Archive | November, 2004

Sunday Pileup: HTPC howto and HDTV guide

Posted on 21 November 2004 by

Saw these articles during the week over at HTPCnews and meant to post them for you earlier…

Tech Zone builds a sexy HDTV HTPC (it ain’t cheap, but the 42″ HDTV Plasma had something to do with price tag)

ecoustics has an article on Analog to Digital TV: How to Get HDTV

Not directly related, but “How to steal wifi is a howto, well at least it links to the actual howto secure your wifi, but let it serve as a word of warning for those with unsecured access points, your neighbor might have a stuffed animal fetish. (i’m frightened to see what google search terms that elicits)

Cliffnotes wifi securing guide: use strong passwords, change default password/SSID, Don’t broadcast SSID, use WEP/WPA with again a strong password, lock down to MAC address, etc… none of this is fool proof, but will go a long way to keep you from being low hanging fruit for the neighbor’s kid’s MP3 downloading mule.

Follow up: More TiVo FF Banner Ad Commentary

Posted on 21 November 2004 by

WizbangBlog: Tivo in trouble?

“Ever since Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. bought DirecTV I’ve heard the rumor that they would drop the TiVo service from their DVR’s. I noticed that the packaging for new models are now called DirecTV DVR’s and in small print on the packaging it is noted that they feature the TiVo service. Is that a harbinger of things to come? Is DirecTV going to squash the puny TiVo folks?

The Los Angeles Times reports that TiVo’s will no longer skip past advertisers. I read the whole article (as should you) and am not among those that think the world is about to end for TiVo fans. On the other hand I’m not quite as worried about News Corp cutting TiVo out of the equation either.”

Some more commentary:

Fast Company blog | Engagdet: TiVo responds to the ads-while-fast-forwarding controversy | TV harmony’s take | PVRblog linkage here & some insight into the blogosphere’s reaction/overreaction to tivo’s banner news | tivo community post with more details

SnapStream Beyond Media Update (going gold)

Posted on 19 November 2004 by

Update in SnapStream’s forums today on the status of Beyond Media

“…we’ve reached the GM (gold master) stage in development on Beyond Media. At this point, we are nailing down some final licensing and marketing items, duplicating CDs and other fun stuff. Some time next week, we will be announcing the official Beyond Media launch date.

I want to spend time in this update talking about Beyond Media plug-ins. As I alluded to in both my October 14 update and my November 10 update, Beyond Media will include a very powerful architecture for 3rd parties to build plug-ins against. There are three plug-ins that will ship built-in to Beyond Media:

* Firefly Settings
* Weather
* Caller ID”

There’s some community plugins already devloped of interest, “Beyond Drunk” sounds like my kind of plugin. I presume it’s a bartenders mixed drink guide of some sort. =P

TVHarmony: SnapStream BeyondTV 3.5 Review

Posted on 19 November 2004 by

TVHarmony has posted the first part of their multipart look at SnapStream’s BeyondTV 3.5

They take a look at multiple tuners, showsqueeze, and touch upon the FireFly remote control. The next installment is going to delve further into BeyondTV Link and distributing content from room to room.

It’s a good read so far, and FWIW pretty in line with my experiences with BeyondTV so far.

New SageTV 2.1 web access plugin

Posted on 19 November 2004 by

As many of you know, BeyondTV has had a feature edge over SageTV because of the ability to configure your recordings remotely over the internet. Well, SageTV forum member nielm has graciously created a Plugin WebServer for SageTV 2.1. I’ve not tried it out yet, but I intend to. I have concerns about security, but apparently those have been addressed.

From his post on the Frey Technologies Forums:

Ok, you have all be crying out for this for a while, and here it is…

Webserver for SageTV 2.1 (Screen shots)


* Tv guide
* recordings management
* conflict resolution
* manual recordings
* timed recordings

It’s a 200K download and is a java web server embedded into the SageTV process: no IIS or Apache needed!

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1000th BYOPVR Member & BYOPVR MVP Awards

Posted on 18 November 2004 by

I’m excited to announce that we’ve reached our 1000th member (ok, actually it’s probably or 998th if you don’t count me and a test account). The large even number honor goes to traviscwv! Welcome Travis.

It’s been quite a ride since the site launched early this year. We’ve had well over 2 million pageviews to date, thousands of people visit daily (and constantly increasing), and you keep coming back (thank you!). We’ve been featured in Slashdot, PVRblog, MSNBC, CNN Money, and Yahoo news. With more cool stuff on the horizon.

The support of the site (thanks PCAlchemy, BeyondTV, SageTV, and VideoReDo) has been tremendous.

I also couldn’t ask for a better community. Everyone is very willing to help noobies and seasoned homebrew PVR veterans alike with their questions and a willingness to share ideas or the latest hot deal/bargain.

Since the site has been a success by any measure, and it’s that way because of YOU and your support and active participation, we wanted to give something back. We also wanted to reward users who, in our mind, distinguished themselves by their contributions and consistent levels of participation. We did give a little more weight to people that have been active longer and consistently contributed/participated. (sorry newer yet really active folks)

We ended up in a bit of a deadlock, so instead of just one Most Valuable Player, we ended up with two.

Xar256 gets the nod for his consistently helpful answers and advice in the forum
Lowbrow gets the nod for his combination of news submissions, journal entries, and helpful posts in the forum.

Honorable mentions: ejk , homebrew ( slackware linux mythtv howto ), bznotins ( DVD player casemod article ), too many others to list.

As thanks for being co-MVP Xar256 gets a copy of Meedio Essentials on us, and Lowbrow gets a copy of VideoReDo Quick Editor on us. When I say “on us” it means we buy the co-MVP’s legitimate copies of the software in their name and the funds come out of byopvr’s operational budget; we’re NOT re-gifting review copies/licenses, etc.

See being an active and giving community member has its advantages. =)

Don’t be upset if you weren’t listed, your contributions are noticed and appreciated. We can’t afford to buy everyone stuff, so I can only offer a few kind words =)

Take heart as there will be plenty of giveaways, discounts, and other promotions in the future, so stay tuned!

Tivo No Longer Skipping Commercials

Posted on 17 November 2004 by

According to this article: TiVo Will No Longer Skip Past Advertisers, in a few short months TiVo will start displaying “billboard” advertisements on the screen while users fast forward over recorded commercials. Other forms of advertising in the Tivo service are discussed as well.

Another reason to build your own…

Maiku’s PVR Quest: Overview & Some Free Windows PVR Options

Posted on 16 November 2004 by

Maiku took the time to write in his byopvr journal about his experiences, PVR hardware choices, and free PVR windows software options (to start with)

I look forward to Maiku’s future blog entries about MythTV with different linux distos and non-free windows PVR software alternatives.

UPDATE: Maiku’s added another entry in his PVR Quest blog entries: Windows MCE 2005

Bittorrent, RSS, TorrentTV quasi-PVR

Posted on 16 November 2004 by

How to Never Miss An Episode With Bittorent and RSS has gotten a lot of attention lately (so much it’s monthly bandwith allocation is shot) So here’s the Google cache of “How to Never Miss An Episode With Bittorent and RSS”

It’s an interesting read and a neat approach to PVRing without the PVR STB or PC PVR tuner/encoder…

Although with the MPAA breathing down p2p file sharer’s necks that could crimp those who would be willing to share shows normally… maybe that’s why there’s such a need for a bounty for a secure, yet easy to use gaim filesharing plugin

seems like advertisers are looking at p2p as a new untapped market, funny how that works.

read more for copy of original bit torrent RSS article.
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Mac Users Rejoice: Plextor & Elgato Announce PVR Solution for the Mac

Posted on 15 November 2004 by

Plextor is making a flavor of it’s ConvertX PVR for the mac that will work in conjunction with Elgato’s EyeTV application. We’ve got a review of the PC version of the Plextor ConvertX nearly ready to come out of the oven, and will be watching what happens on the Mac front.

Snippets from the press release:

Plextor Teams with Elgato to Introduce USB 2.0 Personal Video
Recorder for Macintosh Computer

The Plextor ConvertX Personal Video Recorder for the Mac combines award-winning Elgato EyeTV software with Plextor’s ConvertX PVR video capture device with built-in TV tuner. The new ConvertX PVR for the Mac uses a real-time MPEG-2 hardware encoder to capture and compress broadcast, cable, or satellite TV to a hard drive.

During live TV viewing, Elgato EyeTV software supports all the time-shifting features normally associated with PVRs, including pausing live TV, skipping forward, and instant replays. The EyeTV electronic programming guide (EPG) allows users to schedule TV
recordings with a single mouse click. Users can edit video scenes using EyeTV software, or they can export files into popular Macintosh software like Apple’s iMovie, iDVD, DVD Studio Pro, or Roxio Toast Titanium. EyeTV also can convert video into other popular video formats such as QuickTime, AVI, MPEG-4, and 3G.

(read more for the full text of the release)
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