Before TiVo launched in 1999, recording a television show typically involved VHS tape and infinite patience to learn how to program your VCR. Today, the world is increasingly dominated by all things digital. Recording weekly series, movies and sporting events is no different. Digital video recorders (DVRs) replaced the video cassette recorder and offered a simpler way to record and store can’t-miss cable TV programming. Learn how to use your DVR here.
Buy or rent?
If you have cable TV service from a local provider, you typically have two options when it comes to a DVR: buy your own or rent one from the cable company.
To keep up with the latest trends in this ever-changing technology sector, you are better off renting from the cable company. It’s cheaper to rent a DVR box for $10/month (average price) than to buy your own DVR, which could be obsolete in a year. DVR manufacturers constantly improve storage capacities. To stay up-to-date on the latest and get more from your DVR, renting from the cable company is your best bet. Hedge your bet when you sign up for cable TV service during promotional periods. DVR and HD services are often discounted or even FREE during these times.
If you are going to buy your own, the TiVo® Premiere line is pretty impressive. Much like Apple TV®, TiVo® Premiere series DVRs give you access to TV Apps, such as Netflix® and huluPLUS®, in addition to their recording capabilities. The highest capacity TiVo® Premiere XL4 can store up to 300 hours of HD programming. You can get a TiVo® Premiere DVR starting at $149.99 plus service costs. The aforementioned TiVo® Premiere XL4 starts at $399.99 plus service costs. Service starts at $14.99/year for the first year with month-to-month billing after that.
Hopper or Genie?
Satellite customers can choose between the DISH® Network Hopper™ or the DIRECTV® Genie™.
DISH® Network customers can add Hopper™ DVR service for $10/month plus $7/month for each Joey receiver. Hopper™ can record up to 500 hours of HD programming in four rooms with one Hopper™ and three Joeys. The PrimeTime Anytime™ feature allows Hopper™ subscribers to skip commercials on select primetime TV shows. Customers can also connect their Hopper™ to the Internet to access apps such as Facebook, Pandora and Twitter.
DIRECTV customers can add the new Genie for $20/month (Advanced Receiver fee). DIRECTV is currently offering a FREE upgrade to Genie and three receivers with every DIRECTV package. You can record up to five HD shows at one time with a single Genie HD DVR. Genie also offers a storage capacity of one terabyte for hundreds of hours of HD storage. Connect your Genie to the Internet and get access to thousands of shows and movies On Demand. When you’re connected to the Internet, you can also watch YouTube videos and access Facebook and Twitter, all from your TV.
DVR options are many and varied. The most important thing is to find the one that works best for you. Get a DVR that fits the way you watch TV and your budget.