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A Cord Cutter’s Guide to Choosing the Best DVR

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Cord cutting has become increasingly common in the US as people look for less costly alternatives to cable subscriptions and satellite services. Current estimates suggest that around 30 percent of US consumers will become cord cutters over the next year.

Of course, cutting the cord means you either catch shows while air live or you get yourself a DVR. Not sure how you’ll pick a DVR or even what a DRV is? Keep reading for a quick look at DVRs, their benefits, and how to pick the best DVR for you.

What is a DVR?

For the uninitiated, a DVR is a digital video recorder. In essence, it’s like a computer that records shows straight off your TV for later viewing. While traditionally associated with cable and satellite, it can also work for traditionally broadcast shows.

DVR Benefits

DVRs offer a few main benefits. The main benefit is that it lets you record shows as they air and rewatch them when your schedule allows.

Most DVRs also provide software that helps you find shows and set the recording function.

How To Choose a DVR

There are several factors that you must consider when picking a DVR.


Many people cut the cord on cable, but choose a less expensive, streaming live TV service as an alternative. Some of these services will work with any DVR, but some of them will own work with specific, compatible devices. Make sure you pick a DVR that is compatible with any live TV streaming service you subscribe to after ditching cable.


Different DVRs will provide different feature sets. Some of them are very simple and will only record one or two shows at a time and can only play to one device at a time. Others, such as the DIRECTV Genie 2, let your record multiple shows simultaneously and play them back on multiple devices.

You must also consider the total storage. If you only record one or two shows at a time, you only need moderate storage. If you record multiple shows every week, you need more storage.


DVRs come at a number of price points but you can routinely find them at anything from $100 to more than $300. The exact price often depends on the brand, compatibility, and overall feature set of the device.

Other factors may influence your choice, but the ones listed above are the main concerns for most buyers.

Picking the Best DVR for You

Picking the best DVR for you often boils down to a combination of different considerations. If you’re cutting the cord as a cost-saving measure, the price of the DVR may prove your biggest concern.

If you trade up cable for a live TV streaming subscription, compatibility may prove the most important factor in your choice. If you just love new gadgets, a feature-rich device may end up as the most appealing option.

Looking for more tips on managing tech or your cord cutting adventure? Check out some more of the posts over in our Tech section.


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