Kenneth Burns wrote:I built a homebrew DVR and do just fine with the broadcast channels, plus free streaming stuff from Hulu and the like ("Jersey Shore" on mtv.com was a highlight), Redbox or video store rentals and occasionally a streaming rental from Amazon.com.
Kenneth Burns wrote:
I live in Midvale Heights and get acceptable but not pristine results with this antenna
. It's an outdoor model, but I use it inside.
Update on those posts from a few years ago: I'm still limping along with that homebrew DVR and Eagle Aspen outdoor antenna, which I mounted inside on a mic stand (I knew being a musician would finally come in handy). I wasn't getting good signals here in South Knoxville until I added an amplifier -- actually the one that came with the Leaf antenna I bought. The Leaf didn't work out, but the amp is working well with the other antenna.
The DVR software I use, Beyond TV, is no longer available
for consumers to buy. But the company still provides guide data for free, I guess because it continues to market a business-class version of the software. So I suppose I'll use it till the wheels fall off.
I think the market for PC-based DVRs was always small. It's a finicky, somewhat maddening technology, but when everything is set up properly, it's great. The Windows Media Center DVR software is still an option, and it works with an antenna. It comes with some versions of Windows 7 and is available as a download for Windows 8. I've fiddled with Windows Media Center and find it compelling, but it appears Microsoft is backing away from it. I won't be surprised if it's not available in the next Windows release, due out in 2015.
I see that TiVo is marketing a DVR for antenna users
, but you have to pay monthly for the guide data. Something else to consider: the subscription-free DVR from Channel Master
. I don't know much about it.
My earlier reference to Hulu amuses me. I never use Hulu now, and I haven't rented a DVD in years. But the PC connected to my TV works great for watching streams on Netflix and Amazon.
I've been pleasantly surprised by some of the streaming video apps available for the Metro interface on Windows 8. The Netflix app, for example, offers multichannel sound, which isn't available for Netflix on the web. Likewise, streaming web video from MLB.tv doesn't look quite right and is much better in the Windows 8 app.
Speaking of this:
Kenneth Burns wrote:I was disappointed last week when I learned ABC wouldn't be broadcasting the British Open live, then relieved that I was able to watch it on espn3.com.
ESPN video also doesn't look very good on the web, but this summer I watched the British Open using the Watch ESPN app for Window 8 and was perfectly satisfied. Most of ESPN's TV content isn't available for free on the app -- I'm not sure why the British Open is. But the Internet-only ESPN3 content is available, which means you can watch ... cricket. Among other things I actually have been watching some cricket, thanks to the app.
I know the Windows 8 apps are designed primarily for mobile, but they offer a very good living room experience, too.