Header image of books


This currently fashionable abbreviation stands not for “Player Value Rating” as American football fans might think, nor for the medics’ “Pulmonary Vascular Resistance”, but for “Personal Video Recorder”. Readers in the US may be more familiar with this term than those in Britain or elsewhere, since the US has three types on sale at the moment — TiVo, UltimateTV and ReplayTV — while only TiVo has so far made it to the UK. The concept marries a digital video recorder with a computer and an electronic program guide, downloaded via the telephone, that lets you look 14 days ahead. You choose up to 35 hours of programmes, which are stored on the disk as they are broadcast for you to watch when you like. One key advance over the VCR is that you can browse, replay or skip at will, and watch one programme while another is recording. Some of the systems let you skip the commercials, are capable of learning your viewing habits, and allow you to pause live programmes temporarily while, say, you answer the telephone.

PVRs are interactive — as they play the selected program they also collect data about viewing habits that advertisers can use to target commercials at specific audiences.

Time International, Mar. 2001

Still, PVRs promise sweeping new powers to this nation of tubers: Save hours wasted watching commercials! Rearrange your viewing schedule without limits! No more messy VCR tapes! There’s always something on TV that you might actually want to watch! This is why PVR fans remain steadfast even after the unit fails to record that crucial episode of their favorite show.

Forbes Magazine, June 2001

Search World Wide Words

Support this website!

Donate via PayPal. Select your currency from the list and click Donate.

Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 23 Jun. 2001

Advice on copyright

The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-pvr1.htm
Last modified: 23 June 2001.