Tuesday, November 01, 2005

BACKGROUND: What is Tivo?

What is TiVo?

To put it simply, TiVo is like a VCR on steroids. Also called a personal
video recorder (or PVR) or digital video recorder (DVR), TiVo is a
electronic filled box you connect to your cable TV. Inside is a hard
drive, just like in a computer, that stores dozens or hundreds of hours of
TV programming. But instead of complicated VCR programming that no one
actually uses, Tivo comes with a spectacularly simple software interface
you control through a handy remote control.
So how does it all work? You plug your incoming cable signal (whether
regular cable or DirecTV or Dish Network or satellite) into the Tivo, then
plug your Tivo into your TV. From then on, everything you see is coming
from the Tivo hard drive - even live TV, enabling you to "pause" TV. Live
TV is buffered onto the hard drive and temporarily stored there, allowing
you to rewind what you just saw, or pause live TV while you get a snack or
put the kids to bed. Un-pause, and you are back where you left off, while
everything you missed has been recorded to the hard drive. In this strange
way, you may be several minutes "behind" live TV, since you are actually
now watching it off the Tivo box and not off any live broadcast.

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