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(Time) — Way back at the end of the last century, TiVo introduced its first digital video recorder (DVR) and changed TV-watching forever. Along with its short-lived archrival, ReplayTV, the company invented the idea of recording a single TV episode or an entire season’s worth to a hard drive with just a few taps on a remote control. It was a monumental advance over slogging through an onscreen channel grid or TV guide, not to mention futzing with VHS tapes.  People who have TiVo tend to love TiVo, but it soon found itself competing with knockoffs marketed by cable companies. The DVRs these companies rented to their customers borrowed TiVo’s concept but couldn’t match its user experience. (When it comes to usability, the person who designed the remote that Comcast gave me is either an ignoramus or a sadist. Possibly both.)

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