A DVR, or a Digital Video Recorder, is a device that lets the user record programs, movies, and other forms of videos on his computer. A DVR uses a hard drive to capture and store these videos. This is in contrast to a VCR, which uses video tapes to record videos.
A DVR provides a general recording interface consisting of menus. Through this environment, users can enter information, such as the TV channel where the program will be aired as well as the time and date when it will be shown. Before the DVR can display the menus for the said settings, it first has to be connected to the Internet.
A DVR presents a set of unique advantages. The image outputs of digital video recorders are significantly clearer than those produced by analog recorders. This digital device has features to pause, rewind, and fast-forward a live television show. A DVR also allows the user to search for specific shows he wishes to watch and record. He can even select the scene that he wants to capture. There are certain types of DVRs that enable the user to watch the first part of a show while the record captures the latter part. Also, a DVR lets users easily archive their videos by transferring them to DVDs or CDs.
Similar to other recording technologies, a DVR has a set of drawbacks. The user always has to have a large amount of hard disk space when he is using a DVR. Most DVRs also do not support High-Definition Television (HDTV) broadcasts. When a DVR is connected to an HDTV, the recorder will capture and display programs only in standard definition.