Browse Definitions:
Definition

personal video recorder (PVR)

A personal video recorder (PVR) is an interactive TV recording device, in essence a sophisticated set-top box with recording capability (although it is not necessarily kept on top of the television set). Vendors and media also refer to the units by these names: digital video recorder (DVR); personal TV receiver (PTR); personal video station (PVS); and hard disk recorder (HDR).

Like the familiar VCR, a PVR records and plays back television programs, but, unlike the VCR, it stores the programs in digital (rather than analog) form. Like a VCR, a PVR has the ability to pause, rewind, stop, or fast-forward a recorded program. Because the PVR can record a program and replay it almost immediately with a slight time lag, what seem to be live programs can be manipulated as though they were recorded programs (which they actually are). A PVR's capabilities include time marking, indexing, and non-linear editing. The PVR encodes an incoming video data stream as MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 and stores it on a hard disk within a device that looks much like a VCR.

Most PVRs come as part of a subscriber service that may or may not charge a monthly fee. The service enables such activities as searching for shows according to type (movies or baseball games, for example), choosing among video-on-demand (VOD) options, or doing shopping or banking. Service providers, such as TiVo and ReplayTV, may also sell PVRs. There are a number of PVRs on the market, including TiVo's DVR, SONICblue's ReplayTV, Sony's SVR-2000, and Philips' PTR. There are also products that offer similar functionality but are software-based (such as SnapStream Personal Video Station) or network-based. The Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) Project is an industry consortium dedicated to the development of standards for PVRs and other digital video technologies.

There are a number of controversial issues surrounding the capabilities that PVRs and similar technologies enable. For example, ReplayTV makes it possible to skip through commercials by using a 30-second "auto-skip" function. This capacity is popular with consumers, but not with advertisers. Another feature, the ability to download programming from the Internet and to send files to friends, is similarly unpopular with service providers, since it can enable a user who hasn't paid for a service (such as HBO) free access.

This was last updated in September 2005

Continue Reading About personal video recorder (PVR)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)

    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a Congressionally-established nonprofit that assesses audits of public ...

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

SearchSecurity

  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

    The Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES, is a symmetric block cipher used by the U.S. government to protect classified ...

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • spear phishing

    Spear phishing is an email-spoofing attack that targets a specific organization or individual, seeking unauthorized access to ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...

  • GlusterFS (Gluster File System)

    GlusterFS (Gluster File System) is an open source distributed file system that can scale out in building-block fashion to store ...

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an OS that allows a computer to compensate for physical memory shortages by ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • SSD caching

    SSD caching, also known as flash caching, is the temporary storage of data on NAND flash memory chips in a solid-state drive so ...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close