Still using an old VCR to record TV programs. Would like to try the DVR thing but not sure how it works. My main question is this.... Can a DVR be used just as a (manual)recording device ...just like the VCR? Or is a subscription (to Tivo, or whatever) mandatory to make it work?? I'd like the convenience of the digital recording but I would NOT like having to pay a fee to use the damn thing. Never had one, or even seen one in use. So if anyone can shed some light on this it would be greatly appreciated.