Archive | January, 2005

$499 Mac Mini as an HTPC or MS MCE killer?

Posted on 15 January 2005 by

“Apple introduced their new low cost $499 Macintosh server (at Mac World). If you visit PVRBlog, you’ll see it’s generated some buzz for being an interesting way to build an HTPC (Home Theater PC). It’s got a 1.25Ghz (or 1.5Ghz) G4, easily powerful enough to crunch video streams, as well as a 9200 Radeon graphics card with DVI,VGA, SVideo, and Composite out. It’s only weakness is the small hard drive (80Gigs) that comes standard. The small form factor definitely gives it a little extra in the cool factor category.”

copsted from TVHarmony’s mac mini htpc entry

Happy Anniversary BYOPVR

Posted on 07 January 2005 by

TommorrowToday, January 8th is Build your Own PVR’s first anniversary!

Thanks to everyone who helped out or contributed to the site in some way (too many to list individually), but important thanks goes to planetjay and TheBryon for their very important early contributions to the site. This community has come together so well, and so quickly it has far surpassed anything I could have hoped for!

anyways, I’ll save the poetic waxing and return you to your regularly scheduled PVR news tidbits, reviews, and howto’s =)

UPDATE: What better way to celebrate our one year anniversary than to be linked on Slashdot! EFF Reviews HDTV PVR Solution for Mac article. I guess all I can say is “brace for impact” and hope that a saturday evening link surrounded by other links will lead to a mild slashdotting (if there’s such an animal) =P

Hauppauge Debuts Portable MediaMVP PVP Media Player

Posted on 07 January 2005 by

Hauppauge Debuts Portable MediaMVP(R) Media Player Featuring 7-Inch Screen (press release via prnewswire)

Thumbnail sketch:

  • 7 inch Widescreen format at 854 x 640 resolution
  • 20GB Hard disk
  • Price $699.00
  • Supports USB 2.0
  • Rechargable battery and 12v support
  • stereo ear buds included
  • Continue Reading

SageTV 3.0 Adds Linux Support!

Posted on 06 January 2005 by

SageTV has announced that their Media Center and Media Extender Software is now available for Linux-based systems. No public pricing has been listed and they look to be targeting OEMs, rather than end users. But this is a big step with a major commercial PVR software company moving away from Windows.

Read the official announcement here:

rampy note: –> Wow, that’s awesome news! The CES notes and news just keeps popping up! I know they were going to be demoing SageTV version 3.0 at CES, but had no idea LINUX support was going to be one of the features/announcements. The media extender sounds intriguing as well (is it a mediamvp-esque device?) I’m gonna have to harrass the fretech guys for more info when they get back from CES =)
Continue Reading

New DRM Scheme Could Make Current DVD Players Obsolete

Posted on 06 January 2005 by

New DRM Scheme Could Make Current DVD Players Obsolete

Guess what? Your DVD player might now be obsolete.

Hewlett-Packard and Philips said Wednesday that they have developed a content-protection system for DVDs, designed to protect users from burning “protected” DTV broadcasts. The encryption system will be built into next-generation DVD players as well as media.

Without a player and disc using the new Video Content Protection Scheme (VTCS), DVD burners won’t be able to record digital video under the new regulations. That will mean that the enormous installed base of DVD players and burners may be forced into obsolescence, executives said.

The new Video Content Protection Scheme scheme is designed to work hand-in-glove with the new FCC “broadcast flag” initiative, scheduled to begin on July 1, 2005.

as seen on SlashDot

As more and more consumer electronics companys throw in with supporting the nefarious Broadcast Flag they’ll be collectively nerfing functionality you probably already take for granted now.

Bill Gates and TiVo United?

Posted on 06 January 2005 by

Delivering the first keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates touted a partnership with TiVo during what was mainly a state of the union address on Microsoft’s digital media strategy.

The television recording pioneer has enlisted Microsoft in its new TiVoToGo effort to offer mobile versions of TiVo-recorded programs. The service will allow owners of recent-vintage TiVo boxes to transfer programs to a Windows XP PC, from which the programs can in turn be shuttled to Microsoft-powered portable devices, such as Portable Media Center video gadgets and Smartphone mobile phones.

Mac HDTV: EFF’s Review of Elgato’s EyeTV 500

Posted on 05 January 2005 by

pvr blog post about EFF’s Review of Elgato’s EyeTV 500 an HDTV solution for the mac, well very speedy dual processor G5 mac apparently.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been doing a lot of important work defending our online and digital rights including opposing the dreaded FCC mandated broadcast flag (cue boos and hisses)

One neat thing that piques my interest is a test 500MB download sample HDTV clip you can use to stress test your rig to see how it handles system resources intensive HDTV playback. I may give it the file a try on some various rigs including my wifes gooseneck g4 imac to get a sense of the required muscle.

CES 2005 Rumor: TiVo to announce CableCard support?!

Posted on 05 January 2005 by

CES 2005 Rumor: TiVo to announce CableCard support?! (nytimes, free reg required or bugmenot action — scroll down to second article/story)

“What about the TiVo? If the cable-TV cable now goes straight from the wall into the TV set, where do you plug in a recording device?… So I emailed TiVo, the company, to see if they’d thought about this. Their response: Stay tuned. TiVo will make an announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week that, I’m told, should address this problem.”

hat tip to pvrblog commenter john

I’m hopeful that this is a reality. I’m also hopeful it’s not a paper/vapor announcement frought with delays and PR hyperbole for months and months. We’ll see, i’m cautiously pessimistic=P

UPDATE Rumor no longer…

“TiVo said it would launch in early 2006 a cable-ready, high-definition DVR with CableCARD built in, that also includes a cable tuner.”

TiVo Developing High-Definition, Digital Cable Ready DVR
Continue Reading

More TivoToGo Details & Impatience

Posted on 05 January 2005 by

ZDnet story: TiVo subscribers want mobile upgrade sooner (including me… I keep forcing connections to the TiVo Mothership but am stuck at 4.X software revision — version 7.1 required for TivoToGo)

Telling/interesting quote here on some of the mechanics (supposedly) of TiVoToGo which conflicts with what I’ve heard previously:

“To transfer television programs onto a laptop, subscribers must install the no-cost TiVo Desktop software on a portable computer. The system encrypts the program during the transfer, so subscribers must use a password to decrypt and play back the show.”

Previous TivoToGo Coverage

Videora – BitTorrent RSS Reader

Posted on 04 January 2005 by

Videora is a BitTorrent/RSS Reader that will basically help you locate, find, and keep up with downloaded TV shows and movies, has just launched.”

According to PVRBlog: “Videora looks really slick and easy to use. It even has wishlist and
season pass functionality so it’s not too far off to think this could
replace a TiVo and network/cable TV in a few years.”

Om has a good review of it

TVHarmony’s take on Videora and RSS + Bittorrent Broadcatching