Monday, April 02, 2007
The good thing about digital video recorders in general, is that since they function on subscription basis, their software can easily be updated using the same kind of data connection that they use to receive program guides. That's exactly what TiVo did with this glitch. It devised a software patch and then sent it to the units with the broken programming. Apparently, even after having received the patch, the high def TiVo units continued to malfunction. Now though, TiVo is saying that the systems simply need to be rebooted for the software patch to take effect. The fact that a home entertainment system would need to be rebooted in order to function properly definitely points out that digital video recorders are pretty much just computers in disguise.
There are digital video recorders on the market though that don't go nearly as far to disguise their similarities to normal computers though. These digital video recorders are based on either the Windows operating system or a Linux distros. Both of these types of digital video recorders give a lot more options to combine different kinds of media into the home entertainment experience. For example, both types tend to have DVD players built in and at least one type of Linux system is capable of burning video recorded on its hard drive off of TV onto DVD's. The Linux based system also functions as a home computer system with the ability to connect to a broadband home network, surf the Internet, and use productivity software like OpenOffice.org. The other advantage of using a Linux based digital video recorder is that if there are bugs in the system, you can be sure that someone out there is coming up with a good solid fix to the problem.