Sunday, June 20, 2010

First Post

Catchy title, I know, but descriptive at least.

Seems like a good place to talk a little bit about what I intend to do with this blog.  I mean why am I bothering with this?

I'm a software developer by day.  These days I'm using mostly C# and SQL Server.  I expect some of that will make it into the blog, but the first I want to talk about is my HTPC.  I'm at a crossroads concerning this technology and I thought it might be interesting to share my experiences as I go through this transition.  After that, who knows, hence my rather generic name for the blog.  I love technology, particularly computers, so I'm sure I'll find plenty in that vein to blog about.  Or babble about as the title would indicate.

I've used Beyond TV as my primary DVR software for more than six years now, starting with a single tuner and growing over the years to my current setup with four tuners plus the ability to record from the firewire output of my cable box--when it works anyway.  Recently I won a giveaway for a Ceton InfiniTV 4 tuner.  As a cable TV user, that tuner is just about the best thing since sliced bread for my HTPC.  No more set top boxes, missed channel changes, accidentally changing the channel when someone didn't know the set top box was being used for a recording, or inability to record premium channels in HD.  Not to mention the ability to record four cable channels at once.  Unfortunately, Beyond TV can't use a cable card tuner.  The only PC DVR software that's approved by Cable Labs is Windows Media Center.

So, the obvious thing to do is to switch from Beyond TV to Windows Media Center, right?  Well, the trick is what is often referred to in HTPC enthusiast circles as "The WAF or Wife Acceptance Factor" or in my case, the "Family Acceptance Factor" since I need to consider my wife and two teenage daughters.  We have a lot of existing recordings and having the family switch back and forth between Beyond TV and Media Center isn't going to cut it.  I want to find a way to keep the experience similar to what we have now, which means not needing to go to two places for current and past recorded TV.  I'm still searching for a way to make that happen in Media Center, or maybe there's a way  to bring cable card recordings into Beyond TV.  I'm exploring options.  We'll see where I end up.

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