One of the best technologies to hit the entertainment world in my limited lifetime is the DVR. Not VHS. DVR. We subscribe to the local cable TV company and that gives us a DVR to use. We use the DVR to time-shift programs that air when we cannot watch, so we can play them back when we can watch.
What about streaming TV? Is there a way to subscribe to streaming TV and be able to download, store, and then play back a TV show or movie? Hulu does it now if you’re on the No Ads plan. What about others?
Cable TV 1999
My understanding of Apple TV is that you get to download, store, and view later different shows– all on Apple devices, of course. That makes your Mac, iPhone, and iPad a virtual DVR. Not on streaming services have the same capability.
Google’s YouTube TV is one service we would consider when we decide to cut the cable TV cord. Why? You can record some TV shows and movies and play them back– DVR style– later. Still, YouTube TV is little more than 1999 cable TV with higher quality; similar channels and price tag, though.
What I want is what everyone wants and nobody is willing to provide. All video content on-demand. That would negate the need for a DVR-like feature, but you know you want it anyway? It’s difficult to stream Apple TV+ or YouTube or SlingTV while you’re flying in a plane or driving cross country.
My parents never figured out how to use a VHS recorder. Compared to the complexities of modern technology, VHS recorders were simple, so I worried they wouldn’t adapt to the DVR. They did. All it took was an understanding of where the schedules were on the remote, and then which buttons to push to record that show or movie. They figured out the rest.
The problem for most of us will be the same. All these streaming services need features to differentiate them one from another; price, content selection, ease of use, and so on. One feature that is a must for residents of the Nowak Tower is the DVR; or, the ability to download and store video to be played later.