TiVo (pronounced, in IPA, /tiː.voʊ/) is a popular brand of digital video recorder (DVR), a term synonymous with personal video recorder (PVR). more...
It is a consumer video device which allows users to capture television programming to internal hard disk storage for later viewing (sometimes called "time shifting").
TiVo systems function similarly to VCRs, but use non-removable hard disk storage, and contain much more sophisticated software to record programs—not only those the user specifically requests, but also other material the user is likely to be interested in. Additionally, programs being watched "live" can be paused or "rewound" to repeat a sequence just watched. Unlike tape-based recorders, a program that is still being recorded can be viewed from the beginning.
A TiVo DVR allows a user to specify which programs to record by time, by program title, and by specifying combinations of genre, actors, directors, etc. Based on a database of programs available to the user—based on his or her location and/or cable/satellite services he or she uses, and updated roughly once a day via phone or network connection to TiVo headquarters—it selects and records the desired programs. Programs may be stored until internal storage is filled, at which time the unit will dispose of older programs (unless flagged to be saved until manually deleted), to allow for new programs to be recorded. "Season passes" instruct the TiVo to record a show every time it comes on, regardless of what time the show runs, with the option of not recording reruns.
In addition to recording programs specified by the users, a feature pioneered by TiVo is the recording of additional programs based on the viewing habits of the household. TiVo users can also rate programs favorably or unfavorably (ranging from three "thumbs up" to three "thumbs down"). These ratings, and the ratings of other TiVo subscribers, are used in a collaborative filtering based model to produce a recommendation score for unrated shows. This recommendation score is heavily based upon what other TiVo subscribers that have similar viewing habits watch. (Ali, Stam;
The TiVo unit constantly records the incoming television signal, allowing users to pause or rewind "live" TV within a short (generally 30 minute) buffer. Many viewers use this capability to watch "live" TV with limited interruption for commercials, starting to watch from the beginning of the program 10–15 minutes after it started, then fast-forwarding through commercials.
Another advantage over traditional tape-based recorders is that users can watch a recording from a TiVo unit as it records another program. In addition, unlike generic DVRs, TiVo Series2 units can be easily connected to a home network, which allows TiVo users to schedule recordings via a Web browser, transfer recordings from a TiVo unit to another TiVo unit or to a home computer, and use some other home networking features. The TiVo Series2 models can also view pictures and play music stored on home computers through a home network.
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