Thursday, August 06, 2009

On Demand

My kids watch a television show or two in the morning, one around dinner time and, most nights, a show before bed time. These three times are when I need a little time for myself either to get stuff done or to just unwind. They watch in the morning because we are shaking out the cobwebs, getting ready for the day, making breakfast, SSS, feeding Jackson etc. The kids will sometimes watch a show while Lauren is making dinner. And I let them watch a show just before bed so I can take some time for myself to catch up on the news, have a cocktail or just surf on the computer. So, yes, essentially I let the TV babysit my kids for 22 minutes at night so I can have some "me" time. Selfish, I know.


When I click the On Demand button on my Verizon Fios remote control, I am usually doing it so my kids can watch an episode of Word Girl, Super Why or some other type of kids show.

When I hit the On Demand button on my Verizon Fios remote a few menus pop up with the categories of various shows or movies. I scroll down to the "Kids" tab, I press enter and then I search for shows. I find the show my kids want to watch and it takes 20 seconds to load into the cable box. The whole process take a minute to a minute and a half.

When I press the On Demand button, my kids are usually in the room, eyes fixed on the television, anxiously waiting to see Captain Huggy Face defeat Lady Redundant Woman. While I am trying to get to their program they are watching the commercials that automatically pop up on the upper part of the screen. The commercials are for the latest movies that Verizon Fios On Demand is pushing, such as Friday the 13th and Bloody Valentine. The previews show screaming people being chased by masked men carrying large sharp objects.

I know that that MPAA has approved that these previews are suitable for all audiences but, really, does FIOS need to run them while I am on the "Kids" menu? There has to be a better way.


The reason I am complaining is that these On Demand previews are giving my kids nightmares. One night Max woke up and told me about a dream he had with a guy getting a fork stuck in his eye. The next morning, when I asked him about the dream he told me he saw it on a commercial. I have not been able to figure out what commercial but I have to assume it was for a movie like Saw or The Ring. I am most positive that he saw this commercial while we were On Demanding.

Now being woken up at 2:00 in the morning is seriously cutting into my "me" time.

16 comments:

SciFi Dad said...

Our On Demand system works like this: when you choose the OD channel, it's actually a commercials page (same stuff you described) with text at the bottom telling you to press an action button (ours has A/B/C buttons on it) to load the OD. However, until it loads, you're stuck watching someone disembowel someone.

Once it does load, the homepage has similar content in one quadrant until you dig into a menu, when it finally stops.

However, I completely agree with you, this kind of shit is nonsense and needs to stop.

Brandy said...

That's horrible.

Have you talked to FIOS? I wonder if they have a setting you can change somewhere.

Or

Do you have a DVR? Start recording PBS shows, which is World Girl and Super Why and then you bypass OD all together.

I have a few PBS shows recorded to let the little one watch while I make dinner.

eclectic said...

That's actually my issue with professional sports broadcasts, as well. Some of the commercials are SO inappropriate for my kids, but our family LOVES to watch baseball and football, and it's really irritating that they promote pro sports as family entertainment but don't adequately screen the ads, IMO. Grrrrrrrr...

Anonymous said...

SSS?

Michelle said...

I agree with Brandy, go the DVR route. We have a TiVO & a ReplayTV and they are awesome! We rarely watch ANY commercials. On both of the DVRs, the pre-recorded screen shows only the menu listing of the shows, no commercials, no live tv. The only commercials that they see are at the end of their PBS/NickJr/Disney channel shows, all 100% kid appropriate!

I also love it because it allows me to TOTALLY control which shows my kids watch. If I don't record it, my kids don't usually know that my tv has it. My oldest is beginning to read & will often tell me if I missed telling them about a show that's listed in the DVR menu, when we're trying to figure out what to put on. I'm sure she would be asking for many other shows if I flipped through the channel guide in front of her. I understand this is short-lived as she's also been trying to "control" the remote lately so it's only a matter of time that she finds the "channel guide" button on the remote! But I'll take it while I can!

Roger said...

That's just wrong, I mean I can't imagine it being that hard to program kids shows when you are surfing for kids shows. I haven't noticed that with our OD channel, but maybe I'm just not paying attention, besides we either have the shows on DVD or on the DVR, so we probably don't go there much.

Anonymous said...

Poop Shower Shave

Anonymous said...

Where do I start?

A 22 minute cocktail? More like 11 2 minute cocktails.

Anonymous said...

Ask the viper what he does with his "me" time.

Anonymous said...

Obviously you told Max that the Man in his dream was "done".

Anonymous said...

I had a bad dream about a pumkin guy smokin cigarettes in a Santa Clause movie.

Ali said...

I agree, they have to come up with a better system. At the beginning of one of my kids' DVDs (Bee Movie, I think) there's a preview for a "kid" movie, but it scares the crap out of the kids every friggin' time. Thanks, advertisers!

Jess said...

I can't stand that! Happens to us all the time.

sari said...

The classic rock station I like to listen to during the day has been playing a lot of "male enhancement" issue commercials lately (their words, not mine). Do I have to explain to my seven year old son what "performance issues" are, and why ladies will appreciate you taking the time to take care of that?

Apparently, soon, yes.

Mindy said...

We have the same problem...

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