Archive | January, 2005

TiVo to Offer SDK

Posted on 31 January 2005 by has a link to an article on C|Net about TiVo’s attempt to open up to 3rd party developers. In short, they’re going to allow plugins like we’ve got for SageTV, etc. to enable RSS feeds, weather, games, and whatever else those TiVo lovers develop. Looks like a clear response to the pressure building from the BYOPVR world!

V.A. -> After reading some of the comments, it sounds like the folks at Slashdot are regarding this as a sign that the end of TiVo is near. It seems that with cable companies building their own DVR solutions, and TiVo trying desperatly to get your $13/month that perhaps we are seeing the begining of the end for TiVo.

ArsTechnica is piling on too! TiVo: it’s time to be a platform “Everyone knows it: TiVo is in trouble…”

Xbox Media Center Makes Washington Post

Posted on 31 January 2005 by

First the nytimes talks about MythTV & KnoppMyth and DIY PVR now the washington post reports on xbox modding and xbox media center software: Xbox Enthusiasts Uncover Its Versatility (free registration required or if you are like me you’ve got the BugmeNot firefox plugin) By Daniel Greenberg

“For something sold for $150 in big-box stores, Microsoft’s Xbox video-game console is turning out to be a surprisingly versatile machine — with a little unauthorized help.

As designed by Microsoft, the Xbox can already perform some non-game functions: A $30 remote-control kit turns it into a DVD player, and the recent $80 Media Center Extender kit enables a networked Xbox to play music, photos and video stored on a PC running Windows XP Media Center Edition.

But Xbox enthusiasts, taking advantage of such computer-derived Xbox components as its hard drive and network adapter, have taken this green-and-black box far beyond its maker’s intentions.

Other game machines, like the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube, lack such PC resources, though determined hobbyists have been able to tweak those as well.

The most successful such effort may be XboxMediaCenter, or XBMC. This free program ( lets an Xbox connect to a wired or wireless home network and perform many more media-sharing tricks than Microsoft’s Extender add-on allows.”

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New York Times: Steal This Show

Posted on 30 January 2005 by

The New York Times (via article: It’s not TV it’s MythTV) published an article today called Steal This Show about the booming PVR trend. It focuses on MythTV, Bittorrent, and the response of the networks. To my eye, it’s a pretty negative article, connecting the PVR trend to DVD piracy, by linking it to P2P file sharing via Bittorrent and Videora. The article goes on to report CBS’ response as a move towards On Demand services.

Well, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, or is there?

MythTV 0.17 due out next weekend!

Posted on 30 January 2005 by

A Saturday night ‘quicky‘ by Isaac on the MythTV site says 0.17 will be out next weekend.

More Mac Mini HTPC Media Platform Speculation

Posted on 29 January 2005 by

Everybody’s (ok mine) favorite technology pundit Bob Cringely has posted more speculation into Apple’s real intentions for the mac mini by comparing it to the ipod and trying to determine if it’s the razor or the blade.

Previous Cringely column “The New Mac Mini is All About Movies

Freevo Developers Interviewed

Posted on 29 January 2005 by

As seen on O’Reilly’s LinuxDevCenter features Freevo

Official Freevo project page

For those not in the know… Freevo is an open-source home theatre PC platform based on Linux and a number of open-source audio/video tools. It’s definitely worth a look.

HOW-TO: Turn your Mac mini into a media center

Posted on 25 January 2005 by

We could see this coming from miles away, but finally someone has done the dirty work. Engadget has posted an article entitled HOW-TO: Turn your Mac mini into a media center.

This baby is expensive, using the EyeTV encoder from Elgato (around $349), on top of the Mac Mini’s entrypoint of $499. Plus they upgrade the storage, and add a fancy A/V switching device. It’s slick, but I’m not sure it’s the best Mac based PVR solution out there.

AnandTech talks about HDMI

Posted on 25 January 2005 by

AnandTech discusses the finer points of HDMI audio/video connections

So, more specifically, what is HDMI? HDMI – High Definition Multimedia Interface – is actually just a logical progression on top of DVI. The video segment of the HDMI signal is actually compatible pin for pin with DVI, but in a much different package. HDMI improves on DVI by transmitting digital audio on the same interface, adding support for HDCP and also better DDC options for manufacturers.

Which begs the question: What the hell is HDCP and why is it in HDMI cables (figuratively speaking)? Ah, I see… Here’s a more standardized cable that removes the need for a separate audio run, and oops here’s some macrovision-esque wrapper embedded in there. wikipedia entry on HDCP

also see slashdot discussion on the anandtech article HDMI and What it Will Do for You

Remastering Knoppix

Posted on 21 January 2005 by

Cecil Watson will be presenting a seminar titled “Remastering Knoppix” at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Feb 12th and 13th 2005. Cecil is the lead developer on the KnoppMyth project, a bootable CD which turns your computer in to a MythTV based PVR. Cecil and the KnoppMyth team will also have a booth on the exhibit hall floor where they will demo this open source project. For more information see the SCALE 3x website

TV networks fiddle schedules to break PVRs

Posted on 18 January 2005 by

The excellent Boing Boing site has a depressing article about the growing trend of TV networks fiddling schedules to break PVRs. For my part, this has convinced me to buy a second (third, fourth?) PVR to handle it. The prices on PVR hardware seems to be dropping some due to competition (i.i. PVR-150) so maybe this is the solution for most of us.
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