TiVo News: What were YOU doing when TiVo was born?

TiVo’s latest newsletter…

TiVo | The TiVo Newsletter
The TiVo Newsletter | Volume 116

Letter From the Editor

March means much more than “madness” and leprechauns for this Irish lass: It’s time to celebrate the birth of a little certain “someone” who forever changed the way the whole world sees TV. The legend started like this…

After unveiling the first working prototype of TiVo at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 1999–and despite an estimated four to five months of work remaining to complete a real working product–TiVo’s co-founder Mike Ramsay challenged the company to ship a perfect TiVo digital video recorder (the first DVR on the planet!) by March 31, 1999.

Jim & Mike

After everyone gasped, someone pointed out that March included a “blue moon”–in this case, the second full moon in a month, and of course, metaphorically speaking, “a rare event.” As such, the engineers decided to code-name this valiant effort “Blue Moon.”

“Everyone worked almost straight through without a break the entire month of March,” says Bob Poniatowski, a TiVo employee since Day One. “Our engineers spent many nights working and sleeping at TiVo. One of the hall closets was designated for blankets and pillows.”

Sure enough, just as the last week of March rolled around, so did the first TiVo box, right off the assembly line. Mike declared March 31st a “national” holiday and the last Friday in March to be the official “Blue Moon” holiday for all TiVo employees henceforth. The rest, as they say, is TV your way–and history worth repeating over and over again.

Happy birthday, TiVo: This one’s for you!

Make a wish,

P.S. As you know, TiVo is the most selfless little creature most of us have ever met (and he never stops smiling!). So instead of sending him birthday wishes, he wants you to tell him what you want (think BIG, even beyond “the box!) because you never know which dreams can come true until you put them out there.

Table of Contents

TiVo Tip

Who’s your Daddy?



Amazon Unbox on TiVo

TiVo Fan Mail

Need Help?

Connect a TiVo box to a network

Watch one show, record another

Transfer TiVo service to a new DVR

Update my credit card

Learn how to use Manage My Account

Schedule recordings any time online

Get more helpful tips

TiVo Tip: Exercise your broadband connection

Exercise TV

With each passing year, the TiVo® service keeps getting wiser, but are you exercising it to its full potential? Now, with ExerciseTV on TiVoCast, TiVo viewers may never be called couch potatoes. Exercise on your schedule with ExerciseTV and find workouts that best meet your fitness goals, like Flexibility & Flow, 6-Pack Abs, Ripped & Toned and more! Get started…

To download TiVoCast programs:

  • From TiVo Central > Find Programs > Download TV & Movies > TiVoCast.
  • Browse the channels and find the programs you like.
  • Choose to download just one episode or “Get a Season Pass” and have each delivered to your Now Playing list just like regular recordings.

NOTE: You must be broadband-connected to download TiVoCast content.

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Who’s your Daddy?

Wondering how TiVo got so smart? The brains behind the original “box” originally come from his technological father, of course. Jim Barton, TiVo’s co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, reminisces about the birth of his baby in this Continental Magazine article covering “Idea Makers,” because remember, TiVo and DVR were born at exactly the same time–no chicken-or-egg question there!

Jim, who has seven TiVo DVRs at home with 3 terabytes of storage combined, 3 HD plasma TVs, and 2 SD TVs, was kind enough to “time-shift” his own busy schedule to share his current “CouchTime” profile with you, his TiVo family.

What’s on Jim’s Now Playing List:

Daily Show
Colbert Report
The Late Late Show

Criminal Minds
The Soup
Modern Marvels
Build It Bigger
Cities of the Underworld
The Universe
The Ultimate Guide
American Experience
Real-Time with Bill Maher

Photo by Charles Barry
for University of Colorado
Guilty-pleasure show:
The Batman
Favorite TV show as a kid:
Lost in Space
Favorite movie of all-time:
The Big Sleep

Editor’s note: In case you’ve always wanted to tell the man who invented TiVo how it’s made a difference in your life, now’s your chance. You never tire of hearing how cute and smart your baby is, right? And no card is necessary when you’ve got email.

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Smile, it makes people wonder…

Jeepers, creepers, where’d you get those… antenna! TiVo got its identity (both the name and its perfectly cute face) in 1997 from the big brains behind : : CRONAN : :. Because TiVo was a first-of-its-kind product and service, and about to forever change the way people viewed television, Michael Cronan asked, “What would we name the world’s ‘next’ TV?”

Starting with T and V, “i” and “o” soon became the winning vowels. Interesting also, that “i” and “o” were part of the name from the “Input and Output” engineering acronym—and “VO” had a nice connection to “vox” and “voce” (Latin for a vocal sound). Seeing the name in print, Michael Cronan then drew a smile under the word—a clever turn that literally put a smile on the face of a brand. Check out the baby pictures and learn more.

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WishList® Search suggestions

March is exactly the month ye should be literally pressing your luck in garnering some good television with a WishList® search–or four. Just prepare for a pot of golden programming.

How to create a WishList® search:
From TiVo Central > Find Programs > Create a WishList search > then…:

Keyword: BIRTHDAYLearn how to bake a cake + throw a party!
Actor: BYRNE, GABRIEL He’s gotten interesting work lately…
Category: Sports/BasketballExperience full-court press game action.
Title: The CommitmentsIt’s not your average Riverdance.

Once you complete your search, you can choose to “View upcoming episodes” every 14 days or so, or set it to auto-record every match.

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amazonUnbox on TiVo
Michael Clayton™
Available Now for Rental

Rent or buy movies without ever leaving
your couch!

There are 1000s of top movies and TV shows to download directly to the Now Playing List on your TiVo DVR from the Amazon Unbox Video Download Store.

Learn how to try it yourself.

Michael Clayton
The Kingdom
No Reservations
The Brave One

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TiVo Fan Mail

Take a cue from young Takara (pictured here) and celebrate the birth of an invention we couldn’t live without with cake! Plus, frosting–yum.


Hi there,
I’m a TiVo fanatic… My wife and I can’t stand TV without TiVo. And now our daughter thinks TiVo means “delicious.” Attached is a photo from the weekend.

Ben and Dannielle H.

P.S. I’ve been a TiVo user and lover since 2002…. And I’ve hosted a TiVo party (via your “TiVo Tasting House Party” promotion last year). I stickered my car with your “cling” and I always wear my Team TiVo cycling jersey when riding.

No, we don’t make this stuff up. You send us a story or photo of your favorite TiVo moment and we make a RECORD of it – from TiVo birthday cakes to TiVo tattoos to TiVo what-have-you.

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Fast Forward to Success with a Career at TiVo If you have questions or comments regarding this newsletter, you can email the editor. (Unfortunately, due to volume received, not every email can be answered, though Shanan wishes she could!) By submitting comments, you grant TiVo Inc. a nonexclusive, irrevocable right to use your comments in any way it desires without notice or compensation to you.

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©2008 TiVo Inc. The TiVo logo, TiVo, and WishList® are registered trademarks or trademarks of TiVo Inc. worldwide. TiVo Inc. 2160 Gold Street Alviso, CA 95002-2160. All rights reserved. Please feel free to review our Privacy Policy.

©2008 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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  • Mike Smith

    From Ben and Debra’s fan mail: “…and I always wear my Team TiVo cycling jersey when riding”.

    Where can I get my hands on a Team TiVo cycling jersey??? That would be awesome to have!


  • http://www.gizmolovers.com/ MegaZone

    I’d recommend emailing the editor, Shanan, and asking.