Building a media centre is a killer way to watch or stream your favourite movies and TV shows. If you miss being able to watch live TV or want to record it so you can watch it later, you can turn your XBMC box into a personal video recorder (PVR). Here's what you need to do.
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Not such great news if you own a TiVo or were (perhaps improbably) planning to buy one this weekend: there will be a bunch of service outages next week for systems maintenance. Danny over at Gizmodo has the full details; we can't imagine too many people use their TiVo to record daytime TV, but it's still something to keep an eye on.
Mac OS X: Yesterday we looked at turning your computer into a personal video recorder and Lifehacker reader IronSyndicate mentioned that Mac users have a better option for downloading feed-based content: Automatic. It's a really nice option and so we thought we'd highlight it today.
Video content is readily available online for you to download, but the download process isn't always as simple and automated as using something like a TiVO to simply schedule the content you want to watch. Fortunately, there are some great tools to help you do that with both BitTorrent and Usenet. Here's how to set them up and turn your computer into an internet PVR.
2010 has been the first year where shows we've recorded to watch later have been included in official ratings. It's no surprise that drama tops the list of shows we want to catch even at a distance, but the figures are still far from complete.
Foxtel subscribers have been able to download programs to view on their PC since last October. By this October, the pay TV provider will also offer download services for its iQ PVR, as well as scheduling from PCs and iPhones.
TV Tonight sums up the current state of TV right now more neatly than we probably could: with all three commercial channels planning to hold their relative handful of decent shows until after Easter and then screening them against each other, you need either a decent PVR filled with content or Channel BT right now. The network care factor has officially reached zero.
To date, TiVo's main offering in the video-on-demand space has been movies in partnership with Blockbuster. That's about to expand dramatically however, with the release of new higher-capacity TiVo-branded PVRs and a host of download options.
Recording one channel while watching another is one of the main advantages of a PVR like Foxtel's iQ2, and iQ2 owners will shortly be able to double their pleasure. The 'Four Tuners' software update, which Foxtel will begin automatically rolling out to subscribers from this week, allows two different programs to be recorded while a third is being watched live. I've got to admit there aren't many occasions when there are three things on that I want to watch, but it's good to know that the update capabilities on the iQ2 are being exploited early in its life. Can you find a schedule clash that necessitates recording two stations at once? Share it in the comments.
The Aussie implementation of Tivo has only just gone on sale, but the developers of the PVR technology are already talking up forthcoming features. Nick Tabakoff at the Australian reports that Tivo should offer free viewing of YouTube clips from early next year, with earlier plans to charge for the feature now apparently dumped. We imagine it'll only be a matter of time before someone comes up with a hack to allow saving YouTube downloads onto the Tivo. YouTube free on Seven's Tivo
With the recent launch of the Foxtel IQ2, the imminent (and much-delayed) appearance of Tivo in Australia next month, and Sony promising its own PlayTV personal video recorder (PVR) option before the year is out, there are more big-name PVR choices for Aussies than ever before. Getting your favourite TV programs automatically recorded for playback at a time that suits you is an obviously appealing concept, but despite the arrival of these new entrants, you still have two basic choices: a fairly pricey system that works well but is hard to customise, or a much cheaper and more flexible option that may not deliver on the simplicity and reliability front.
Although Foxtel started installing HD-equipped iQ2 boxes in early June, the company has set June 22 as the official date for the launch of the Foxtel HD+ service. The occasion will be marked with an HD broadcast of the World Cup qualifier between Australia and China.According to Foxtel, more than 15,000 homes have already had the iQ2 box installed. We'd love to know how many wanted HD, and how many just wanted the iQ2 itself (320GB is a lot of shows). But what we're really looking forward to is seeing how people tweak the iQ2 as it becomes more widespread.
If, like me, you've been waiting for a plug and play PVR then our pals at Gizmodo have a lot of interesting news to share. First up, Seven has confirmed that TiVo is definitely launching here, but not until August.(I was turned down for the TiVo beta - first beta I've ever been knocked back for! sob!)And if you're PlayStation inclined, Sony have announced we'll get its PVR addon for PS3, PlayTV sometime in the 4th quarter.I've never been a huge fan of pay TV, but I've been enjoying the Foxtel IQ lately.My question to you is, have you found a PC-based PVR that "just works"? I've heard good things about MythTV but never tried it. I've only used Microsoft's Media Center to play music. Yes, I'm pretty much a noob.
Grr I hope the rumour that Seven may dump TiVo before it even reaches the market here is wrong. Nick over at Gizmodo pointed out an SMH report which said Seven may give up on importing the cult American PVR in favour of joining forces with the other free to air stations and their "Freeview" PVR which is being mooted to go up against Foxtel's IQ. Let the consumers decide, please, not a consortium. :(
A story in yesterday's Age has reported that free to air industry group Free TV has confirmed all networks will provide EPGs (electronic program guides) by January 1, but they are still trying to use legal action to stop PVR manufacturers from using ad-skipping.
The writeup in the Age says channels 9 and 10 and the ABC have already started broadcasting their EPGs, while 7 will come online by January 1. While it's supposedly an "open" EPG the legal action being taken by Free TV is trying to restrict EPG access to the manufacturers who don't use ad-skipping in their PVRs.
PVRs bought in the last 3 years should automatically start receiving the EPG broadcasts as the channels come online. So has anyone started using the EPG for new additions channels 9 and 10? I'd be interested to hear how it's working out.