Moving countries throws a lot of habits out of the window. Some I’m more than happy to lose and have replaced them with much healthier ones like walking 4 miles a day (the dogs like it too). My magazine habit is tricky as air freight on some of my favourite titles means that they cost as much as NZ$20 per issue. That sure makes you think, do I really want this? Or, should I subscribe (only one title has made it over that fence so far – Vanity Fair).

As a side issue, international subscription for magazines is a really poor experience. Conde Nast and other really need to examine that experience as it’s far from optimal. The focus is on local subscribers, which while I understand, completely drives me nuts as I’m in New Zealand not New Jersey (thank goodness).

However, what has changed most is my TV viewing habits. In the UK, I used a PVR extensively, so much so that I didn’t know when programmes were originally broadcast. I simply would scan papers, sites etc to find out about new shows, try one, if I liked it then record the series. That way, in typical PVR fashion, I would watch what I wanted when I wanted. Of course, for advertisers I was a nightmare, flicking straight over the ads. Heck, I even learned how to time my fast forward so I could jump from the start of the ad break to the end. Interestingly I would be exposed to the show’s sponsors but would miss all the 30-second slots in-between.

Moving to New Zealand stripped me of that equipment – it’s available but I’m still sorting out other ‘stuff’. So, I was back in the analogue world of scheduling etc. Choices of programmes and channels aside, I tried, really tried to get back to the ‘old’ way of watching a programme when a channel had decided to schedule it but after only 8 weeks it’s all broken down and I’ve given up on TV and stick to web (and not TVNZ’s on demand service – it’s impossible to use) and DVDs.

I simply can’t go back (bit like flying business class on a plane). I’ll get TiVO or (spits on ground) Sky and go back to PVR viewing. That freedom of choice and timing is too damn good to give up, and it’s not to skip ads. I perfectly understand their purpose but as mentioned it seems pointless when you don’t have to so that model will have to change to capture my eyeballs.

That said, there will always be those scheduled events – sports and other live events – that will draw me back to analog TV but those are few and far between. Especially in New Zealand, where Sky’s locked them down even more tightly than in the UK. Way to go sports bodies – figured out why participation and attendances are dropping yet?

And those ‘watercooler’ moments aren’t gone but now tend to be focused on what I called passion points where you are really excited about something televisual but they tend to be more about series as a whole rather than the latest micro event in Coronation Street et all.

Is this a common thing, of course not yet. Adoption of these technologies is growing but by no means universal but that simply frees up conversation time for more meaningful things for now 🙂

Mark Cuban has covered the business side of things for PVRs vs Internet video on his blog and good reading it makes too.