Extremely long and incredibly complex How DVDs are changing the way we experience TV By Steven Johnson | May 15, 2005 FIRST WE HAD ''appointment" television. You blocked out your Thursday nights to watch ''Cosby" and ''Cheers," and stayed in reliably every Wednesday for ''Melrose Place." And then, a few years ago, TiVo helped usher in the age of ''time-shifting." Suddenly, you could watch ''CSI: Miami" any night you wanted, as long as you'd trained your digital video recorder to capture each episode. If you felt like watching ''Saturday Night Live" at noon on Thursday, no problem TiVo would dutifully serve it up on demand without any of the tape-juggling and other hassles of VCRs. Time-shifting was supposed to revolutionize the way we watch TV. But while there's an undeniable shift towards more consumer control at work here, time-shifting hasn't changed the overall pattern of viewing TV shows: You still watch a standard rotation of programs you just get to juggle the rotation to fit your schedule. But I suspect (from purely anecdotal evidence) that a new pattern of television watching is on the rise one that I call ''extreme time-shifting"made possible now that the entertainment industry has taken to releasing entire seasons of TV shows on DVD, or in some cases via cable ''on demand," several months after they air. Instead of watching an assortment of shows through the week, you watch one show night after night until you've finished the season. So instead of ''West Wing" on Wednesday and ''ER" on Thursday, it's ''Sopranos" from April to mid-May, ''Arrested Development" from June to July, and so on. My wife and I have been devotees of extreme time-shifting for about two years now, ever since we found ourselves on a continuous jag of ''Six Feet Under" viewing that took us through three whole seasons in the space of about 90 days. When we emerged from that spell, we realized that watching television dramas in this continuous, committed way genuinely changes how you experience the content of the shows. TiVo's time-shifting makes television more convenient, but extreme time-shifting does something more profound: It makes television more meaningful even more novelistic by revealing the scale and intricacy of the stories it tells. . . . ttp://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2005/05/15/extremely_long_and_incredibly_complex/ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.