Satellite DVR . DVR Benefits . DVR Features . DVR Networking
Satellite DVR Features
Some Important Things You Should Know

The latest DVR offerings from DirecTV and DISH Network give you the ability to schedule and record your favorite TV shows directly onto an internal hard drive. By buffering the incoming satellite signal, they also give you the power to pause, rewind, freeze frame, and slo-mo a live TV broadcast. That being said, there are many significant differences between the different models currently offered by DirecTV and DISH Network. Knowing the finer points of DVR technology can help you decide which features you want to have.

Dual tuners mean Multi Channel Recording and Viewing

If you want to be able to record one channel while watching another, you will need to make sure that your DVR is equipped with dual satellite tuners. Having two tuners is like having two separate satellite receivers built into the same box. Incorporating dual tuner technology lets you watch one show while recording another, record two shows at the same time, or even watch a recorded show while recording two other live shows!

The truth about advertised recording times

The advertised recording time is the maximum you can expect when recording at the lowest quality setting. Recording times can be reduced by as much as 70% when the highest quality setting is selected. Another factor affecting recording time is the type of programming being recorded. Remember, we are in the digital world here, and motion intensive programs require more disk space than programs containing static scenes. Most home theater nuts (like myself) would never be caught dead watching video on anything but the highest quality setting, yet there are many folks out there that wouldn't mind, or even notice, a big difference between picture quality settings. My point is that selecting a DVR based entirely on its recording capacity may not be the smartest move.

Since programming is recorded to an internal hard drive, upgrading the recording capacity is a relatively simple procedure. Many aftermarket kits are available that make it easy to add a second hard drive or replace the existing drive with a larger one. There are even companies that will perform the upgrade for you, and transfer recorded material onto the new drive so you won't loose any shows that you planned on saving. Also, if your DVR has network capability, drive space is even less of an issue.

USB and Network capability

Connecting your Digital Video Recorder into a home network truly exploits its full power and flexibility. You may have noticed that most newer DVR's have USB Ports on the back. When shopping for a DVR make sure it has an Ethernet or USB port.

A networking port is important because unlike a VCR that records your shows onto removable media in the form of video tape, DVR's record onto a permanently mounted hard drive. What if you record a show or movie and want to take it to a friend's house for viewing? With a networking port, you will be able to connect the DVR into your home network and transfer recorded programs to your PC where they can be burned onto a DVD for easy transport. And unlike VHS tapes, DVD's won't degrade over time so your recordings will remain clear and sharp for years to come.




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