DVR (digital video recorder) time-shifting is a time-delay recording technology that records viewing to the hard drive of a DVR (digital video recorder), either by explicit decision of the viewer or in accordance with a set of rules (a single broadcast, a “season ticket” to record an entire series for “binge watching” at season’s end, explicit genre rules, or in some systems, individual “if you liked this, you’ll probably like that” suggestions). Recorded broadcasts may then be viewed later and with trickplay capability (pause, rewind, fast-forward, speed multiples).
DVRs integrated into STBs (set-top boxes) also automatically record the currently tuned channel into a review buffer, typically 90–120min long, permitting trickplay to be used in realtime viewing, such as a pause for other activities, rewind to see some content again, or fast-forward to catch up to the realtime broadcast.
One of the most disruptive abilities of a DVR is to fast-forward (or, on some models, entirely skip) advertising; this makes DVRs better at advertising avoidance than even nonsubscription VOD and OTT. It has become common for viewers to start watching a realtime broadcast at a delay and use the DVR to skip advertisements and uninteresting portions of the programme to catch up to the realtime broadcast by its end.
DVR-equipped households watch more television than others. In the U.S., DVR households at one point were estimated to watch 40% more, but DVR use amounts vary substantially by country.