Definitions

videorecorder

Comparison of PVR software packages

The following is a comparison guide for popular DVR (PVR) software packages.

General information

Basic general information for popular DVR (PVR) software packages.

Name Official Website Windows Macintosh GNU/Linux Price Latest stable release Notes
Beyond TV Beyond TV $69.99 - $79.99; $29.99 client; $49.99 network media playback; Free mediaMVP client 4.8.1 Not compatible with DVB tuners
See also: List of digital television deployments by country
CTpvr CTPVR $29.95 - Media Center; $14.95 - Client UPDATE Mar-08: CTpvr has sold its products and TV Listings service to an (as yet) unknown company. Currently not available.
EyeTV Elgato Bundled / €79.99 3.0 Free with all Elgato USB tuners, but available separately for use with other tuners.
Freevo Freevo Limited Free 1.7.5 Open source
GB-PVR GB-PVR Free 1.2.13 (27 April, 2008) Includes Integrated EPG, media server; PC client (local or networked), MediaMVP clients, web-scheduling. Very difficult for non-computer experts to set up however.
Got All Media Got All Media $49.95/copy, $39.95 for previous owners who want to upgrade
CenterStage CenterStage Free
MediaPortal MediaPortal Free 0.2.3.0 (November 15, 2007) Open source (built on the .NET Framework)
Meedio TV/Yahoo Go! TV Meedio TV/ Yahoo Go! TV Discontinued/Free 2006 Only available in the U.S.A.
MeediOS MeediOS Free Open source (built on the .NET Framework)
MediaPhoenix/ShowShifter MediaPhoenix MediaPhoenix - Unreleased ShowShifter - Discontinued (Was £30) Supports some older TechnoTrend/Hauppauge boxes which are not BDA compliant, such as the Dec 2000-t/3000-s and first generation Nova-t USB boxes, which are unsupported by other PVR software.
MythTV MythTV ¹ Free 0.21 (March 8, 2008) Open source
SageTV SageTV $79.95 software; $29.95 client; $29.95 per mediaMVP client; 6.3.10
SesamTV SesamTV Free
TVedia TVedia $34.95
Windows Media Center Windows Media Center $110-$319 (OS Price) 6.0.6000.16484 (November 8, 2006) Included in Windows XP MCE and Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate editions.
¹ Porting MythTV to Windows is under development.

PVR features

Information about what common and prominent PVR features are implemented natively (without third-party add-ons).
PVR Subscription Free Electronic Program Guide Power Management Multiple TV Tuner Cards Support CableCard Support ATSC Tuner Support Automated Commercial Skip Teletext Schedule Timed Recordings Personalized Intelligent Recording and Scheduling 1 DRM Support
Beyond TV 6
CTpvr
EyeTV 8
Freevo External add-on
GB-PVR
Got All Media
CenterStage
MediaPortal 5,9 Using Plugin10 10 Partial support
Meedio TV/Yahoo Go! TV
MeediOS
MediaPhoenix/ShowShifter 5
MythTV 5,7 External add-on3
SageTV Using Plugin10
SesamTV
TVedia
Windows Media Center 11 4 External add-on2 12

1 The Personalized Intelligent Recording and Scheduling feature, similar to TiVo enables the PVR application to record programs based on past viewing habits and interests.
2 Windows Media Center has the ability to skip commercials automatically after installing an external plug-in called " DVRMSToolbox" (which is not supported by Microsoft) or " Lifextender" .
3 MythTV has the ability to perform Personalized Intelligent Recording and Scheduling after installing an external plug-in called " tvwish" (which is not supported by MythTV).
4 Windows Media Center supports CableCard when used on CableLabs certified OEM Hardware.
5 Supports over-the-air epg when using cards/boxes which support this functionality, and in areas where such a service is available.
6 To take advantage of operating system power management with Beyond TV, the main user interface must be closed.
7 MythTv has switched from the now defunct Zap2It to Schedules Direct, which costs $20/year.
8 Supported in EyeTV 610 (DVB-C) and EyeTV 310 (DVB-S)
9 EPG is supported via WebEpg
10 Is Supported by 3rd party plugins
11 Out of the box MCE supports Two ATSC tuners and Two NTSC tuners, to get additional tuners you have to perform registry modifications to get more than two ATSC or two NTSC tuners.
12 Vista Media Center can do partial intelligent recordings. You can do recordings based on key words, actor(s) names, or other genres.

Video format support

Information about what video codecs are implemented natively (without third-party add-ons) in the PVRs.

DVR MPEG-1 MPEG-2 MPEG-4 ASP (MPEG-4 Part 2) H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10) WMV AVI DivX Xvid ASF QuickTime MP4 Real Video
Beyond TV
CTpvr
EyeTV
Freevo
GB-PVR
Got All Media
Mac Media Center
MediaPortal 1 1
Meedio TV/Yahoo Go! TV ¹
MeediOS
MediaPhoenix/ShowShifter
MythTV
SageTV
SesamTV
TVedia
Windows Media Center 1 1 1 1

1 Requires 3rd party software.

Information about what video codecs are implemented natively (without third-party add-ons) in the PVRs.

Network Support

Each features is in context of computer-to-computer interaction. All features must be available after the default install otherwise the feature needs a footnote.
DVR Tuner Sharing Hard Disk Pooling Shared Media Database Home Automation Media Extenders Placeshifting Two-way Remote Control
Beyond TV
CTpvr
EyeTV
Freevo
GB-PVR
Got All Media
Mac Media Center
MediaPortal 4
Meedio TV/Yahoo Go! TV 1
MeediOS
MediaPhoenix/ShowShifter
MythTV
SageTV
SesamTV
TVedia
Windows Media Center 2 5 2
1 registry change.
2 retail third party plugin
3 free supported third party plugin
4 free unsupported third party plugin
5 Yes with free third party software Web Guide 4

TV Tuner Hardware

DVRs require a TV Tuner in order to work. Many DVRs, as seen above, can handle multiple tuners.

See also

External links

Media PC Retailers

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