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Why is there often a service fee for a PVR or DVR when my VCR doesn't have one?
When you get a DVR, you aren't just getting a device - you're getting an ongoing service. In addition to a constant supply of guide information (up to 14 days in advance), you get software upgrades to add new features, as well. A VCR doesn't include these services. If you want new features, you need to buy a new VCR.

DVRs are actually little computers. Many of the things they do are controlled by software. Just like a regular computer, you can add new functions by updating the software on the hard drive. not only does this allow you to get more out of your DVR as time goes by, it means it evolves as technology changes. This means you're less likely to need to buy a new unit to get the latest features.

The guide data is in a constant state of flux. Shows change times and special events pre-empt regular shows. Someone has to make those changes to the guide. The money you pay for your DVR service (whether it be a one-time fee or a monthly subscription) helps pay for that updated information. All that effort goes toward making sure your favorite shows get recorded correctly.

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