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25 May

How To Record TV Shows Without DVR: DVR Alternatives For Recording Shows

In the past days of TVs, people had to watch shows when the broadcasters wanted them to watch. Therefore, if you missed the weekly episode of your favorite show, you would have to wait until the other week. However, as years went by, things started to change with the introduction of DVR.

Now, people can record their favorite shows and watch them when they like without any restrictions. DVR enabled users to do many other things apart from only recording. However, people stopped using DVR to record shows and started using other means. The following article will give you some of the ways people recorded their shows without using DVR.

How To Record TV Shows Without DVR

People have stopped using DVR to record TV shows because of various reasons. One of the reasons is that DVR can be expensive. Therefore, they have looked for other ways to record their TV shows. One of the common ways is by using a USB stick. In addition, another way you can record TV shows is by using the Wondershare UniConverter app.

About DVR

It’s a digital video recorder that can record and store video files, such as movies, shows, and other content. It records and keeps those files on local storage devices such as USB flash drives, SSDs, etc., in digital format. Every user has the right to set up a DVR to record their preferred material as soon as it broadcasts.

In addition, multiple tuners in DVR allow people to record multiple channels simultaneously. Moreover, the DVR allows automatic recording of new shows while deleting the old ones. Therefore, it enables better management by saving more space.

Reasons Why People Record Shows Without DVR

Many people find DVRs to be a time-saver. They can store a large amount of content for future reference. As far as recording goes, DVRs are certainly a viable option. However, despite its benefits, it also has some negatives that have made people stop using it to record shows. Here are some of those negatives that have made people record shows without DVR:

  • Most of the DVRs are only compatible with one service provider. Meaning you cannot use your previous DVR if you change a cable provider. Therefore, your DVR would have gone to waste.
  • There are additional DVR fees included in your monthly cable bill. It can be expensive for most users, thus forcing them to stop using DVR. A good example is Xfinity. They charge a $10 monthly subscription for using their DVR as well as the cost of your channel bundle.
  • A cable company’s DVR will also bind you to a contract, usually for a year or more. Therefore, you may end up paying for equipment or channels that you do not use.
  • There are restrictions to how much programming you can record and preserve on a DVR box manufactured by a third-party company.

Ways You Can Record TV Shows Without DVR

The following are ways you can record TV shows without needing a DVR.

Using A USB Stick To Record TV Shows Without A DVR

Practically, every TV model comes pre-installed with PVR software that allows you to use your TV as a DVR. Therefore, ensure you check if your TV has a USB port by looking at the back of the device. If the answer is yes, you’re in luck since you can now record TV shows using a USB stick. You no longer need a VCR or video cassette to record TV programs using.

Furthermore, you should ensure to check the TV manual after connecting the USB HDD to your TV. It will help you see if PVR settings are available in the menu function of your TV. Moreover, you may easily save TV shows on a USB memory stick and view them offline due to their ample space. Follow the instructions below to record shows on your USB drive.

  • The first thing is to look for a USB port on the TV’s back to see if you can connect using a USB.
  • You will then connect the USB HDD to the television if your TV has a USB port. Make sure the PVR function is accessible on the TV before proceeding.
  • Next, you will ensure that the HDD format and other PVR choices align with your TV’s settings.
  • You can now begin recording TV shows using the built-in PVR function.

Using Wondershare UniConverter

Install Wondershare UniConverter if you want to record TV shows on Mac or Windows with ease and excellent quality. The app is easy to use and offers users powerful screen recording tools. In addition, it allows users to capture recordings in full-screen mode or select specific capture areas.

Moreover, you can also add voice narrations, PIP (Picture in Picture) effects, and annotations such as texts and drawings. Users can also edit their recorded TV shows by cropping, cutting, or adding watermarks. Furthermore, it allows users to capture TV shows to MP4, MOV, VOB, MTS, MP3, etc. Ensure you follow these steps if you want to record shows with Wondershare UniConverter.

 Launch the recording function

The first step is to install and run the Wondershare UniConverter app. Afterward, you will open the app and click on the screen recorder tab to launch the recording tool.

 Set a capture area

Next, you will set the capture area. You will go to the recording mode function, click on it, and drag the cropper to set the capture area. Alternatively, you may select Custom or Full Screen from the drop-down menu. If you use Custom, you can specify the frame’s dimensions and press Lock Aspect Ratio. Doing so will make the outcome look attractive.

Configure your recording options

You will then choose a Sound Output device from the System Audio menu. Under the microphone menu, you will select a voice narration. In addition, under the webcam menu, you will choose a Facecam for adding the PIP effect. Furthermore, you will go to settings and open the format menu to select MP4, AVI, or FLV as the target format.

Start the TV show recording

Click the REC button to begin recording your desktop screen once you’re happy with the recording settings and the capture area. Launch the recording toolbar and click the Annotation button to add annotations like text, shapes, and drawings. Moreover, you can use the Video Editor tool to edit a recorded TV show.

Using Windows Media Center

Windows Media Center is an excellent solution for Windows 7 users who want to record TV shows without a DVR. Using this app, you may watch and record live TV. In addition, you can view slide shows of photos and play songs in its library. Before using Windows Media Center to watch TV shows, the PC must have a TV tuner card. Here are the steps for using Windows Media Center to record shows without DVR.

  • Go to your PC’s start menu and search for “Windows Media Center.” In the main interface, select TV.”
  • You can access the TV’s menu by clicking “Guide.” You will see TV names, categories, and times on the TV menu.
  • Press “Enter” after selecting the TV show you want to watch. To begin recording, press “Record.” Clicking the “Do Not Record” button will stop the recording. If you want to save your TV shows, choose the “Record Series” option.

Use Mediaportal To Record TV Shows Without A DVR

MediaPortal is a free, open-source media center application that transforms your PC into a comprehensive media solution. MediaPortal is capable of a wide range of features. For example, it will allow you to watch and record live TV for free, play movies, and create a slideshow.

Moreover, you can also stream TV to any PC connected to your network, enjoy music and radio, and many other features. Using MediaPortal to record TV shows is extremely fast and straightforward when you don’t have a DVR. The following are the procedures for recording TV shows using Mediaportal.

  • The first step is to go to Configuration > TV-Server > Recording and set the save path of your recordings.
  • You will then press the record button on your MediaPortal remote or the R key to record TV shows.
  • When you’re viewing a TV show, select Record Now from the menu. It will allow you to record the current show that you are watching. Moreover, it would be best to manually stop a recording if you had started a continuous recording.

How Can You Record TV Shows Directly From Your TV?

The first thing you should ensure is that your TV has an in-built PVR. Once you confirm that it has, You will prepare your USB device and plug it into the best TV. Using your remote, you will record your TV shows by tapping the record button.


You have seen that the DVR device played a vital role in ensuring you did not miss your favorite show. You could use it to record shows and watch them later whenever you want. However, due to some of its liabilities, people stopped using it and started using other means.

One of the primary reasons people stopped using it was the high price. Now, people use Windows Media Center, which is effective, especially for windows 7 users. In addition, you can also use a USB stick if your TV has an in-built PVR and a USB slot.


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