There are few things more annoying than setting up your video to record a programme, only to find that the golf has over-run the scheduled slot. My VCR supports Programme Delivery Control (PDC), which is a code supposedly sent by Ceefax to signal the start and end of any given programme, so that your VCR would start the recording at the right time, even if the schedules changed. However, it only works on analogue broadcasts, and when I say 'works' I actually mean 'works once in a blue moon'. So I abandoned that method a while ago, and just hope that the schedulers don't mess around with things too badly.
We're really enjoying EyeTV, and are increasingly using it to record stuff that we might have otherwise watched live. I watched my recording of ER last night, first snipping out all the adverts. It made the programme an absolute joy to watch, and reduced an hour of material to 42 minutes. Even fast-forwarding through adverts is annoying, and it's only when you watch something that you're used to seeing punctuated by breaks that you realise how much it improves the dramatic experience to see it ad-free.