By Elliot Badelliot


Have you ever been watching American Idol when out of no where a crazy person from the audience runs up to the stage in the middle of the soon to be winnerÕs (in your opinion) performance with a tube of lipstick screaming ÒIÕm going to kiss you!Ó and wanted to replay the kiss?  IÕll bet you havenÕt, but still!  Now you can pause live TV and watch it over again.  DVR is the way to do this.  In my report I am going to tell you all about what it is, history, how it works, and subscription.  It should be very interesting.

What it is

DVR is fascinating.   DVR is short for Digital Video Recording.  According to Wikipedia Inc. It is a way to record your favorite TV shows without even using videotape!  The shows are recorded onto a hard drive machine.  Once the show is recorded, you can pause it, rewind, fast-forward, stop, ect.  It is a very cool thing.

What does it look like?  Most DVR companies will tell this information.  To have a DVR, you will need a TV, cable service, and a DVR box.  The machine that the shows record onto looks identical to any DVD player.  They come in many shapes and sizes and are all about the size of a DVD player (see picture at bottom).   You can use any TV, but will need cable service.  You usually buy the box from your DVR service provider.


Did you ever wonder who had the great idea to invent DVR and why they invented it?  I can now tell you!  According to Digital Trends News, the company called Replay TV was the first company to come out with DVR.  They are believed to have been the first and real inventers in 1997, but other people think differently.  We will never really know for sure.  The reason why they invented it was pretty simple.  Have you ever had to go somewhere when your favorite TV show was on and missed it?  Have you ever gotten so bored from watching commercials that you were going to quit watching TV forever?  Most people have. That is why they invented DVR, so that you donÕt have to miss your favorite shows, so that you can pause live TV, and so that you can skip the commercials.  It was a very good idea, and is now a popular trend all around America.   

How it Works

What Special Features does it have? DVR is amazing.  According to Dish network, you can record any show on TV and then replay it back using fast-forward, rewind, pause, etc.  You can also pause live TV, leave, and then come back later and watch the rest of your show using rewinding, etc. - Even though the show is not recorded.  It is very cool.

DVR box details.  After some deep web searching, I figured out that a DVR box is controlled by a remote control most often (see picture at bottom).  The boxes can usually weigh anywhere from 9-15 pounds.  There are not many people that fix DVR boxes because almost every box supplier will replace your broken box free of charge even though the boxes almost NEVER ever break.  They are basically indestructible.

How does the machine store the shows?  According to Wikipedia inc. the recorded shows are stored on a hard drive-based storage devise inside of the DVR box.  The hard drive is run by a customized operating system that is also inside of the DVR box.  To set your TV to record a show, it is simple.  You just select one show and then you choose the settings such as, all episodes, new episodes, once, ect.  It is super easy. 

Does it ever not work?  Some people may question the reliability of DVR.  There is really no need.  According to Dish Network, DVR is not like your cable at all.  It should always work unless your cable goes down, if so, it will keep all of your recorded shows saved on its hard drive until the cable is back up.  That is why DVR is a smart purchase.

Is it available on computers? DVR is indeed available on computers. It is offered by the company, Replay TV.  According to them, in order to have DVR on your computer you will need a video card to get cable reception.  From there, you will need a tuner card to get the actual DVR service (see picture at bottom).  You just insert both cards into your computer and it will be like a portable TV.  It even uses a remote!  The tuner cards are scarcely available, but lots more companies are catching on and will soon be offering the service.


DVR is becoming a popular trend in homes all around America. Buying the DVR service is so easy! According to Dish Network, you can have DVR installed, with out HDTV subscription.  To buy a DVR box it can cost anywhere from 80-350$ depending on what you want (see picture at bottom).  From there you have to pay a monthly subscription that can range anywhere from 6-209$ depending, again, on what you want. Some cable companies offer a free install with a new cable TV subscription.  The local companies that offer DVR service include Comcast, Dish Network, TiVo, Replay TV, some HDTV providers, and some electronic stores offer a limited time subscription.

DVR is almost perfect already, but there is one thing that could be improved.   After a detailed infer, I decided what could be the most likely thing to improve.  At the moment, you can only record 2 shows at the same time, using 2 TVs and one box.  That means there is only 1 show recording on each TV, and that you need one box for every two TVs.  So if you have three TVs, one will not have DVR unless you buy another box.  Crazy!  So they need to make the DVR boxes hook up to every TV in your house, instead of just two.


In conclusion, you might think of DVR as a non-tape using video recorder.  I have told you all about its history, what it is, how it works, and hopefully I have taught you enough about subscription, that you will want to buy one.  It is a very good investment, and helps you to not waste so much time on TV.    I have totally enjoyed learning about DVR, and I hope that you have too!














DVR box










Remote Control





                                                          Tuner Card





Brain, Marshall

How GPS Receivers Work

7 April, 2007

Great article



Wikipedia inc.

Digital Video Recorder

23 April, 2007

This is a wonderful website that tells all about DVR.  It has a picture, some links, and some history of DVR.



Digital Networks North America Inc.

Replay TV

24 April, 2007

This is a companies' website.  It tells all about the product Replay TV.  It also has a lot of information about how DVR works.




Choose a box

24 April, 2007

This is another companies' website that offers information.  It offers subscription, tells about the boxes, and more.



eBay inc.

DVR boxes

24 April, 2007

This is a webpage containing lots of DVR boxes that are for sale.



Jeff Fila

DVRs and HTPCs: The Battle For Your Living Room

24 April, 2007

This is a great article that tells all about DVR.  It also tells lots about HTPCs.



Time Warner Cable

Digital Video Recorder

26 Aprirl, 2007

This website has a lot of details about how DVR works, and some of its special features.  It also has some other special links that have to do with DVR.



Anthony Crupi

The Fix Is In:A DVR

27 April, 2007

This is a special article that tells all about DVR repairs.  It has some great links and awnsers all of the likely questions.