Brief Introduction to Digital Video Recorder (DVR)

Last Updated: 2021-10-20

Summary: DVR, short for a digital video recorder, is an electronic device to record videos to a USB flash drive, disk drive, SSD, SD card, and other local or networked mass storage devices. This article will give a general introduction to the Digital Video Recorder.

The term includes digital camcorders, set-top boxes with direct-to-disk recording, TV gateways with recording capability, and portable media players.

Users can use DVR to record, save, and play TV programs. It is a VCR that uses a hard drive instead of a videotape.

However, the difference between DVR and VCR is that DVR can also pause live TV shows by recording the current program in real-time. Users can fast forward to return to live TV, usually during commercials.

History Of DVR

  • In 1999, consumer digital video recorders ReplayTV and TiVo were released at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • In 1999, with the help of Microsoft software, Dish Network demonstrated the hardware with DVR capability at the Consumer Electronics Show. It also includes WebTV Networks internet TV.
  • At the end of 1999, Dishplayer had full DVR capabilities and sold more than 200,000 units in a year.
  • In 2001, BSkyB launched the first PVR Sky+ in the UK, which supports dual tuner.
  • In 2003, many Cable TV and Satellite providers released dual-tuner digital video recorders.
  • In 2009, DVR accounted for 32% of all TV households in the United States, and 38% in 2010. The use of DVR has increased by 40% in households aged 18 to 40.

Types Of DVR

Integrated Television Sets

DVR is integrated into some television sets (TVs). These systems use s single power cable, do not have interconnected ports, such as HDMI, share a universal remote control. So, they simplify wiring and operation.

VESA Compatibility

The VESA-compatible DVR connects to the VESA mounting holes(100 x 100 mm) on the back of an LCD TV. It allows the users to combine the DVR and TV into an integrated unit.

Set-Top Boxes

Over-the-air DVR is an independent set-top box for recording broadcast programs. In the past few years, there are having many different over-the-ari DVR products introduced to the consumer market by several companies.

Some pay-TV operators offer set-top boxes that allow users to connect their NAS(network-attached storage) hard drives or flash memory or solid-state to record media files, including videos, audios, photos, etc.


Hardware and software are available to convert personal computers running Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux into DVRs. PC-Based type is popular for HTPC(home theatre PC) enthusiasts.


Many open-source and free software DVR applications are available for Linux, including Video Disk Recorder (VDR), Myth TV, TiVo, LinuxMCE, Kodi, and VBox Home TV Gateway.


El Gatto manufactures a range of digital video recording devices called EyeTV. The software that comes with each device, also known as EyeTV, can be used separately on the third-party tuners such as Pinnacle, Hauppauge, and TerraTec.


Several free digital video recording applications are available for Microsoft Windows, including web-based remote interface(Orb), MediaPortal, and GB-PVR.


The embeddable DVR is an independent device to be easily integrated into more complicated systems. It is typically provided as a compact bare circuit board, making it easy to install it as a subsystem component in larger devices.


The above gives some brief information on Digital Video Recorder (DVR), including its definition, history, and types. So you’ll have a general idea about DVR after going through this page.

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