TiVo’s skip button changed how we watch TV forever

Photo by Avery White for The Verge

In today’s digital age, it sometimes feels like hardware has taken a back seat to the software that drives our devices. Button of the Month will look at what some of those buttons and switches are like on devices old and new to appreciate how we interact with them on a physical, tactile level.

For years, the word TiVo was synonymous with DVRs. Launched back in the heady days of 1999, the product came on the scene and quickly changed how we watched TV forever — and it all started with a button on its remote that represented a major leap forward in technology.

Before TiVo, you could record shows from a live broadcast on VHS tapes, but the process was limited and costly. You’d need a VCR that could record shows plus the tapes themselves,…

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