Life changed, more to come
My wife and I installed Tivo last night. I've been a Tivo resister for awhile, but we're giving it a try now. I buy lots of DVDs and have a Netflix account, so I don't see a lot of use in watching programming that you have to plan for, shown according to someone else's schedule, so you'd think that Tivo would be perfect for me. However, when I do watch TV, I tend to enjoy the search as much as the consumption. This is probably a male thing. I don't watch television because every Wednesday Scrubs is on (I don't actually know when Scrubs is on, so "Wednesday" is just a placeholder for "whatever day Scrubs is on") I watch it because I have no idea what's on and if I look around long enough I might find something intriguing.
In truth I often don't, which means I can grab a DVD and put it in without concern. This is a perfectly happy state of affairs: I get to watch Big Trouble in Little China or The Office entire series (British please) once a week, comfortable in the knowledge that there's nothing else I should be watching right now. With Tivo, I'll be stuck. "Should I really watch The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh again, when Tivo has been recording everything about WWII on the History Channel for the last week for me?"
Of course, that's a totally unrealistic example, since the storage space on our Tivo would be full after a couple of days if I set it to record everything on the History Channel about WWII. The point's still valid, however. Having a Tivo is like having someone to remind you of things your past self resolved that your future self would like to do, but you might not necessarily want to do anymore. I already get enough of that with my Netflix account, which has movies on it that I put on the queue six months ago showing up in my mailbox.
Everybody I've talked to who has Tivo says it totally changed the way they watch television, though, so I'm expecting some kind of dramatic change. I'll try to keep you posted.