(OT) How do DVRs work?

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It seems that as I get older the less I can keep up with technology. Or maybe its because the stuff is changing to damn fast.
Anyhow, I recall it was not all that long ago when everyone was buying VCRs and they were the craze. Looks like they are now obsolete. however I still use mine to record a tv program I want to see but at another time than they have it on the air. Or maybe I want to record a football game or movie to save.
I keep seeing tv ads for these DVRs now. They appear to be the replacement for the VCR, but the commercials say they can record several programs at the same time. I sure dont understand how they can record more than one show at a time...... Then again, how do they work at all? Do they need some sort of media, such as a tape, CD/DVD, or memory stick? Can the program be saved permanently, or is it just to watch the program delayed?
Another thing, it's a satellite tv company advertising them. Is it even possible to use them on a tv antenna, or are they limited to only satellite tv?
I just have a basic tv on an antenna, no cable or satellite, no hdtv, no surround sound or any of that expensive stuff. I'm satisfied with what I have, tv is not a major part of my life, but I do on occasion want to watch a show at a different time than it's aired, and once and awhile, save some program. Is a DVR worth buying, (for my needs), or am I best sticking with my VCR?
One other thing, if the programming can be saved, is it possible to edit out commercials and other unwanted stuff on a computer, or would that be on the tv?
Thanks
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On Sep 6, 10:27 pm, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/dvr.htm
HB
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On Wed, 07 Sep 2011 00:27:04 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

A DVR is basically just a PC (in a small case with a special interface) that records TV on a hard drive. When they say they can record more than one channel that means they have more than one tuner. The only one I know of that will export to a PC is a ReplayTV and they don't have a digital tuner for your over the air broadcasts.
If you are not getting one from the cable or satellite company, you might be as well off getting a PC set up to run Microsoft Media Center. Tivo is anther option but I am not sure how much they have progressed. The old ones still did not have the digital tuner you need.
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Everything goes to the hard drive and is then sent to the TV. That is how it allows you to pause, rewind, FF, etc. When you change channels, it is not instant, but the ability to do those functions makes it a vey nice toy to have.
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wrote

Thanks for your info. I typed in ' buy DVR ' into google and got some nice results such as:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/electronics-computers/audio - video/video/dvd-recorders/dvrs-how-to-choose-105/overview/
or
http://preview.tinyurl.com/3qxzefv
Looks like something cool to own.
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On 9/7/2011 7:54 AM, Mr.Spock wrote:

Its one of those things that once you have one you will wonder why you waited. Very similar to GPS.
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wrote:

I hope it's a lot better than GPS. Buying a GPS was the biggest waste of money I ever spent. If I followed that thing, I never got where I wanted to go. Although I spent over $100 for it, tossing it in the garbage saved me a lot of money in wasted gasoline, and I got a free map at the local D.O.T. office, which works 1000 times better.
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snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote in wrote

Maybe it's the brand you have?
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I was told it was one of the poorest brand/models, a Tomtom model One. Either way, the only way I'd ever own another GPS is if it's given to me free, and would probably use up shelf space in the closet.
I've driven for about 40 years without a GPS, using free maps from the D.O.T. and I always got where I was going with little problem. Using maps, I occasionally wasted a couple miles and 15 minutes of time. With that GPS, I once wasted over 100 miles and 2 1/2 hours. That was the last time I trusted it, and soon afterwards, I caught it leading me the wrong way once again, for probably the 50th time. Thats when it went in the trash can at some gas station.
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On 09/08/11 6:26 AM, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

I tried a early version of a Tom-Tom and it literally sucked. Since I couldn't even trust to get me home from work, there was no way I was going to trust it out on the open road.
My Garmin 350 is a totally different story. It's not perfect (none are) but it *will* get me where I want to go.
I describe (decent) GPS's this way:
While they may not always get you to your destination via the most direct path, they will get you to your destination.
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I've used a Garmin for a few years now. Handy device if used properly. Like you, I've travelled cross country a couple of times using regular maps. Even with the GPS, I use a map to see just where I'm going. I can drive to any major city in the US with no map at all, just a little knowledge of geography. If I wanted to attend the Indy 500 race, I know I have to cross PA, then OH, and into IN. What I use the GPS for is once I'm in the general area, it will guide me to the motel, or Bob's house, or whatever.
They are not perfect, but they do work. I also have preferences the gps does not have. An electronic device finds the shortest or fastest route based on pre-programmed information. There may be "better" routes though, if you have driven that way before. The computer does not know that a particular town is awash with school busses so the next street over is easier, and that type of thing, but it will take you to the destination you asked for.
.
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wrote

I have a Garmin,too. It's useful to me especially in areas with busy traffic where looking at a map would be difficult.
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On 9/9/2011 4:48 AM, Marina wrote:

Or just unsafe, inconvenient and time wasting. I was on a highway in an unfamiliar area. My exit was closed because of an accident. There were no shoulders. If I had a map I wouldn't be able to use it and if I was going on guesswork I likely would have turned off at the next exit. Except that would have given me a 15 mile trip the wrong way.
As soon as the GPS saw I blew past the exit it suggested the second exit ahead. That put put me on a local street I didn't know but it knew a route. If I had a map I would have still been going the wrong way after taking the first exit and then looking at a little postage stamp detail of the area to find a route.
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It's pretty easy to navigate the Interstate system, cross country. ;-)

It also doesn't know that a particular route is a RPITA during rush hour. All roads (at an equal hierarchy) are the same.
I have a Magellan. The thing has a habit of giving the wrong directions but displaying the correct information (sometimes). Very annoying. It is still better than a map for navigating a large city. I would never buy a Magellan again. I'll likely replace it with a Garmin.
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On 9/9/2011 6:26 AM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

the newer ones do if you subscribe to the road alert service. it can get realtime info on road traffic and reroute accordingly.

i have a tomtom that i bought for a trip to italy. when you're presented with a roundabout with 7 exits, each having a signpost for between 4 and 10 different towns, non-english advisement signs, and high traffic, it's wonderful to be told 'take the 3rd exit'. my previou trip to italy had me going around the roundabouts a few times before i could figure out where to get spit out.
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wrote:

My Magellan tells you what sort of intersection and which exit to use but it's often wrong (a "slight right" is often not slight or even a right). I bought it because it had the larger display and voice directions, when these were quite expensive options in the Garmin or Tomtom line. Well, it paid for itself [*] but it does piss me off, at times.
[*] I bought it for my wife when we moved to a large city. She has a *terrible* sense of direction and can't read a map to the garage.
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I'm going again in two weeks. I bought a new Garmin to take this time. Overall, I found the roads well marked and m wife is good at reading maps. This model has "lane assist" that gives you a little graphic of the exit ahead of time. It may do the same for roundabouts. This should make it easier yet. I expect to drive about 2000 miles at $8.50 a gallon. I'll spend more on gas than wine and gelato!
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On 9/7/2011 10:45 PM, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

The various GPS units I have/had have paid for themselves 1,000 times over.
Maybe you had a defective unit?
I would never go back to trying to decipher a postage stamp map depicting 6 highways that may or may not connect while in the dark in an unfamiliar area like say last night when I was traveling and the exit I was supposed to use was shutdown in an unfamiliar area.
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I used to have Dish and their DVRs, I dropped them when they went nuts with added fees.
I got a TIVO and loved it, for awhile I just used it on antenna TV. The newer ones have a digital tuners,and work AWESOME.
Best of all it just plain WORKS!
My dish ones had perodic bugs that required reboots etc. very annoying
my tivo is rock solid..dependable. works great on a cable card with comcast
better than a VCR it records 2 shows at once, and you can start watching a show while its still recording.
I enabled SKIP on my tivo, so i can skip forward and backward thru commercials. I rarely watch live tv, I primetime has 17 minutes of commercials:( so i start watching survivor 15 minutes late and catch up by the end.
connect your tivo to the internet and it does netflix and other streaming
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-snip-

And it can hold a couple hundred hours of shows, which are all listed in an index. I think Tivo has much better software, but even the Time Warner software lets me arrange that 'index' by the name of the shows, or by the date recorded.
We got the TW version several years ago when it was introduced as a 6 month freebie. Their software sucks. It is unreliable, clunky and a royal PITA.
But I wouldn't go without it now for all the tea in China. It is rare that we get stuck watching live TV-- and I miss being able to jump through commercials when we do.

Inertia will probably keep me from pulling the trigger-- but the streaming ability makes Tivo a real temptation again.
Has Tivo got the ability to send things to another box? TW just introduced the ability to record on one DVR and watch on another in the same house. We have 3 DVR's - so we could effectively record 6 things at the same time and watch them on any box later. [sounds crazy--- but during sweeps week the 4 networks pit their best against the competition's best-- so 4 at once might come in handy]
Jim
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