So you finally went out and bought the high definition television set. Now what do you do? You get a Smart DVR! This system is a fantastic jump in technology for home entertainment. Not only can you watch your favorite shows with this but you can record the show for later and even fast forward through the commercials. With this device you get all your media in one place meaning you can be listening to a song on your TV and then switch it to a family movie all within a few presses on the remote.
Smart TV technology was all the rage at the CES show of 2012. So much so that the announcement from Simple TV on the launch of their first Smart DVR went somewhat unnoticed. That was a surprise to me because Simple TV have an elegant solution that turns any device such as an iPad, Boxee, Google TV - or even any web browser - into a full DVR that you can access and activate from anywhere.
In fact this new device is an affordable alternative to buying a fully fledged Smart TV. Why spend hours reading through Smart TV reviews when there's an alternative option at a fraction of the price. Simple TV's DVR solution is a valid competitor to the TiVo DVR which was billed as the world's first Smart DVR when it was released.
What Is A Smart DVR?
To appreciate what a Smart DVR is and does, it's worth first understanding what a DVR is. The Wikipedia
DVR article covers it in depth, but essentially a DVR (sometimes also known as a PVR) is a device that is able to record video content and transfer it to a disk drive, USB, memory card, or pretty much any other form of network storage. Some DVR features include being able to pause live TV, replay specific scenes, and skip the ads.
DVRs have grown in popularity as our access to content - and the devices that deliver that content - has widened. They present a good solution for capturing, converging and managing that content from a range of sources, including IPTV, satellite, cable, and terrestrial TV.
The Simple TV Smart DVR is simple to understand. It's an HD TV tuner that can convert standard broadcast TV into streamed MPEG for all of the devices we use the most - from Roku Players to iPads to Boxees and more. By simply attaching some form of storage device, you can use it to store up to thousands of hours of video and TV programming....and then access all of that content on a mobile tablet or smartphone or Smart TV from anywhere.
In effect, it's a fully featured DVR which gives you full recording and playback features.
What Does A Smart DVR Get You?
First off, both the TiVo and Simple TV DVRs are easy to set up, easy to use, and low cost. They're innovative devices that allow you to not only record TV programmes, but also to stream TV shows or other content to a whole range of connected devices. That includes tablet PCs, smartphones, laptops etc.
Instead of using your computer to listen to your favorite music, you now have the chance to blare it from your TV. If you notice that you have to work while one of your shows is on you can set the DVR to record the show and you can watch it later. Connecting to the internet to do some online research is also made easy as you donít have to bother with a computer. Also, if you own a smart phone you could download an app that connects to your Smart DVR and while you watch your favorite movie you can be recording a show that you do not want to miss.
The Simple TV model is expected to offer a Premier Service subscription ($4.99 per month) that will get you a set of extra features including an electronic program guide, automatic TV series recording, in-depth information on content, and unlimited remote streaming for up to five users. You're also not tied to needing an HDMI connection - this Smart DVR will let you connect to your home network by wireless.
Where & When Can I get One?
The Simple TV DVR is expected to be released in the spring of 2012, but the TiVo model is already available and has been for some time. You can read much more about TiVo's Smart DVR on their official website.
In conclusion, if you are going to have a HDTV then make the switch to a better cable choice with a Smart DVR that can play your favorite music, record your shows, fast forward through commercials, and even record in 1080 resolution. It is the best product for a television since the rabbit ears and will save arguments over what to watch when the soap opera episode clashes with the big game. The kids will be happy knowing that school will not interfere with favorite cartoons and you can also rest easy if you have to work but a game is on.
A Smart DVR makes a perfect companion to a HDTV and every HDTV owner should have one.