ANSWERS: 3
  • Digital video recorders (DVR) record television (whether it's coming from your antenna, cable or a satellite) onto a hard disk, similar to that of a computer. This allows you to record many shows without changing tapes or anything - you just save them onto the hard drive and call them up at the touch of a button. Current DVR's also come with an on-screen show schedule, similar to those with digital cable, so you can see what shows are coming up. They also allow you to record any airing of a given show - for instance, you can tell it to tape every episode of "The Ricky Lake Show", if you were so inclined.
  • It converts a TV signal into a digital form and stores it on an internal hard disk drive. One of the big selling points is the ability to effectively pause and rewind live TV so you can do your own replays or take rest breaks and not miss anything because some (if not all) of these boxes will allow you to continue recording the live program while paused or reviewing something already on the disk. Like a VCR in some ways, but no rewinding, better forward cue and review, no tape-related loss of quality (traded for digital compression and coversion, but still better). Simpler interactive programming than many VCRs. About the only advantages the VCRs still hold are the ability to keep stuff on a shelf for a long time and the ability to duplicate a tape of your son's soccer game (or whatever) and send it to the grandparents...
  • It's a VCR that uses an internal hard drive instead of tapes. You want one if you do a lot of record/watch/erase patterns. You don't want one if you want to take a recording over to a buddy's house.

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