Sunday, January 09, 2005

Building a PVR

After a long time thinking about it and after failing last summer I decided to build myself a PVR. It's not a TIVO replacement as I originally intended it to be, but since my new computer is pretty fast and I have a flat screen, I thought I would give it a try.

To build it, all I needed were these:

I tried several softwares before I made a decision on Beyond TV. I tried Sage TV, MediaPortal and GB-PVR.

Sage is better than Beyond TV in features, but it has a small problem when displaying LiveTV. It assumes I always want to record TV when watching it, so if all I want to do is watch TV I'm filling my HD at the same time. Beyond TV does the same, but writes it to a temporary buffer and wipes it out when done.

MediaPortal worked fine but was super slow. It would take 5 seconds to display Live video. Then it wouldn't switch tv channels, remaining stuck on whatever channel it was.

GB-PVR was able to record TV, but when I tried to play what it recorded, the application would hang.

I'm still going to keep on researching these apps in the time I have available for their trials, but I'm definitelly steering away from the free ones since they're not keeping up on speed or stability.

From now on there's no missing TV shows - all I need to do is tell the softwares which shows I like and it records all new episodes, etc. I can watch them on my flat screen, or I can burn them on DVD to watch on TV.

I'm finally free from TV Schedules and Commercial breaks!


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