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Best PVR software for PC

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My daughter (aged 7) and I are going to set up a PC based PVR just for fun (she's so going to out-geek the boys at school)

We want to:
Record tv (obviously) including series record
Play a wide variety of media from the hard drive - vobs, divx etc.
Archive programs in whatever format we want
Put system into 'eco mode' for power saving
Control via a remote

Nice to haves:
program remotely over internet
program remotely via iphone

What's the best software out there at the moment?

Windows media centre
Media Portal
Beyond TV

Thanx in advance for your opinions
post #2 of 14
Picking the best software for any specific task is somewhat subjective and based on personal preferences in the majority of cases. For a good all around solution, and also probably the least expensive and easiest to set up, I would highly recommend Windows 7 with Media Center. There are add-ons and tweaks that can get it to do pretty much everything you've listed. Here are a couple of excellent resources on Media Center:


post #3 of 14
Definitely start off with W7MC since it comes with the system. A good alternative (although not free) is SageTV
post #4 of 14
windows 7 MCE.
post #5 of 14
I will continue the trend. Windows 7 Media Center (7MC) is the easiest and most supported PVR out there.
post #6 of 14
If this is going to be a one-time-thing, as in a single computer setup just for novelty, then windows MC should be just fine and there isn't much to getting it to run as it is already part of the OS.

If this is something you may want to expand in the future (network all your TVs in your house so they all coordinate with each other) SageTV is your best choice.

Lastly, feel free to play with any of the free ones. If the idea is to have a hobby with your daughter, they don't cost much and if you don't like them after playing with them a bit, just delete them.

post #7 of 14
I guess I will be the odd man out and say Mythbuntu.
It is open, free, and looks great.
post #8 of 14
+1 on 7MC. If you don't like it, then you can try other software. I would suggest backing up a clean image of the base OS install with the necessary drivers. That way, you can easily go back to it in case a software/codec install goes wrong in the course of your experimentation.

As for remote programming, 7MC doesn't do it natively but you can add that function with Remote Potato.
post #9 of 14
I would only add that MC in Vista is good, but not nearly as good. The upgrade to Win7 is worth it just for the MC component.
post #10 of 14
its over a year old, but its a solid run down of each...

post #11 of 14
There are more advanced systems are there, but the Media Center that comes with Windows 7 will do pretty most of the functions you are looking for. You may need to add some codec packs, but you should be good with just 7.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys, top advice from the top forum!

Off to tinker...
post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by exitsmiling View Post

Thanks guys, top advice from the top forum!

Off to tinker...

Dont forget that if you go with W7MC to look at using either MediaBrowser or MyMovies as your WMC plugin
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
will do...thanks
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