Digital Video Recording for 2007 – What Consumers Need to Know

November 20, 2006

– I believe that digital recording of television programming is going mainstream in 2007. As more and more people receive video-enabled iPods or Microsoft Zune portable audio/video players for the holidays this year, they’ll need digital content to put on those devices. Since (in most cases) it’s still difficult, if not illegal to put copy (or rip) your existing DVD movies into formats for these players at the moment, a great place fill up your devices is by using digital recorders (DVRs such as Tivo or media-enabled PCs) to record TV shows or movies and transfer them to your device.
– For many consumers, all-in-one devices such as Tivo (the traditional Tivo unit, or the new high definition one) is a great starting point. I believe that Tivo has one of the most intuitive and easy to use interfaces available for selecting and recording shows. Once set up, even grandma can use the peanut-shaped remote to easily record a single show or set up season passes to record all episodes of any show.
– More technology-minded consumers may want to consider a media-enabled PC, for recording TV shows directly to your computers hard drive or a networked server. This option is typically cheaper (no monthly service fees, such as with Tivo), but may require a bit more work to use.
– Many cable and satellite companies offer their own, integrated digital video records with their set top boxes. These are also good alternatives for non-tech savvy users, but they may be more difficult to use than an independent product like Tivo, with less intuitive menus or fewer options. However, some companies (such as DirectTV) offer the option of transferring recorded shows to portable media players, which make them great for people that want to take content with them on the go. Tivo also offers a great option called “TivoToGo??? that allows you (on the older/traditional Tivo units) to transfer recordings to laptop PCs and other devices.

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