A few weeks ago my DVR started making a weird whirring noise. The first bad sign, but things went fine for a few more days. Then when trying to watch a recorded show that I know was there the screen displays an Unreadable Disk Error. I did some searching online to see if I could trouble shoot it myself as I don't like to call technical support for something that I should be able to fix. While I was not able to find a solution, I did come across some interesting information on multi-room DVRs which piqued my interest.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with multi-room DVRs, this is a set top box that lets you watch stored content on another cable box in the home. So, for example, you can have the DVR in your living room recording your shows, but can watch them in your bedroom before you go to sleep. This is a great concept, and one that is starting to enter the industry.
I had considered getting more than one DVR in my home as we watch shows in the living room, in the playroom, and in the bedroom, but there are a few drawbacks. First is the cost of having multiple DVRs. Second is the set up for each of them. While there are different viewing requirements for each room, I do not like the idea of setting each DVR up to record all the shows that I might want to watch in each room, and then have to delete them from each DVR after I have watched it in one room but not the others. Finally there is the issue of noise. While DVRs are relatively quiet, they do still make noise, and trying to sleep when the hard drive is spinning is a bit annoying (trust me, we tried when we were remodeling the house and had the DVR in our bedroom. My wife made me unplug it each night before bed because she could not sleep with it in the room).
I know that there are a few companies that make DVRs, specifically I saw the on the Scientific-Atlanta page (http://www.scientificatlanta.com/). But when I contacted my cable provider I was told that they do not offer them yet, but are looking into the technology. This is something that I will be sure to investigate further as soon as they are released here.