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How Long Can I Record Using a 320GB DVR Recording at 10fps?

Updated February 21, 2017

When recording on a DVR, figuring out the amount of recording time that is available can be difficult. Recording space on a DVR depends on which recording quality a person uses. Recording live television at 30 frames per second (fps) or high quality produces a clear picture, but requires more gigabytes. By changing the frame speed to 10fps or low quality, the picture has lower quality but uses much less space. The amount of recording time available on a DVR varies with each manufacturer, but this method gives a very close calculation of available recording time on a DVR.

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  1. Check the amount of free space available on your DVR. Click on the menu button on the remote control. Scroll down to recording settings, and access information on the hard disk space availability. Some DVRs give you the amount of hours left available, but most DVRs simply give you the amount of space available.

  2. Write down the amounts of hard disk space available if the DVR doesn't give the amount of hours. This gives you a starting point for figuring out the total amount of available space.

  3. Set the recording quality to low. Next, record a video or an item that you want record that's an hour long. After the recording is finished, check the amount of space available and write it down.

  4. Subtract the first number from the second number. This gives you the total amount of gigabytes used recording one hour on the DVR. For example: 320GB - 319.36GB = 0.432GB of space used for one hour of recording.

  5. Divide the used space time (0.432GB) into the amount of the total gigabytes the DVR can record (320GB); the result is 740GB. A 320GB DVR can record approximately 740 hours, depending on the DVR manufacturer.

  6. Tip

    If you record in high quality, keep in mind that the DVR uses two or three times the amount of space when recording high quality.


    When the recording space is low on the DVR, make sure that you have the amount of space for recording a show plus an extra hour left over, so you ensure there is adequate recording space.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper

About the Author

Sue Stepp
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