Monday, April 09, 2007

Seven Things That Would Make Beyond TV Nearly Perfect

What would make BeyondTV Nearly Perfect? I love my Beyond TV (and in smaller part Beyond Media) and I think Beyond TV is rock solid in stability. It does what it is supposed to very well. Still I am always wanting more. These are my top seven things that would make Beyond TV Nearly Perfect.

  1. Ability to tune any cable or satellite channels without the need of a cable box. QAM tuning is possible now thanks to the HDHomeRun, but only for unencrypted channels. What I want is something like CableCard support. Preferably without the DRM restrictions that don't allow me to stream that content to other TV's in the house.
  2. A flexible, HTPC front-end gui. This sounds innocent enough, but it is really important to the true, HTPC users. What I'm talking about is a Beyond-Media type front-end gui that runs Beyond TV and a host of other plugins that work seamlessly together. A menu that includes watch TV, watch movies, listen to music, check the weather, check your netflix or blockbuster que, watch previews etc. This gui front-end would be flexible enough to add or remove any components so that the gui only included what the user wanted. This is something BTV users have been waiting for forever and there are rumors that something might be in the works for later this year.
  3. Picture-In-Picture for those with more than one tuner. Simple request, but not available today with BTV.
  4. Extender for viewing/listening to all content over the internet. Much like Orb, but integrated into BeyondTV. You can do this now using BTV if you have a software encoder card or using DIVX, but it is far from perfect. Something like ORB that transcodes on the fly so it will work better with slower connections would be ideal. UPDATE: You can now watch BTV, recorded content across the internet using ccarlin's update to the webadmin. More on this HERE
  5. A setting to automatically record shows based on keywords or based on past viewing habits. Tivo and Sage have this ability today. I would prefer this to be an option you can turn on or off. There is an excellent plugin called BTV Negociator written by Fonceur that can do this and much more. This request is to have that functionality integrated into BTV. I'll write up a review/walk-through of BTV Negociator sometime soon.
  6. Ability to have multiple servers that work together. This would mean you could have a global "record Lost" setting and it would span both servers and record using the server that has a tuner available. Just to clarify, you can have multiple servers with BTV now and multiple clients (BTVLink) as well. What I'm asking for is for a way for those mulitple servers work together to schedule recordings and resolve conflicts for recordings using both servers.
  7. Integrated feed support. RSS feeds would be generated from your scheduled recordings, watched recordings, recordings list, movies and music on the server etc.

Why did I title this "Nearly" Perfect? Because I'm a HTPC junky and I will always want more...

UPDATE: I've added two additional "wishlist" items in recent post here if you're interested

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