services 08.14.03

Digital Video Recorder

Ordinarily, we wouldn't do two electronics stories in one week, but we're psyched about the new DVR — digital video recorder — box that's now available from Time Warner. As is their style, they've started releasing the box and service quietly, with an official September launch.

We fear for TiVo. People with Time Warner cable service are more likely to upgrade their current service than add one from another company. With TW's DVR, you can have it record, say, all the episodes of "Scrubs", pause live TV, do your own instant replays, record two live shows, watch one show and record another, and you get picture-in-picture technology.

A few points: You need to have digital service to use the DVR. The new box records 35-50 hours of programming (depending on whether you're recording digital or analog channels). There's no need for a phone line connection to update program information as there is with TiVo. If you have one of the TW digital packages, the additional DVR service is $6.95 a month. Otherwise, it's $9.95 a month, no charge for the new box.

This is relatively new technology (new to TW, anyway), and even their brochure warns that there may be some glitches (and even asks you to "be patient").

To upgrade, bring in your old cable box and cord to the Time Warner retail shop at 46 E. 23rd [Park/Mad]. For more info, call 212.358.0900.
To compare Time Warner's DVR features and prices with two competitors, TiVo and Replay, you can check them out here:

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