Bloop Bloop – How to Say I Love You in TiVo

TiVo Singles Mixer
Davis Freeberg and his little buddy

By Davis Freeberg

Editor’s Note: Want to find out what happens when TiVo puts 300 single women in a room with just 10 single guys? Yeah, well so do we, but unfortunately that’s not what this piece is about. Still, as the resident single guy for Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection, we were able to coax Davis out of his apartment and away from his TV for a few hours last night to cover TiVo’s latest foray into, well, very social networking.

Despite Davis’ best efforts to use his drink tokens to loosen the lips of TiVo employees, he was unable to get confirmation on the rumor that last night’s events were merely the first overture by match.com to acquire TiVo.

For the complete Flickr set of last night’s festivities click through here.

Please note that Davis Freeberg is both a current shareholder as well as customer of TiVo. He’s also a bit of a TiVo addict who rambles on about TiVo this and TiVo that all day long.

Valentine’s Day. Every year it serves as a reminder to recognize the loved ones in your life. A chance to show why you fell in love with someone and an opportunity to fall in love all over again — a formal reminder to never forget to say I love you to that special someone in your life. It’s a beautiful holiday filled with great traditions and honorable ambitions.

Great of course — unless you happen to be single. I’ve spent a few pleasant Valentine days in my life, but unfortunately the vast majority of them have been when I was single. For the most part, I can do my best to look past the happy couples dining together, laughing like newlyweds and celebrating their happiness, but at some level, it always makes me a little sad. It’s not that I don’t appreciate my independence or that I’m unhappy with my life, it’s merely a sharp reminder that I’m still looking for my missing piece.

Fortunately, this year, TiVo added some joy to my Valentine’s day. Instead of letting single TiVo fans wallow in their loneliness, they decided to host a singles mixer event at the swank W hotel in San Francisco. It came off brilliantly.

TiVo Singles Mixer (21)

Now at first, I must admit I was a little skeptical. It seemed a little, well desperate. I mean internet dating has only just begun to hit mainstream, but TiVo speed dating? — it seemed way out there. On the other hand, where else would I find someone who loves TiVo more then I do, and besides, it not like I couldn’t time shift 24 to Tuesday night instead. After a little coaxing from Tom, I decided to check it out and was very surprised to find that it was not some cheesy singles event, but rather a community of people who all seemed to love TiVo. Rather then trying to make up silly games to make us interact, TiVo instead put out a lavish spread and gave people something to talk about.

Ahead of time TiVo had everybody register their favorite shows and wishlists. When you registered for the event, they gave you a name tag with three names printed on the back. The three names corresponded to people who liked the same shows as you. Once you registered you were encouraged to try and find your TV matches. From most of the people that I talked to, I got the impression that love needs to depend upon a bit more then just TV shows, but nonetheless everybody seemed to find plenty in common and people were all in very good spirits.

TiVo Singles Mixer (2)

Unlike my high school dances where the girls stayed on one side of the room and the guys stayed on the other, everybody seemed to mingle very well. You could definitely tell that more then a few people seemed to hit things off. Being able to talk about TV shows seemed like a real ice breaker and it helped contribute to the social environment. For the first hour and the half, people drank wine, enjoyed the chocolate strawberries and mingled about.

At about 8:30 TiVoShanan from the community forum came out and held a raffle for 14 TiVos with lifetime subscriptions. They had originally received over 500 RSVPs, but had to limit it to 300 people, so this gave everyone a 5% chance of winning. I was hoping to bring back some spoils for faithful Thomas Hawk readers, but regrettably I lost my raffle ticket while being distracted by a lovely girl I met.

They also gave away some nice W vacation package getaways. These might not work for this Valentines day, but they could be perfect for next year. The giveaway was fun and light hearted and it was a nice way for TiVo to top off the evening.

After the prizes were passed out people said their goodbyes and gradually the party started to break up. Overall, it was a pretty impressive event. TiVo coordinated the event without a glitch and it was great to see how nice TiVo fans really are (unlike Tom who can be mean). By focusing on people’s love of television, TiVo came up with a great way to help introduce people who have things in common.

The whole night everybody seemed to come back to TV and how much TiVo had changed their lives. Time shifting has forever altered television. It’s a way to filter through the unlimited noise that your 100 channel cable package seems spit out. The product has created a strong passion among TiVo owners and after spending an evening talking with others who love the technology as much as I do, I didn’t feel sad. Instead I felt warm and loved.

Update – CNET has weighed in with their coverage of the event. They offer a great overview of the event and some entertaining antedotes from the party. TiVo’s own blog has also posted a piece on the event.

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5 Comments

  1. Elinesca says:

    Way to go, Mr. Freeberg! Happy Valentines day! 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    So did you get any phone numbers?? -DZ

  3. Neil says:

    I know my Tivo is one of my best friends. I think it’s great that Tivo is now a matchmaker. But what happens when love blossoms and singles become couples — and move in together? I see trouble brewing. Who’s going to decide what gets recorded on the Tivo — sports or “The Gilmore Girls?”

  4. Thomas Hawk says:

    Neil, well it’s a good thing that Series 3 TiVo due out later this year will have multiple tuners in it to manage this important question.

  5. Anonymous says:

    They wouldn’t have to ‘decide’ anything.. they’d already have multiple separate Tivos.