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Is this kind of "freevo" possible?

Old 11-13-04, 01:22 PM
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Is this kind of "freevo" possible?

Well, I got ticked off at Tivo since they're charging me $12.95 when other, newer customers are getting $6.95. So I cancelled my account and am looking at other options. Could I use my home networking system and a tv capture card to broadcast shows to my tv via digital media player? It seems like it should work, though maybe I'd have to get a 802.blahblah wireless "g" system instead of the "b" one I already have. I've also heard of "freevo" software and "mythTV," but I've never seen them--can I get one of them to work on the tv (through networking and the media player), or are they strictly for computer viewing?

Just wondering if this is a good project to try on Christmas vacation, and any advice greatly appreciated (except advice to suck it up and go back to Tivo. Nope, not gonna pay a higher rate than others have to.)

tasha
Old 11-13-04, 02:36 PM
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Here is my solution, while not free, it is cheaper than TiVo. If you bought an OEM copy of Windows XP:Media Center Edition, a compatible tv tuner and a media extender (like this one), you could record the program on your pc using TiVo-like controls and then watch it on your TV Set using the media extender.

Last edited by Brain Stew; 11-13-04 at 02:49 PM.
Old 11-13-04, 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by Brain Stew
Here is my solution, while not free, it is cheaer than TiVo. If you bought an OEM copy of Windows XP:Media Center Edition, a compatible tv tuner and a media extender (like this one), you could record the program on your pc using TiVo-like controls and then watch it on your TV Set using the media extender.
A couple of months ago PCMag (fall 2004 edition, Vol 23 No19) had an article for this similar type of setup.. Sounds like the way to go if you don't like TiVo

Last edited by 68ShelbyGT500KR; 11-13-04 at 02:48 PM.
Old 11-13-04, 05:43 PM
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Originally posted by Brain Stew
Here is my solution, while not free, it is cheaper than TiVo. If you bought an OEM copy of Windows XP:Media Center Edition, a compatible tv tuner and a media extender (like this one), you could record the program on your pc using TiVo-like controls and then watch it on your TV Set using the media extender.
Thanks--that's kind of what I was looking for. How is it not free (once you have it set up)? Tivo costs $12.95/month for me, so while I'd rather have it free, I'd settle for less than $13. I'll look for the magazine article too--might have some good ideas in it. Looks like wireless g is backwards compatible too--I may only have to replace the router (kicking myself for not buying it to being with).

tasha

Last edited by tasha99; 11-13-04 at 05:47 PM.
Old 11-13-04, 05:53 PM
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Here is the article from PCmag's site.
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1669909,00.asp

Yes, it will cost some money, really depends on your computer setup etc..
Old 11-13-04, 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by tasha99
Thanks--that's kind of what I was looking for. How is it not free (once you have it set up)? Tivo costs $12.95/month for me, so while I'd rather have it free, I'd settle for less than $13. I'll look for the magazine article too--might have some good ideas in it. Looks like wireless g is backwards compatible too--I may only have to replace the router (kicking myself for not buying it to being with).

tasha
Once it's setup, it's free. I only meant that it wasn't free since you would have to pay for the software, the tv tuner, and media extender.
Old 11-14-04, 02:31 PM
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Wow, thanks for all the info 68ShelbyGT500KR and Brain Stew. I was looking into the Prismiq MediaPlayer. It seems like with the Prismiq, an upgrade to a wireless "g" network (which is backwards compatible so I'd just change the router and replace cards later), and a "g" card for the media player, this would work. I have a tv capture card I haven't put in my computer yet. Not sure if I'd need pvr software or not.

Anyhoo, I can't do anything for a few weeks anyway. I should be writing papers now, but this Christmas vacation project looks pretty fun.

Thanks again.
Old 11-14-04, 05:33 PM
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What happens to tivo is your stop paying? Can you still use it like a VCR and manually program the time/channels?
Old 11-14-04, 07:44 PM
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Originally posted by jasonr114
What happens to tivo is your stop paying? Can you still use it like a VCR and manually program the time/channels?
You ebay it. Mine's still working because I pulled the phone cord out--no way to call in and find out my account is cancelled. But also no updates, so it will be worthless in about a week.
Old 11-15-04, 04:03 PM
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The Windows Media Center is nifty, but IMO it's not quite ready yet. I'd give it a year first. They have some neat stuff for this setup though. You can turn an Xbox into a playback unit by hooking it to a network and getting the media center for xbox "game" sort of thing. Neat ideas coming out there.

At the moment, I'd look into a MythTV box. There's a version of Knoppix with MythTV built right into it, so it can be run directly from a CD sort of thing if you like. Getting very easy to build and use there, and of course it'll do all the stuff that Windows Media Center will never do. Like support for MAME roms to play old school games on the thing. Or DVD ripping, where you can insert a DVD, rip it to the drive, play it back whenever. Playback virtually any kind of content, including DRM'ed content from multiple stores (like iTunes Music Store) and so forth. All that stuff will never be available with Windows Media Center.
Old 11-16-04, 06:03 AM
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I've used the Prismiq Media Player and I really wouldn't recommend it at this point. Unless they've vastly improved the software in the last 6 months or so, the thing is usable but rather disappointing if your expectations are for Tivo level refinement and polish.

The interface is a bit clunky and the system makes some unsatisfying technical compromises. They say they play MPEG 4 and WMV and all kinds of formats, but what it's really doing is the host PC is converting those video formats on-the-fly to MPEG 1 and then streaming the MPEG 1 video over the network to be played on the Media Player. There is a very noticeable loss of quality, especially when dealing with a good quality DivX or XviD file.
Old 11-16-04, 09:38 AM
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Originally posted by tasha99
You ebay it. Mine's still working because I pulled the phone cord out--no way to call in and find out my account is cancelled. But also no updates, so it will be worthless in about a week.
I can see where you don't get the TV listing updates but can you still tell it to record channel 56 at 10pm for an hour if you want? That would be plenty for me.
Old 11-16-04, 10:09 AM
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Originally posted by Nifty03
I can see where you don't get the TV listing updates but can you still tell it to record channel 56 at 10pm for an hour if you want? That would be plenty for me.
I'm not sure, but I don't think it will do even that. I have a series 2, which is more restrictive than the earlier Tivos.
Old 11-18-04, 08:26 AM
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Originally posted by tasha99
I'm not sure, but I don't think it will do even that. I have a series 2, which is more restrictive than the earlier Tivos.
So can someone point me in the direction of some stand alone DVR's that work just fine with any kind of service? Thanks.
Old 11-18-04, 10:09 AM
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Originally posted by Nifty03
So can someone point me in the direction of some stand alone DVR's that work just fine with any kind of service? Thanks.
Well, without a paid service anyway. Pretty much any computer with a capture card running Myth, Sage or another PVR software. If you are a "build your own" kind of person you may have much of what you need in spare parts already. You might find this forum useful: http://www.htpcnews.com/forums/index.php
Old 11-18-04, 10:19 AM
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If you use a computer as a PVR, how does the computer change the channel if you are using Digital Cable, Dish Network, or Direct TV?

I realize that a cable ready video card can change regular catv, but what about those digital boxes?
Old 11-18-04, 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by jasonr114
If you use a computer as a PVR, how does the computer change the channel if you are using Digital Cable, Dish Network, or Direct TV?

I realize that a cable ready video card can change regular catv, but what about those digital boxes?
It uses lirc or something like it to send a infrared remote command out of a special piece of hardware designed to do just that. Same way the standalone Tivo's and ReplayTV boxes do it.

Either that or you get an input card that can decode digital cable (it's called QAM support). Won't work for encrypted channels though. And most cable companies encrypt their digital cable channels. Annoying. Still, a lot of them are starting to see the light and are unencrypting their non-pay channels, since a lot of HD sets can see these without a digital cable box. The user complaints are increasing, in other words.

Last edited by Otto; 11-18-04 at 11:10 AM.

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