The days of taping television for watching later are past. Well, at least the tapes are mostly gone. Now recordings are made on hard drives in devices called digital video recorders, or DVRs.
Currently, only about a third of U.S. homes have DVRs.
For those who haven't tried them, a basic recorder can radically change how they watch television. No longer are viewers forced to watch their favorite shows when they're broadcast. They can "time shift" to watch a show when it's convenient for them, and with much greater ease than the old VCRs.
But consumers are now getting much more for the money.
The recorders are tapping the Internet for streaming video and using home networks to share recordings among multiple rooms. Internet news, weather, and
[Getting video while on the move will be easier with new 4G wireless networks.]
Not everyone can choose their recorder.
Some are restricted to using a DVR from their cable or satellite company. But a better DVR is often reason enough to switch TV providers. It might even be reason to cut the cable service and high monthly bills. Here are some of the hottest new advances in digital recorders:
The new software now incorporates Adobe Flash, enabling
The premium service, however, costs a premium.
The Premiere starts at
Another box that can combine broadcast video with Internet streaming, the Moxi is a good option for homes with multiple TVs. The Moxi doesn't have monthly fees. Buyers instead pay the cost upfront, as the device sells for about
A top-of-the-line Moxi 3-Tuner 500GB HD Digital Recorder can record three channels simultaneously while replaying a fourth that's already recorded. The box is also easy to network to televisions in other rooms through Moxi Mate MP-1000 Digital Video Recorder (Black) extenders. Using a Mate feels like having another Moxi in the other room.
None of the Moxis have
While the DVR made it popular to time-shift, the Sling Media Slingbox brought us "place-shifting." Now the Dish Network satellite service has combined both functions into the Dish Network VIP 922 Sling Loaded Hd DVR. Recorded shows not only can be played anytime, the DVR will stream them across the Internet for viewing from anywhere.
Dish bought the groundbreaking Sling technology a few years ago. The SlingLoaded is the first to include the capability. A remote viewer can watch and control the DVR from any laptop or desktop with a broadband connection, and some mobile devices. Users can also watch live TV across the Internet.
The device includes all of the essential DVR functions of recording up to two shows at a time, a series
of shows, and it has a search function for finding the right ones. The 1 terabyte hard drive is among the
largest in DVRs, although it also holds downloaded movies that Dish sells as on-demand videos. The
Dish Network VIP 922 Sling Loaded Hd DVR
has a list price of
Cable and telephone companies aren't sitting still, with
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