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Definition

timeshifting

Timeshifting is the process of recording and storing data for later viewing, listening, or reading. In television, timeshifting can be done with a device called a personal video recorder (PVR) or a computer with a TV tuner card. In older systems, videocassette recorders (VCRs) sometimes have a timeshifting capability.

A personal video recorder (PVR) is an interactive TV recording device. 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 TV programs, but, unlike the VCR, it stores the programs in digital (rather than analog) form. In TV, timeshifting with a PVR offers several advantages over VCR technology, such as greater storage capacity, quicker navigation and program selection, enhanced ability to search and index programs, prioritization of recording/viewing, and recording/viewing by remote control over the Internet.

In a workplace setting, the term timeshifting is sometimes used in reference to flextime (flexible hours of work). In communications, the term timeshifting refers to the transmission of messages or data to be read, heard, or viewed by the recipient at a later time. E-mail, voice mail, and fax are common examples.

This was last updated in August 2005

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