Thursday, June 24, 2010

Filling the gaps between Beyond TV and Media Center

Since the obvious solution to adding cable card capability to my HTPC with the new Ceton tuner card when it arrives is simply to switch to Media Center for my TV recording needs,  I started taking a look at the Beyond TV features I use that Media Center doesn’t have and how I might bridge those gaps.  In most cases there are add-ins for Media Center available (and mostly free ones at that) that can do what I’m looking for.   I’m listing the results of my research so far here.  I haven’t yet tried all of these, but they seem to be popular solutions for these things within Media Center.
  • Web Admin: It’s nice to be able to connect to the Beyond TV service and set up recordings or tweak settings from another computer while someone is watching a recording.   The best alternative I’ve found that works for Media Center is to use a remote desktop connection to do that type of thing.  There’s a patch needed to set this up for W7 Home Premium:
  • Showsqueeze: I transcode a lot of shows to .mp4 format to save disk space.  The tool of choice for doing this automatically appears to be DVRMS Toolbox and since I need it for commercial skipping anyway, it’s doubly appealing.  It looks like there's some work to be done to get this to do what I want, but it looks possible anyway.
  • Remote Scheduling: I sometimes use to set shows to record when I’m away from home. There appear to be a couple of options for getting at guide data over the web and scheduling recordings remotely, but since it’s free, I’ll be trying Remote Potato first.   I realize this is more like making my web admin available on the internet that using, but it should get the job done.
I’m sure there are other, smaller features I would miss if/when I switch from Beyond TV, but I guess I’ll need to discover those when I get to them.
If you know of other alternatives for the features I’ve listed or know of something else that I’ve missed I’d love to hear from you.  Feel free to leave whatever feedback you want in the comments.

No comments:

Post a Comment