Television on Your Schedule with a Digital Video Recorder (DVR)

By: Becky Jacobs

The introduction of the VCR changed so much for the television viewer. Before the introduction of the VCR, you had to watch the show when it was broadcast by the network – that was your only option. If you recorded your favorite show, you were able to watch it when you wanted to – and as many times as you wanted to. All you needed was a blank video tape and a VCR. That has all changed with the DVR.

A DVR, or Digital Video Recorder, is technology that takes all the great features of a VCR and places it in the digital age. Instead of multiple tapes, you have a single hard drive. Instead of degrading tape quality issues, shows are now recorded digitally that can last forever.

Instead of programming a VCR through a complicated interface of tiny buttons on a remote control, you can program your DVR through a simple point and click interface, possibly even from your home computer.

In addition to the ability to watch your shows whenever you want to, there is another benefit to the DVR that most people only mention quietly – the ability to quickly forward through your commercials. With everything being digital, a 30 second skip can be done with the click of a button. Imagine getting back 10 minutes of your life back for every hour of television your watch!

DVRs come in many shapes and sizes. There are set-top boxes that go right on your television set. They don’t require any other products to work. Some brand names of these options include Tivo and ReplayTV. Many satellite companies (and digital cable companies) such as Dish Network and Direct TV have options as well. Microsoft Windows Media Center is an option for Windows users. There are also options for the Mac and/or Linux user.

Once you have a DVR record your shows, you can watch them whenever you want. Some systems even let you transfer the content to a DVD or your laptop.

The Digital Video Recorder (DVR) changes everything for the television viewer. I hope you can join the revolution.

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