What application do you use to record TV on your PC?
July 12, 2004 5:34 AM   Subscribe

What application do you use to record TV on your pc? (More Inside)

I bought a new pc over the weekend and now I am the proud owner of a Pinnacle PCTV card, cable tv, hundreds of Gb free hard disk space and a tv close to my pc. The pc came with something called Pinnacle Media Center, which does not work too well.

What I would like to have is an application that allows me to schedule recordings and play back of course. What is your favourite program? (Currently running Windows XP, but have no problems with switching to Linux for this.)
posted by sebas to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have heard really good things about SnapStream Beyond TV 3. Not free, but pretty cheap. Its not free, but its pretty cheap. MattHowie had a good review of it.
posted by mmascolino at 6:15 AM on July 12, 2004

I use Intervideo WinDVR, and I really like it. The interface is streamlined, it's easy to use, and unlike a lot of the media center softwares, it's pretty streamlined and doesn't overhog resources while you're using it, allows you to select quality settings, set the timer to record programs at a certain time, though for playback you'd have to use another application. (It saves in Mpeg format, so that shouldn't be hard!)
posted by headspace at 6:20 AM on July 12, 2004

I use BeyondTV3, and it is a very good application. Full, free program guide, many Tivo features (such as season passes, etc.). It does cost money, but it is worth it.

One of the nice features I use on it is the ability to stream television shows that are recorded from the main server to my laptop in the other room, if I am in the bedroom and want to watch tv there instead of in the living room.
posted by benjh at 8:26 AM on July 12, 2004

That is a nice feature benjh. On the main computer, do you watch the recorded content on the computer monitor or do you have it hooked up to a television somehow?
posted by mmascolino at 8:44 AM on July 12, 2004

Windows Media Center 2004.
posted by ed\26h at 9:32 AM on July 12, 2004

I use SageTV. It isn't free, but I find it works well. Program guide, "smart" recording. It (like BeyondTV3, apparently) has a server (sold separately) that lets you stream TV onto any other PC on a network.
posted by jpoulos at 12:09 PM on July 12, 2004

Response by poster: Cool, thanks for your answers so far!

ed, do you use WMC? It's an operating system more than an application isn't it?
posted by sebas at 1:03 PM on July 12, 2004

A bit off topic here, but I got a good laugh at your link, ed\26h. The title graphic says "Entertainment that tunes into you". All those lame "In Soviet Russia" jokes finally paid off and made me laugh!
posted by sequential at 1:09 PM on July 12, 2004

I loved avi_io so much, I registered it. It's the *only* application I've been able to perfectly record an AVI without frame drops and audio desynch. Oh, and the price is very reasonable. This is for "professional" and permanent recording. Not for simplicity.

Free tips: VirtualDub is a great free editor. Adobe Premire is also available as a free trial, but crashes often, usually in about 5 minutes. It also costs about 100x what it's worth. But hey...

Now, for the "easy" options.

Showshifter does it all in windows, although it is slow, and *FAR*, *FAR*, *FAR* too expensive, even at the discount price. I don't use it anymore since the trial expired. Too pricey for my taste.

ATV2000 is free, and also does most of what you want. However, coupled to the wrong capture card, it tends to crash a lot.

DScaler is popular. I haven't used it -- it doesn't (maybe now it's didn't) work on ATI Radeon video capture.

In Linux, use MythTV. Or, if you have a DVB card, use VDR.

Personally, right now (as in while I'm typing) I'm just using a DVB card with ProgDVB in windows.

posted by shepd at 2:15 PM on July 12, 2004

i use showshifter. it was worth it to pay for it, especially cause it ignores macrovision. plus i shelled out for divx pro, so that's cool....i have great resolution divx stored on my hard drive. awesome.

TOO SLOW BY FAR, though. it takes like, 10-15 seconds to turn on.
posted by taumeson at 3:03 PM on July 12, 2004

I'm about to build my sister a MythTV box.

It will eventually have 5 tuner cards.

Eventually, because the only way you can pull that off is by using Hauppauge PVR2/350's, and those things ain't cheap.
posted by baylink at 5:49 PM on July 12, 2004

i got ATI multimedia center with my all-in-wonder card a few years ago.. the program sucks but technically it still works (i've got about 120 episodes of the simpsons recorded (all in the search for the monorail episode)). nothing more addictive then watching tv, reading metafilter, and listening to mp3's all at once (media overload!)
posted by NGnerd at 9:15 PM on July 12, 2004

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