Archive | July, 2005

Meedio Essentials & MeedioTV Giveaway: Closed!

Meedio Essentials & MeedioTV Giveaway: Closed!

Posted on 25 July 2005 by

Now closed –> The winner of the first Meedio giveaway is Papajin!

Meedio has generously sponsored a giveaway of both their HTPC suite Meedio Essentials AND their new standalone PVR product MeedioTV to celebrate the official launch of MeedioTV next week!

You have until Midnight Eastern Time tonight ( Monday July 25th ) to enter: see giveaway details in the MeedioTV & Meedio Essentials giveaway forum thread.

TiVo and DirecTV Parting ways?

Posted on 24 July 2005 by

I had to take a quick break from the studying and homework of Summer Session College Class (R) to spread the word that TiVo may be in some trouble. Over at PVRWire I read that there are rumblings of DirecTV making its own in house PVR solution and cutting TiVo loose. Around 70% of TiVo’s subscription base comes from the deal with DirecTV, so this could be very bad for the company. Read up on it. Heres a small excerpt:

Is the marriage between DirecTV and TiVo coming to a close? J.P. Morgan seems to think so according to comments made on Friday (July 22, 2005). J.P.Morgan’s expectation is that DirecTV will roll out their own PVR technologies and no longer need to rely on TiVo.

Even though I built my own, I would hate to see the company that popularized DVRs go away.

UPDATE: via PVRSpot has some scoop on DirecTV signing a deal with Pace Micro Technology to provide future statellite set top box’s (and presumably DirecTV PVR’s)

Diamond Multimedia XtremeTV PVR550 PCI Power Pack Review

Diamond Multimedia XtremeTV PVR550 PCI Power Pack Review

Posted on 24 July 2005 by

I’ve posted to our Review Section a hot off the presses look at Diamond Multimedia’s new PVR offering the XtremeTV PVR550 PCI “power pack” bundle. It aims to be an all in one DIY PVR in a box (just add PC), at $130 MSRP, does it pass byopvr muster?

This review took quite a while as it’s almost like 4 mini reviews all bundled into one: a review of the conexant “Falcon” based PVR550 PCI hardware MPEG encoding tuner card, a review of SnapStream’s Beyond Media HTPC suite, a review of BeyondTV Subscriber Edition, and a review of the FireFly RF PC remote control.

Feel free to comment or ask questions about the review in the Diamond Multimedia XtremeTV PVR550 PCI Power Pack Review Official Thread

For comparison’s sake, check out HotHardware’s PVR550 review and Tom’s Hardware PVR550 review

SageTV 3.0.3 Public Beta Available

Posted on 24 July 2005 by

The SageTV Beta v3.0.3 is now available. ( hat tip HTPCnews )

A more complete list of changes will be available later, but for now, here are some of the v3 changes, in no particular order:

* Configuration Wizard for easier setup
* DX9 Full screen exclusive mode
* TVTV Support for European EPG listings
* Canadian EPG support
* Playback of ASF, WMA, WMV files
* HDTV Recording & Playback
* .tivo file playback
* Playlist Importing (m3u, asx, wpl)
* ATI 550 Support
* French Language Support
* SageTV Server Discovery from SageTV Client (list local addresses you can connect to)
* Software Encoding support
* Media Download / Upload to/from external device when a new drive is detected (i.e. mp3 player)
* STV UI enhancements
* Numerous other fixes and changes.

Some of the above features may be more complete than others. There will be further beta updates to expand the features, of course.

Note: HD recording and playback will be available in v3, but it is not active in this release. Further details of supported cards and how to configure SageTV for HDTV will be announced when this portion is ready — this should be included in the next beta release.

You can download the betas and the updated manual at SageTV Beta dowload page
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Giveaway: Meedio Essentials and MeedioTV - closed

Giveaway: Meedio Essentials and MeedioTV – closed

Posted on 22 July 2005 by

Now closed –> Winner has been drawn! Congratulations to Papajin!

Meedio has generously sponsored a giveaway of both their HTPC suite Meedio Essentials AND their new standalone PVR product MeedioTV to celebrate the official launch of MeedioTV next week!

You have until Midnight Monday July 25th to visit the Meedio Essentials page, look it over… come back to byopvr and send a forum instant message to giveaway with the answer to the following fill in the blank:

Meedio is ___________ on demand

The winner will be randomly drawn from the pool of correct entries on Tuesday the 26th of July.

Thanks again to Meedio for sponsoring the giveaway (and some upcoming giveaways — oops did I let that slip!)

The giveaway is open to registered users of the byopvr forum only. The winner will receive a valid product key and downloadable version of Meedio Essentials with MeedioTV software.

Friday Reading – Reviews n’ Such

Posted on 22 July 2005 by

I’ve been cruising the PVR communities here and yonder, and I ran across a couple of things that might be worth looking into… First thing of course is the massive 500-gigabyte drive from Hitachi that I’ve been hearing all about. I grabbed this one from over at HTPC News. Big Bruin has got the review:

The specifications for this drive are quite impressive. 500 GB of disk space, 16 MB of cache memory, and 3.0 Gbps of transfer speeds are about as good as you are going to get in today’s hard drives. The only category that might be rivaled is transfer speed, but that would require a pricy Ultra320 SCSI drive to do so.

Now if you put that together with Perpindicular Technology, I think we’ll be seeing 1-Terabyte drives before too long. Check out the blurb over at (especially in the comments of the post) Exciting!

In other news around the globe, we have a review of the Spire SPA04S4-U WhisperRock V cpu cooler by A1-Electronics. As mentioned by HTPCNews the cooler looks to be very quiet, and thus a good move for PVR builders. From the review:

For a light weight aluminium low power quiet fan air cooler heatsink this is the sort of cooling performance you should expect and with this Spire SPA04S4-U you also get a smart design heatsink with a UV reactive fan to set off your computer case.

I dont know how much UV would affect our pvrs, but its quiet and seems light with the alluminum construction.

BYOPVR in Hartford Courant: Build Your Own PC-Based TV Recorder

Posted on 21 July 2005 by

We made the Hartford Courant today!

Check it out: Build Your Own PC-Based TV Recorder

It’s more a “local boy makes geek” angle than a howto, but it’s an interesting read none the less (of course *I* think so because it’s about me!)

With the availability of digital video recorders such as Tivo for as little as $100, you might wonder why anyone would bother building such a device from scratch. Pettersen said there are several motivations.

One is flexibility; consumers who make their own recorders can build to suit themselves. Some might favor extra-large hard drives for spacious storage. Others might lean toward wireless connectivity or some other feature. Still others want to store photos, music and other data. Whatever the goal, the PC can be molded to achieve it.

“It’s a little bit like hot-rodding a car,” Pettersen said. “Anything you could think of adding in there, you can.”

UPDATE: If you’re visiting the site for the first time via the article:

First, Welcome! Second, here are a few links to get you started:

Hidden TiVo Web Server

Posted on 20 July 2005 by

Looks like Dave Zantz has found a hidden web server on Series 2 TiVo boxes. I ran across the article at eHomeUpgrade and it seems like a nifty little hack for all you commercial TiVo owners. Head on over to Dave’s website and readup on the howto and get yours rolling now! From the news post at eHomeUpgrade:

Dave Zantz is up to his TiVo hacking tricks again. He informs us that TiVo Series 2 DVRs have a hidden web server integrated into the system that allows remote access to stored video content. Dave says, “it’s no Slingbox, but for many people it doesn’t require any additional equipment or expense.”

I hear the back doors creaking open. 🙂

Patent Dispute Brewing over PVRs

Posted on 20 July 2005 by

Saw this little blurb over on PVRWire. Looks like the company Forgent Networks is filing a lawsuit over its Patent with the US Patent Office. (Number 6,285,746) From the PVRWire article, here is a clip of the patent:

A computer based television signal recording device is provided. This recording device allows for the recording of input streams onto a mass storage device such as a computer hard drive. A user interface is provided which has a list of the recorded television signals and the user can select for playback any of the listed recorded television signals.

You can read the full press release from fogent. Will this threaten TiVo or other software/hardware makers? I surely hope not.

Streamload Online “Video Storage Locker” Service

Posted on 20 July 2005 by

Streamload Online “Video Locker” Service announcement

Streamload seems like a really neat idea for storing/archiving your DIY PVR files online. Although I wonder if it’ll end up in the same hotwater/scrutiny the old CD lockers fell under. The Free Account comes with 10 GB Storage where you can Download Up to 100 MB/mo. There’s several tiers for a monthly/yearly fee to increase storage capacity and monthly download quota. Streamload recently struck up a partnership with Meedio which seems like a natural fit once they create a Meedio Streamload Plugin to automate your online video content archiving from within the HTPC suite.

Some details from the site:

Below are the six steps to use Streamload as your unlimited capacity PVR/DVR (non-TiVo® locker):

* Find the digital video recording files you wish to archive in your locker.
* (Optional) – Compress the file using a video application like Dr. DiVx . This can reduce the file size by up to 75%.
* Create a Streamload account here (It is FREE!):
* Download and install the Streamload Uploader software here:
* Drag and Drop the selected files (they will likely have file extensions like .mpg, .avi, or .wmv) into the application window’s upload pane.
* You’re done! Your file(s) will now be accessible in the inbox of your Streamload account. You can organize your shows as desired using the online file manager and download them or stream them to any Internet connected device. Because these files are in commonly used file formats, you can play them on just about any media player.

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