Are DVRs Good or Bad for Us?

As someone who have been covering the technology industry for years, I sometimes get caught up in the idea that everyone sees the same value in tech as I do. I believe that when a new product launches, the average person loves it as much as I do. And when a device I love has been updated, I fully expect to see the same level of excitement from my friends that I feel after hearing the news.

But as of late, I've learned the hard way that my love for technology is in no way universal. In fact, some of my closest friends and family members will look at something so appealing to me and find it to be boring or unnecessary.

That was the case over the weekend when I had an interesting chat with a friend. We were talking about some of the television shows we enjoy watching, and I mentioned that my DVR is packed with past episodes of shows I need to catch up on. I told my friend that I'd like nothing more than to have a couple DVRs connected to my television, so I could catch everything I'm interested in.

My friend, however, saw things much differently. He told me that he doesn't have a DVR in the home, and as far as he's concerned, there's no reason to have one.

[aquote]By using a DVR, he said, I'm investing more time in watching television than I should[/aquote]

As you might expect, I was taken aback. DVRs have become integral to my entertainment life. Without them, I wouldn't be able to watch half of the shows I enjoy now, and I would argue that I would have less time available to me to engage in other activities, such as work, exercise, and gaming.

But my friend sees things differently. He said that by using a DVR, I'm investing more time in watching television than I should. And he argued that our reliance upon DVRs to help us get through shows quicker by skipping commercials could hurt us in the long-run by forcing programs to bring more commercials into epsiodes.

Admittedly, I understood where he was coming from. And I can appreciate that DVRs, in some cases, can contribute to more television viewership than less, but I see no reason to not have a DVR in the home. Sure, it could do some harm, but can't it also do some good? After all, if you simply couldn't make it home to watch an important show, having a DVR as your backup makes great sense.

But as with anything else in this industry, there are some who see value in the addition of tech in the home, and there are others who don't. My friend says that DVRs are unnecessary, and when one considers their actual value to our daily lives, they don't even justify the $10 or so we pay our cable providers each month to have one.

And, he said, don't forget that services like Hulu and Netflix are out there to help us catch up on a series that we might have missed.

Though I won't agree with my friend, he makes some interesting points that serve as a solid jumping-off point for a discussion on DVRs: are they really necessary? Are they causing more harm than good in our lives?

Let us know how you feel about DVRs in the comments below.