The digital video recorder is one of the most widely-used developments made in the television industry in recent years. These devices make it possible for you to skip through the commercials on your favorite shows and to schedule the recording of programs in advance of the air date. DVRs are available through most television service providers including satellite dish providers and, in some cases, the devices may even continue to work if you switch to cable TV service.
What Is a DVR?
A DVR is essentially the digital version of the VCR. Whereas VCRs record and store video content onto cassettes, also called tapes, a DVR records content to the unit's hard drive where it can be accessed at any time via remote through the television. A DVR can also pause, rewind and play back live TV. Multi-room DVRs have the capability to record multiple programs at once and play them back on any TV in the house, while single-room DVRs can only record and play one program on one television.
Recording Cable on Dish DVR
Most DVRs offered by television service providers are programmed to receive only the feed from the provider. In cases like with Dish Network DVRs, it's not possible to record cable channels on a Dish DVR because the devices are programmed to receive only satellite feeds. Depending on the cable company you subscribe to, however, it may be possible to connect an existing Dish DVR to the cable box to record cable channels. A serial cable, like those used to connect TiVo DVRs to television feeds, can be used to connect a dish DVR to the cable box as long as the DVR has a cable TV or antenna input.
What Dish Companies Have DVRs?
Two of the major names in satellite TV are Dish Network and DirecTV. Both companies offer single and multi-room DVRs including versions that can record high-definition programming. Dish Network offers five different DVRs, two of which can support one TV and three of which can support multiple TVs and two simultaneous recordings. DirecTV offers both a standard and an HD DVR in addition to the Whole-Home DVR service, which supports DVR recording and play-back on every television in the house.
Other Benefits of DVRs
There are a variety of DVRs available from different television service providers. Some DVRs have the capacity to record HD as well as standard-definition programming, as long as HD programming is available through the service package. DVRs that can record two programs at once also allow you to watch one show while recording another. Another modern feature included with many DVRs is remote programming. You can program, and sometimes access DVR recordings, over the Internet via your home computer, laptop and Web-enabled mobile device.
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