PVR = Personal Video Recorder. Think TiVo. Without the monthly service fee. You can buy a box that will do this for you, and record onto a writeable DVD or hard drive, and they are a wonderful improvement over the standard VHS video cassette recorder.
But these boxes are simply computers with limited capabilities. Many people are “rolling their own” PVRs using a computer and PVR software to create the same functionality and more. One publisher of such software is SnapStream, and they publish Beyond TV 4. The news is that this version includes support for DivX compression, which can reduce the size of a recording to one-tenth the size of a standard MPEG2 encoding (which is what is used for DVD movies).
You can use this more efficient compression to fit more shows in a given amount of hard disk or DVD storage, but that’s only half the point. It also means that you can store HD content in the same amount of space or less than it would take to store the same length of SD content using MPEG2 encoding. And this means that you won’t need a blue-laser DVD like HD DVD or BluRay to store your HD content on DVD discs. As a bonus, DivX is already supported by a wide range of devices.
The big question now becomes whether or not consumers will be willing to wait and pay a large premium for blue-laser storage, when affordable alternatives are available right now.