The holiday shopping season is upon us and while other About.com sites will have massive lists of items to fill your shopping bag, here at the DVR site our selection is limited. That doesn't mean that you can't find something for the TV addict in your family however. From lower cost solutions all the way to the (almost) $1,000 total cost TiVo family, if you know someone who'd like to take control of their TV viewing and hasn't yet, we can help you find a solution.
While not a DVR contender in the past, Boxee's latest device will allow the person you're buying for, including yourself, record and store an unlimited number of shows thanks to their cloud based solution.
For only $99, the Boxee DVR sports two tuners which can capture either ATSC or ClearQAM content. That makes it a perfect device for those who want to cut cable or at least par it down to a basic subscription.
Something to keep in mind however is that the Boxee DVR service has a monthly cost. That monthly fee nabs you unlimited storage as well as the ability to access your recordings from outside your home while on the go. Perfect for holiday travel.
And costs aren't really any higher than what you would expect to pay for a DVR from your cable provider. The difference is that you'll get all of the other great Boxee features as well such as music, video and picture access along with streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon VoD.
Right near the top of the pile, pricewise, is TiVo. While you're going to pay a premium to give TiVo as a gift, you're pretty much guaranteed to make the TV viewer on your list happy.
Whether you choose one of the lower grade Premiere models or the top of the line Premiere XL4, TiVo requires a subscription like Boxee. One difference however is that you can purchase a lifetime TiVo subscription, allowing you to bypass the monthly fees. No matter what however, you can expect to pay anywhere from $400 to $900 for a TiVo DVR and TiVo service. Quite a bit of money but well worth it if you know someone who enjoys television programing that much.
Home Theater PCs
If you have someone you're shopping for who is not only a TV buff but a bit of a geek as well, you may want to consider getting them a home theater PC. We've reviewed pre-built systems in the past and this is something to consider if you decide to get the computer geek in your family started with HTPCs. Being custom built means you'll pay more upfront but you'll also get service and support on the back end after the holidays.
If you think that it would be better to have your would be HTPC user build their own system, you'll save some money to be sure but you won't have that backup later on if something goes wrong.
HTPCs provide the ability to not only view and record live TV but also provide access to streaming services depending on the software you use. You can add more functionality by adding more software and this is the HTPC's greatest strength: customization.
The DVR is the best gift you can give the TV watcher in your family. While it's possible to spend a lot of money on being able to record TV, the rewards can be just as great. You'll be giving a gift that will allow years of on-demand viewing for that special someone.