Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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"Warning Titles"

Subtitles that warn you of that awful plot
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Ever sat down to watch television, a nice, warm (except in the middle) microwave meal before you, only to be disappointed with the fact that there was ABSOLUTELY nothing good on the set? Now, with a revolutionary new machine, the "Warning Title", you simply switch on the television and get an instant prompt on whether anything good is on or not. Now, I know that you are asking, "How the hell does the machine know if anything good is on or not?". Simply put, when you first install the machine (much like a cable box on your television) you answer a series of questions to find your interests, and you are allowed to check which are your favorite shows. Once finished, you may then begin watching television. The first few months of programming for the machine will be based on television ratings. While watching a show, though, you are able to vote for or against a show. These votes are tallied, and then help decide whether the show is good or not. Eventually, you will be getting advice on what is good on television from the votes of all subscribers to the "Warning Title" network. You do, of course, have the option to ignore the subtitles that can have comments about the show or movie. If a show is given so many good votes, and it is on when you turn on your television, you will be prompted that such an excellent show is on. The same goes for those horrible and incredibly unforgiveable shows that everyone hates to admit they saw part of.
Salty Ham, Jan 10 2002

TiVo http://www.tivo.com
DVR... PVR... whatever the current fashionable acronym is these days. [waugsqueke, Jan 10 2002]

[link]






       Baked. Buy a TiVo.   

       They accomplish what you're after, by stripping out all of the extraneous crap you mention, and getting to the heart of the matter. It'll record shows it thinks you'll enjoy, based on your viewing habits.
waugsqueke, Jan 10 2002
  

       Tivo does part of this - it allows you to rate TV programmes and will then record other programmes which it thinks you will like.
hippo, Jan 10 2002
  

       Most people I know seem able to decide there's nothing on TV after about 3 seconds of channel-surfing. It would take longer to read the message.   

       My sister got a TiVo for Christmas, and its first recommendation was Clueless the series.
pottedstu, Jan 10 2002
  

       Well, no offense guys, but from pottedstu's message, Clueless the series sounds a bit too exciting for me.
Salty Ham, Jan 10 2002
  
      
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