Grundig has just come up with a replacement for your Tivo or similar recording device, and the odds are you already have it – well, part of it anyway. By adding USB-recording technology to various models of its new TVs, which it had on show at IFA 2009, Grundig has turned any standard USB flash drive or external hard disk drive (HDD) into a personal video recorder (PVR). The only catch is you will only be able to watch the recorded content on a compatible Grundig set.

For models sporting the USB recording function a connected USB drive can be used for recording, playback and time-shifting of programs received through the TVs’ built-in DVB T/C digital receiver. Grundig says that an 8GB USB drive should provide enough space for recording four hours' worth of programs at normal resolution, but the system can also record in full HD, which will obviously take up more space.

The USB drives can be fully or partially formatted to suit the USB recording function and still allow other data to be stored on the drive. Once formatted, capturing content is as easy as pushing record on the remote control. The electronic program guide (EPG) can even be used to schedule recordings, which can be carried out from the TVs’ standby mode. Accessing the recorded content is as easy as bringing up the list of recorded files and pressing OK.

Content without any copy protection can be played back on any Grundig TV with the USB recording function, but encrypted channels will only be viewable on the TV on which they were recorded.

The Grundig USB recording function is available on the latest generation of the Vision 7 (37” and 42”), Vision 9 (26” and 32”) series, the Hamburg (26” and 32”) and Toronto (37” and 42”) cityline models, and the top of the line FineArts LED (40”) models.

The Vision 7, Vision 9 and Toronto sets will be released this month followed by the Hamburg units in October and finally the FineArts LED sets in November.

Pricing is yet to be announced.