Dual Channel PVR Set Top Boxes


What is a PVR?

A PVR (Personal Video Recorder) is a digital version of the old tape Video Recorder. Instead of recording on to individual VHS tapes, it records onto a Hard Drive or other data storage such as a USB drive.

What is a Set Top Box (STB)?

A set-top box (STB) is a TV Channel receiver that connects between a television set and a TV aerial, so that a Digital TV signal can be received by older Televisions. Newer TV’s already have this technology incorporated in the TV.

What is special about Dual Channel?

Most TV’s and TV recording devices are Single Channel, ie: they have a single TV tuner and you can only receive a single TV channel at a time. A Dual Channel Tuner, or Twin Tuner, is like having two TV inputs in one box, so you can record one channel while watching the other. When built into a PVR this originally allowed three options:  (details given here apply to Australian TV)

  1. Record something on say Channel 7
  2. Record something on say Channel 9
  3. Watch something already pre-recorded

Further developments have been made to allow some of these Dual Channel machines to go even further, and record FOUR programs at one time, whilst watching something else already pre-recorded, ie: a total of FIVE things happening in the PVR at once.  However, at the current time there are some limitations on this.  Each of the two channels is capable of receiving all the signals from a channel group.

What is a Channel Group

Each TV broadcaster is given a channel group that they transmit on, so if we take Channel Seven, they can transmit all their group channels down one TV channel.  With some of the newer PVR’s each TV Tuner in model can record from two stations from this channel group, so the following type of operations can occur:

  1. Record something on say Channel 7 (using Tuner 1 on Channel group 7)
  2. Record something on say Channel 71 (using Tuner 1 on Channel group 7)
  3. Record something on say Channel 72 (using Tuner 2 on Channel group 7)
  4. Record something on say Channel 73 (using Tuner 2 on Channel group 7)
  5. Watch something already pre-recorded

or

  1. Record something on say Channel 7 (using Tuner 1 on Channel group 7)
  2. Record something on say Channel 71 (using Tuner 1 on Channel group 7)
  3. Record something on say Channel 1 (using Tuner 2 on Channel group 10)
  4. Record something on say Channel 11 (using Tuner 2 on Channel group 10)
  5. Watch something already pre-recorded

or

  1. Record something on say Channel 7 (using Tuner 1 on Channel group 7)
  2. Record something on say Channel 71 (using Tuner 1 on Channel group 7)
  3. Record something on say Channel 9 (using Tuner 2 on Channel group 9)
  4. Record something on say Channel 99 (using Tuner 2 on Channel group 9)
  5. Watch something already pre-recorded

But NOT this option, which would require 4 Tuners, (for channel groups 2, 7, 9 and 10).

  1. Record something on say Channel 2
  2. Record something on say Channel 7
  3. Record something on say Channel 9
  4. Record something on say Channel 10
  5. Watch something already pre-recorded

In the future I would expect TV’s to be available that have a single tuner, but that can utilise multiple signals, and with a PVR function, they could allow the following scenario:

  1. Record something on say Channel 7
  2. Watch something on say Channel 71

But again this would be limited to signals in the same channel group.

 

 


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