Time shifting

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We've always taken the broadest possible view of frugality. Frugality is avoiding waste as you pursue a life consistent with your values. While we usually talk about saving money, there are lots of other forms of waste. You can waste your time, your energy, your attention.

I discussed avoiding advertising in Hannibal Lecter's frugality advice way back in February. Here's one small application of that that saves time, too: watching TV live is for chumps, when you have the alternative.

Well, okay, if you really want to see something as soon as possible, and don't want any chance of the end being spoiled, then maybe watching live is the right choice. But for the rest of the time, don't let Mr. Rogers' testimony have been in vain. You can watch TV on your schedule, beginning and ending whenever you want, pausing whenever you want, skipping over whatever you want.

There are lots of fancy PVRs these days. Being a geek, I built my own (one of our two existing desktop computers + TV Tuner card + free software.) We pay $20 annually for access to the schedule information. I couldn't see paying a monthly fee for this.

But there are still VCRs, updated with DTV tuners. They're not as fancy, but they work. (Some old-school VCRs may be able to work tolerably with a DTV converter box if they had IR blasters intended in their day to talk to cable TV boxes. Clunky, but it could work.)

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