Q: A few weeks ago, you listed shows that were having new episodes during the summer, on both broadcast and cable networks. However, one of my favorite shows was missing from your list: BBC America's "Dr. Who." For the last few years, they have had new episodes during the summer and one at Christmas. They had a new show this past Christmas, but nothing new since. Has this series been canceled (again)?
-- Joseph, 51, Ingram, Pa.
Rob Owen: "Dr. Who" has not been canceled. A BBC America publicist would only say "Dr. Who" will be back sometime in 2012. Stay tuned.
Q: Is there a way to determine how many hours the various TV providers give you access to with their DVRs? I have researched online but cannot seem to find many specifics; it seems like "it depends." I am aware that recording in HD takes up more space than recording a regular show. I currently have DirecTV, and I think I can record about 40 to 60 hours of mostly HD programming before the DVR is full and things start dropping off.
-- Jim, 42, Allison Park, Pa.
Rob: The only good way to find out is to ask and even then there are some caveats. Here are the responses from some providers:
Verizon: Verizon's 500-gigabyte (GB) digital video recorder (DVR) can record on average about 200 hours of standard-definition (SD) programming and 70 hours of high-definition (HD) programming. FiOS TV customers also have the ability to connect an external hard drive (500 GB, 1 terabyte (TB), etc.) to their set-top boxes to increase storage capacity.
Comcast: Comcast uses many different DVR models, providing customers 90 to 120 hours of SD recording space. Customers recording half the time in HD would typically have about 55 to 70 hours of recording time.
DISH Network: The Hopper is a three-tuner DVR with a 2-TB hard drive that holds 2,000 hours of entertainment. 1 TB is devoted to DVR space, which holds 500 hours of HD or 1,000 hours of SD content. The other 1 TB is reserved for video on demand (VOD). DISH has another DVR, the VIP 722 500 GB receiver, which holds 250 hours of HD and 500 hours of SD programming.
A DirecTV representative did not respond when I sent her Jim's query.