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(1) (Digital Video Recorder) A device that records video from up to a dozen or more surveillance cameras onto a hard disk. The frame rate can be switched from real time to time lapse in order to save storage space. Digital recorders are more flexible than earlier analog VHS tape systems, and the video can be easily transmitted over a computer network. See CCTV.

(2) (Digital Video Recorder) Also known as a "personal video recorder" (PVR) or "hard disk recorder," a DVR is a consumer device that allows the viewer to pause and rewind any broadcast, cable or satellite TV program as well as record and play back selected programs (see live pause). An order of magnitude more flexible than earlier videocassette tape recorders (VCRs), an entire season of programs from one or more favorite series can be recorded.

DVRs may be built into the set-top box or replace the box using plug-in modules (see CableCARD). They store incoming digital TV signals on the hard disk as well as digitize analog TV into the MPEG-2 format. The video may be compressed to maximize storage space.

Part of the Service or Stand-Alone
The DVR periodically downloads channel program guide updates as well as software updates for the unit itself. When the DVR is integrated into the cable or satellite set-top box, the downloads ride the same medium as the TV service. When the DVR is stand-alone, the downloads come in via the home network.

Before the Turn of the Century
DVRs first came on the market in 1999 with products from ReplayTV and TiVo ( They quickly made the VCR obsolete for timeshifting TV programs, and Tivo became the DVR leader. ReplayTV was later acquired by SONICblue, D&M Holdings and eventually the DirecTV satellite TV service ( See cloud DVR, multi-room DVR sharing, live pause, DVD recorder and networked DVR. Contrast with NVR.

This earlier DVR from ReplayTV appears in front of the Find Shows screen, which enables a viewer to search for programming throughout the week by keyword. (Image courtesy of ReplayTV.)
References in periodicals archive ?
TiVo Corporation (NASDAQ: TIVO) is a global provider of entertainment technology and audience insights.
We are confident joining forces with TiVo profoundly enhances our ability to seamlessly deliver industry leading video discovery solutions that drive superior customer satisfaction and better usage metrics for video services.
Only the TiVo Service from Atlantic Broadband offers the complete combination of features and capabilities to include:
For more InsideCounsel coverage of TiVo lawsuits, see below:
Focus does promote the TiVo fitter KidZone, which allows parents to screen what their children watch, but there's no formal relationship, claims TiVo senior VP Joe Miller.
Through IRI's BehaviorScan brand marketers, advertisers, media networks and others will be able to test specific advertising while tracking the purchasing behavior of TiVo households and to then compare that information with generic DVR and non-DVR households within the same market.
With its strong southeastern presence and renowned customer satisfaction, BellSouth is uniquely positioned to market the benefits of a broadband- connected TiVo Box.
TiVo was the best thing to happen to television since the remote control, but now the company that invented the digital video recorder is struggling to keep from becoming the next Betamax.
Rogers, former CEO of Primedia and one-time president of NBC Cable, has been a TiVo board member since 2003.
Not that TiVo wants subscribers to stop using the service.
TiVO is one of the most increasingly popular electronic home entertainment systems in the market today.
In an episode of Sex and The City, Cynthia Nixon's Miranda replaces a former flame with a newfound adoration for TiVo.