Archive | September, 2006

Get Paid to Hack Open PVR From Neuros

Posted on 29 September 2006 by

Open PVR from Neuros: cash money to owners who hack it

Neuros, makers of the coolest video-recording toys in the world, have just released their OSD, a fully open set-top box.

“What is the OSD?
The Neuros OSD is the first open source, Linux-based, embedded media center. It records video from any source and links your PC, entertainment center, and portables.

Free Your Media
The Neuros OSD was created to connect user’s computer and entertainment worlds. Among many other things, this would allow users to watch video downloads and digital photo slideshows on TVs and listen to MP3s through their stereos. Previously the choices for doing this have been restricted to two approaches: all-in-one PC-based media centers and limited, closed “embedded” devices in various forms: PVRs, digital media adapters and streaming devices.

The OSD also enables users to take their video on the go and watch video on any device with non-DRM, standard MPEG-4 files. The OSD supports virtually all devices with data conversion or requiring extensive set-up. There are no subscription fees associated with the use of the OSD.

tons of cool pictures and info on the official neuros OSD hacking wiki

see also the neuros blog and official Neuros home page

SageTV Needs Beta Testers for Mac OSX PVR Software

Posted on 27 September 2006 by

PVRWire reports: SageTV needs beta testers for Mac client

SageTV on Mac official Forum Thread

“We’re looking for some additional users to join our private beta testing group in order to assist in testing new SageTV technologies on the Macintosh.

Beta testers MUST meet the following criteria:
1. Have a Macintosh computer running OS X 10.4 or later (PPC or Intel based).
2. Have an existing SageTV license for Windows or Linux.
3. Willing to sign an NDA
4. Does not work for any company that is a competitor of SageTV or produces competitive technology

In addition, significant preference will be given to beta testers who own a Hauppauge WinTV PVR USB2. This will be the only supported capture device on the Macintosh initially.

We do have the right to choose the beta testers at our own discretion.

Beta testing for the Placeshifter client for Macintosh has already begun. Beta testing for the full version of SageTV for the Macintosh will begin in the coming weeks.

Please direct all betatest inquiries via email to betatest at

See also: previous Mac OSX media center coverage

Extend Your BeyondTV HTPC With MediaMVP HowTo Article

Posted on 27 September 2006 by

Check out this Snapstream blog entry on using Hauppauge MediaMVP with a BeyondTV skin/mod to extend your PVR viewing over your network.

“The MediaMVP from Hauppauge is this great little device that lets you get photos, music and videos off of your PC and onto your television. And it’s cheap – only $100. Without any extra work, you can use it to playback recordings made with Beyond TV. All you have to do is just point to the recorded shows directory. The MediaMVP will play your MPEG2 or Divx files. But it’s a less than ideal experience for lots of reasons:

* You can only see titles of the video files and you can’t view information like show description, original airdate, etc.
* You can’t watch live TV
* You can’t delete a show that you’ve already watched
* You can’t schedule new recordings or see which recordings are scheduled

So with these limitations in mind, a team of us decided that we could create a better interface. We created the open source MediaMVP BTV interface project. With our software, you get something closer to the complete Beyond TV experience (plus some extras like weather and Music playlists!), including access to live TV, and the program guide!”

previous coverage of beyondTV & mediamvp and wireless Hauppauge MediaMVP

Hat Tip PVR Wire

PCalchemy Launches Mini Media Center HTPC Line

Posted on 26 September 2006 by

We previously covered the review of PCalchemy’s mini media center HTPCs but it seems they are being officially announced today.

PVRwire coverage of mini media center PC launch | Link to PCalchemy Introduces MiniMCE Mini Media Centers press release

Pcalchemy introduces their new line of MiniMCE™ Media Centers! Pcalchemy has combined the power of Microsoft® Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005 with the latest mobile on the desktop technology (MODT) to provide a full featured digital entertainment experience in an extremely small package.

Our goal was to design an extremely small line of media centers without giving up the performance of your typical full sized media center. This was accomplished by utilizing the latest mobile on the desktop technologies, such as, the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo mobile processor and Hitachi’s notebook hard drives designed for 24/7 use. The end result surpassed our expectations.

The line currently consists of 3 models, M1B, M1S and M2B, all under the size of your typical dictionary.

Continue Reading

CenterStage Mac Media Center Needs Help

Posted on 26 September 2006 by

PVRwire reports that: CenterStage Mac media center project looking for help

CenterStage is an open source Mac media center application, currently in development. And if you can’t wait to get your hands on it, you might want to pitch in a hand.

They’re looking for folks with experience using Apple Interface Builder, Quartz animation, or programming in Xcode or Objective-C.

They’re also looking for regular mac users willing to try out their software and issue bug reports.

This isn’t the only media center software available for Mac, but it looks like a nice comprehensive solution for using a Mac Mini as a hub for music, movies, photos.

semi-related Mac OSX article on tweaking Front Row

Hauppauge WinTV HVR 950 Combination ATSC HDTV and NTSC Card

Posted on 26 September 2006 by

engadget scoop on Hauppauge Wintv HVR 950… See also the official Hauppauge wintv HVR 950 product page

Looks like Hauppauge quietly went and released a hybrid NTSC and ATSC TV tuner for PCs. And don’t it look to be from the same OEM’er Elgato’s been kicking around with? The WinTV-HVR-950 hybrid TV stick supports up to 1080i ATSC digital or analog NTSC TV broadcasts when slotted into your USB 2.0 port and ships with Hauppauge’s WinTV-Scheduler and the WinTV2000 application to watch and schedule TV recordings to MPEG-2. No word on pricing or availability but we have a sneakin’ suspicion it’ll cost ya about a Benjamin.

Ugh, besides the cuteform USB 2.0 dongle form factor *shrug* Software encoding NTSC on an ATSC card isn’t any great shakes (I usually recommend NOT using the NTSC side of an ATSC card anyways because of the software encoding)

found via HTPCnews

PCAlchemy Pre-Configured M1B Mini Media Center PC Reviewed

Posted on 22 September 2006 by

PCAlchemy had their Mini M1B HTPC reviewed by Mobility Guru (one of the Tom’s Harware sub-sites)… Just to be clear, it’s the PC’s that are mini, not the review 😉

I’m going to share the conclusion of the review here as I’m kinda proud of the crew over at PCAlchemy for scoring such high marks…

“The winning unit in this field of candidates is the PC Alchemy M1B Mini Media Center PC. With an absolutely tiny footprint, and a great combination of built-in and bundled components and capabilities, this unit looks ready to slide into entertainment centers all over the place. With at least decent performance characteristics (if not typically better than that, as our scoring shows) and lacking only wireless networking, Bluetooth capabilities, and an HDTV tuner out of the box to be as fully equipped as one might wish, this unit offers a great combination of small size and capable power. In fact, when combined with an external USB hard drive of 300 GB or larger, it occupies only slightly more volume than does the WinBook Jiv or M2B (when combined with our Acomdata 300GB USB drive, the total volume for both units is only 139 in3, or just 17 in3 more than the Jiv or M2B case). The tiny powered, four-port USB hub and the equally small IR transceiver make it easy to use and expand on, and offer a great value for the $1,200 discounted price currently available from PC Alchemy.

PCAlchelmy had another unit in the review that hadd a slightly larger footprint which you can also scope out on the mini preconfigured MCE systems page.

thanks to Miller for pointing this out… discuss this article in the byopvr forum

VidaBox Zero Silent HDTV Media Center

Posted on 21 September 2006 by

VidaBox is announcing the release of a brand new, 100% silent HDTV Media Center
called the VidaBox™ ZERO™
. You can find the press release here:

Introducing the VidaBox™ ZERO™, the fully-featured & completely silent system using specially designed mufflers, heat pipes, heatsinks, & dispersal fins, to deliver a totally noiseless home theater experience.

engadget picked up the release too
Continue Reading

Fox Tries to Thwart DVR Fast Forwarding

Posted on 21 September 2006 by

Fox Tries to Thwart DVR Fast Forwarding

I dunno, this actually seems kinda clever… but are there enough DVR owners to make it worth annoying/boring regular “live” tv viewers to death with a static image? *shrug*

Shhh! Build Quiet HTPC & Silent Video Card Review

Posted on 21 September 2006 by

Found both these cool and quiet HTPC related links from HTPCnews

AnandTech reviews 21 silent / passively cooled video cards

… The silent graphics card, a graphics card that is completely passively cooled, often using heat pipes and an oversized heatsink to eliminate the need for a fan to keep the GPU/memory cooled. The idea of a quiet or silent graphics card is appealing to many types of computer users, and many card manufacturers have realized this and are offering silent solutions. In the past, the only passively cooled video cards were slow entry level offerings. This is no longer true, and you can now get many mid range GPUs that offer reasonable performance without any noise output.

ExtremeTech builds a quiet, efficient Home Theater PC

Nearly a year ago, we pieced together our Dual-Core Media Center PC. Since then, expansion of the HTPC ecosystem hasn’t slowed one bit. The selection of faster and more versatile hardware such as motherboards, graphics cards, tuners, and cases has multiplied along with the availability of free and paid-for software solutions. Microsoft continues to refine its much-improved Windows Media Center Edition 2005. BeyondTV, GB-PVR, MythTV, and SageTV have maintained loyal followers of their own. In the realm of consumer electronics, more flat panel TVs include DVI and VGA inputs enabling them to handle double duty as both a TV and PC monitor.