Understand How Your DVR Works

Posted by Bhavesh Joshi On Sunday, February 10, 2013 0 comments
A DVR is a piece of technology that is popular with many television consumers. However, there’s a lot to understand about DVRs before purchasing one. Read below to learn more about DVRs and their capabilities. 

What is a DVR?
Digital video recorders, or DVRs, are devices that allow you to record your favorite television shows to watch later. According to How Stuff Works, some DVRs come with dual tuners.  Dual tuners allow for the user to record two different programs at the same time. Other DVRs can allow users to record two different shows while watching another pre-recorded show and right now there are some that allow recordings of up to 5 or 6 shows.  Playback control is one of the biggest reasons why DVRs popular with television viewers. You don’t have to wait until the program has finished recording to watch it with a DVR. With a DVR, you can even rewind and pause live television while it’s being recorded. 

Parts of a DVR

Parts of a DVR

As stated above, the DVR is made up of a hard drive and tuner, along with the different jacks that connect to your television. The unit’s tuner recognizes the television signal either from your antenna, cable or satellite, while the hard drive stores recorded shows. If the signal comes from cable or an antenna, it is then funneled to an MPEG-2 encoder, which converts the signal from analog to digital. The signal is then sent to the hard drive for storage and the MPEG-2 decoder, which changes the signal back to analog and sends it to the television.

An operating system is also a part of the DVR. The operating system can be found on the unit’s hard disk along with recording space, a live broadcast buffer and, in the case of some DVRs, expansion space. 

DVR Types
There are different types of DVRs.  Three types of DVRS include stand-alone models, computer DVRs and set top boxes. 

·         Stand-Alone DVRs – A stand-alone DVR, like TiVo, is purchased and used to enhance the cable television viewing experience.  Aside from the initial purchasing price, this kind of DVR generally comes with a monthly subscription fee, which changes based on the amount of recording space your DVR has. To save money and space, look for DVRs that also have a DVD player built in.  

·        Computer DVRs – If you want to control your television from a computer, this DVR allows your desktop to connect to your cable system through a TV turner card. After the computer is connected, you can record shows directly to your computer hard drive, which is typically much larger than most set top or stand-alone DVRs, giving you more space to save shows. 

·         Set Top Boxes – Some set top boxes that consumers get from cable or satellite bundle packages might come with DVRs built in. Having your set top box and DVR located in the same device not only saves space, but means that the DVR will work well with your preferred cable package. If you have to pay higher fees for the additional DVR depend on the cable or satellite provider. 

Understand How Your DVR Works

How Much Does a DVR Cost?
Costs of DVRs can be as low as about $100 to as high as $17,000.The costs vary depending on storage space and special features the units come with. Depending on whether you buy a stand-alone or a DVR and cable/satellite bundle, the DVR you use might hold around 20 hours of HD/100 hours of SD programming or even up to 2,000 hours of programming.  

DVRs are helping television users keep up with their favorite shows. Do you already have a DVR or are you looking to get one? 


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