One of the beauties of having a TiVo digital video recorder capable of saving more than 100 hours of video is setting it up to record all sorts of movies, and not feeling any serious demand to watch them right away. In addition to our myriad of season passes which catch us up on new episodes, we often give the TiVo an assignment to record movies at all hours - and it dutifully does so without complaint.
Our series one TiVo has been quietly taking down our orders for the better part of four years. In its library, it is holding on to an August 15th, 2003 showing of The English Patient, which I swear I'll finally see someday. It has a July 2005 Oakland A's baseball game, where the ANtics comics were featured. I play that gem every once in a while, when guests come to the house. And today, we unearthed the film Cold Mountain, which had been in deep storage since September of 2005 itself. For more than a year, it had occupied sectors on TiVo's hard drive, and patiently waited for us to watch it. For some reason, we never found time for Cold Mountain in 2006. Yet, today we did, and the picture was as clear as if we had recorded it this morning.
Barring video on demand, where we could, on impulse, order up any feature we wanted, our practice of storing up films on TiVo is the most-flexible way to ensure we always have entertainment on hand - and we aren't forced to take up physical space with new DVD cases or VHS tapes to do it. Too often we take technology's advances for granted. I for one hope I never stop being impressed.