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  #1  
Old 08-01-2011, 05:45 PM
lhwidget lhwidget is offline
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BTV Still isn't dead

With the recent disappearance of Sage TV, and the lack of other comparable software, BTV is still looking pretty good, even without proper support.

I just finished rebuilding my tuner farm on my Windows Home Server, and I have to say, it still rocks.

I'm now running BTV v4.92 and WHS v1 (PP3) on an ASRock Z68 motherboard, the cheapest 65 W i3 Sandy Bridge CPU, and WD Black SATA v3.0 (6Gb/sec) hard drives with four Hauppauge 2250 tuner cards.

This is set up with all tuners installed as QAM, Analog and FM tuner devices. In other words, BTV thinks it has 8 QAM tuners, 8 Analog Tuners, and 4 FM tuners at its disposal. I am free of device conflicts, and able to watch live TV (or listen to live FM music) under any recording schedule, no matter how heavy.
  • This works for me because I'm happy with the free HD network TV from Cox Cable and I'm not trying to watch or record premium content.
  • While the BTV user interface may look dated and clunky to some of us, it is so functional that I haven't tired of it in 5 years of heavy use.
  • It looks like the EPG is healthy and still heavily used by the commercial SS products (i.e., it isn't going to disappear any time soon).
  • My current BTV installation is able to record 5 HDTV streams while serving a 6th HDTV stream to a Link client with no problems at all.
  • Current HDTV content streams utterly reliably on Cat 5 cable.
  • Wireless N and 500 Mb/s PowerLine products actually do an acceptable job of delivering BTV's HDTV streams to remote clients.
Frankly, I don't care if SS ever updates the interface, it works, it's fast, and I can see it from any normal indoor distance in my apartment.

The only development work needed now is to integrate the new tuner cards like this Ceton, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815706001 with cable card readers. This would allow recording from premium channels, putting BTV in an outstanding position with very little effort on their part.

It's an odd situation, Sage is gone, XBMC and J.River's Media Center, are like erector sets if you want to implement a TIVO-like Personal Video Recorder. I've never tried it, but even TIVO had, and probably still has issues.

Windows Media Center is still pretty inflexible, I don't think they have implemented a server/client architecture yet, and it's not easy to share recorded shows, especially from a server. Implementing enough tuner cards to handle a heavy recording schedule is basically a cluster you-know-what.

Suddenly, BTV is the last man standing, and still in pretty good shape.

BRING IT BACK!

Last edited by lhwidget; 08-01-2011 at 06:08 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-02-2011, 06:24 AM
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Re: BTV Still isn't dead

+1
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:02 AM
tmar89 tmar89 is offline
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Re: BTV Still isn't dead

I was tempted to go to Sage for about 2 years now, and never made the switch. Each time I tried, I just couldn't find anything about Sage that I felt did the job better than BeyondTV when it came to the DVR capabilities. I didn't care much for the UI stuff that Sage did because that was just frosting on the cake. BTV does recordings, multiple intelligent recordings, compression, commercial skip, organization, web UI and other stuff very, very well. And it is "wife friendly". It's too bad that consumer development is dead, but my existing setup and the product I paid for long time ago works great for my needs and my household.

Long live BTV!
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2011, 05:49 PM
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Re: BTV Still isn't dead

Truth be told, I was going to set up a SageTV server this summer and do a serious trial run. Needless to say those plans are dead now, much like Sage. I'm not unhappy with BTV, but as I've said before there are some features I'd like that Sage has (had).

Now I'll go back to trying to get meedio or J. River or some media center software to work with BTV, when I get a chance. It's not critical for our household, but would be nice.

Long live BTV, because we ain't got many other choices!
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  #5  
Old 08-05-2011, 06:39 PM
lhwidget lhwidget is offline
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Re: BTV Still isn't dead

Zogg,
I'm using J. River for music and movies, I love the way it works and looks. I had never thought about using it to play recorded TV before. Once I got BTV, J. River MC, & TMT3 to work, I quit thinking about it.

If I'm following you, I think you may have a great idea. Leave BTV on your server to record your shows, and you could let J.River scan your recording drive automatically, then you could play them anywhere J.River is installed. You can even set MC up so you can delete files after you're through with them (using a remote through their 10' interface) if you don't keep your shows.

They are just starting to seriously experiment with recording TV and it's still a mess. I'd never think of using it as a PVR right now. But using BTV as the "back end" of an independent server/independent client archetechure is an excellent idea if you are looking for a single program solution on your playback machines.

You should look into J. River's MC, v16. They've added playback capability for .ts files if you're recording HDTV.

If you're still recording analog TV v15 will playback mpeg 2 files great.

I'm not much on library maintainence in J. River MC, but I'm almost certain you could do this with 0 effort after setting it up. They have a good forum, look for glynor and matt (a power user and one of their programmers).

Last edited by lhwidget; 08-06-2011 at 08:48 AM. Reason: corrected glynor's nic
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  #6  
Old 08-10-2011, 03:07 PM
lsilvest lsilvest is offline
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Re: BTV Still isn't dead

BTV is still alive and well in my house. Since I only use it for OTA, as long as I have a guide I have no reason to change.

I just saw some info about Microsoft not licensing Dolby for Win8 and the possibility they may not have a WMC feature (or at least the TV recording) since they are heading to more of an internet orientation. Would be interesting as that would really open up that market even if it is relatively small. Would seem that BTV would be in a great position to pick up that whole segment without a lot of effort.
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  #7  
Old 08-11-2011, 12:58 PM
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Re: BTV Still isn't dead

Same here, still running strong on an old Dell e5150. I just added some HDHR's to the mix and upgraded my wireless connection so that I have stable HD throughout the house (on Acer Revo 1600's). Still the perfect setup in our house and the friends and neighbors are still blown away by the whole-house DVR concept. BTV was ahead of its time.
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  #8  
Old 08-20-2011, 06:56 PM
mgolin mgolin is offline
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Re: BTV Still isn't dead

I love BTV too and was reluctant to switch to anything. However, I really wanted a PVR that also managed rip DVDs. I know BTV can do that... However, BTV started to get really slow with lots of subfolders and too much work to get metadata.
So I tried sage, literally weeks before Google bought it out. Sage is slightly less robust then BTV overall. But the added features of a detailed TV guide (IMBD look-up etc) + fanart + music + pictures really brought the PVR up to date compared to BTV.
I am staying with stage - a full media centre. However, BTV's performance was rock solid and crashes were really rare.
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  #9  
Old 08-22-2011, 06:42 PM
lhwidget lhwidget is offline
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Re: BTV Still isn't dead

I understand completely. I went the other way, kept BTV, and bought a copy of J.River's Media Center for ripped movies, and my albums. I've never regretted it, I run BTV for TV (stable as a flat-bottomed rock, and handles 8 tuners without a hitch) & MC v16 for everything else, including Blurays.

Life would be grand if BTV would update to include control of the new Ceton-style tuners...
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  #10  
Old 08-22-2011, 10:29 PM
dk96m dk96m is offline
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Re: BTV Still isn't dead

Well, I got the HDHomerun Prime. I wish they would continue to update the consumer version. BTV is the best program out there.

If they arent going to update it to work with cablecards, they should open it up. Make it open source and let the great programmers out there make additions.

Either continue to improve it or open it.

That is just my opinion.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:12 AM
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Re: BTV Still isn't dead

Still strong on BTV, never saw enough from Sage to switch, now moot point.

With the decline of the PVR (BTV stagnant, Sagetv dead, free programs just too much to catch up) and more and more movement to internet show streaming, I'm wondering how much longer these products will evolve? I have two Directv tuner boxes, one I use for the HD PVR, one for sd recordings (not all channels are HD). They are constantly on, eating electricity and shitting heat. I was thinking of just swapping both for their PVR, using that to record shows I just watch and delete, and then the HD PVR to record shows I feel like archiving. OTA I would still keep on BTV for shows I archive, the rest just stream on demand. Main development in my opinion is to integrate streaming shows into a BTV like interface and get the usability factor up.

Long term, I could see Directv going away if I could get a subscription service for the channels I like for streaming. Then I see a need for software to act as a go between. Something that can capture streams if you want to archive or if you just want to watch without commercial interruptions. This could be a software stripper, or a hardware recording solution. Of course it is competing with downloading and torrenting.

Either way, its only a matter of time before tv as we know it is dead. I still say we've got another 10 years of life as we know it, early adopters growing for the next couple of years, a mainstream googletv over the next 5, then stragglers roped in over the second 5.

And now I'm completely off topic. One side note, a friend was telling me how last christmas everyone she knew was getting appletv boxes. I asked how many are using them, pretty much none.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:30 AM
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Re: BTV Still isn't dead

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZetaVu View Post
And now I'm completely off topic. One side note, a friend was telling me how last christmas everyone she knew was getting appletv boxes. I asked how many are using them, pretty much none.
Thumbs up on the bulk of your post, but I did want to mention that we have three Roku boxes and use them constantly (and have bought as presents for friends/family who also use them and love them). IMHO, If the licensing holders would embrace streaming rather than fighting against it, the industry would explode. That's going to be the key - one of the big media companies needs to take a chance and turn a profit based on streaming. Once that happens, the rest of the dominoes will fall.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:03 AM
lsilvest lsilvest is offline
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Re: BTV Still isn't dead

I gave up Dish over 6 months ago and didn't miss it one bit. I'm not a movie buff, and outside of sports I watched a few scripted shows on sat which are all available online and Hulu desktop works great (Firefly is perfect for it).

Unfortunately, the college football season is starting so I had to bite the bullet and put up with Comcast for the season.

Not really off topic since BTV makes it possible to chuck the other services. I have so much recorded during the season that I'm still watching my shows all summer.

Zeta, streaming won't really take off until there's enough bandwidth available and enough speed in a lot of areas. Until this year I couldn't get over 2.5Mbps in this area.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:39 AM
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Re: BTV Still isn't dead

I haven't been here for quite a while but have been looking around again now since SageTV's (likely) demise.

I really like NextPVR (formerly gbpvr) but I'm having unfortunate playback issues (really sluggish response to skipping around). I think he has the perfect model for my purposes in NextPVR: TV recording and playback built in and everything else is a plugin. This is the same model for BTV many of us were requesting way back when Beyond Media bit the dust. It's really too bad they were never able to add this...
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:52 AM
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Re: BTV Still isn't dead

I'll actually add to my offtopic comments by saying that many of my non-technofile friends are using the netflix streaming on their Wii's and Xboxes. Not many have gotten the Roku's but that's what I've been suggesting over Appletv. I've got the Sage HD2000 which does some streaming, have not looked at the 3000, but that in my opinion would be a perfect platform as an extender as well as a streaming device.

Regarding bandwidth, I agree, and its going to get worse and more expensive before it gets better. I see more movement in 4g phone streaming than home broadband streaming, and worse I expect that you'll have to not only pay a premium for internet connection speed and download size per month, but also subscriptions to services for the channels you want. Netflix will have less content, Hulu Plus will be one of several services. I see the likes of Comcast and Directv offering streaming only monthly packages similar to their regular packages but all on demand. Long term this will be the norm and most of us lose cable and the dishes, and run everything through our internet connection (thus slowing down everything else).

And regarding quality, it is slowly improving, but I still think it is far inferior to what I get from Beyondtv. If I were just coming out of college I would stream everything, but after tasting HD satellite its hard to downgrade. Also cost is increasing and availability is still too limited for content. The itunes model is a bust, the Hulu plus/netflix will probably take off. I see Amazon and Google (maybe even Walmart) being the dominant players.
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