Archive | January, 2007

Fun with BeyondTV Skins

Posted on 24 January 2007 by

BeyondTV Blog about giving BeyondTV a new look with community designed skins/themes (download them here)

The other day I realized that while we weren’t looking, the community had gone and created a bunch of extremely cool skins for Beyond TV.

I think i’m partial to blue-ish hued dolphins theme :) It’s always cool to see what the community comes up with and how they share their hard work with others.

Broadcast HDTV quality compared

Posted on 24 January 2007 by

Network HDTV Quality Tested

“The State of the Union address last night was a snoozer, but we HDTV gearheads had fun jumping between the networks, checking out which net was able to deliver the best HDTV signal from lens to screen. This was a notable occasion, because all the networks were using precisely the same feed—the same cameras, same everything—where the only difference was between the Capitol pool feed and the viewer.

We took an HD gander at NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and HDNet, to see who delivered the crispiest, most colorful and most gorgeous HDTV signal of all.”

this is another pet peeve of mine (besides DRM, arg!) HDTV content that’s handled poorly or compressed down somewhere along the chain… (either that or my TV is a PoS!)

SageTV HDTV Network Extender Q2 2007

Posted on 24 January 2007 by

Malbec in our forum pointed out a very interested sagetv forum thread about a CES announcement by SageTV

It looks like a pretty cool HDTV full sagetv network client is on it’s way Think of it as being like a HiDef MediaMVP with full sagetv menus.

Vidabox announces Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, CableCARD VISTA boxes

Posted on 24 January 2007 by

VidaBox announced HD Vista media center systems with CableCARD are slated to ship March 2007.

Continuing to be at the forefront of crystal clear and life-like video/audio playback, VidaBox CableCARD systems are engineered to allow a user to record two HD shows while playing back a third pre-recorded show, Blu-ray, HD DVD, high fidelity music, upscaled DVD, or digital picture slideshows. High definition content recorded from CableCARD can also be streamed and played back on connected XBox 360 systems.

Hat tip to Steven C and PVRwire

Gizmodo and Miller started a conversation on this in our forum regarding vidabox and cablecard PVRs in the future

Full press release continued after the fold
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Recording Cable HDTV on a Mac via FIREWIRE

Posted on 16 January 2007 by

HowTO:Recording Cable HDTV on a Mac via FIREWIRE

“After a little research, I found that any Firewire-equipped Mac can be made into an HD-PVR for unencrypted content at the expense of an appropriate firewire cable. Apple even provides the necessary capture software that you need, provided that you know where to look.”

irecord gui for Mac/OSX firewire digital cable recording

Hat tip PVRwire

MythTV vs Windows Media Center Comparison

Posted on 12 January 2007 by

TVease outlines the differences between MythTV and Windows MCE2005 side by side… of course they offer prebuilt MythTV systems so take it with a grain of salt, BUT it’s a nifty/helpful little set of comparison screenshots

Below is a side by side comparison of similar screen shots from MythTV and Windows Media Center. I choose the MythTV skin that most closely resembles Windows Media Center, though I personally like the Project Grayhem skin the best. Hopefully this will help you decide which one you want to use. MythTV is free open source software that runs on the free Linux operating system. Using MythTv will considerably reduce your build cost because you won’t need to pay for a Windows Media Center license. Also, Linux offers outstanding performance. You can use an older CPU and less memory, further cutting costs.

CES/MacWorld Links Galore

Posted on 12 January 2007 by

With all these HDTV and movie download services we’ll need more hard drive space Hitachi Introduces 1-Terabyte Hard Drive

Monster of monster cable fame getting into HTPC media center market

PVRwire roundup of CNET PVR related CES videos

Sirius to add satellite video to services

Questions and answer about AppleTV the artist formerly known as iTV

AMD has this whole new AMDlive media/streaming initiative thingie, which if you understand what it is, let me know… probably as useful a marketing term as “centrino” and “viiv”

Xbox 360 IPTV hands-on: engadget gizmodo xbox360 IPTV handson

Sony Vaio TP1 roomba looking media server

More Vista Media Center & ATI CableCard tuner news

Posted on 12 January 2007 by

You can get your digital HDTV cake but NOT eat it… Windows Vista Media Center CableCARD DRM & Vista unable to stream, convert CableCARD media

“users who prefer to roll their own Media Center box (like yours truly) will be left out of the option entirely — support will only be available for CableLabs certified boxen, which home-rolled are, of course, not. Now we come to find out some even worse news about CableCARD and Vista: not only will you not be able to re-stream your high def media to other Windows machines (sorry, Vista capable Media Center Extenders only, i.e. the Xbox 360, and not much else), you won’t even be able to transcode and sync to your PMC or other devices

Engadget also has a look at the ATI’s TV Wonder Digital Cable (CableCARD) Tuner hands-on

ATI Announces Two CableCARD Digital Cable Tuner Cards

Posted on 08 January 2007 by

ATI announces two CableCard tuners

ATI’s new TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner is an OCUR (Open Cable Unidirectional Receiver) tuner, meaning it can accept CableCard signals and send them to your computer. Like the CableCard slots in the TiVo Series3, OCUR devices can accept digital cable signals, but cannot send, meaning you can’t get advanced features like video on demand.

But you can record (HDTV) shows in Vista Media Center without a cable box and IR blaster.”

Nintendo Wii Media Center

Posted on 02 January 2007 by

Although it’d be silly in my setup (my Nintendo Wii sits vertically next to my HTPC(s)), if you were one of the lucky folks to snag a Nintendo Wii here’s an article about using Orb and the Wii Opera Browser to stream audio/video to make your Wii behave like a media center. No word yet if there’s a way to gesture angrily with the wiimote to fast forward through commercials :P

hat tip PVRwire

Other links of interest: Another Howto Guide for video on the Wii also see SofaTube for a different Wii Opera browser compatible/optimized way to browse youtube.

UPDATE: Stream itunes to your wii