January 19, 2006 - kenshinjeff
Lost, while watching lost
So these days, I’ve been pouring in quite alot of effort to come up with a cheaper version of this, http://www.octaviatech.com/ which is sold by a company in singapore.
For the ones who are not in the know, htpcs are basically the same as normal desktop computers with the following hardware differences:
– Usually they look more like hifi sets (but this is just aesthetically)
– They could come with a tv-remote thing to control your pc
– There’s a PVR (Personal Video Recorder) card installed into the pci slot
So basically, if you’re rather low on budget, you could just buy a PVR card from Sim Lim Square for less than $200.
What can one do with this PVR card you might ask. Well, for starters, you can watch TV on your computer. And with the appropriate software installed, you can record your favourite tv shows while you’re not home.
Most HTPC software can auto detect commercials so they’ll cut it away while recording. Did I mention there’s a 5-day channel listing so you can automate your recordings? Did I also mention that it works for cabletv too? It’s like a TiVo? for Singapore!
Let me introduce 2 of the more popular softwares that run on top of existing operating systems.
Currently the hottest htpc software for windows now, it’s open-sourced, runs on top of windows ( meaning no need to install windows media center edition )
Another tried and tested all time open-sourced winner, known to do best in everything, if you can set it up properly.
While Windows Media Center Edition (MCE) is another simple choice, you might have to format it and install your windows over again. Basically it’s Windows XP Pro but it disables the “log on to domain” function because it does media sharing and such a risk is somewhat a security issue from what I read.
Another alternative which is getting quite popular is Nero 7. Yes, Nero the imaging professonal of Ahead Nero. It provides an interface rather similar to windows MCE and you don’t need to format your computer just to try it. Also, they have this network streaming feature which is kinda like windows network shares but they actually can stream your data to another client, even over the internet.
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t be lost after missing an episode of lost. By the way, I’m at S2E09? now, it sucks.
Channel Listing – http://www.tvxb.com/country/sg-ini.html
MCE Compatible Hardware – http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/partners/directory.mspx