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DVR: Digital Video Recording. What You Need To Know

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by Joe Leech

The Digital Revolution is upon us.... In fact, itís been sneaking up on us for a long time with devices such as calculators, digital watches, and many other consumer goods, not to mention the devices we actually use but see very little of. Such devices are common to us in "the first person" in the form of many automotive controls in our car, and indirectly common to us if we fly.. things like aircraft engines, etc.

But the first area possibly to have a major impact in terms of comparison has been in the cameras we use. This effects us both in camcorders and in the still cameras. While the purist will probably always win the argument that the film camera gives greater quality control than the digital, there are those who would argue against this principal very vociferously.

Now, most Americans who own a TV are about to experience first hand another upward leap on the scale of digital technology as our televisions will be mandated to use digital transmission and reception technology within the next few years. Yes, for many years our current televisions will still work.. possibly with adapters, and the upgrade is not too unlike the upgrade from the old AM radio to FM, or if you are a "ham" from AM to SSB.

Sometimes we have to wonder if progress takes place simply for progress own sake.. or to justify some new selling point or to create obsolescence so the engine of progress can march on.

Without going into a technical discussion of digital Vs its predecessor, analog, and going the comparisons of an analog watch (one with hands) to digital, suffice it to say that in this case, the move to digital technology in most cases DOES bring substantial benefits. Clarity, use of less power, higher resolution when it comes to video.. these are but a few. However, it is not the scope of this article to lead into a technical discussion which could fill pages, but to "segway" and introduce one to the subject of DVR: Digital Video Recording.

The DVR is on the way "in" and the old recording devices are on they way out at about the same speed as your old 33 1/3d and 45 RPM records.. and the VHS tape you use. Probably half the of reader base of this article owns and has used a DVD player by now, and you see the many advantages of not having to contend with tape that gets tangled in heads some times, must be rewound, and has limited audio and surround sound capability. Recording with the VCR has always been a challenge, particularly if one wants to record multiple programs at multiple times, or do an extended recording. Instant and simultaneous replay is virtually impossible.

With DVR, which by the way not only applies to the entertainment area, all of these things become things of the past, and options open up that were not previously available.

One can either own equipment and record on site, with the most commonly known device being the TiVo.. although there are devices now made by virtually every known electronic manufacturer. The only question in buying one of these is, "Will this become obsolete in 36 months?" A web site referred to in the resource block goes further into evaluating this.

The other option is to let a outside source do the recording. Many of the TV cable providers offer this as an optional service now. You donít have to buy a thing.. only be a subscriber to their DIGITAL service (which we all will be eventually).

In the meantime, the only question is, "Do I want these benefits now enough to pay the cost for them?". Thatís an individual question.

In the meantime, this article gives those who have come across it some general background, and the opportunity to prepare some questions before wondering into your TV and Electronics dealership. We suggest you prepare by doing searches on terms like HDTV; "digital ready", "digital TV converters"; "Digital Recorders". Ask about the total number of inputs; the total recording time; Ask if you can make a copy of the recording onto a CD or DVD, and will it play universally, or only on the machine it was recorded on.

Many questions.. but in the end, all of us will soon be in the DVR owner ranks.

About the Author

Joe Leech has been involved with electronics since getting his first "ham" license in high school, and keeping up with DVR technology is just natural. His full service DVR information web site can be seen at http://www.new-dvrinfo.com.

author@leechent.com

Source: ArticleCity.com