Friday, May 25, 2007

Coming Soon: Comparison of BeyondTV, SageTV, MCE Programs

I'm preparing an outline of the difference between the following Home Theater PC Programs: BeyondTV, Sage, XP MCE and Vista MCE. If anyone has experience using more than one of these softwares for comparison, I would be interested. Just leave a comment to this post, or PM me on the Snapstream forums

7 Stories I'm Reading

Have a Great Memorial Day Weekend!

1. HP Invents HDTV 2.0 - A TV with support for place shifting, internet-content streaming using an ethernet or wireless networking solution.

2. Tivo Ruined American Idol - I spoke about it in my post Wednesday , but this story chronicles more unhappy people due to American Idol running almost 7 minutes over it scheduled time which in turn meant most of the DVR/PVR recorders missed the last 7 minutes of the show.

3. The Story of going from a MCE setup to a TiVo Series 3 - It didn't go quite as planned. HatTip to MissingRemote

4. Would You Use PIP? - Chris Lanier, a MCE user says he wouldn't even use PIP if it was a feature (which it isn't). Grant over at Project HTPC says it should be included as a feature. Many people want this feature for BeyondTV and MCE including me. I would certainly use it and it's on my wishlist of features.

7. Google Calendar Mobile - Google Calendar now for your mobile phone

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fox Network Alienates DVR TV Watchers

Did anyone record the American Idol finale this week? We always record the show and my wife watches it on a delay so she can fast forward through some of the fluf in the show. She fast forwarded through the entire recording only to realize that the Fox network played around with the schedule and made the results announcement after the guide thought the show was over (past the 2 hour mark). Because of that she missed the actual announcement. I typically add padding on some shows (an extra few minutes at the end of shows) to prevent this, but never have done this for American Idol because... well I didn't think it was really that big of a deal. My wife on the other hand was ticked when we missed the winner announcement. The TV networks really know how to tick off their customers...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Video Walkthrough of Placeshifting Beyond TV

Would you like to watch shows you recorded at home from work or from anywhere you have an internet connection? I mentioned earlier that this is now possible and is being developed by Ccarlin on the Snapstream Forums for BeyondTV.
All you need is
1. HTPC with a copy of BeyondTV 4.x installed
2. VLC installed on your BeyondTV PC
3. A copy of the test version of webadmin istalled - see instructions in this thread
4. On your router forward port 8120 to your BTV Server PC.
5. An internet connection.

This has been developed as a part of the free (included with BeyondTV) webadmin which also allows you to schedule recordings, change settings and download shows over the internet. For more on this new feature being developed, read this.

If you would like to see how it works in action, select the video below. I forgot to mention it in the video, but you can also switch to full-screen video from the webadmin also.

Monday, May 21, 2007

7 Stories I'm Reading

Monday Morning Stuff to Read:
1. Verizon hikes up monthly Fios DVR charge - Now going from $13 to $16 per month! That adds up and it's making the case for a PC-based, no monthly fee HTPC PVR more and more appealing.
2. Toshiba says it could boost Hard Drive capacity TENFOLD! - With Toshiba's NC-MR technology, they say they can increase hard drive capacity by 500% in a mere two years! I'm sitting here thinking of a 500 Terrabyte Hard drive for the HTPC.... I kind of have my doubts on when this would be available to the regular guy though - it would have to cost a bunch.
3. $200 Tivo Series3 mail in rebate for you - Zatz Not Funny reporting on a good rebate for you Tivo fans.
4. YouTube for the Apple TV? Plugin coming soon - per digg
5. New MCE update from Microsoft prevents playback of HBO and some AMC programming - per slashdot and zetavu on the snapstream forums. A reason to worry about those fancy and expensive CableCard setups.
6. No evidence that wi-fi is bad for your health - Thank goodness since I have two WiFi access points at my home and more than 40 WiFi access points at work. I sure hope it isn't bad for my health or I'm in real trouble...
7. Photos from the Maker Faire. As Cnet puts it, this was DIY heaven. I wish I could have been there to see it in person.

Don't miss my posts about watching shows from your BeyondTV anywhere in the world with an internet connection and using the NetRadio Plugin for Beyond Media.