There was a time when VCRs were considered at the cutting edge of technology. At last we could record our favorite TV shows and be free to plan our viewing around our life rather than the other way around. Not to mention the ability to rent videos so that we could watch movies at home. Technology has moved now of course and digital TV recorders offer a range of advantages and additional features. The main advantage is that you do not have to store piles of cassettes which ultimately deteriorate with regular use. The additional features include such things as the ability to pause and rewind live TV.

Things You Will Need

Internet connection to browse models, or a product catalog. Or if you prefer, you can browse in-store.

Step 1

Digital TV recorders record from the television as data onto a hard drive rather than a removable cassette or disk. Therefore, the size of memory is a key consideration when choosing the right model for you.When browsing models you will quickly see that the size of the memory is directly proportional to the price, i.e., the bigger the memory, the higher the price. Another factor to consider is that HD recordings take up considerably more memory resources than standard recordings. What you need to consider then is how much recording time you need - do you need 120 hours of recording time, or will 45 hours suffice?

Step 2

You will need some means of communicating with your device, and this is generally done through a remote control and an on screen menu. It has to be said that usability of the on screen navigation varies enormously from very good to very poor. It is extremely important that you are comfortably with the layout of your system and that you can find your way around easily, otherwise this will be severely detrimental to your enjoyment of the product. If you are not sure from the information available then go into a store and ask for a demonstration.

Step 3

Some, but by no means all, digital TV recorders come with an additional subscription service. These allow you access to additional services such as a vast video and music library, and access to the internet. The advantage of this is that you can pretty much watch what you want when you want. The downside is that you do have to pay the monthly subscription. Therefore, it is a matter of thinking through what you want from your digital TV recorder - is it an all round entertainment device, or simply a means to record from your television?

Step 4

Last, but by no means least, make sure that the model you are considering is compatible with your television provider. You will find that not all digital TV recorders are compatible with cable, terrestrial and satellite providers. Just check the specifications of the device before committing to a purchase.

Digital TV recorders can certainly enhance your television viewing, but choosing the right one for you and your family is much like choosing any other technology product - you need to weigh up what you actually want/need against cost. I hope this article has helped you along the way of choosing the right model for you.

Tips & Warnings