Cheated by our DVR

We were recently cheated by our DVR – except for sports, where I actually make sure I work around the cheating, we have not been cheated. It has been a dependable piece of hardware (with its related software) and it has performed as per expectations for years now.

Until the past weekend. Until the Oscars, of all events. Not ‘How I met your mother‘, not ‘1 vs 100‘, not ‘According to Jim‘, but the biggie – the Academy Awards. I guess it wanted to make sure we understand we cannot take it for granted. Like a needy partner in a relationship, the DVR decided to make its presence felt by cruelly cutting us off the main awards!

So here’s what happened – when I saw the ads during the week for the Oscar Awards show on abc, I immediately set up two shows for recording – the actual show on abc at prime time, and the red carpet show on E! before that. I noticed something funky, but I did not bother much about it – the red carpet show on E! seemed to start at 7pm, whereas the actual awards show on abc seemed to start at 6.30pm! I just thought it is a weird thing and ignored it for some reason.

Anyway, as 9.00pm comes and some friends who were visiting us left, the wife and I parked ourselves on the couch and started watching the show. We zapped through all the acceptance speeches and commercials and reached the end of the recording before any of the sexy awards were handed out! No best actor, no best actress, no best director, no best movie, nothing! It was no fun to watch the best art direction, the best short animation, the best cinematography, etc. 😦

The guide information for the show was for only 3 hours and the recording stopped at 9.30pm and when we were done with whatever was recorded, we were left with Barbara Walters interviewing Ellen. BORING! What a letdown! It was unbelievable, literally. We could not believe that we were not able to see the rest of the show … it had never happened!

Then, I checked the red carpet show just for some consolation. And guess what – it had E! investigation about the bad luck that strikes lottery winners! Great! How about that?

What a disappointment it was, especially because I wanted to see Martin Scorsese get his first Oscar from his three peers and friends. I wanted to see Forest Whitaker get his best actor Oscar. None of that. I was resigned to enjoying it off the TV and on the computer. Thank goodness that technology at least makes it possible for me to see some of those things after the show is done.

But I have learnt my lesson. Do not take chances on shows you care about. Make sure you put the next 2 hours for recording. I usually do that with USC games and some NFL games. But I did not think Oscars would need it, especially with the recent discipline associated with acceptance speeches and such. Oh well. I will wait for the next year, nothing much else I can do.

Dear DVR, you cheated us!

Cross posted at


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