A Digital Video Recorder is a stand-alone recording device that records to a built-in Hard Drive and nothing else. It works with a Cable, Satellite or Over-the-Air Antenna signal to record television, and includes the ability to pause and rewind Live TV. The channel the DVR is tuned to is being constantly recorded, which allows for rewinding and pausing. The DVR includes some type of Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) to schedule TV shows to record hours or days in advance. The best example of a Digital Video Recorder is TiVo.
DVD Recorder with built-in Hard Drive
A DVD Recorder with built-in Hard Drive is also a stand-alone recording device, but it does not allow users to pause and rewind Live TV. The purpose of a Hard Drive in these devices is to be able to store many TV programs to the Hard Drive, which can subsequently be recorded to DVD. In addition, you can record straight to DVD. Many DVD Recorders with Hard Drives also include an EPG for scheduling recordings. There are many DVD Recorders with Hard Drives available from consumer electronics companies such as, Sony, Panasonic , Toshiba, and others.
There are some machines that blur the lines between DVRs and DVD Recorders with Hard Drives. The Humax DVD Recorder with built-in TiVo or the Toshiba RD-XS34 DVD Recorder with built-in 160GB Hard Drive are good examples of machines that blend DVR capabilities with DVD recording.