Wednesday, July 13, 2005

PVR Build Log #05 (Holy crap, it works!)

Huh. Who knew it could be that easy? Certainly not me.

I can see now that I'm going to miss gads of details (my list is at home, I'm at work), so consider this the broad strokes version.

First, you read that right, the machine really does work. And it was easy (for me, probably not so easy for your grandma). And Windows is handling everything just fine.

First, I bought SageTV, and that was an excellent decision. SageTV is a lovely package. It supports unlimited tuners...did you catch that? UNLIMITED TUNERS. There are guys on SageTV's user forums who are running four Hauppauge PVR-500's at two tuners each, equals eight tuners total.

I'm pretty sure that these are the same guys who seed all of those TV show torrents. Yeah, recording eight shows simultaneously and having fat pipes makes that sort of thing possible.

And that reminds me...SageTV records in plain vanilla MPEG-2. Doncha love that? XP MCE puts video files in some Windows locked-up format, and MythTV defaults to XviD garbage. But SageTV? MPEG-2. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?

Sorry for the all caps. It means that I can simply share my recording drive with the rest of the network and anyone can watch my recorded shows. Neat, right? You know it is.

My Hauppauge PVR-500 MCE card arrived yesterday. I'm now running triple tuners. Haven't really used them yet, but I've noticed that with my current preferences, the PVR is recording something like 8 hours of TV a day for me. It's a little worrying, because when will I ever watch all this crap? That's not the point. The crap is mine. MINE!

I spent last night setting up my ATI Remote Wonder that came with my vid card, but that I've never used before. It's an RF remote, so I figure it could be really cool. ATI's software support sucks (as usual), so it took a while to track down a DLL that the install program kept losing. Once I found that and put it in the right place, that remote fired right up.

And I'm totally sold on the Remote Wonder. The remote control has full mouse control, keyboard control, program launching, shortcuts, macros, you name it. Mine. Crystal will get the Hauppauge IR remote to use once I get it set up. And the Hauppauge remote is my next project.
I'm getting really close to where I want to be with this system. It has disc burning software, the proper network access rights, it's sharing what I want shared, it has Remote Desktop running now, and I'm just about ready to freeze the sucker.

I bought a copy of Faronics DeepFreeze for the PVR for $30. Oh yes, this will be good.

More later.

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