Pvr& pvr ready? We clarify meaning, differences& worth knowing

PVR & PVR ready? We clarify meaning, differences & worth knowing

Who plays with the thought of getting a new television, receiver and Co, comes inevitably on the abbreviation "PVR". With some devices the manufacturers advertise nowadays also with the designation "PVR ready". But what is behind it? And what is the difference between these two technical achievements?? The following lines will save you a look in the dictionary and explain everything important about PVR.

PVR: Meaning, advantages and disadvantages

Whether smart TV or receiver – the term PVR is ubiquitous. In newer devices, it is now standardized in the small print to find. Behind it, however, hides a much older invention: the video recorder. According to the dictionary, PVR is simply the abbreviation for the English term "Personal Video Recorder". Behind it a digital recorder, which is present in the devices, which stores TV shows and Co.

Who does not still know the good old video cassette on which the favorite movie was recorded? This storage medium has long since disappeared from households. Instead, nowadays recorded on hard disk and USB stick. Devices with the designation PVR have this recording function and the memory integrated. With them not always only the recording button must be pressed manually. Programming, selection from the digital program guide and automatic program recording based on keywords are now also part of the personal video recorder.

A further feature makes PVR possible: Timeshift! That is time-shifted television. With the remote control, the current movie can be paused conveniently, if the phone rings once or the toilet trip can no longer be postponed. By recording, the film can be played back at a later time. But also forward and rewind is possible with it. While Pause programs, they continue to be recorded in the background by the personal video recorder. Depending on the equipment of the technical devices, different programs can also be recorded and played at the same time.

The advantages of PVR

An advantage is opposite the old video recorder or the widespread DVD recorder on the hand: The storage medium with PVR can be used as often as desired. Movies that have been watched can be deleted again, other recordings can be saved. That makes the recording of TV program particularly inexpensive and simple. In addition, high picture quality is possible, where the DVD comes to its limits. Only enough storage space must be available for it.

The disadvantages of PVR

Compared with video recorders can PVR however only process digital TV signals. However, this is not a real limitation, since television is now fully digitized. In addition, some PVR devices unpleasant and nerve-racking malfunctions occur, which especially the technology layman does not always get solved quickly. compatibility problems, Non-readability and Co are frequent sources of error here.

PVR versus PVR ready: The difference

Is there a difference between PVR and PVR ready? The answer to this is clearly yes. Because devices marked with PVR ready have the recording function of a video recorder, but the storage medium is missing. This means that additional hardware is necessary.

Devices with PVR ready offer therefore only an appropriate output, to connect a hard disk or USB stick to record the TV shows. These devices have no built-in, internal memory. PVR ready therefore refers only to the existing recording function. The advantage of this modular system shows up with defects. If the hard disk is broken, it can be easily replaced, while PVR devices with integrated hard disk usually have to buy a completely new device.

Pay attention with devices with PVR ready to the available connections. HDMI and USB are common standards. SCART an obsolete interface, which is rarely found in this modern functions. Nevertheless, a receiver with PVR can also be connected via SCART to an old TV.

Devices with PVR or PVR ready and alternatives

Most newest televisions have PVR or PVR ready in the meantime standardized in the offer. However, if you have an older TV set that does not have PVR functionality, this can in the device itself can not be retrofitted. However, help additional devices that have integrated a personal video recorder. This can be a receiver or an extra purchased hard disk recorder. In general, PVR is therefore widespread in the following three devices:

  • Television
  • TV receiver
  • Hard disk recorder (alternative)

TV with recording function

A television with recording function exists in numerous different forms. The trade holds here different models ready. Some offer only PVR ready, where a storage medium still needs to be connected, other Smart TVs have already integrated the hard disks. Devices in the latter category are usually wider than TVs without an integrated hard drive.

Televisions with PVR ready often offer two or three interfaces by USB, in order to be able to attach a storage medium. But not every output is suitable for recording. Usually only one output is marked with PVR or equivalently with "REC" or "HDD.

On the market there is a choice between:

  • Plasma TV
  • LCD TV
  • LED TV

The plasma television is an older technology among flat screen televisions. Nevertheless, it is still widely used. There are models with a screen diagonal of 32 inches up to 50 inches. The disadvantage compared to other techniques is the difficult to measure power consumption of these devices.

Also the LCD television Can’t keep up with other low-power TVs. However, despite the recording function, these models offer a decisive advantage: a low purchase price. LCD technology delivers rich colors and regularly performs well in tests.

The LED TV is the further development. These televisions offer a particularly bright picture and consume only little electricity at the same time. In addition, an LED TV can be very narrow despite integrated recording technology. However, some devices require an additional receiver.

The most modern TV on the market is the OLED TV. Accordingly, the prices for such models are high. These devices differ that special thin-film diodes are installed in them, which make a particularly slim housing possible. Despite integrated recording technology such a device can hardly be wider a paper. The disadvantage of the OLED TV is the lower runtime compared to the other technologies.

TV receiver with PVR

Who owns an older TV, which does not offer a recording function, can not retrofit this in the device itself. However here the possibility exists of connecting a TV receiver, the equipped with a personal video recorder is. Some older television sets make this necessary anyway, in order to be able to receive various television stations at all.

TV channels arrive on the screen via different signals. If the TV does not have the appropriate tuner integrated, it needs the TV receiver additionally. Generally there are three types of signals:

  • DVB-S
  • DVB-C
  • DVB-T

DVB-S stands for "Digital Video Broadcasting – Satellite" – in German: digital satellite television. Here the broadcasting of the television channels by satellite, such as via Astra or Eutelsat. Characteristic for the reception of broadcasts offered in this way is the parabolic antenna. The successor standard is called DVB-S2. Thanks to the large data transmission rate an enormous selection of transmitters is possible. Via Astra satellites, for example, over 1.Transmit 500 radio and television programs.

DVB-C stands for "Digital Video Broadcasting – Cable" – in German: digital cable television. Here the Transmission of radio and television broadcasts via the cable connection. This form of transmission also provides interactive functions such as Multimedia Home Platform (MHP), Electronic Program Guide (EPG) and the digital teletext.

DVB-T stands for "Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial" – in German: digital antenna television. The transmission takes place here via terrestrial channels. Here, too, there is now the successor standard DVB-T2.

Common receivers now offer gymnasts that can receive and decode all three transmission paths. This gives the user the most flexible. But you can also buy special devices for the different types of signals – like the satellite receiver.

With receivers with PVR or PVR ready the layman stumbles besides often over the Twin tuner. This is the name given to reception parts in the device that allow you to watch one channel and record another in parallel via the same type of signal. The twin tuner must not be confused with the dual tuner. The dual tuner receives different signal types, for example DVB-C and DVB-S. The twin tuner receives two signals of the same type.

Also with the Receiver there are different models of the personal video recorder. Some offer only the recording function PVR ready and need in addition still another storage medium. Others have a hard drive integrated and thus carry the designation PVR. They are often also called hard disk receivers. Here the TV shows recorded directly, stored and played back. A receiver with PVR costs in the acquisition usually more than devices without the recording function.

PVR and hard disk recorder

If the existing TV has all the necessary tuners to receive the TV channels, but not PVR, a digital hard disk recorder can be the solution (Digital Video Recorder – DVR). Behind this is a device for recording programs that can be stored on an internal hard drive. Often drives for DVDs or Blu-rays are integrated in these devices to burn the recordings on the thin discs. Also the playback of disc is possible so. The DVR is therefore the Counterpart to the integrated PVR in other technical devices.

In tests, numerous models are compared with each other in use, functionality and numerous other criteria. These designs can be an important guide in choosing the best video recorder option for yourself.

Requirements for PVR: You should think about this before buying

Who wants to integrate a personal video recorder into its technology, should inform itself before the purchase about its individual requirements be clear. Some would like to use PVR only for time-shifted television. In this case criteria are like File system and formatting not so important. Who would like to record however numerous favorite transmissions, must argue exactly with these characteristics. Especially if a video archive is to be created, these areas of PVR are important.

Different file systems for PVR

There are different file systems that require receivers or televisions with PVR. Common formats include FAT32, NTFS or ext2. Above all with PVR ready with an external non removable disk should be paid attention to the compatibility, if these for example also connected to a computer should be to edit or archive the recordings. not every file system is supported by every operating system.

NTFS and exFAT can be Windows ext2 for example requires special drivers and software, which can be very inconvenient. The FAT32 file system is universal applicable. But such formatted hard drives have the disadvantage that they support a maximum of four gigabytes. For recordings that are larger, they are therefore split. To reassemble these later with appropriate tools, can be cumbersome and very time-consuming.

The right data carrier for PVR ready

If the selected device is equipped with PVR ready, there is the recording function, but no internal medium that stores the broadcast. Here it still needs external storage media,- for this come Hard drives and sticks in question, which can be connected via the appropriate interface. Both storage media have advantages and disadvantages, speeds, storage space and formatting are important:

The USB stick

The stick has the advantages that it can be small and compact is, consumes less power and usually does not cause noise. However, it has less storage capacity and also the write speed and read speed during playback is lower. For individual recordings or the use of the timeshift function, however, a stick may be perfectly adequate. Some TVs don’t accept USB sticks, so you have to use the hard disk.

Many manufacturers specify in their documentation exactly which hard disks are to be used Conditions the external storage medium for PVR must fulfill. Thus, a high-speed USB stick with a read speed of at least 20 Mbit per second, a write speed of at least 34 Mbit per second and a memory size of at least 1 GB is often the requirement.

The external hard drive

Hard disks can usually offer more storage space. However, some receivers or TVs do not accept 3.5″ hard drives, which have their own power supply. Here, a 2.5″ hard drive without a separate power supply should be chosen. At Hard disks without power supply, there is often also a limitation of the current consumption – which is at most 400 mA, because otherwise the disk does not get enough current via the USB port. Some TV devices also require Minimum size of the hard disk, which is not infrequently around 160 gigabytes.

With a storage capacity of more than 500 gigabytes, recognition can be difficult. Then the hard disk should be formatted correctly first and then can be divided into partitions. When connecting for the first time after formatting, there is usually a question as to which partition the PVR recording should be made on.

In addition the selection exists between HDD hard disks (turning spindle) and SSD hard disks. Basically both variants are possible. However, with HDD hard drives, many devices require a minimum speed of 5.400 revolutions per minute. The exact requirements should be read beforehand in the fine print.

Most receivers or TVs format the external storage medium appropriately. Therefore, this does not have to be done beforehand on the PC. However, you should make sure that the stick or hard disk does not contain any important data that could be lost as a result.

Memory cards

A memory card can also be used as a recording medium via USB and card reader. Some devices even have a memory card slot. Nevertheless, this medium is rather rare in PVR, because memory cards have weaknesses especially in the capacity compared to stick and hard drive.

Recording formats

Who wants to process his recordings of the personal video recorder on the PC, must also the used Formatting of the recording note. Most can be used on the computer without any problems. A frequently used file format is TS (Transport Stream). Behind this is a container file that contains both the video and audio data streams, but also integrates other content such as subtitles.

But also formats like REC, TRP or DVR are often. This often requires software for further processing, but this is easily available on the Internet. In addition, there are also file formats that are protected and cannot be further processed on the computer.


However, some manufacturers have built in hurdles with PVR. It is not uncommon for the recordings to be able to be gar not played or used become. Manufacturers "marry" the recordings to the device with which they were made. This is more common with TVs than with receivers.

In addition, there are restrictions for timeshift and recording For encrypted TV channels, which require a CI+ decoding for reception. In most cases, these are pay channels or private HD programs. In order to be able to view the content, a corresponding SmartCard from the respective provider is required. Nevertheless, a recording of the contents is then not automatically possible. Affected by this are, for example, all channels of the Sky platform and most HD offshoots. The providers want such a avoid illegal duplication. Only a time-shifted recording with a maximum duration of 90 minutes can often be possible.

The programming of the recording

Not always every recording can be started manually. PVR therefore also offers programming. The easiest way is via the so-called EPG (Electronic Program Guide) to realize. These are program information provided by the television broadcasters. In the digital program guide the favorite program in lists with the remote control can be simply picked out and stored for the recording. Series recordings of continuous episodes are possible as well as the recording of interesting offers by keyword.

With the programming can be with some providers also often a Buffer time set. So the user is sure not to miss the beginning. Even delayed broadcasts are thus still completely recorded. Basically, the recording of the PVR is then 15 minutes longer.

Alternative: Internet-based PVR

If you don’t want to buy a recording device with a personal video recorder, but still want to record programs from time to time, you can also use Offers from the Internet use. Besides the physical recorders from electronics stores, they are a flexible alternative. Providers provide storage space on devices in data centers that are connected via the Internet.

The recorded programs can be via streaming or download then viewed and used. This option is often also "Network Digital Recorder" (NDR) denotes. No hard drive to format, no extra device to connect to the TV and other technical details needed. This alternative is therefore suitable for people who are not particularly tech-savvy.

The Network recorders has the advantage that it can record an unlimited number of programs simultaneously. The user does not have to worry about tuner and Co. Depending on the provider, this is free or chargeable. Some providers allow a free contingent per month – such as 15 recordings – and then a paid recording offer without a subscription.

NDR is often implemented via apps and software. So it is also possible if Record your favorite show on the go – via app from the smartphone. With appropriate programs can also cut out advertising and other unwanted parts in the recording.

Required storage space for PVR

Especially those who want to record a lot of programs, ask yourself how much storage space is necessary for it. This depends on the quality. SD broadcasts require nowhere near as much storage space as programs in HD. With the latter can be expected from about 75 to 100 megabytes per minute be assumed – one hour of recording consumes about 10 GB. For 240 hours of HD material therefore needs a storage disk with 1 terabyte. Who wants to record only in SD quality, can already store an hour with 5 GB.

Prices: This is what the personal video recorder costs

Who wants to buy devices with PVR or PVR ready, must reach deeper into the pocket, as models without these functions. Cheap TVs with PVR ready there are already from around 200 euros in the trade. However, these inexpensive models usually only support Full HD resolution. Those who want to experience the recorded shows in 4K have to dig deeper into their pockets. TVs with a larger screen diagonal are just as expensive as small TVs.

Receiver with PVR ready on the other hand there are clearly cheaper. The simple models can already from about 25 euros be purchased. Equipment with twin tuner, 4K resolution and other add-ons cause price increase. Models in the upper price segment can be bought from 400 euros. If a hard disk is integrated, the device is usually just as expensive as only with the PVR ready offer.


PVR is the personal video recorder of the modern age – it allows you to quickly and easily record your favorite show. Many TVs or receivers now offer this feature. The most important thing is to distinguish between PVR and PVR ready. While with the first the storage space is already integrated in the device for the recordings, PVR ready offers only the recording function – a storage medium must be additionally connected over the appropriate output.

When choosing the right PVR option are various criteria to note: Twin tuners allow recording two different broadcasts at the same time. For external storage media with and without own power supply are Formats and recording formats to note. However, there are also limitations of the personal video recorder. It is often not possible to playback the recorded content on other TVs. As an alternative to the PVR is the so-called NDR – the virtual video recorder via the Internet.

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