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Personal Video Recorders not ready for Mainstream

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Category: Tech Army Talk
Forum Name: Hardware
Forum Description: Discussions relating to computer hardware
Printed Date: Feb/19/2020 at 3:34pm

Topic: Personal Video Recorders not ready for Mainstream
Posted By: Josh Van Cleave
Subject: Personal Video Recorders not ready for Mainstream
Date Posted: Dec/12/2006 at 3:51pm
A personal Video Recorder or PVR is basically a PC acting as a Tivo.  It gives you the ability to record, fast forward, rewind and pause live TV and of course play it back at a later date.  The advantage of having a PC perform this function for you is the lack of a monthly charge, like the one you would incur from Tivo or a cable or satellite DVR box.
On one of my TV's at home I have a Explorer 8300HD DVR box provided by my cable company.  It is an HD DVR box.  It does exactly what you would expect it to do as a DVR.  I pay $7 dollars a month additional for the DVR functionality.
First problem with a PVR - COST - It is approximately 1000 dollars in cost to build or buy a premade unit.  I was never good at math but I have to pay $7 a month for about 11 years before I get to 1000 dollars.
Second problem with a PVR - COMPLEXITY - It takes some skills to build a PVR and make all the components and drivers work together.  What if you have HD?  Record over the air?  Or modify the Firewire port on your cable box to stream the HD to the PC. 
Now if you are a Teckie and enjoy doing things your self or "playing" with computers then a PVR may be they way to go for you.  Yes it is going to cost more but think how fun it will be ;)  BTW you are not in the mainstream if this is you.
So I stand by my statement that PVR's are not ready for the mainstream market, possible in a year or two when things work together better without all the tweaking and headaches involved right now.

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Posted By: dmurphy10
Date Posted: Mar/23/2007 at 2:25pm

I agree with you for the most part.  What make something popular or even useful has to do with how easy it is to use.  Many of the OS interfaces that are available for build your own PVRs are not as easy to setup and use.  Along with the lack of a remote control, they will not easily become popular with the average TV viewer.  I have seen some gyroscopic mice that can offer decent onscreen control, but it is not the same as the remote people have grown to love.


I think this may change with the growth of the home network and smaller less cumbersome interfaces.  I personally have been looking at the MX-760HD.  The price is reasonable depending on the size of HDD you want and the unit itself takes up little space and can be connected to your home network.  It appears as a mapped drive on you PC and you can dump audio and video files directly to it.  Best of all, it has a remote.  There is no tuner, but if you have a media edition of XP or Vista, just schedule the shows you want recorded and have them saved to the unit. 


Apple TV is also available; witch will see interesting to see what impact it has on the market.


MX-760HD: -


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