Toronto Mike

Pre-PVR Creative Solutions to Complex TV Issues


Please hold your laughter while I confess something.  American Idol is appointment viewing in my household.  In fact, it's the only show the entire family watches together.  My kids absolutely adore this show, and it's a big deal to them that Mom and Dad watch it with them and critique the karaoke with Simon and the gang.

Last night, American Idol aired at 8pm.  We had to watch it, but I had a television quandary.  Last Wednesday I screwed up the VCR recording of Lost.  I've actually ordered a PVR from Rogers since that error, but it's being shipped and hasn't arrived yet.  So last night I had to think fast on my feet...

Last week's Lost was airing on Buffalo's ABC affiliate at 8pm.  Victoria's A Channel was airing the new episode at 7pm their time, to accommodate some dancing reality show.  7pm Victoria time is 10pm Toronto time, so I could tape last week's episode at 8pm while watching American Idol with the family at 8pm, then Taryn and I could watch last week's episode at 9pm and this week's episode at 10pm.

Sounds like a plan, right?  Well... my Rogers digital terminal won't let me record a station I'm not watching.  If you have a digital terminal, you know what I mean.  The television has to be on channel 3, hence this inconvenient limitation.  That's when I rolled back the technology a few years to solve our dilemma.

I cut the digital terminal out of the loop and kicked it old school by connecting the cable directly into the VCR and then connecting the VCR to the back of the television.  Now I could record Buffalo's ABC affiliate to VHS while watching American Idol on CTV.  Then, at 9pm, we watched the enhanced airing of "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" before reconnecting the digital terminal so we could watch the Victoria A-Channel affiliate's feed of "LaFleur" at 10pm.

We're caught up with Lost and the Kids got to see AI.  Hopefully the PVR arrives today.

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About Toronto Mike
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