Archive | Reviews

Upcoming Review: Vbox Cat's Eye USB ATSC/HDTV Tuner

Upcoming Review: Vbox Cat’s Eye USB ATSC/HDTV Tuner

Posted on 08 March 2006 by sam

Quick heads up: The BYOPVR pot is simmering and the review of Vbox’s USB HDTV/ATSC tuner review is almost ready (it just needs a garnish)! Look for it tomorrow.

In the meantime some links of interest to whet your appetite (an appetizer if you will)

PCAlchemy Cat’s Eye USB 3560, Firefly Remote, BeyondTV SE Bundle
PC Magazine Building a PVR article used a Vbox Cat’s Eye USB HDTV/ATSC tuner and seemed to like it.
As did ExtremeTech’s Dual-Core HDTV Media PC/HTPC build (they used both the vbox Cat’s Eye 150 PCI card and the USB 3560 in their configuration).

Of course as soon as one review nears completion, another one piques my curiousity. VBox Announces Cat’s Eye eDTA-164, A Dual-Tuner PCI Express card

Tom’s Hardware DIY HD HTPC Case Review

Posted on 01 March 2006 by

DIY HD HTPC Case review

Thanks to Miller in the forum for pointing this out

“TomsHardware (courtesy of is conducting a review of a bunch of HTPC cases. While they don’t include all the cases mentioned (@ byopvr regularly), but they do include some nice pictures and descriptions of the HTPC cases they do review. (The story is part of an on-going DIY HD HTPC article of which this is the first part.)”

HTPCNews Reviews SageTV 4.x

Posted on 25 February 2006 by

HTPCnews has posted their review of SageTV 4.1! Check it out!

Lots of great info/insight… and tons of delicious screenshots! I think for the most part they gave it a very fair and accurate assesment of SageTV’s strengths and weaknesses (in my casual opinion)

DViCO FusionHDTV5 USB Gold Hands-On Review

Posted on 13 December 2005 by

eHomeUpgrade has a thorough review of the FusionHDTV5 USB Tuner

rampy–>Thanks for the news submission ahab! I’ve been busy so the news page has gotten a little slow, expect it to pick up soon!

Pre-Built Custom HTPC: 2PartsFusion Digital Media Server 701

Posted on 13 October 2005 by

HTPCnews has an interesting change up of reviewing a prebuilt custom HTPC the 2partsfusion Digital Media Server 701

Of particular note (besides looking like a pretty sweet custom built HTPC made with quality components), is the involvement of respected HTPC community member and guide contributor SpHeRe31459 (also see his Blog )

In any case (no pun intended): if you were lookig for a prebuilt HTPC Media Center check out the review of the 2partsfusion DM 701. Even if you weren’t considering buying your own HTPC you could learn a lot from 2partsfusion parts/component selection.

Tivo Killers — Windows PC PVR Software Roundup

Posted on 11 October 2005 by

ExtremeTech reviews Tivo Killers? — Windows PVR including BeyondTV, SageTV, and PowerCinema. (PowerCinema?!). No mention of the popular free option GBPVR or the up and coming MeedioTV software options though.

Let’s say you don’t have Media Center Edition and don’t want to wipe your drive and install it. You have Windows XP and simply want to add a TV tuner card and PVR type functions so you can hook your PC to your TV or sit across the room from your large monitor and enjoy all the benefits of TiVo. There are quite a few programs available that let you do that; we’ll examine three of them today, including SnapStream’s Beyond TV, Cyberlink’s PowerCinema, and SageTV

Also see SageTV Takes on Windows Media Center Edition 2005

SilentPC Review Recommended Hard Drives

Posted on 08 October 2005 by

The excellen quiet/silent PC resource and review site Silent PC Review has posted their latest Recommended (Quiet) Hard Drives list

via HTPCnews

Review: Aopen Aeolus PCX6600 Passively Cooled Nvidia Geforce 6600 PCI-e

Posted on 20 September 2005 by

HardwareZone reviews the heat pipe passively cooled AOpen Aeolus PCX6600-DV128LP (GeForce 6600, PCIe) which is the low profile model. See also the Aopen Aeolus PCX6600-DV128LP manufacturer page.

It’s a good review, but it’s more about specifications and gaming benchmarks than the home theater / video playback/accelleration features I’m specifically interested in.

I’m definitely going to have to consider this heat pipe cooled Aeolus Geforce 6600 option to quietly output to my HDTV for my next PVR/HTPC system upgrade 🙂

Hat tip HTPCnews

Review: Full ATX HTPC Case Ahanix MCE 601

Posted on 12 September 2005 by

HTPCnews reviews the new Ahanix MCE 601 HTPC case. Overall they seemed to like it, but had a few small things they woulda like to see slightly different. Go check out the review for the full scoop!

Semi-Related ramblings: I keep looking at the micro and full ATX cases over at PCAlchemy and am just dying to pull the trigger, which will cause a calvalcade of upgrades. After all I can just put my wimpy sempy 2200 micro-atx budget board in a sexy 200 dollar HTPC case can I?

Another HTPC case review of note: Silverstone’s LC11M @ Small Form Factor Tech which I think is the same case Bouchecl used in his MythTV box (via the BYOPVR flickr pool )

Review: Plextor ConvertX PVR PX-TV100U

Posted on 08 September 2005 by

Our pals over at BoxGods just posted a review of Plextor ConvertX PVR PX-TV100U. The Plextor ConvertX PX-TV100U is Plextor’s recent “entry level” $99 MSRP external software encoding TV tuner device that features SageTV 3.0 lite edition. It doesn’t look like the TV100U fared as well as it’s hardware encoding big brother the Plextor ConvertX PVR PX-TV402U we previously reviewed.

Also see Personal Tech’s Plextor ConvertX PX-TV100U review (hat tip PVRwire)