Archive | March, 2005 Don’t Buy a PVR when you can DIY

Posted on 31 March 2005 by / The Ottawa Citizen has an article on Don’t buy a PVR when you can DIY: Turn your computer into a media centre

Microsoft Launches Video Download Service

Posted on 31 March 2005 by

MS Launches Video Download Service (via slashdot)

“According to ZDNet and many other sources, Microsoft has launched a new video download service for playing back television content on Windows Mobile devices. Partners include CinemaNow,, and TiVo. According to another article from, the service will require Windows XP, Internet Explorer 5 or higher, and Windows Media Player 10 or higher”

Here’s a link to the MSN video Downloads page (I think?)

CNET: SageTV 2.2 Review

Posted on 31 March 2005 by

Not sure how I missed this, but the CNET folks did a Review of SageTV 2.2

“Frey Technologies’ SageTV, now in version 2.2, juggles more than its name suggests. Yes, the software lets you watch, pause, and record TV on your PC, but it also provides a single interface for accessing pictures, running DVD movies, and playing music files stored on your computer. If you’ve read our review of Microsoft’s Media Center Edition 2005 (MCE 2005) OS, these capabilities should sound familiar.”

They’ve got a pretty bad factual error on the pvr150 though…

“In addition to an input for a TV signal, an audio-in port, and a remote IR receiver, the Hauppauge WINTV-PVR150 card has an S-Video port that lets you use your PC as a TiVo replacement and connect it to a TV”

Uh… that’s for svideo INPUT on the pvr150 NOT to output the signal to TV *sigh*

Also see our SageTV 2 Review for comparison…

Why you can get your RECORD on, but not your DOWNLOADIN’

Posted on 28 March 2005 by

Why you can get your RECORD on…but not your DOWNLOADIN’ on

The following is an informational piece. This piece is not meant to disturb or excite you. This is merely history in the making as it relates to history alread made. If you feel the need to get your P2P swerve on with a little PVR action then you should read this with both eyes open. So now the next person who asks why their ISP cut them off at the proverbial modem for downloading Star Trek reruns can be properly informed by you with a large VCR to the head.

previous forum discussions on diy pvr legality and p2p legality

In other news: Mark Cuban aka The Benefactor will fund Grokster’s legal battle: MGM vs Grokster

TiVo FF Ads in Circulation?

TiVo FF Ads in Circulation?

Posted on 28 March 2005 by

A few people (allegedly) on the tivo community forum and over at pvrblog have noted overlayed “banner” ads when fast forwarding their TiVo’s

Not sure what I’m rambling on about previous TiVo banner ad coverage and TiVo No Longer (entirely) skipping “commercials”

Although it may have just been a test run of the banner ad:
This is an update since I suggested the original post: about an hour after I sent in the post, the ads on my Tivo stopped. I haven’t been able to get them to reappear since so I could snap a picture. This must have been another test of some sort.

Although this won’t stop me from pausing/fast forwarding later tonight to see what’s doing on my series 2 TiVo.

adrants coverage | another tivo community thread looks like it even accidently displays during non-commercial content! Hopefully that’s a bug (hopefully the whole thing is a bug) Link to official tivo customer support page

read more for a larger image of the banner ad via cpen’s post on tivo community forum
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How To: Build a really, really, really silent PC

Posted on 26 March 2005 by

Oh sure, I let my MaximumPC magazine subscription lapse and they put out this gem: How To: Build a really, really, really silent PC “Is this thing on? We assembled a Pentium M-based rig with a fanless power supply, and ended up with the quietest air-cooled PC we’ve ever heard.”

It’s not a cheap proposition though using a nearly 500 dollar pentium M CPU

Intel 2GHz Pentium M 755 ($440,
AOpen i855GMEm-LFS motherboard ($275,
Zalman VF700-AlCu VGA cooler ($40,
Antec TriCool fan ($20,
Antec 350 watt Phantom ($175,
1GB of Corsair Micro DDR400 ($200,
Pioneer DVR-A08XLA ($150,
Smart Drive 2002 hard drive enclosure ($55,
Antec SLK3700-BQE ($100,
Floppy drive ($10,
Windows XP Professional ($200,
Arctic Silver 5 ($8,
Akasa Paxmate ($20,

UPDATE kdhamann rightly points out that SilentPC Review is another really good resource for info, and well… reviews of quiet PC and noise dampening components.

Video on the Go: Sony PSP & Videora PSP Video 9

Posted on 25 March 2005 by

TVHarmony has the early scoop on the Sony PSP and using a 3rd party PSP Video manager “PSP Video 9” by the makers of the internet P2P content aggregation/downlaod tool videora.

I’ve noticed a trend in the mainstream reviews of the PSP that it’s a great gaming device but lacks good support for other media. PSP Video 9 radically changes that equation with a simple, seamless app to move video to the PSP.

I was at CompUSA today twitching trying to decide if a Sony PSP could be a business expense if I did a review of it’s possibilities as a portable playback unit for taking your DIY PVR recordings on the road. I went home empty handed. Everything I’ve read so far say’s the screen looks beautiful… *drool*

Other coverage:
PVRblog: PVR PSP PLZ including a link to putting .tivo files onto the PSP (short version de-DRM them and convert to MPEG4)

heh, not sure how to chacterize this…Pr0n on your Sony PSP (wired news article)

SnapStream BeyondTV Plugin Automates DVD Burning

Posted on 23 March 2005 by

BTV2DVD Automated chapter cut and archive/burn to disk plugin from within SnapStream’s BeyondTV ViewScape interface!! People have been asking for ways to archive their shows without leaving the main PVR/HTPC interface, and looks like “Keith” (with _Shorty’s assistance) has cobbled together a cool plugin for BeyondTV. You’ll need Nero 5 (? or higher???)

Create DVDs that will play in PC and home DVD players from within ViewScape Recordings screen I put together a program that uses several command line processes in one program and allows to configure and store settings and burn recordings to CD or DVD media that will play from most DVD players. This started inspired by and mostly based on _Shorty’s findings. I started it based on replacing the batch file and helping with path issues with his process and added some fluff.

*Disks will play in regular home DVD players.
*Settings screen to allow for easy and saved configuration changes.
*Chapter cutting processing – using SmartSkip xml file and automated or editor with IGCutter. – Thank you IGx89 for including my mod request!
*Option to show the processing windows or hide them.
*Option to erase media prior to burning.
*Option whether to eject the disk and/or notify on completion.
*Option to show the settings window when submitting jobs to verify or change settings.
*Option to show the next command prior to processing for debugging settings.

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Media Portal 7 Tuner Configuration

Posted on 23 March 2005 by

Media Portal the open source HTPC, PVR/DVR software for windows has posted the results of their stress test. They built an impressive 7 tuner Media Portal system as a Media Portal system and software verification test of: Stability, Performance, Reliability, and Architecture. (I say they passed!)

hat tip htpcnews

Previous monster multi tuner configuration: SnapStream BeyondTV 10 tuner Hydra, BeyondTV 6 tuner medusa

Site Sponsor News: PCAlchemy Hauppauge & SilverStone Sale!

Posted on 19 March 2005 by

PCAlchemy is running a blowout sale through midnight 3/20/2005 on select Hauppauge products and SilverStone cases. UPDATE The sale has been extended to midnight Tuesday 3/22/05!!

Here a few specials that caught my eye:

Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-150MCE [1042] $64.95!
SageTV 2.2/PVR150 bundle $139.95
SilverStone Lascala SST-LC11 HTPC Case, Silver $119.95
Dual Tuner Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500MCE $149.95

Check out all the PCAlchemy blowout sale items!

(prices as noted by me at time of this posting — see actual product pages for official pricing)

UPDATE: The main blowout sale has ended, but certain items are still on special like the pvr150MCE for $64.95 (until 3/27/05)