Difference between a set top box and a DVD recorder with a HDD and TV Tuner.

Posted on 2007-07-29
Last Modified: 2013-11-06
I seem to be getting lost in the spec detail can anyone tell me what the difference between a set top box and a DVD recorder with a HDD (besides burning discs of course).
Question by:Marina2006
    LVL 69

    Accepted Solution

    Do you mean a cable set top box, which is able to record and store shows?  The cable set top box comes with whatever is necessary to decrypt encoded channels and has software for scheduling and recording shows, plus it has a tuner; other than that, they are similar.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    A set top box is a pretty generic term. Quite literally, a DVD player could fall under such a broad term. But most commonly, a set top box is now being reserved as a term for a cable box or satellite box. As Callonder explained, they simply act as the tuner for whatever provider you use, giving you access to the signals being sent by the cable company or the satellite dish. Many modern set top boxes come with HDD and the software to more easily look at programming and make it available to record. A DVD burner with HDD that you would pick up at any electronics store is simply a "digital VCR" in that you are recording to the HDD instead of a tape. Fortunately, the software in these units are becoming more sophisticated and are offering guide data as well, which allows for easy recording setup. (No more having to input the exact date and time, now you usually just have to know the show title and do a search.)

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