October 12, 2005

PVR's for India

The PVR is quickly becoming the way people watch TV. TiVo popularized the idea of a set-top box that lets you pause live TV, time-shift it, skip commercials, and see all your listings on a single program guide. With a great remote and intuitive interface, TiVo has become so well-loved that it has become a verb synonymous with controlling your TV programming. "Did you see Battlestar Galactica last night?" "No, but I TiVo'd it."

Microsoft recognized that with a decent TV tuner card, the PC could be a great PVR. It could do anything TiVo does, plus run Windows applications, and would make quite a good DVD player, music jukebox, and photo viewer. Though Windows Media Center Edition started off on rocky footing, the 2005 edition made a whole host of improvements, and more will come in the next month with the massive "Rollup 2" patch.

Let's say you don't have Media Center Edition and don't want to wipe your drive and install it. You have Windows XP and simply want to add a TV tuner card and PVR type functions so you can hook your PC to your TV or sit across the room from your large monitor and enjoy all the benefits of TiVo. There are quite a few programs available that let you do that; we'll examine three of them today, including SnapStream's Beyond TV, Cyberlink's PowerCinema, and SageTV.

Looks like my PVR is going to be built from a Shuttle comp and Sage TV. Gotta check if ATI's tv tuner card is available for PAL signals too.. I am desperately looking for a PVR because my tv shows are all at odd hours to when I can watch tv.

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