How Does a Stand-Alone DVR Work?by Contributor
How a DVR Works
A stand-alone DVR (digital video recorder) makes use of an internal hard drive to store the programs and movies. A stand-alone DVR can work in one of two ways. In the first way, the user can simply find out when their favorite program is airing and set the DVR to record it on a one-time basis. The second option is to subscribe to a service that sends information to the DVR about the programming options appearing that day, week or month. This makes using the DVR much easier and can allow the user to simply find programs within the system and easily set the device to to record them.
DVR give you the ability to pause and rewind live television. Many DVRs are set to record whatever is currently playing on the TV (sometimes in half-hour to one-hour bursts, before redubbing takes place). This allows users to pause the broadcast through their DVR if they need to leave the program for a moment or rewind it to replay something they may have missed. Some DVRs allow up to 300 hours of stored programming at a time. Dual channel DVRs allow the user to record two different programs at the same time.
DVRs are taking the next step in technological capabilities. Even now, there are DVRs on the market that can be hooked into the Internet, allowing the user to record media from the Web for playback on the television. DVRs can also be used to manage photographs taken with a digital camera. Some DVRs even analyze a user's television viewing habits and record shows they might find interesting. These recordings are always put on "low priority", meaning they would be the first to go if space were limited and shows the user intended to record were competing for the space.