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DVR and DirecTV: A Match Made in Heaven



DirecTV has always been on the cutting edge of technology, offering its customers the latest innovations in audio and visual spectacles. Fifteen years ago it was the first company that offered reliable satellite access without having to use one of those massive satellite dishes that were popping up all over residential America. Several years ago DirecTV pioneered the implementation of high definition TV, and it has since set the standard of high definition broadcast.

When TiVo was released this trend changed, and suddenly DirecTV was no longer offering bleeding edge technology. It had fallen behind, and its customer base began to complain. Fortunately, that trend didn’t last long and DirecTV began offering a DVR receiver that was an optional purchase for its residential satellite systems.

What is DVR?

DVR stands for ‘Digital Video Recorder’. It is a device that operates as a traditional satellite receiver, scrambling the signal that the satellite dish sends to it and allowing you to watch TV. It offers all the same amenities, such as a program guide, show information, and even interactive channels, as well as a few other features that many people will find to be rather useful.

The main features of DirecTV’s new DVR unit are:

Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound – TV shows that are broadcast with Dolby digital encoding will come through loud and clear if you have a Dolby digital amplifier and speaker combination. With more and more of DirecTV’s content being broadcast with this encoding, customers who have the equipment can finally take advantage of it!

Record Up To 100 Hours of Programming – This is probably the feature that you’ve been waiting for. The DirecTV DVR unit has a built in hard drive that is capable of storing 100 hours of video. Think of the DVR as a VCR recorder, only the quality of both the picture and the audio is much better.

Users have the ability to select TV shows that they want to record, set up an entire schedule of recording events and timers, and then watch their regular programming while the DVR records the TV shows and channels that they’ve selected. The entire process can be done easily with the remote control, and once it’s been set up it requires absolutely no maintenance. Users can even have the DVR record multiple shoes at once, allowing them to take in the best of both worlds. These capabilities truly redefine “multitasking”.

Play, Pause, and Rewind Live TV – The other main advantage offered by the DVR unit is that it is constantly buffering the programming that you are watching, allowing you to do several unique things to it. Of course, unless specified otherwise the DVR will allow you to watch TV in real time, as is what you’re accustomed to with current television programs.

However, users can also pause and rewind live TV by simply using the remote control. This new feature is revolutionary in both its design and its execution, and it is extremely intuitive- simply push the pause or the rewind button on the remote control. The DVR records the live TV to its hard drive, so as you pause or rewind you are actually accessing what the DVR has saved to its memory. You can then fast forward back to live TV, or you can continue to watch TV that has been deviated- the choice is up to you.

On-Screen Caller ID – Plug your DVR into the phone line and see who’s calling you on your TV. Since your DVR needs to be plugged into the phone line so you can order pay-per-view, this is a handy little feature. Admittedly, it’s more of a novelty than anything else, but whe somethings included why not enjoy it?

As it was mentioned briefly, the DVR has a built in hard drive that is capable of storing massive amounts of video and audio. The entire principle behind the DVR is to enhance your viewing experience by being as transparent and as seamless as possible.

You Home and DVR

If you’re a DirecTV subscriber already you’ll find that the DVR unit is available for a surprisingly competitive cost. Considering the wealth of features and amenities offered by the DVR, it’s no surprise that millions of households all across American have purchased a DVR receiver for their home. If you’re looking to become a subscriber of DirecTV, obtaining a DVR unit is as simple as selecting a package that includes one. At the time of this writing, there are two packages that offer a DirecTV Plus DVR package for under $70 a month. The DirecTV Plus DVR receiver itself costs $299, but there was a $100 rebate as of the time of this writing.

Current subscribers will be able to simply go out and purchase the DVR for $299 (for the base, $399 for the HD model) and hook it up to their current satellite connection. Assuming that their package supports it, it’s a 5 minute switch!

With all of the features offered by DVR, and considering its low price, it won’t be long before every receiver is a DVR receiver.

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