Personal Video Recorder that stores programmes digitally for subsequent playback.
A Personal Video Recorder or PVR, also known as a Digital Video Recorder or DVR, is a consumer device that records programmes digitally on an internal hard drive.
TiVo produced one of the earliest devices helped to define this category of consumer products. This was originally available on a subscription basis, although it has subsequently been incorporated in other devices. Similar products are available from a variety of vendors.
In the UK, BSkyB markets Sky+ as a premium service, tightly integrated with their Electronic Programme Guide or EPG.
Typically, in addition to providing a convenient means of recording and replaying programmes, a PVR enables the viewer to pause and replay live television and provides functions to allow fast searching through pre-recorded material, a facility that is frequently used to skip through promotions and commercials.
By offering an instantly accessible library of programmes, a PVR frees the viewer from the constraints of a traditional television schedule.
Many devices incorporate more than one tuner to allow one channel to be recorded while viewing another, or to allow more than one channel to be recorded while viewing a recording.
When incorporated in a digital receiver, the broadcast data stream is recorded, resulting in reproduction that is indistinguishable from the original transmission.
Storage capacities vary, but typically such devices allow many hours of material to be stored and instantly accessed.
It most cases, only the audio and video data is recorded, so it is not possible to use interactive services when using the PVR functions.