Difference Between PVR and DVR

The main function of a PVR was to record the television programmes and then replay them, but there was a slight time difference with the original programme.

DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder. It is a digital device that records videos in a digitalised way, unlike VCRs which uses analogue.

Comparison Table Between PVR and DVR

Parameters of ComparisonPVRDVR
Full-FormPVR stands for Personal Video Recorder.DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder.
Definition PVR is a type of recording device used in cable Tv.DVR is an electronic device that uses digitalised format.
LaunchedIt was launched in 1997.It was launched in 1999.
SignalIt uses both analogue and digital signals.It uses only digital signals.
StorageIt can store data of 160 GB and can be expanded to 500 GB.It can store data of 2 TB and has no limitations.

What is PVR? 

PVR is a better version of Video Cassette Recorders and was invented by Anthony Wood in the year 1997, who is the founder of ReplayTV.

PVRs usually came with the cable TV set because they can only be used in televisions sets. It can use both analogue and digital signal to record audios and videos.

Camcorders, which was first launched by Sony in 1983, can be said to be the earliest form of Personal Video Recorders that came very handy and easy to use. Unlike video recorders which were large and heavy to move.

What is DVR?

DVR, a more advanced form of PVR, began to rule the television industry in the year 1999 when Replay TV and TiVo launched their first DVR sets. Although TiVo became more successful commercially, selling 1 lakh units in the same year.

DVRs were being widely used by professional filmmakers and production houses for recording videos as it doesn’t have a limit like VCRs and PVRs. With the advent of DVRs, time-shifting becomes more easy and convenient to use as it can pause live TV, chasing playback, instant replay and skipping the advertisement etc.

DVRs also uses the format of MPEG to compress the video digitally. Recording the videos on the setup box and viewing them later has become a necessary part of modern times as it gives full control to the consumers.

Main Differences Between PVR and DVR

  1. PVR uses both analogue and digital signals. DVR uses only digital signals.
  2. PVR can store data of 160 GB and can be expanded to 500 GB with external storage. DVR can store data of 2 TB and has no limitations, which make it so convenient.
Difference Between PVR and DVR


There is very little difference between a PVR and a DVR. As both the devices are used to record and capture videos but from a different source.

Although both PVR and DVR have different features, which differ according to the company, DVR came out as a replacement for PVR, which has no limitations of recording videos.

That is why it was so widely used by filmmakers and production companies. PVRs have become very rare in terms of usage, and DVRs are being commonly used in modern times.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/5735499/
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/4588028/
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