Has got to be my Tivo box. I'd be completely lost without it and it's one of the few gadgets that even Katie appreciates. It's just a shame that due to a stroke of marketing incompetence you can no longer currently buy them in the UK unless you're willing to pay over the odds on eBay, and even then the options are drying up.
This device if you don't know is a personal video recorder that was around before Sky+ and originally marketed by Sky. It is superior to sky+ in many ways, especially the Season Passes (pretty much every single program has one), unlike sky+ where only the popular channels have season passes. I understand this is getting better. I upgraded mine to a 120GB hard drive last year and have never run out of space since then. I still have some programs on there from last October than I need to offload onto DVD when I get a chance.
It came into it's own last night when the Portugal v England match was on. I was at a spinning class so missed the first 10 minutes of the match. What happens in minute 3? a goal, to England, by Michael Owen. The Tivo allowed me to rewind the live TV and watch the goal and then pause live TV when I went to cook tea.
However when Portugal equalised in the 80th minute I had to go and watch something else as I just knew it would end in penalties and I couldn't take the strain.
I ended up watching last weekends British Touring Car Championship from Mondello Park in Ireland. That racing is much more exciting than the current F1 season. The TiVo kindly recorded this even though it's not on every week and is usually on at different times.
On the subject of great TV
I've just finished watching season 3 of The Shield. If you've never seen this, do yourself a favour and get it on DVD. It is a gritty US cop drama (oh no! not another one) but it doesn't pull any punches and focuses on the corruption and natsy side of police work. The lead character is a hero one minute and a crook the next. Excellent viewing.
I can also recommend The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Nip/Tuck and Season 3 of 24 is getting better and better. Notice how there aren't any UK programs there? Bring back Cracker, or Spooks I say.