Television

Posted by Robyn on Oct 4, 2009 in General |

So I did the math, and between all the shows I’d like to watch on a regular basis, it’s well over a 20-hour-per-week commitment. Now, I watch TV for entertainment. What the networks have given me this fall is a part-time job. I already have two jobs. I don’t need a third.

We have an HD DVR in the living room, but with the silly 160 GB hard drive restriction, it fills up pretty fast, especially with HD content. But we also have no less than three computers in the house with a total of five TV tuners all feeding one massive home server storage repository. These shows can be viewed from the HTPC, or any other computer in the house — just not in HD glory until the multi-stream CableCard tuners come out next year.

So, I had to make some choices about what to watch live (which requires agreement from the husband), what to record in HD (which will need to be watched within a few days), and what to archive in SD for later viewing. Forcing my hand in this decision is the fact that many of these shows come on at the same time.

Treating this as a job, I naturally used tools I would use at work. In Excel, I created a combination of spreadsheets to organize the shows by priority. The result is shown here, as entered into Microsoft Outlook.

Green: Watching Live
Yellow: Recording on HD DVR
Red: Recording on HTPC and archiving on Server

Naturally, all the reality shows are 90% fluff and commercials, so those go straight to the HTPC for later viewing with the benefit of fast forward. The Daily Show and Colbert Report aren’t available in HD, and I often go to bed too early to watch those live anyway, so those get recorded on the HTPC. And there’s no way I’m convincing my husband to watch Vampire Diaries with me.

The rest was mostly negotiated with my hubby, based on our mutual preferences. Both green and yellow shows will be scheduled on the HD DVR, and we’ll watch whichever ones we feel like at the time. This is just a rough estimate.

And finally, as a backup, everything in green and yellow is also scheduled to record either on the HTPC or my desktop, just in case the HD DVR fills up. Since the server has over 9TB of storage, space really isn’t an issue.

So there, the planning phase of this job is complete. I sure hope this pays well…

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