Netflix is a movie rental service for which you pay a monthly subscription fee, which gets you access to a large library of DVD and Blu-Ray titles. In recent years, Netflix has expanded to offer streaming videos available to watch instantly online over a broadband connection. Netflix customers can watch the instant streaming titles on the televisions if they have Internet-connected Netflix-ready devices, including DVRs.
A digital video recorder permits you to record several hours of TV programming on the unit's hard drive, instead of tapes like a VCR, for playback at a later time. Modern DVRs allow you to record two shows simultaneously, set up season passes to automatically record every new episode of a specific show and can accommodate HD broadcasts. Additionally, DVRs permit you to rewind, pause, and fast forward live TV.
TiVo, the company that launched the first DVR, is the only company whose DVRs are currently Netflix-ready as of June 2011. TiVo's HD, HD XL, Series3, Premiere and Premiere XL models are compatible with Netflix online streaming. TiVo no longer ships the HD, HD XL or Series3 models. Tivo's current models are the Premiere and Premiere XL.
The TiVo Premiere is TiVo's newest flagship product. It has a high-definition user interface and records up to 45 hours of full HD programming. Recorded and live TV can be paused, rewound and fast-forwarded. When connected to the Internet the TiVo premiere provides access to a huge collection of Internet content from websites such as Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, Pandora, Rhapsody, Facebook and, of course, Netflix. The Premiere box retails for about $100 plus the cost of TiVo service -- $20 monthly or a one-time payment of $500, which provides service for the life of the box.
TiVo Premiere XL
TiVo's Premiere XL has all the features of the Premiere but can store up to 150 hours of HD video. The Premiere XL's video and audio are also THX-certified and the unit comes with a deluxe back-lit remote control. The XL box retails for about $300 as of June 2011.
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