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Old 04-28-2006, 11:39 AM   #1
Bob Russell
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Yahoo! turns your PC into a DVR

Everyone is starting to get interested in digital video recorders. Tivo and other cable DVR boxes are becoming a "must have" item. It's surprising to me that they are so popular when they require not only an initial outlay, but usually a significant monthly programming guide subscription fee.

So what's the next obvious step? Turn your computer into a DVR. It may not become the average person's first choice until it's easier and quieter (computer fans are still more annoying in the den than in the office while working at your desk).

One famous Linux option is MythTV, which has some pretty neat features. For Windows, there's the Windows Media Center edition which is apparently becoming very popular. According to ZDNet news, "Microsoft said recently that its Windows XP Media Center software is outselling the standard edition of the software, and Hewlett-Packard announced last year that it is developing technology to let high-definition televisions directly access digital content from home computers." Pretty impressive.

Well there's another approach available in beta for Windows users from a household name -- Yahoo! And "The Yahoo Go for TV software works in conjunction with many of Yahoo's other Yahoo Go media products, such as Yahoo Launchcast, a radio and music subscription service, and Flickr, Yahoo's photo-sharing site. In addition, Go for TV lets people view photos from any online service and to listen to music from CDs or digital-music libraries already stored on the linked computer."

Yahoo Go for TV provides the listing information. It requires a decent Windows PC with lots of free disc space, plus of course a tuner card and A/V connections. A remote control (with the tuner card) is recommended.

I looks pretty interesting, and you can check out the beta software here to get started.
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Old 04-28-2006, 12:10 PM   #2
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"Microsoft said recently that its Windows XP Media Center software is outselling the standard edition of the software" ... somehow I have my doubts on this. WinXP MCE cannot be bought through retail, it can only be had through a new system. So if an OEM puts out two identical machines with a plain WinXP and one with MCE on it for the same price, guess which one will be picked by the consumer?

On the other hand, if MS were to sell retail versions of MCE, XPT etc, it would be interesting to see how many users would buy them to upgrade their machines.
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Old 04-28-2006, 12:55 PM   #3
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That's a very good point Snappy. I can imagine one way they might have spun the numbers... maybe they are comparing sales of the two OS versions on computers that offer both. In other words, if Sony has a multimedia computer with a tuner card and offers WinXP and Win MCE, then there might be a majority picking (i.e. buying) MCE. Of course consumers would pick it for those computers, so it's biased, but when the marketing machines start spinning they'll take any related statistic that's convenient.
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:23 PM   #4
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Yahoo's offering is a rebranded Meedio (they recently bought the company). I use Meedio on my HTPC, and it's a fairly good program. I don't use the PVR features, but the media organization is well done.

Unfortunately, I don't trust Yahoo! not to ruin it, so I'll probably be seeking out something else when I want to upgrade the software.
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