VOOM Whole House DVR

Wow! This just in from Matt Haughey PVR Blog about satellite television service VOOM‘s new HD DVR with networking that will allow home users to view content from any monitor in their house via a thin client.

The Satellite Guys have a demo video online from the recent CEDIA EXPO, which they describe as perhaps the “most powerful DVR ever”.

Ok, I’ll hold off on that description because you can do much of this now with MythTV, but the VOOM DVR is certainly woth a look once it comes out officially.

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Broadband Syndication Synergies and P2P

Today, there was a /. post about a new MythTV plug-in called Torrentocracy that extends the included MythNews RSS Aggregator to support RSS Enclosures and Bit Torrent.

Torrentocracy is not the first to mesh RSS Enclosures, Bit Torrent and PVRs.

In fact, NewsGator released NewsGator Media Center Edition back in April and two weeks ago, Ray Slakinski’s Nucleus application, which can be used in a similar way on just about any environment.

I’ll definitely give Torrentocracy a test on my STeVo. However, what I’ve been thinking about is the next iteration of these tools…

For example, given the integration with PVRs, it seems fairly logical that the next adaptation will enable the sharing of your recorded shows back out to the Bit Torrent and/or other P2P networks.

This greases the wheel, considerably, on sharing digital media en mass. Whereby the Cable TV networks become top node distribution points, seeding the P2P networks with current content and built-in redundancy.

Wow! Things could get interesting…

History however, with respect to the fear and customer loathing that runs amuck in the music industry, has told us that the big media companies will, no doubt, try to stop this “potentially” illegal activity at its inception.

The sad thing is that they are not seeing that these options are driven by customer demand (or IMHO customer innovation) and not by a couple of 15 year old kids looking for a quick way to get porn.

I surely hope I’m wrong. Perhaps the big media companies have seen the writing on the wall with the fanaticism around time-shifting media boxes such as the TiVo. But then again the legal bullying is already in-play against ReplyTV after they included a sharing feature back in 2001.

There has to be a common ground!

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WinMyth: MythTV Front End for Windows

I’ve got to try WinMyth on my Laptop. It’s simply a .Net-based Windows front end for MythTV.

And now with spring approaching, we can watch our Stevo outside!

However, I suppose I could simply re-boot with KnoppMyth, but since I run XP as my primary OS on my laptop, I’m hoping it will be simpler with WinMyth.

Note: WinMyth requires the dsMyth, which contains the DirectShow filters that enables playback of MythTV .nuv files on windows. (Also very cool!)

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MythTV Mailing List Archive with RSS Feeds

I was just looking for an RSS feed for the mythtv-users mailing list and I stumbled across David Jeske post regarding an “experimental archive browse/search software” that he co-developed with Brandon Long.

In addition to search and threaded views of posts, their tool also includes RSS feeds in many flavors … although the feeds only include summaries and there’s no Atom feed yet, but suffice it to say, I like this trend.

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I want my RSSTV!

I learned via PVRBlog about Andrew Grumet’s proposal to the TiVo and DIY PVR communities regarding sharing your recordings among friends via RSS — in essence, Andrew’s idea is an application of social networking, but perhaps you’re best served by reading through Andrew’s proposal.

Here are a few choice quotes:

“Today my TiVo is networked and programmable. Do-it-yourself PVRs are on the rise, and we know that the open source ones like MythTV are programmable. Perhaps some of the commercial ones are too. So maybe it’s time for us to flex some programmer muscle and code up our PVRs to leverage the power of the Net. We ought to at least be able to add the ability to share our great taste with friends. But probably a lot more.”

Q Are copyrighted TV programs exchanged over the Net?”
A No. Only schedule information is exchanged. That information may be derived from any number of sources, including XMLTV or even hand-typing the information into an HTML form while glancing at a TV Guide. RSSTV feeds will typically contain selective information, e.g. “here are the three programs worth watching on February 3rd”, so manual-entry is a plausible option.”(Read the comments here)

Hmm, I think it would be fairly trivial to general an RSS feeds from my MythTV schedule or recorded programs list via MythWeb, but who would subscribe? (mental note: keep an eye on this)

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Yet Another PVR Install Log

This time by IBM luminary Sam Ruby. The post details the start of his experience building a dedicated MythTV box based on Debian, but the wisdom will eventually…

“… be automated, published, and shared.”

“But, first I have to get it working repeatably…”

We expect nothing less from you Sam ;-)

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More First Experiences with MythTV

It sounds like Tom Walsh over at Newsforge and I share many of the same first experiences and conclusions in regard to building and using a Home Theater PC (HTPC) based on MythTV.

Tom Walsh writes: “Would I say that anyone could put together their own PVR? No! It takes a level of competency and comfort with Linux to attempt such an undertaking. You need a good deal of patience with often time-confusing documentation. But if you persist, ask questions of those in IRC, and purchase high-end hardware, I am confident that you too will be satisfied with your results.”

I agree. Although, I’m still having some minor problems like “tinny” audio that appears randomly on recorded programs, but I’ve read that it’s fixable with a driver update. Plus I need to upgrade to the latest MythTV (.14) relase.

Overall however, we’re still very happy with our “STeVo” and our TV viewing habits have certainly changed in a good way — like for example we’re watching less (especially commercials!!)

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PVR Parts Ordered

Since the hardware is now on order, I suppose I have committed myself to building what Catherine has branded “STeVo“, which is my feeble attempt at a constructing a homebrew PVR (personal video recorder).

Wish me luck!

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Home-Brew PVRs on Linux

Joe Stump over on the O’Reilly DevCenter puts together a well-rounded overview of The State of Home-Brew Personal Video Recorders on Linux (Think: Open Source TiVo). The article also includes a good threaded discussion as well. Well worth a read.

Incidentally, I’ve decided to investigate putting together my own PVR. I was inspired mainly by a recent InfoWorld article on the savings you can expect by build your own systems.

I’ve set my budget to be about $400 and so far I’m leaning toward using MythTV and ideally the KnoppMyth Bootable CD MythTV Install to make things easy, which is based on the amazing Knoppix Live CD Debian Distro.

I’ve even started a Wiki Space to collect my notes and research. I’ll probably document my progress there as well.

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SnapStream Personal Video Station 3.0 review

Matt Haughey of PVRBlog has an extensive review of SnapStream Personal Video Station 3.0:

“Would I trade a TiVo for a small PC running Snapstream? After playing with it for a few weeks, I’d have to say it is certainly possible. A home theater PC can do more than a TiVo (play videos, any audio format, photos, show the web on your TV, etc), and this package certainly covers the TV recording features that TiVo pioneered.”

“If my reviews carried ratings, SnapStream’s software would get nearly a 100% score for the low cost, loads of features, and easy video sharing, with the non-PC platform sharing being my only criticism.”

Good stuff!

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