Best digital video recorders (DVR)(Updated May 3, 2013 2:10 AM PDT)
TiVo and ReplayTV hit the home video scene back in 1999, and TV has never been the same. By substituting a hard drive for clumsy VHS tapes, adding an onscreen electronic programming guide, and including the ability to control cable and satellite boxes, digital video recorders (DVRs; sometimes known as PVRs) fulfilled the promise that their VCR predecessors had only hinted at in years past.
In addition to such novel features as the ability to pause and rewind live TV, to effortlessly record your favorite shows, and to store dozens of hours of programming at a time, some DVRs double as a network media streamer (pulling digital photos, music, or video from a networked PC), and even let you offload recorded programs to portable devices. Just remember that most high-def DVRs are provider specific; the Dish Network ViP722 and DirecTV HR20 are limited to subscribers of those respective satellite services, whereas the TiVo HD is specifically for those who get TV via cable or over-the-air antenna.
While it's not compatible with your cable company's interactive and video-on-demand services, the TiVo HD's excellent onscreen interface and long list of network and Internet features puts it in a class above the generic high-def DVRs offered by most cable providers.