HDTV is one of those things that we’d all love to have in our respective homes. Problem is: high-def hardware is too expensive for the average human. The only way I was able to convince Ponzi to let us buy one was that her cooking shows would actually taste better in high definition. The good ol’ Jedi mind trick worked, and we now have an enhanced lifestyle when we’re ready to become couch potatoes. What if I told you you could record HDTV on your computer for right around $300? You’d freak out. I’m here to tell you that your dreams can come true with SnapStream’s Beyond TV 4.1 – and a combination of their PVR product bundles.
You don’t have Windows XP Media Center Edition? No biggie. Beyond TV works on regular ol’ Windows XP Home and Pro – you’re already set for success! My honest suggestion, before you drop a dime, is that you download the 21-day trial first. If you like it, and you’re ready for HDTV, then you can buy it. But I will warn you: once you go HD, you can never go back. It’s just like broadband vs. dial-up – the difference is that dramatic. So, why am I giving BeyondTV 4.1 my endorsement? No, they’re not paying me to do so. I’ve seen and used various PC PVR solutions in the past, and I always keep coming back to Beyond TV for features. With it, I’ve been able to watch my cable subscription through a Web browser for years – as well as have my recorded shows automatically transcoded into a smaller format for better portability when I’m gone on trips with small devices. BeyondTV has all the standard features that you’ve come to adore in other PVRs; search, skip, and no subscription fees. But can you tweak your current PVR through a browser? Maybe not.
Let me come back to the big win in this new version: over-the-air HDTV recording. All those local channels, including your favorite mini-series and sitcoms, are already broadcasting HD signals. I realize your first inclination is to think that this kind of thing is reserved for videophiles – but that’s where you’d be wrong. SnapStream has always had amazingly simple, elegant software solutions aimed at Joe and Judy Consumer. It’s within your reach now. Unless, of course, you’d rather spend thousands of dollars on an actual HDTV set – knowing full well that you already have a capable computer sitting just a few inches away from your arms. And if you don’t have a few hundred lying around, just think of how much money you’ll save by not needing to buy anything more to get access to HDTV.
Okay. I’ll shut up now. It’s time for you to download a copy and give ‘er a spin. If you don’t already have a TV tuner, you should at least be able to get a feel for how smooth the software’s navigation is, and how generally simple it is to operate. If you’ve never watched TV on your computer screen – you’re missing out. And over-the-air HDTV? Beyond TV.
[tags]dvr,pvr,tv,television,hdtv,high definition,broadcast,tv tuner,high def,snapstream,beyond tv,digital cable,cable tuner,dvico,hauppauge[/tags]