TiVo Digital Video Recorder How Does It Work

TiVo Digital Video Recorder – How Does It Work?

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In this article, we are going to talk about TiVo, a digital video recorder, one of many out there and the most popular one too.

The digital video recorder market is expected to reach $92.78 billion by 2025. This means that the market is growing at 28.71%. This has greatly been attributed to the adoption of cloud Based DVRs and increased demand for HD videos.

Another major thing that is helping scale the growth of DVRs is the exponential rise in the number of broadcast channels and the rise in the penetration of smart devices such as Smart TVs and Smartphones in the market.

With the increase of digital recorder devices and services, the number of alternatives we have in the market is easy to be overwhelmed.

To narrow your alternatives and help you choose wisely, we are going to talk about the most popular one among the digital video recorders, TiVo. So what is TiVo and how does it work?

What is TiVo?

TiVo is a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) that records HD and higher quality videos in the cloud using computer technology to save and record the videos.

The device has several other features such as a standard VCR. These devices are manufactured by TiVo, Inc and designed in conjunction with a Cable TV service.

TiVo entered the Digital Recording Market in 1997 with the promise of offering a simple interface for recording and rescheduling programs.

How does TiVo work?

TiVo is not the only DVR that works by storing content as digital information. It works similarly to a computer storing information. The show will eventually be saved on a hard drive until you get ready to watch it and it can easily be played back whenever you like.

TiVo can store a piece of large digital information to the hard drive mainly because it’s more efficient than an older cassette tape.

In many cases, hundreds of hours can be stored on the hard drive. The shows are also saved in high definition as long as your video provider provides the content of that quality. This is actually the main difference between DVRs and VCRs.

How does TiVo connect to the TV?

TiVo is made in a way that it can easily connect to the TV and the cable box just as it’s the case with VCR.

There are two coaxial cables. One will be connected to the satellite feed and the other one to the TV.

TiVo: The Product

Just like any other DVR, TiVo uses an OS to manage the applications and set resources. The operating system of the device is based on Linux. This means that the modifications to the Linux Kernel OS are available to the public on demand.

These DVRs are grouped into generations known as Series. The first in line is the Series 1 DVR that was made by third-party manufacturers such as Sony and Phillips.

The manufacturers designed these devices to work exclusively with the TiVo services. The first series of devices were very easy to hack and at the same time, many sites were devoted to teaching people about the same.

From series 2, TiVo began to offer its own brand of DVRs, which means that users could easily integrate their TiVo with the home network which opened a lot of new options.

One of the best models is the Series 2 Dual Tuner Model that gives users a chance to record two programs simultaneously. The Series 2 models are also manufactured by HUMAX and Sony.

The Latest Generation of TiVo DVRs is the Series 3 HD DVR. This DVR can record video contents in High Definition quality. You also can record multiple channels simultaneously. It can easily be hooked to the home network.

According to the manufacturer, you can download software to the Series 3 TiVo set. Many new applications are supported there.

TiVo: The Service

With the information shared above about the TiVo set, you probably want to take advantage of all its functions but don’t know where to start.

To get full access to TiVo services, you have to pay a monthly or an annual subscription.

Previously, TiVo was providing a lifetime subscription deal. However, today you can only choose from TiVo Monthly Subscription or TiVo Annual subscription.

It’s also important to know that TiVo doesn’t provide satellite signals to your set. This is an indication that you still have to subscribe to your Satellite or Cable TV service for the TV signals.

TiVo will work closely with your signal provider to interpret the signals and allow you to record the programs you want.

All the subscribers have to disclose to TiVo where the TV signals come from. The older TiVo sets required a phone landline so that you could download the programs as scheduled by the service.


Is there a monthly fee for TiVo?

Yes, there are three All-In service plans, Monthly, and annual service plans.

If you choose the annual plan, you will have to pay $149.99 including taxes. This will be available for the TiVo Bolt and Tivo Edge.

You will be required to pay this amount in full. You can as well choose the Monthly plan where you will be expected to pay $14.99 every month.

Does TiVo work without a Subscription?

Yes, you can use TiVo without a subscription but you’ll have to pay for full functionality. If you choose the free version, you will not be able to get updated guides which will automatically keep you from scheduling recordings.

Do you need Internet for TiVo?

Yes, you need a high-speed Internet connection to get the program listings, service updates, and on-demand content. Although you can use a wireless connection, you need to consider a wired connection for stability and reliability.


TiVo entered the market in 1997 with the promise that customers shouldn’t worry about TV schedules and programing their VCRs.

They claimed that they are going to help customers record shows and even entire shows in real-time using a simple Interface.

TiVo is actually the pioneer in Commercially-available DVRs. In more than 20 years, TiVo has been making some of the best DVR sets that help you watch TV shows and even entire shows whenever you want.

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