If, like me, you’re trying to catch as much tennis action from the U.S. Open as you can, I hope that you have joined the DVR age (and I hope, for your sake, that it’s not TiVo, with all its cutesy sound effects and its attempts to predict what you’ll like).
Pre-DVR, I spent far too many late Augusts whiling away the day into the night in front of the TV. I muted the commercials and pretended to be getting something done during those three-to-five minute lulls. (Sure, I taped many matches on VCR, but the longer you recorded, the worse the playback quality, and so ultimately that route just wasn’t meant to be.) These days, life during the Open has become blissfully controllable and streamlined, and not a moment too soon: is it just me, or are the commercial breaks getting a little more dense, and a little more frequent every year?
Here are a few great revelations that have sprung from the use of a DVR:
- You needn’t watch every point of a match.
- Watching for the next appropriate stopping point at 300x speed hones your vision.
- Commercials. No, but thank you.
- You can halve (or even third) your overall viewing time.
For seamless DVR viewing — in which you’ll be able to fast forward through not only commercials, but also promos, mini-drama biopics, and pre-match interviews — here’s a good rule of thumb: allow a lead time of 45 minutes to one hour if you’re watching USA Network coverage. Allow three hours if it’s on CBS.
Michael Shaw is currently following the Open from his couch on the West Coast.
>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage