[…] High Definition DVR – Satellite TV GuruSatellite TV and Internet Information, Reviews, and Deals A High Definition DVR (Digital Video Recorder) allows you to record all of your favorite shows and movies in HD. […]
A High Definition DVR (Digital Video Recorder) allows you to record all of your favorite shows and movies in HD. A High Definition DVR works exactly the same way as a standard DVR or Tivo with the added ability to record in HD. Recently HD DVR’s have become more common and fairly inexpensive, especially if you are a Cable or Satellite TV subscriber.
You can also record television in HD on your PC with an HD TV Tuner card however these cards can only receive over the air broadcasts in HD because the HD channels from your Cable and Satellite TV company are encrypted.
Satellite TV High Definition DVR’s
There are two major Satellite TV companies, DirecTV and DISH Network. Both of these companies have High Definition DVR’s available to buy. DISH network currently offers a few different DVR’s, however the ViP722 DVR is the top of the line model. The ViP722 has a duel-tuner, which means you can watch one show while recording another. This HD DVR can record both in both standard and high definition and holds 350 hours of SD recording compared to 55 hours of HD recording.
There is one downside to the ViP722 and that clearly is the price, at around $200 to upgrade plus a monthly fee it will set you back quite a bit. If you can afford it however it’s definitely worth it if catching your favorite TV shows often conflicts with your busy schedule.
DirecTV also has a duel-tuner HD DVR called the DirecTV Plus HD DVR. The DirecTV Plus HD DVR has a 250GB Hard Drive and costs about the same as it’s arch rival over at DISH Network ($199), although the prices are constantly changing so don’t quote me on that. There is a DVR fee of $5.99 that is added to your bill each month. DirecTV recently launched a web service that allows you to schedule recording for your DVR via the DirecTV website using a computer or your mobile phone.
Cable TV High Definition DVR’s
Comcast is the largest cable provider in the United States and offers a few HD DVR solutions. The Comcast Scientific Atlannta 8000 HD Box has a 160 GB hard drive which allows you to record up to 80 hours of standard definition programming, and up to 20 hours of High Definition programming. Comcast also offers a Motorola HD DVR with similar stats. Comcast currently leases customers DVR’s for a small monthly fee, so you don’t have to go out and buy the DVR you just add the DVR service to your programming package.
High Definition TV Tuner Cards
As I said above there are also cards that allow you to record High Definition programming on your computer. HDTV Tuner Cards are an entirely different mountain to conquer, so I have written an article that explains how to get started and that outlines some good cards.
Just got a fancy “media center” computer with an HDTV Hauppaige tuner card. The cable signal passes through my cable box first (where, I assume, the signals are unencrypted) and moves on to my computer for recording. The HD channels are being recorded, but the quality isn’t so great, and the picture is scrunched in the middle. Adjusting settings in Windows Media Center doesn’t help. Is it possible that the cable co. or box is distorting the signals to force me to rent a DVR from them?