Windows-Based PVR

Hardware Background Information

In order for most Windows-based PVR software to control a TV card,?Broadcast Driver Architecture?(BDA) drivers must normally be available.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the low-level details of TV cards then you might want to have a look at the following links:

PVR Software

Microsoft’s Media Centre Edition?(MCE) appears to be their Windows XP Home Edition operating system with an enhanced Windows Media Player. Unfortunately MCE records video content to Microsoft’s proprietary format, DVR-MS, which they describe as an MPEG-2 format. The exclusive use of the DVR-MS format means that content can’t be edited and it can only be played on the machine that recorded it. Incidentally, MCE will respect any content protection issued within a broadcast stream, limiting the user’s ability to record broadcasts and replay recordings at any point in the future.

Another popular system is GB-PVR. Although some of the plug-ins for the system are open source, the core of the system is not. If your TV card is not supported by GB-PVR, then this post?may help you determine if and how support may be added for it.

Media Portal?appears to be a relative newcomer to the PVR scene, at the time of writing.

[Editor’s note – there’s currently a discussion thread regarding the use of
the Avermedia DVB-T 771 card on a hardware support forum:]

Build Your Own PVR?is a site that provides some good links and useful forums.

For comparison, or if you’re interested in paying for a system, here are some links to commercially available PVR systems:

Programme Guide

A major convenience of many PVR systems is the availability of an integrated program guide. XMLTV is both the name of a data format?in which programme guide data is stored and also the name of a set of software applications?used to manipulate programme guide data (in the XMLTV format).

If you require a UK programme guide and prefer a GUI-based application to configure and grab XMLTV programme guides, then XMLTV Radio Times Grabber?is for you.