Title: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Tivo Word Count: 621 Summary: You may have heard the buzz about T ivo lately and how easy it is to re cord your favorite television shows . So what exactly is "Tivo" and wha t are the benefits?! Keywords: tivo, dvr, digital video recorder, p ros, cons Article Body: The World_s first, best and easiest to use digital video recorder _ th at is TiVo in a nutshell. When it w as first introduced, TiVo quickly g ained popularity and became a smash hit in the world of home entertain ment. Millions of American househol ds are now enjoying the convenience and freedom that TiVo offers. In a huge way, TiVo has revolutionized digital video recording and made it more accessible to the public. Thi s article discusses what TiVo is, a s well as the advantages and disadv antages it offers. <b>What is TiVo?</b> TiVo is a brand of digital video re corder or DVR that allows user to c apture television programming and r ecord it to internal hard disk stor age for later viewing. The TiVo bas ically functions just like video ca ssette recorders or VCR. The big di fference is that TiVo uses a high m emory, non-removable hard disk stor age and has much more sophisticated software to record programs. In ad dition, live programs can be paused or rewound to repeat a sequence an d unlike tape based recorders, a pr ogram that is on the process of bei ng recorded can be viewed from the beginning. TiVo is powered by a 50 MHz PowerPC chip, IDE controller an d specialized MPEG encoding and dec oding hardware. A Quantum 13.9GB ID E hard drive (14 hr) provides the m emory used for recording programs. There are newer units that offer 20 , 30 and 60 hours of recording time . Meanwhile, TiVo software is Linux -based which has encouraged some to hack TiVo. <b>Advantages of TiVo</b> Convenience _ Now, you have total c ontrol of your entertainment. With TiVo, people will no longer have to schedule plans around a favorite T V program. Instead, they can set Ti Vo to record that particular progra m for later viewing and can be watc hed over and over again. With TiVo, you can select your favorite progr ams to record either by time, speci fic program title, as well as by ge nre, actors, directors and many oth ers. The TiVo memory is massive all owing you to accommodate all your p referred programs which remain inta ct for viewing until you manually d elete it. Excellent User Interface _ The TiVo interface is easier to use in many ways compared to a VCR. Even techn ophobes can easily get the hang of TiVo and will soon consider TiVo as a best friend. One great feature t hat TiVo has is the thumbs up/thumb s down button which is basically a user rating system that allow viewe rs to score television shows. Users can rate TV shows in a scale of th ree thumbs ups and three thumbs dow ns. These ratings are then used to determine the user_s preferences to suggest some shows and programs th at are similar to the user_s intere sts. Great Features _ Aside from the gre at convenience and ease-of-use, TiV o offers a host of other exciting f eatures TV addicts will love. Seaso n Passes allow TiVo to record a sho w each time it is aired regardless of when the show begins. TiVo also feature Wish List searches and onli ne scheduling which have made the T iVo a household necessity. All thes es plus TiVo_s various home enterta inment innovations make people wond er how they went for so long withou t this exceptional piece of home en tertainment. <b>Disadvantages of TiVo</b> Privacy Concerns _ Some users are c oncerned that TiVo_s capability to collect usage data may intrude into the privacy of its subscribers. Ho wever, TiVo assures its consumers t hat no information about individual viewing habits are being collected. Ads _ TiVo began including pop-up a dvertisements to explore it as an a lternative source of income. Appare ntly, as the user fast-forwards thr ough certain commercials, instead o f seeing a blur of broken video str eam, they will see a static image. This drew negative response from it s subscribers who have previously e njoyed TiVo_s ad free viewing exper ience.