a classic case of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.

Some people got last minute updates from their DVR manufacturers, warning them of the problem: American Idol and my DVR. Others likely were quite disappointed to find their American Idol folder on TiVo EMPTY!

So keep an eye out this next season for new tricks from Fox. The DVR is their enemy. Seems they're willing to let you miss the show entirely, in the interest of keeping their sponsors happy.

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  • I just experienced no fastforward, rewind or pause on my Tivo/Directv last night watching Fringe/Fox. I still haven't watched AI for tue or wed because if you pause and go somewhere else like watching another show, you have to start all over again. It really irks me and is a waist of time. The whole show, you have to watch. This may sound spoiled but, putting sound on mute while you wait for 30min to pass to catch up to where you last left has had me just looking out the window, waiting. It is just Fox, thank goodness. 24, Fringe, AI. This could cause an uproar as this is the first time I am blogging. Outraged. Hopefully my tivo will save all these shows til when this gets fixed provided that I have enough room. That's another problem. I have to watch them and look at birds/window. Boring and spoiled. I talk about tivo to everyone who hasn't had it. It is awesome, changes your life...???

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:25 AM  

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