The Comcast Digital Video Recorder or DVR
If you are a subscriber to Comcast cable, then you probably have a Comcast DVR. This two-tuner DVR lets users record one show while watching another, or record two shows at the same time. And, like other DVRs, it allows you to pause live TV, rewind a TV show you are watching or fast-forward to live TV. I use one of these DVRs all the time to schedule recordings in advance or to rewind and pause TV.
A New Discovery Using the DVR
I was surprised to discover a feature I'd never picked up on in the past while using my Comcast DVR. While watching a TV show that I hadn't planned on watching earlier, I realized I didn't have enough time to finish watching the show. I decided to hit the record button so I could see the rest of the show later. When I returned to finish watching the program, I discovered that the entire show had been recorded.
I realized that the DVR is constantly recording the channel it is tuned to, so it is smart enough to go back to the beginning when set to record a program "on the fly." Recording an entire TV show from the beginning while already watching part of it will only work if the DVR has been tuned to that channel the entire time the show has been on.
I tune to channel 4 on the DVR and start watching Lost at 9:00pm. I then realize I have to leave and can't finish the show. All I need to do is hit the record button and the whole show will be recorded to the hard drive on the DVR. However, if I tune to Lost 15 minutes into it and start recording 10 minutes later I don't get the whole show, only the rest of the program.
Most DVRs work this way, but you should check your owner's manual to see if yours supports this feature. Remember, if you are watching program A and switch channels, only to realize that you'd rather watch program A, you'll only record from when you changed the channel back to program A. Unless you've previously programmed it to record the show, a DVR can only record when it tunes to that channel. As DVRs evolve and add more tuners, however, we'll have the opportunity to watch more and more shows and not have to worry about changing the channel.