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Building the next consoles: PVR

Personal Video Recorder (PVR) technology is designed as a replacement for videos. To put it simply, it records TV programs onto a hard disc, much like the one in your computer.

PVR systems like the popular TiVo can also pause live TV and record programs in a series or those of a similar subject to ones you have chosen.

But what does this have to do with consoles? Ever since the PS2 came with a 40GB external (internal also avaliable) hard disc, it has been theoretically possible to put PVR technology into consoles.

For the likes of Sony, who pushed the PS2 as a home entertainment centre, PVR technology is very appealing. It’s even been rumoured that they are trialing PVR-enabled PS2s.

However, the PS2 would not be able to record TV programs while running games. This is where our next-gen consoles come in. The PS3 with its ‘Cell’ chip would have ample processing power to incorporate PVR.

So why would Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo opt to use PVR? Well, simply because today’s consumers want more for their money and prefer to have everything they need in a single box. It’s yet another step towards an all-in-one entertainment box for your living room, another step towards that dream of total integration.

The author of this fine article

is the Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in November 2000. Get in touch on Twitter @PhilipMorton.

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