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View Full Version : Sky+ vs TiVO vs HTPC?



Paddy
31st August 2006, 03:10
This is my wifes compromise (http://forums.murc.ws/showthread.php?t=58329).
We currently pay ~£30 pcm for Sky+. I never watch it because everything is repeated and their premiere movies are at least 6months old.

Having looked into our usage, it seems that my wife only uses it for watching free-to-air channels with the live pause and record functions. It seems silly to be paying the Sky subscription when we don't actually use it.

I have looked into TiVo, but it seems to simply be a linux based PC.

I have an AIW 9700pro which should be suitable. I wonder if i combine it with a freeview decoder and a new case could i make a HTPC myself?

Would I be able to build a machine that would be able to pause, and record live TV?
it would need to be incorporated into a 'TV guide' so that my wife could select Estenders or whatever and record it. A series link funciton similar to Skys would be great.

Any thoughts?

Gurm
31st August 2006, 04:20
This is my wifes compromise (http://forums.murc.ws/showthread.php?t=58329).
We currently pay ~£30 pcm for Sky+. I never watch it because everything is repeated and their premiere movies are at least 6months old.

Having looked into our usage, it seems that my wife only uses it for watching free-to-air channels with the live pause and record functions. It seems silly to be paying the Sky subscription when we don't actually use it.

I have looked into TiVo, but it seems to simply be a linux based PC.

I have an AIW 9700pro which should be suitable. I wonder if i combine it with a freeview decoder and a new case could i make a HTPC myself?

Would I be able to build a machine that would be able to pause, and record live TV?
it would need to be incorporated into a 'TV guide' so that my wife could select Estenders or whatever and record it. A series link funciton similar to Skys would be great.

Any thoughts?
Windows MCE does this, but there are quite a few freeware packages that do as well. IIRC there's even a full distro of Linux someone built up to do exactly what you're looking for - run a HTPC like it was a DVR.

Taz
31st August 2006, 04:47
Just plug one of these into a free USB port, install the software and your done :)

http://tven.terratec.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=236

Paddy
31st August 2006, 04:53
Cheers Gurm & Taz.

Does anyone have any experience with this?

Jammrock
31st August 2006, 05:13
MythTV is the free Linux HTPC software. Though you have to be careful with any Linux HTPC distro, as TV Tuner support is very limited.

http://www.mythtv.org/

Another nice treat about MythTV is they have a knoppix like bootable CD version, obviously called KnoppMyth, if you just want to test it out:

http://www.mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html

There used to be a free one for Windows, but they got bought out by Yahoo recently. Though if you hunt around you can still find old releases of myHTPC.

You can also shell out for a front end for your existing Windows install (or future). SageTV (www.sage.tv) is considered the best for tweakers. BeyondTV is another popular one. I'm sure there are others out there, but those are the most popular non-MCE front-ends.

One more thing. If you buy any modern TV tuner card, it will come with DVR like software. It won't be the kind you can sit on your couch and control, but it has basic record/playback software.

Jammrock

Nowhere
31st August 2006, 05:21
AFAIK most PVR software (be it Windows MCE or some "apps") require a TV hardware that has hardware MPEG2/etc. encoding capability (cheap Hauppagge 150 is enough). I guess since for a long time that was the only way to do timeshifting/etc. without hassle. And I think AIW can't do that?
Note: apparently it is possible to do it without board that does hardware encoding, just much harder (I'll try soon with my BT878 based card...)

edit: this one's apparently quite good
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GB-PVR
(and with some hassle it can, apparently, work even without card with hardware encoding)

Paddy
31st August 2006, 06:43
I am keen to combine this with my fileserver which is used for movies mostly anyway :)
So now i need a case that is relativley small, but still holds a full sized Adaptec RAID 5 card with four drives. (Or am I being stupid :))

Fluff
31st August 2006, 06:58
i would be tempted to look at www.nebula-electronics.com
I have a DigiTV USB, it is quite sweet and you can att multiple tuners and stream tv around your house if you so wish. Plus has the ability to support topuptv.

And it's a UK Company :)

They are still developing theyr software and I must say it isnt 100% there yet.

Taz
31st August 2006, 07:05
So now i need a case that is relativley small, but still holds a full sized Adaptec RAID 5 card with four drives.

Is this any good?

http://www.silverstonetek.com/products-lc20.htm

Jammrock
31st August 2006, 08:41
SilverStone Tek cases are fantastic, but uber expensive. Check out this article:

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2006676,00.asp

...it's got some good, not very expensive, HTPC cases in it. Including one with a 7" touch screen LCD for $350 USD.

Taz
31st August 2006, 10:05
SilverStone Tek cases are fantastic, but uber expensive.

It's around £85 in silver, which isn't that expensive as cases go :)

Paddy
31st August 2006, 11:08
Where is that Taz?
Jammy, the touch screen looks great, but I doubt I can get that past my wife as a 'cost saving' feature :(

Taz
31st August 2006, 11:21
Where is that Taz?

Here (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=383008), although they don't have stock at the moment :ermm:

They have the black (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=383007) version but that's ~£5 more.

Tjalfe
31st August 2006, 12:01
Where is that Taz?
Jammy, the touch screen looks great, but I doubt I can get that past my wife as a 'cost saving' feature :(


Tell her this way you can sell your one monitor to make up for it.. and it is less clutter than a real monitor ;)