Archive | September, 2004

RadioShark Is Vaporware No More

Posted on 29 September 2004 by

As seen on SlashDot: The RadioShark, a Personal Audio Recorder (PAR?) is finally shipping! The downside is that it seems to be Mac only, so I’ll be the only one to be able to use it. Also it records off air and as we all know Broadcast Radio sucks. Still, it’s a step in the right direction. Also it allows you play back what you record on an iPod. Check it out here.

SageTV 2.0 User’s Guide

Posted on 27 September 2004 by

Frey Technologies has released the SageTV Version 2.0 User’s Guide (56k Warning: 8MB PDF). It’s chock full of really useful stuff, most of which was only available by scouring the SageTV Forums. The Appendicies are where this thing really shines.

Read more for the full TOC

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Great Giveaway: PCAlchemy Ahanix D3 HTPC Case

Great Giveaway: PCAlchemy Ahanix D3 HTPC Case

Posted on 27 September 2004 by

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS CONCLUDEDThe fine folks at PCAlchemy have stepped up once again to sponsor a giveaway exclusive to BYOPVR users. This time the lucky winner will receive an Ahanix D3 Media Center Enclosure It’s very slick looking with entertainment center-esque sex appeal and it accepts both micro ATX and full sized ATX motherboards! You are probably already aware how much HTPC friendly cases costs, and the D3 is loaded with HTPC coolness.

To enter the giveaway:
1. Go to the Ahanix D3 Media Center page on PCAlchemy’s site.

2. Read the product summary and detailed specifications to find the answer to the following question: “What 3 items come pre-installed on the Ahanix D3 Media Center HTPC case?”

3. Send a private message to byopvr user giveaway. Include the answer to the question posed in step 2, a valid email address (used for contacting the winner only), and which color Ahanix D3 HTPC case you would prefer
(choice of black or Silver).

The giveaway is open to registered users in the continental US ONLY, please only ONE submission per person. The giveaway ends this Monday October 11th, 2004 12:00 (noon) Eastern time. The winner will be determined by random drawing on the next day.

Thanks again to PCAlchemy.com for sponsoring the giveaway!

Weekend Wrap Up: Tivo, Linux HDTV & Broadcast Flag

Posted on 27 September 2004 by

TiVo announced that they’ve reached (*cue Dr Evil voice & pinky*) 2 million subscribers. It’s a good measure of how close PVRs (the concept) is to reaching critical mass and becoming common as DVD players. Your grandma wants a PVR =)

Slashdot posted an article on Linux HDTV support and the impending doom that could be Broadcast Flag

TiVo has set up a TiVo rewards plan where you can earn points redeemable for prizes for getting your friends on the TiVo bandwagon. Prizes include a TiVo logo’d Ipod … which is probably way easier to get than that other free ipod offer from gratis internet.

HDTV PVR Shootout

Posted on 22 September 2004 by

As seen on Slashdot (Current Crop Of HDTV Recorders Compared)

Washington Post article: HDTV PVR Recordings Match the Show, With a Key Drawback

“The early adopters of high-definition TV soon discovered that their year-2000 hardware had a year-1980 shortcoming — they had no way to record a show for later viewing without resorting to a VCR, losing all the high quality of high definition in the process. That would have been like driving a new Porsche only in first gear.”

How will new PVR related technology effect big media companies?

Posted on 22 September 2004 by

Combining Web and channel surfing may sound like a dream to dedicated couch potatoes, but new technology that allows the two to mix is a nightmare for media companies.

There is a brouhaha brewing over technology that would allow people with digital video recorders like TiVo to “tape” programs and send them — almost immediately — over the Internet to other TiVo machines. Entertainment companies say this could throw a wrench into their marketing strategy and encourage piracy.

The conflict stems, in part, from recent Federal Communications Commissions regulations that give the green light to some companies putting TV content on the Net.

One such new service is TiVoGuard, which would allow TiVo customers to beam their recorded programs to other TiVo machines in different locations. So a “Will & Grace” fan could transfer the Thursday night show to his weekend home and watch it on Saturday instead. (COOL!)

And with rumors circulating that TiVo and online DVD renter NetFlix are negotiating a deal to allow subscribers to download movies to their TiVo boxes, it looks like in the future the Internet will be the homestead of TV rather than the frontier. (More)

PVR & HTPC News Tidbit Round Up

Posted on 20 September 2004 by

Some misc. flotsam in my inbox

Series 2 TiVos are now 50 bucks after rebate from circuit city via kevin rose which is pretty damn cheap, even if you figure in the $300 lifetime subscription (or $13/month)

RA picked up a Hauppauge WinTV PVR 250MCE on my recommendation and then had a few interferance/tuning issues with it. He posted some helpful deep links to some forum discussions about 3rd party software having trouble with latest (minor) hardware revision of pvr250 hardware. Hopefully the latest PVR 250 driver addresses the issue completely. (update ra?)

Plextor is going to be using TitanTV with their new ConvertX TV402U MPEG4/Divx tuner/encoder

Tom’s Hardware reviews ATI’s HDTV Wonder ATSC DTV tuner card Apparently it doesn’t play nice with Nvidia cards… but I suspect future driver revisions will address that (one would hope).

New Low Power Processor: Intel Shelton

Posted on 18 September 2004 by

EPIACenter linked to some interesting information on Intel’s new low power “Shelton” series of chips. It looks like it’s a bigger platform than mini-itx and smaller than flex-atx which probably means more confusion when buying a small form factor case =) (although hopefully they were smart enough to make the mounting posts/etc ATX and flex-atx compatible)

Check out this babelfish translation of chinese tech site HKEPC’s article on the Intel Shelton.

Xbit labs article Intel Targets Embedded Systems with Shelton Chip
“Intel’s Shelton Platform Reportedly Intended for Embedded Systems The Shelton chip appears to be based on the P6/Intel Pentium M architecture and is made using 130nm.”

The Inquirer reports “Cacheless Intel Shelton takes on AMD Sempron

Overclockers asks is Intel taking on Via?

BYOPVR PVR Project Examples

Posted on 16 September 2004 by

I just noticed that steve525 posted lengthy description of his 466Mhz SageTV PVR350 PVR (and an update) in the user journal / blog section. So it’s not just Lowbrow pouring out the gory details of his homebrew PVR in the blog section.

Also of note: Mack posted a blow by blow of his $425 dollar home-built PVR in the byopvr main forum

Thanks to Lowbrow, Mack, & Steve525 for taking the time to share their trials, tribulations, and experiences so we can learn right along with them (then do the similiar projects quicker, cheaper, and easier muhahahahhaha) =)

One more project to scope out is ken’s (not our kenn) wintv go and media mvp PVR project at his (offsite) blog

Building a Linux PVR, Part 2 Enter The KnoppMyth

Posted on 16 September 2004 by

What, is today Anandtech news post day?

They’ve posted part 2 of their comparisons between Microsoft Media Center Edition 2004 and MythTV. This time they are trying KnoppMyth.

Some highlights (via TV Harmony ):

* MythTV does a better job compressing video recordings (in XVID format) and using disk space.
* MCE has tighter integration with the OS such as recording things in the background while you use another app in the foreground
* MythTV has more support for different hardware like capture cards, etc. and was impressive in utilizing the CPU to record on cheaper capture cards, transcode and compress files in the background, etc
* MCE is easier to install considering it comes bundled with hardware right out of the box
* MCE has integration with services like Video on Demand from Movielink
* MythTV is not shackled to DRM and copyright protections so things can be duplicated, burned, transfered, or used in any way the user sees fit
* MCE does a better job playing DVDs