The release of TiVo’s viewing habits of their subscribers [PDF] is interesting reading. As I’ve found, TiVo owner don’t watch live TV very much when they have a PVR.
The point they rightly make is what will happen to the traditional prime time and how PVR ownership will reduce the impact of rival TV stations put competing shows on at prime time, forcing the viewer to make a choice.
Clearly most of what a PVR can do can be done with current VHS technology – the difference if how much more convenient it is with a PVR.
One thing that isn’t clear is what they view as time-shifted viewing. The obvious is a recorded show that is watched after the show has finished, the less obvious is what I would call Time-sliding. Time-sliding is when programme is on a advertising supported TV station, I’ll switch the TiVo to the programmes channel, then delay the start of my watching of the programme by watching previously recorded shows. Watching the show this way enables me to skip through the adverts during the programme. It could also be the pausing of live TV or rewinding and then watching it.
Side issue I was speaking to one of my fellow RTS organisers recently and he told me that in all of his viewing years, he had NEVER see a commercial on TV. He refuses to waste the 1/3 of every hour watching advert. If something is an advert-supported channel, friends will tape it for him – cutting out the ads. I was filled with admiration at his dedication and discipline.