Saturday, March 22, 2008

Beyond TV Version 4.8.1 Released

Snapstream - the maker of Beyond TV, one of the easiest to setup and use software-based PVR applications has released an update to it's BeyondTV (Like Tivo except for PC's) software for Windows.


Snapstream's focus for Beyond TV continues to be on ease of setup, ease of use and powerful PVR functionality.  This version (free for existing BeyondTV customers) includes a few significant features including the following:

  • Record by saved, keyword searches (like Tivo).  This is a very nice upgrade that lets you save a searched keyword string and BeyondTV will record anything in the future that matches that keyword.  Imagine you are a University of Missouri Fan and wanted to record anything related to MU basketball and football.  For this you could save a keyword search of missouri basketball or missouri football and BeyondTV will record anything that matches going forward.

SS Saved Guide Search

  • Frame by frame playback - With this feature you can pause and then use the arrow keys to move forward frame-by-frame.  This is a nice feature for sports and any other programming where you want to see an event in super-slow-motion.
  • Warning Notifications by e-mail.  BeyondTV will notify you by e-mail of various events such as recording conflicts or other errors related to BeyondTV.  That way if your working beyond the prime-time show thats set to record, you'll know there is a problem and can fix it using BeyondTV's webadmin before the error or conflict occurs - even when you're not at home.
  • Separate levels of access using user accounts.  Beyond TV now lets you  create user accounts with different levels of restricted privileges.  All of the activities such as watching recordings, watching live TV, scheduling recordings, and changing settings can be access-controlled on a user-by-user basis. Control what and how much your kids (or spouse) is watching if you dare.  NOTE:  This feature breaks compatibility for all of the plugins - while most of the most popular plugins have been updated, there are still a few such as the MediaMVP playback skin that are not compatible with version 4.8.1)SS Useraccounts
  • Sort your recorded shows library by name, original air date, or date recorded
  • Speedier recording scheduler

To read more about the new version, check out the Snapstream Blog or Snapstream's website.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Madness TV Coverage Online & Broadcast

Wondering where you can catch a particular NCAA Tournament game this month?  The tournament officially starts today (except for the play-in game earlier this week) and there are plenty of options to watch the March Madness Games.


TV NETWORKS (Traditional):

Complete CBS/NCAA Tournament Schedule - Check out the CBS Sports Complete Schedule of the NCAA Tournament including times, locations and teams.

Most of us will be watching on our TV's.  Want to know which games will air in which markets?  Check out the HDSportsGuide's Coverage Maps for the CBS NCAA Tournament Coverage.




CBS Online Broadcast - Watch all the games online at CBS Online.  But you better hurry up and sign up as it's a first come first serve sort of thing. via Mari Silbey at Connectedhome2Go

Sports Illustrated Team Highlights - Watch highlights from the tournament teams at Sports Illustrated’s FilmRoom via Mari's post on ZatzNotFunny


PLACESHIFTING: Or will you like me be Placeshifting (streaming content from home over internet) it from you home setup?

Slingbox (watch their latest commercial with a NCAA BB focus).  Slingbox

Joost - Joost has been testing live TV and hopefully have the kinks worked out now for the tournament.

SageTV Placeshifter - SageTV Placeshifter is my choice since I own SageTV

Orb - For a free option for placeshifting, check out Orb.


Other March Madness

March Madness Bracketology - Play Online

March Madness Bracket - Printable Excel Spreadsheet Download

March Madness Map

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

March Madness Map

I found a nice looking Map of the March Madness teams with their logo's and stats on size etc.  If you're a NCAA Basketball fanatic around tournament time, check this one out.

Bills 2008 NCAA Tournament Map


Other March Madness

March Madness Bracketology - Play Online

March Madness Bracket - Printable Excel Spreadsheet Download

March Madness Bracketology - Play Online

Are you a March Madness College Basketball Fan?  Struggling over how to fill out your picks for the NCAA tournament bracket?  Here's a couple (okay a lot) of resources for you to help make those final picks before the tournament starts.  There's just a few places on the web where you can find others talking about this stuff :)

Don't forget to pick up your free, excel bracket to download - with it you can select your picks from drop-down buttons for each pick.

Make your picks and play online for free at the following places:

CBS Round-by-Round Bracket Challenge - Get to make your picks for each round separately.

CBS Bracket Challenge - Prizes to win, but large pool of players

Fox Sports Bracket Challenge - More prizes to win including a Plasma TV

Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick 'Em 08 - gotta have a perfect bracket to win this one, but $5M sounds like a nice prize.


Other March Madness

March Madness Bracket - Printable Excel Spreadsheet Download

March Madness Map

Monday, March 17, 2008

Auto Tennis Ball Thrower - For Your Dog

I love dogs - especially the smart, but geeky dogs so when I saw this video of a dog putting a tennis ball into an automatic ball throwing machine, I had to share it with you.  This is the perfect thing for the lazy owner who wants his dog to be in better shape than he is.  Still, it would be a great gadget to keep Fido busy while he's home alone and your slaving away at the office.


Found at Make Magazine


Check this post out for more gadgets to geek out your dog.  I especially like the dog goggles from that post.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

March Madness Bracket - Printable Excel Spreadsheet Download

bballGet your March Madness NCAA Basketball Tournament Brackets.  I have an excel spreadsheet (suitable for any Basketball Geek) that lets you select your picks from a drop-down and easily print & save your picks.  It's free, easy and is now pre-filled with all of the teams in the bracket.

NOTE:  2010 March  Madness Bracket Download is here

Get your download of the Excel March Madness 2008 Bracket here.

Alternatively, CNET blogger Dennis O'Reilly show you how to use Google Docs to manage your picks online via Lifehacker

If you just want a web-printable bracket with the teams filled in and not a spreadsheet, there's plenty of choices for you including the following:
Other March Madness
March Madness Bracketology - Play Online
March Madness Map
March Madness TV Coverage Online & Broadcast

Sunday Shorts

Light posting over the past many days due to an overwhelming amount of work at the day job.

March Madness - Zatz put up a good Slingbox commercial with a March Madness focus the other day.  And Mari at connectedhome2go has links to free online tournament game broadcasts as well.

I should note that I'll have a few March Madness posts coming soon including a March Madness Bracket Excel Template I've used and modified over the past few years for tracking the tournament.


Here's a few stories I'm reading on the web:

Report: DVR could turn Apple TV into multi-billion dollar business - an analyst had the obvious epiphany that AppleTV could actually be successful if Apple includes Digital Video Recording (DVR) capabilities to the device.  This isn't exactly a shocker to me or many other observers, but I wonder if it will be too late for Apple since they've had the patent for this since October 2006, but still haven't released anything yet.  If Apple had included this with the AppleTV already, I would wager a guess that the device would be almost as popular as the iPod.  Add to it some sort of cablecard support to tune encrypted digital, HD channels and you would have seen the AppleTV be a very hot item.  Instead, we are seeing Tivo, Slingbox, Microsoft's Vista Media Center, SageTV and BeyondTV innovating and capturing the largest share of the market.  If one of these three comes out with a simple-to-set-up HTPC server box (think pre-configured hardware) much like SageTV's HD extender, then I think that would be the winner in the power-HTPC/DVR category.  I have much to say about this concept that I'll be talking about later this week.  For more on this, ZatzNotFunny has a good post on this topic as well.

Tivo gets YouTube - Matt at the PVRBlog mentions that Tivo will be getting a YouTube channel later this year.  I have this already using SageTV's webvideos and have to say that it's nice, but it's on the use once-in-a-while category.  It is nice to pull up a quick YouTube video that's being talked about every so often.  Having access to it on your TV via remote control makes it much more like a channel than a website.

vistacapableWhat went wrong with the "Microsoft Vista Capable" label?  The NY Times has an interesting piece about the problems users have had moving to Vista and in particular upgrading computers that had the "Microsoft Vista Capable" label on the PC.  The article explains a class-action lawsuit moving forward against Microsoft along these lines.

UnLock Windows Files - The How-to Geek has a very useful tutorial on how to backup or copy files that are "locked" by windows.  To get around the "locked" file issue, he uses Hobocopy which is a command-line tool.  I can't tell you how many times this problem has caused me frustration.  Excellent tip by another of my favorite blogs.

DRM Sucks - Mari Sibley has a post on ZatzNotFunny about the troubles she's had with the DRM'd music on her iPod and the hoops she had to jump through to use a second iTunes computer to get songs to her iPod shuffle without losing the music on that iPod.  If the songs didn't have DRM on them it wouldn't have been an issue - this is why  I no longer purchase DRM'd music either.

Jericho Canceled Again? - It's being speculated on that Jericho will see its final episode this season.  The Hollywood Reporter and TVByTheNumbers both show pretty good cases for why this will happen.  This is not surprising given the quickly declining ratings of the excellent show and doubtful we'll see truckloads of nuts saving the show this time.  I'll have a complete list of what shows we'll be seeing in the Fall 2008 season coming soon.  In the meantime, you can check out my "how many shows remaining" list that I'm still maintaining almost daily.