Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between PVR and DVR


The terms PVR and DVR have been floating around for years. But few people really know which is which and what each term is referring to. PVR stands for Personal Video Recorder while DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder. The former emphasize the ability to personalize the device and how it operates while the latter emphasis that it captures into a digital format.

Fortunately, the differences virtually end there as both these terms are simply referring to the same type of device that is used in capturing video from different source; the main source would be cable TV. As previously stated, the term PVR was coined to emphasize the ability to select shows and programs based on your personal preference. Much later, with the advent of HD and digital TV, it became more pressing for manufacturers to indicate that their products are able to work with the newer digital sets as well as accept the new digital format. For this reason, the term DVR came into wide use as a replacement for PVR.

For some time after the initial introduction of the term DVR, there were a lot of products that were either labeled as PVR or DVR. This lead to a moderate amount of confusion on which one is superior and what features can be found on each. This has been aggravated further by the fact that PVRs/DVRs do not often have the same feature set. Their features largely vary from one manufacturer to another and even from one product to the next. This problem has eventually gone away as more manufacturers begin to use DVR to identify their products.

Currently, PVR has largely become obsolete due to the wide adoption of the term DVR. You would probably not see any device that is still labeled as PVR devices. Despite this fact, a lot of users still wish to know the difference between them before going out to buy one for their home systems. It is safe to say that regardless of what you choose, what’s important is the list of features that are included with each device.

1. PVR stands for Personal Video Recorder while DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder
2. PVR emphasizes on the personal aspect while DVR emphasizes the digital nature
3. Both are basically referring to the same product
4. PVR has become largely obsolete and is rarely used in favor of DVR

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  1. Well, PVR is also a digital or HD receiver that the television provider can “talk to,” while the DVR only talks to the TV.

  2. Nice information. But one my request which DVR is actually afforable to buy at medium price of INR. It should work fine with directly attaching to USB drive tobrecord TV programme for later viewing and to copy to laptop.

  3. Does NVR contain internal storage or you buy separate

  4. Unfortunately, many (most?) in Canada have adopted the term “PVR” instead of “DVR”.

    This is mainly because one television service provider marketed their digital recorder as a “PVR”. I changed to another provider about the time digital recorders was becoming popular (at the end of 2003) and when I added a recording box to my hardware, my provider labelled everything “DVR”. A year ago, I purchased a new generation DVR from them to replace the old one, and their labelling now uses “PVR”. Sigh.

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