You want a basic, no-frills DVR without the commitment of owning equipment.
Most cable and satellite companies lease DVRs to subscribers. With a cable DVR, the programming guide information is transmitted to your home over the cable, eliminating the need for a telephone line. Satellite companies -- which usually bundle DVR service with their higher-end receivers and offer the capability as a service add-on -- typically require a telephone line.
Cost: DVR boxes are $10 a month, on top of the basic cost of renting a cable or satellite box. A subscription is $5.99 monthly for DirecTV, while DISH is $5.98 and includes a DVR lease for new subscribers.