Sadly, this one is hard to ignore. According to a new report, the magical machines that Americans use to parse the crowded primetime TV schedule use a cumulative 27 terawatt-hours of electricity every year. The Los Angeles Times puts it into perspective: That's the same amount of energy per year as nine coal-burning power plants.
And that energy? Not cheap. It costs consumers nearly $3 billion every year, with $2 billion of that coming when the boxes are off.
Engadget snagged a photo of Motorola's forthcoming DCH3416 set-top-box. This little guy includes a 160GB hard drive, multistream CableCard support for recording two programs at once, or for picture in picture.
The DCH3416 also supports Motorola's new "follow me TV" platform, meaning you can watch shows recorded on one box on another box. It has HDMI, component, Firewire, SATA, USB 2.0 and ethernet jacks. Of course you won't be able to pick one of these up and plug it in, but it could be coming soon to a cable provider near you. Or not.
Funny piece this week by Joe Lavin. He and his father bought his mom a TiVo for Christmas, so she can tape all of her favorite shows, including all those Law and Order spinoffs and all the CSI shows. Not only did he discover that all these devices don't like to communicate with each other (the TiVo instructions tell you not to hook it up through a DVD player and the DVD player instructions advise you not to hook it up through a cable box or satellite), he also discovered that his mom almost made a big mistake when buying something for him.
I'd like to think I'm not terribly old, but I do actually remember a time when televisions didn't have remote controls. In fact, my siblings and I were my father's remote control. The advent of the "clicker" changed the way we watch TV, and ultimately, the way television shows and commercials are made and produced. Back in the day, you would pick a channel and more or less stay with that channel for the evening. Now, you can zap through the channels, defying each one to engage you within three seconds or risk being left in the dust. Borrowing (stealing) an idea from Lost Remote, I thought I'd ask TV Squad readers just how many remotes they have in their home. I'll stretch it to include any kind of remote, not just television ones. I myself rock three remotes: one for my crappy little stereo, one for my Tivo (that also changes the channels on my TV), and another one to turn my TV on and control the volume. Why can't the Tivo remote also turn my TV on and control the volume? Well, it's because instead of buying a name brand TV that's compatible with universal remotes, I instead chose to purchase some no-name brand which I believe was put together by Eskimos using discarded pieces from a Zenith set circa 1968. I'm not always as discerning a consumer as I should be.
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