PC-based DVR fun

posted by Jeff | Friday, September 10, 2004, 12:18 PM | comments: 1
After "finishing" my book last night and faced with time to worry about, well, nothing, I started to think a little bit about TV. The truth is, Stephanie and I don't watch much TV, but naturally it seems that every network is scheduling the shows we do watch at the same time.

We're DirecTV subscribers. The downside of this is that you can't really go splitting your dish signal all over the place without a special switch and lots of extra cabling. The TiVo units with receivers are cool, but again, without the mad cabling you can't watch one thing and record another. I'm annoyed with TiVo subscription fees anyway.

I did a little digging and found that SnapStream's Beyond TV was very, very cool. I have a machine I'm not using, so I went to CompUSA and picked up an inexpensive video capture board for $20 after rebate. Unfortunately the serial cable I needed to connect my machine to the DirecTV receiver was also $20. I feel violated. Discounts were the biggest perk of working at that store after college.

Aside from getting all kinds of drivers updated on the unused box, it went pretty smoothly getting it setup. Before I knew it, I was recording TV. The Web server is very cool, and it's neat to see that with the next beta they're apparently very into .NET. The only real issue is that the computer is bare-minimum standard for software-based capture, which is bad news because you can't watch the stream remotely and record at the same time.

My original background and professional life P.I.B. (pre-Internet boom) was in TV, so I generally have a lot of distaste for consumer video products, including my living room TV. Since I don't watch much, I put up with it. Still, I'm enough of a dork still that I edit my own video with Avid. Anyway, I hate all of this analog crap in broadcast TV. I hate that there are crappy RCA connectors on my DirecTV receiver and the video capture card. I hate that there isn't a DirecTV receiver on a PCI card so I could record MPEG right off the bird.

Despite all that dissatisfaction, I can't wait to hook up the laptop to the PC and stream some recorded video down there to the TV to see how it looks.



September 10, 2004, 8:09 PM # DVR Kicks my ass. It rocks. It has changed the way Candy and I watch TV. It's bomb as hell. I love it. Did I mention it kicks ass, not just any, mine.

I love it. In fact, we watch less TV. We watch what we want to watch, whenever, however. More time for other things.

As for you, one day, you'll actually going to turn into a computer.

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