rfunk: (check this out)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 03:25pm on 13/09/2007 under , , , , , ,
This week we heard the latest news in the digital TV saga: cable TV operators will allow customers to use analog TVs until at least 2012. Which basically means they'll continue having analog video outputs on their boxes; I figure those output will stick around quite a few years longer than that.

On the other hand, those of us in the U.S. who get TV the old-fashioned way, through the antenna, are currently scheduled to lose the old NTSC signal on February 17, 2009, about a year and a half from now. The federal government is supposed to provided $30 coupons for digital-TV (ATSC) converter boxes, but when I checked the Best Buy website today I found only one such box available, and that was $180. It's slightly tempting to run out to buy one to add to the entertainment center.

Then consider that, for anyone still recording shows with a VCR, the tuner in the VCR will also become obsolete, so the VCR will no longer be programmable to record the appropriate channel at the appropriate time. The solution for that, of course, is a DVR, preferably a dual-tuner one.

But the only DVR I've found so far that handles digital broadcast signals is the third-generation TiVo, and that currently costs $800, plus a monthly TiVo service fee. (Other TiVos are more like $250.)

So since digital-broadcast DVRs are so rare, the next thought is to build a super-DVR (plus other capabillities) out of computer parts, using MythTV or Freevo software. Lots of geeks are doing it these days, but that starts a big adventure of choosing the most-compatible tuner cards, video output cards, and fast-enough processors that are still quiet and cool. Who knows what the price would turn out to be. (Update: [livejournal.com profile] ah_graylensman says about $685.)

Maybe I should wait a bit to work on this one. There will, by the way, be a talk at the upcoming Ohio LinuxFest that seems tangentially related to this: "The Path to the $100 Linux Media Center"
Mood:: 'intimidated' intimidated
rfunk: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 11:36am on 31/12/2004 under , , , , ,
Wired has a great article about BitTorrent. Besides interviewing the author and briefly explaining how BitTorrent works, I like that the article spends a lot of time on the issue of using BitTorrent for TV show timeshifting -- "the Internet becomes a giant TiVo." That's the most interesting aspect of BitTorrent for me, but it's one that normally gets ignored in the press because the movie and record industries draw so much attention.


BTW, thanks to the Blogdex RSS feed (aka [livejournal.com profile] blogdex on LJ, though that's not how I read it) for pointing this article out to me. Blogdex is great for keeping up with what stories are making the rounds of the "blogosphere". (The right-wing warblogs do hold a bit too much sway in the index for my taste, but then the rest of us probably hold too much sway for their taste, so it's fair.)

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