What Is a DVR Receiver?

By Cheri Pearson

Most cable and satellite TV companies offer DVR receivers.
i remote control image by Kelly Kane from Fotolia.com

Many households have cable or satellite television that requires special equipment to view the channels. Digital Video Recorder (DVR) receivers are a combination of a DVR and a cable or satellite television receiver.


The DVR component of the receiver allows the user to record programming for later viewing. One widely advertised feature is the ability to pause live TV. You select the program you wish to record from the on-screen channel guide, and you can view it later on demand.


The receiver is the modern-day equivalent of the old-fashioned cable or satellite box, which is responsible for the reception of TV programming from the cable or satellite company. This information is delivered to the receiver in the form of a signal. The receiver then decodes the signal and displays it on user's television screen as an image.


Two important features to consider when considering a DVR receiver are the number of tuners and the amount of storage space. The number of tuners determines the maximum number of channels the receiver can access at any given time. The storage space determines how much recording time is available on the hard drive of the unit.


Pricing for DVR receivers can range from about $100 to more than $1,000, depending on the brand and features of the unit. Cable and satellite customers typically lease the equipment. The cost of the lease is included on the monthly billing for the service.