HDTV and Beyond TV Software...a good solution?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by samadams_2006, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. Hello,

    I'm not sure if this is the best forum to post this question, but here
    goes. I'm trying to get away from all the monthly cable and tivo
    charges, so I'm thinking of the following solution:

    1) HDTV with OTA Antenna.
    2) Beyond TV Software.

    I would like to be able to record shows in HD, and play them back on
    my new HDTV. I'm thinking of getting an aerial so I can watch OTA
    (Over the Air) HDTV broadcasts.

    I just found out about "Beyond TV" software, and it says that you can
    record TV programs on a computer, and play them back on your HDTV.

    My question is, has anyone tried this, and is it a good solution?

    Are there any things about this scenario that are "too good to be
    true", or flatly don't work?

    I'm interested in anyone's opinion to help shed lights on the pros/
    cons of this situation.

    Thanks
     
    samadams_2006, Jul 9, 2008
    #1
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  2. samadams_2006

    Guest Guest

    Isn't OTA going away next February?
     
    Guest, Jul 9, 2008
    #2
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  3. Analog OTA in the US is what's going away.

     
    Gene E. Bloch, Jul 9, 2008
    #3
  4. samadams_2006

    Smarty Guest

    BeyondTV is not a source for programs, but is merely a PC-based recording
    and playback system directly competing with a system I have used here for
    several years called "SageTV", another digital video record and playback
    setup. All such systems require that you purchase / receive content from a
    provider over cable, satellite, FIOS, or over the air OTA broadcasts. I am
    entirely satisfied with SageTV, and I pay no monthly fees for using it. With
    an OTA antenna, you could record and playback HDTV with no monthly expense.
    Choosing the right antenna is heavily dependent upon how far you live from
    HDTV transmitter sites, what obstacles lie between you and the transmitter
    antenna(s), how good your receiver is, etc.

    Smarty
     
    Smarty, Jul 9, 2008
    #4
  5. samadams_2006

    HerHusband Guest

    I'm not sure if this is the best forum to post this question, but here
    I use a free program called GBPVR (www.gbpvr.com) to record digital
    broadcasts with my two Hauppauge HVR-1600 tuner cards (www.hauppage.com). I
    get my TV listings from a service called Schedules Direct
    (schedulesdirect.org), which currently costs about $20 a year.

    I record shows to my hard drive, then stream them over my home network to a
    TViX M-4000P network media player (www.tvix.co.kr/eng/), which allows me to
    watch the recorded shows on my 42" plasma in the living room.

    I use an outdoor antenna with the digital half of my tuner cards, and
    connected the analog half to my cable feed. I can record four shows at once
    when needed (though I rarely need to record more than two at a time). There
    were a few issues to work out early on, but it has been working very well
    for the last few years.

    Anthony
     
    HerHusband, Jul 9, 2008
    #5
  6. Can you get these TV listings for free, so that Beyond TV (or Sage)
    will be able to know when to record what? Beyond TV (or Sage) can
    save these programs in HDTV format, correct? Thanks...
     
    samadams_2006, Jul 11, 2008
    #6
  7. samadams_2006

    Jay Chan Guest

    I am using Beyond TV to record regular TV channels (non-HD). If you
    have a licensed copy of Beyond-TV, you should have an unlimited right
    to download TV channels listing from them. I am using a many years
    old copy of Beyond-TV, and I have not upgraded lately, and I still can
    donwload TV listing from them.

    Beyond-TV works fine for me. Although originally I had some problem
    with setting it up (many years ago), the recent versions don't seem to
    have the problem any more. Their user interface is pretty good; my
    wife has no problem using it to record TV shows. My only concern with
    Beyond TV has to do with how we use it to remote control the set-top
    box to change channels; this involves some setup time and the right
    equipments (USB-IR blaster and IR emitter) that tend to complicate
    things (this problem is not unique to Beyond-TV). If you get TV from
    over-the-air and don't use a set-top box, you really don't need to
    worry about this specific problem.

    I only use Beyond-TV and has never used Sage before. Therefore, I
    cannot comment on which one is better. The other alternative is to
    use the version of Windows that has media center function. There used
    to be a XP version called Windows XP for Media Center or something
    like that. That function seems to have been incorporated into some
    version of Vista; I don't know the details about Vista. If you are
    worrying about there is a remote chance that Beyond-TV may close the
    door and you cannot download TV listing from them, you may want to
    consider getting the media center version of Windows because I don't
    think Microsoft will close the door any time soon.

    Jay Chan
     
    Jay Chan, Jul 11, 2008
    #7
  8. samadams_2006

    HerHusband Guest

    I'm trying to get away from all the monthly cable and
    As far as I know, Beyond TV and Sage are both "pay" software?

    GBPVR is free.

    There used to be free TV listings via Zap2It, but they stopped providing
    listings a year or two ago. I think there are a couple of "web site
    scrapers" that attempt to pull TV listings directly from sites like Yahoo,
    but these break as soon as the web site is updated. Schedules Direct is
    well worth the $20 a year.

    Using Schedules Direct with GBPVR, I simply select the shows I want to
    record from the TV grid. I can even specify recurring shows that are on
    daily or weekly.

    As for HDTV, that depends on the tuner you use. An analog tuner will
    generally only provide standard definition material, whereas a digital
    tuner (ATSC/antenna or QAM/cable) can provide standard definition (SD) or
    high definition (HD) material. GBPVR simply saves the incoming stream to a
    file on your hard drive. Whether the show is in HD or not depends on the
    station and whether the show is broadcast in HD. Even on the same channel
    (NBC for example), you may have some shows in HD and most others in SD.

    "Recording" HD material usually doesn't take much processing power, but you
    may need to upgrade your video card to "view" HD material. As I mentioned,
    I stream my recordings to a media player in my living room, so playback on
    the computer isn't an issue for me (though my computer has no problems
    either).

    Anthony
     
    HerHusband, Jul 11, 2008
    #8
  9. samadams_2006

    Rick Merrill Guest

    Why bother with #2?

    tv that is ota Digital (ATSC) that you get with your fourty dollar
    discount coupon, has the SCHEDULE imbedded in the vertical retrace!

    I was astonished to discover this.
     
    Rick Merrill, Jul 14, 2008
    #9
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