Among all of the different kinds of technologies that have surfaced over the past few years, Digital Video Recorders- or DVR's for short- have proven themselves to be some of the most popular. When you look at everything that a Digital Video Recorder can do, that's really not surprising. Basically, Digital Video Recorders take advantage of intuitive software in order to be programmed to record specific TV shows, movies, sports events, and even news programs; no matter what time they come on. That way the owner of the DVR can still watch what he or she wants no matter what kinds of commitments they have to keep them away from the TV. All digital video recorders store their recorded video on a built in hard disk and most can record programming off of two or more channels at the same time in order to minimize any scheduling conflicts. Digital video recorders are so easy to use that many people record almost everything that they watch so that they can have the convenience of deciding when to watch TV as well as enjoying the option of using the device to fast forward through commercials. This has TV advertisers understandably upset, though there's little that they are likely to be able to do about it.
DVR's also give viewers the option of taking greater control over their live TV viewing. Thanks to the fact that Digital video recorders automatically make temporary recordings of live TV, viewers can now pause their live TV viewing and even rewind it so they can watch scenes repeatedly.
While digital video recorders have become an integral part of home entertainment centers all over the country, there is a subset of digital video recorders that has been largely overlooked. That subset is the portable digital video recorder. In fact, there are a variety of portable video devices that have digital video recording capabilities built into them and in many ways, they're the rival of the larger ones.
These portable devices are much more versatile than their larger counterparts with their ability to record video off of a wide variety of other devices. For example, these devices can be plugged into computers, camcorders, VCR's, DVD players, TV sets, and a variety of other devices in order to record video on their hard drives as the other devices are playing the video over video output jacks. One type of portable video device has the intriguing ability to record video coming into it over just about any digital camera. In that sense, this model becomes a camcorder when a digital camera is connected to it! There's also a special accessory available for this model that will turn it into a helmet camcorder for extreme sports.
While most portable video devices probably won't have features like the ability to record video off to more than one TV channel at once, in many other ways they're very much the match for their larger set top counterparts. While most set top DVR's record video in MPEG-2 format, portable video devices tend to record video in MPEG-4 format which takes up only about a quarter of the room. This means that in terms of storage capacity, portable DVR's are pretty much the equal of their larger counterparts.
Clearly the technology that goes into these devices allows users of consumer electronics to enjoy more flexibility.