Archive | April, 2005

O’Reilly MAKE: Free Tivo Buld a Better DVR out of an Old PC

Posted on 28 April 2005 by

Looks like the cool folks over at the O’Reilly Press “mook” (magazine + book) MAKE, have written up a cool HOWTO Free TiVo: Build a Better DVR out of an Old PC

“Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) have become a necessary luxury over the last several years. Millions of people rely on these devices to pause and rewind live television, and to keep track of broadcast schedules and record programs for them. Many consider them just as essential to their daily lives as their cell phones.

Several months ago, I finally became sufficiently jealous of the millions of DVR owners to motivate me to put a DVR in my own living room. But I wanted something more versatile than a normal TiVo, ReplayTV, or Ultimate TV system. I envisioned an all-purpose media server that would function as a full DVR, but would also work as a music server and play console games. It would have an easy remote-control interface, just like a commercial DVR, and a way to program it through the internet. Finally, I wanted to avoid the monthly fees that many DVR owners pay to keep their machines’ schedules up-to-date.”

Comment on Free Tivo Buld a Better DVR out of an Old PC in our forum.

BTC Wireless Keyboard Final Giveaway Reminder

BTC Wireless Keyboard Final Giveaway Reminder

Posted on 25 April 2005 by sam


The winner of the 2nd giveaway of a BTC 9019URF wireless keyboard courtesty of PCAlchemy has been drawn. Congratulations to BYOPVR forum member Banti!

If you missed Sunday night’s deadline you have one final opportunity to possibly score a BTC 9019URF wireless keyboard! The the final “word hunt” keyboard giveaway has been awarded in the official forum thread.

See the full BTC Wireless keyboard giveaway announcement

Thanks again to for sponsoring the giveaway!

GBPVR Looking for Help to Implement ATSC HDTV Support!

Posted on 21 April 2005 by

Sub, the author of GBPVR has put up a request for help so that he can add ATSC HDTV support to GBPVR

“I’m just starting to think about ATSC HDTV support, but would need to find some US based help so that I can do the development.

I’m in New Zealand, so I dont have access to ATSC transmissions, so much like I did with DVB-T support for Europe, I’m looking for someone in US that may be able to help me out with a remote login to a box with an HDTV device.

Ideally you’ll have:

* Nice fast broadband internet connection
* VNC or Windows ‘Remote Desktop’ setup
* HDTV device with BDA drivers.
* …not required, but would also be helpful if you had Visual on the machine.”

This remote desktop approach is how he was able to get the info to code support for a ton of DVB-T and DVB-S cards with BDA drivers for the previous release of GBPVR. Here’s a list of DVB-T and DVB-S cards (not ATSC hdtv cards mind you) that he added support for in the previous go-round:

* Hauppauge Nova-S
* Hauppauge Nova-T
* Pinnacle MediaCenter 300i
* Twinhan DVB-S
* Twinhan DVB-T
* Dvico Fusion DVB-T
* V-Box DTT-150
* Blockgold GDI DVB-T
* Lifeview FlyDVB-T

(thanks to daphatty for pointing this out)

HTPCnews Reviews Nvidia 6800 & 6800GT video cards

Posted on 19 April 2005 by

HTPCnews reviews a pair of Nvidia 6800 & 6800GT Chaintech video cards

The 6800GT comes with a component adapter which is a big plus, but the down side is that the fan is noisy and with current (non-beta drivers) there’s a nasty visual artifact bug HTPCnews found when using HDTV interlaced resolution/modes. Other than that they were really impressed with card(s) from what I could gather.

See the Nvidia 6800 & 6800GT full review for all the details and pics galore!

BTC Wireless Keyboard Winner & 2nd Round

BTC Wireless Keyboard Winner & 2nd Round

Posted on 19 April 2005 by sam


Congratulations to ayesa, Banti. and BZnotins for winning the BTC 9010URF courtesy of PCAlchemy!

Now it’s onto the 3rd and final week of BTC wireless keyboard giveaways:

Thanks to PCAlchemy we will be giving away one BTC 9019URF wireless keyboard away each week for the last 3 weeks of April:

The 3rd giveaway ended 5/1/2005. This giveaway is open to registered forum users with a shipping address in the continental US. You can only win one keyboard, and previous byopvr prize winners are not eligible.

1. Visit the PCAlchemy BTC 9019URF wireless keyboard product page.

2. Find the answer to the following question:

“How much is the BTC 9019URF Wireless Keyboard currently being sold for at PCAlchemy?”

3. Send a private forum message to user “giveaway” with the answer to the question posed in Step 2.

Wait anxiously until the winner is randomly drawn and announced on 5/2

Good luck!

See the full BTC Wireless keyboard giveaway announcement or to leave comments.

Thanks again to for sponsoring the giveaway!

MythTV Releases version .18

Posted on 15 April 2005 by sam

MythTV .18 released!

New release. Fun stuff. Full changelog here, but the major stuff is:

* I’m now only distributing three source packages, instead of eleven. The new ‘mythplugins’ package combines all of the add-in modules that used to be distributed separately (mythmusic, mythweather, etc). There’s a top-level configure script to enable/disable/configure all of the plugins. The new ‘myththemes’ package contains some of the themes that used to be distributed in the main download (Titivillus, Minimalist-wide, Iulius). I’ve split these out to cut down on the size of the main package a bit. Be sure to grab the themes package if you’re using one of those themes, else you won’t get the updated version for this release.
* The configure script was greatly enhanced, and there’s no more editing of to enable/disable certain options.
* Anyway, 0.18’s mainly a bugfix/minor feature release. Check the changelog for specifics. ”

Thanks to bouchecl for pointing this out in the Forum

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Reminder: PCAlchemy BTC Wireless Keyboard Giveaway

Posted on 15 April 2005 by

Thanks to PCAlchemy we will be giving away one BTC 9019URF wireless keyboard away each week for the last 3 weeks of April:

See the full BTC Wireless keyboard giveaway announcement or to leave comments.

Don’t forget to check out my review of the BTC wireless keyboard (how else would you know if it’s worth winning?!)

Also of note: the BYOPVR: karma king pvr150 or mediaMVP giveaway

Internet Video Distribution Platforms (including Google!)

Posted on 15 April 2005 by

Today was a big day for coverage of alternative/internet video distribution platforms, much like SmokeyAlien alluded to in his Unicorn CableCARD rant

First Google launches a video upload & distribution network

According to BetaNews, ‘Google is preparing a video distribution platform that provides a complete ecosystem of services for content producers, publishers and end-users.’ The first phase of its video upload program rolled out today, and ‘content owners will be able to control distribution rights themselves, even setting a price for their video clips. Eventually, users will be able to search, preview, purchase and play videos directly from within Google.’

Also of interest is DownHill Battle’s (of Grey Tuesday fame) announced a new video / internet TV platform based on their simplified content publisher centric torrent tool battle torrent

“Internet TV is Open and Independent: Announcing a new platform for internet television and video. Anyone can broadcast full-screen video to thousands of people at virtually no cost, using BitTorrent technology. Viewers get intuitive, elegant software to subscribe to channels, watch video, and organize their video library. The project is non-profit, open source, and built on open standards. Today we’re announcing the project and releasing our current sourcecode. The software is launching in June.”

AL Tech MediaGate MG-25 Review

Posted on 15 April 2005 by

MikhalTech has a review AL Tech MediaGate MG-25 Review

AL Tech’s MediaGate 25, a cheap, tiny, moderately feature packed HTPC alternative. Here’s a quote:

As you may have guessed, this is more than just an external hard drive. This “MPEG4+MP3 jukebox” allows you to store images, videos, and music on the internal hard drive, organizing and playing them back however you like. It’s significantly cheaper (and smaller) than any HTPC and with the exception of games and the possible use of applications, can do all the same things.”

hmmm… I think i’m more interested in the MG-35/350 yummy!

OpEd: Why Unicorns are more Real than CableCARDs

Posted on 15 April 2005 by

Smokyalien read this very interesting Engadget column CableCARD and OpenCable and has come to the conclusion “Unicorns are More Real Than CableCARDs” (will be)

But first an exerpt from the engadget article:

In theory, it sounds like a good idea: “The networks will be open. OpenCable will free people from the repressive shackles of their cable boxes. We will all live in a cable-box-less utopia.” In reality, OpenCable is closer to the bastard child of greed and fear.

Now read SmokeyAlien’s take

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