The two companies really going head to head in the HTPC field have been Frey Technologies and SnapStream; though, Meedio should be tossed into the mix soon (MeedioTV was not available at the time of this review). Keeping in mind that the SnapStream only has the TV portion of the HTPC experience down and SageTV 2.0 is a full-blown MCE replacement, they are still very much competitors.

When you put a BTV (Beyond TV) user and a STV (SageTV) user in a room, the first things that the STV user is probably going to say is, "yeah, but I have multi-tuner support!" Heads up for those not browsing the HTPC web forums. SnapStream is planning to take that particular advantage away from their competitor. While Beyond TV 3 was a revolutionary step up from the Personal Video Station (aka PVS) title, Beyond TV 3.5 is an evolutionary step forward, with a few minor tweaks and changes here and there.

Beyond TV 3.5 – System Requirements and the Test
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  • Filibuster - Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - link

    In a PVR250 card you cannot turn off the hardware compression...the card basically does all output through the mpeg encoder.

    With TV Link (network client) you can watch hardware encoded mpeg (live or recorded) via a lan, but not over the internet. It works much better than the web based streamer too.

    Unfortunatly that takes out one thing important to some people. :)
    Reply
  • AndrewKu - Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - link

    #5 - It was suppose to be within a week. But it looks like SnapStream has bumped the date to early Sept.

    Btw, a slight clarification, when I mentioned that conflict management is not on the client side that was relating to the time/clock issue between the server and the client. When you schedule a recording that creates a conflict, you still need to perform conflict management, even on the client side.
    Reply
  • ViRGE - Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - link

    There are 2 reasons(I know of) why they can't really stream the MPEG2 stream; it's bandwidth intensive(up to 12Mb/sec), and it requires a decoder license. Even transcoding the stream isn't very feesable, since it would require decoding the MPEG2 stream, then encoding in WMV, which may be difficult to do in real time. A seperate program is also required, and likely a specialized decoder, since by default, I don't believe that WMP knows how to deal with a streaming MPEG2 file anyhow, which may also be a problem with the codec. Reply
  • glennpratt - Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - link

    Also, they don't have to use the Hardware Encoding features of the card, you should be able to turn it off.

    I don't know why they can't stream hardware MPEG2 encoding... I guess that would be a completely different way to streaming as opposed to the software encoder. MCE requires hardware encoding and you can just start playing another program on another MCE or PC while it's recording. Not exactly streaming...
    Reply
  • Night201 - Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - link

    Any idea of a timeframe of when this is coming out? Sept? Oct? Reply
  • johnsonx - Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - link

    In a multi-tuner setup, I'm guessing you have to use the same encoding method for both cards; the hardware cards only do MPEG-2, and MPEG-2 is the one you can't stream.

    That's just my guess; I'm not at all sure.
    Reply
  • Resh - Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - link

    I really wish they could find a way to allow streaming over networks if at least one of the tuner cards is a software encoder. For example, one could have a PVR-250 and an ATI TV-Wonder, with the latter being used to stream over the network.

    No idea why they haven't done this, but if it is a technical possibility, I wish they would do it.

    Another nicety would be the ability to add program info to edited files (e.g., after removing commercials, we could add the air date, channel, and synopsis).

    Can't wait for the list be folders option.
    Reply
  • reboos - Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - link

    MythTV! Reply
  • Rapacious - Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - link

    Reply

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