Comcast’s onscreen guide ads rollout continues

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Comcast AdsIt seems to be a continuing trend for TV companies to start implementing adverts within the Electronic Program Guides (EPGs) of PVRs. Comcast is one such company which is continuing to get on board with this.

Here on PVRWire we have discussed these ads appearing in some territories on Comcast PVRs. The ads have previously been reported in Michigan, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, Tucson AZ, and Washington DC areas.

Now PVRWire has recently received an email claiming that the adverts are now appearing in the Miami/Florida region, bumping the 5th row of the program guide for a banner advert.

JJ Hawkins has summed up why these adverts are not only a pain, but unfair for Comcast subscribers. If you don’t like these ads then why not get involved and let Comcast know about it and Kill those Comcast Ads!

[Thanks Fullman for the tip!]

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Record TV from your cable box to your PC, even in HD

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FireWire CableIf you want to record television shows directly onto your PC from cable it is possible for a number of channels. The FCC requires that all cable boxes have a firewire port allowing you to connect your PC and Cable Box together.

Unfortunately it’s not as simple as connecting your PC and Cable Box with a firewire cable (pictured right) and starting to record. You’ll need to install various software and drivers first.

Also it is unlikely that you will be able to record any premium channels as they will be encrypted. All regular broadcast channels must however be open, if they are not get on the phone to your cable operator and tell them to sort it out.

Uber Lounge has the full steps for recording cable TV in both SD and HD to your PC.

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DirecTiVo Owners Reboot Now!

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DirecTiVoBack in December reports of problems with DirecTiVos began to appear explaining that the PVRs were being erratic in their ability to record shows. The PVRs would often fail to record shows altogether and mysteriously delete some recorded programs.

DirecTV then said that it had fixed the problem but DirecTiVo users still continued to have the same problems. Now DirecTV spokesperson Robert Mercer told yesterday that “a reboot will clean it up and the unit will start recording again.”

So the age old trick of “turning it off and on” should hopefully put your DirecTiVo back on track.

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TiVo Net AdminAnnounced at the TiVo Community forum was a neat piece of Windows software called that allows you to use your TiVo as a media extender so you can play a variety of video formats from your PC.

A list of video formats and codecs that supports can be found here. The software works by converting the video on the fly to MPEG2 TiVo compatable video that can then whizz across your home network to your TV screen, via your TiVo. is an open source project so others can get involved. It’s early days for the software and if you experience any bugs it would be worth pointing them out to the developer.

[Via TiVo Lovers]

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HAVA Gold HD Entry Level High Definition Slingbox Competitor released

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The HAVA Gold HD has been launched today at the highly respectable price of $129. For this small price you can turn a regular Windows PC into a PVR and also stream MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 video to multiple PCs on your home network, and also over the internet, just like a Slingbox.

Additionally when used with Windows Media Center (both XP and the soon to be released Vista MCE) it opens up the option of using the HAVA Gold as a TV Tuner appearing on the PC as an installed TV Tuner card.

The HAVA Gold HD will connect to any TV source such as Cable, Satellite, DVD, TiVo or a Camcorder allowing you to spread your TV to any PC over your home network or the internet.

Unlike the higher end HAVA Wireless HD model it does not come with built-in wireless features and fewer I/O options.

I have to say as an entry level Slingbox device I like the specs and I like the price.

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Gallery of TiVo Series3 boxes at home

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TiVo Series3 fireplace

Ever wonder how your 13 inch TV and Series3 HD TiVo home setup measures up against other TiVo users’? The folks at the TiVo Community Forum have posted a number of photos of their TiVo units in action and at rest.

Popular TiVo playmates seem to be large screen TVs and Xbox 360s. While some users seem to find beauty in a simple setup that hides the wires and most of the AV components, others seem to revel in showing off as many AV boxes as possible. My personal favorite is a shot on page four of the 16,000 wires used to plug in what appears to be a Series3 TiVo, several DirecTiVos, some serious audio hardware, and what might very well be a possibly a warp drive.

[via Davis Freeberg]

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No room in the living room for the Apple TV

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Not so long ago I expressed my views that the Apple TV was an extremely disappointing device which brought us nothing that we couldn’t really do already using non-Apple alternatives and did not innovate in any way.

At the point of writing the article I felt pretty confident that the Apple TV is not going to have major penetration into the living room with only true Apple enthusiasts taking it on board.

The San Francisco Chronicle also supports this argument by raising the point that people’s living rooms are already over-packed with consumer electronics and adding another one just isn’t appealing not to mention the number of established companies that Apple is competing with here.

Its my personal belief that an Apple TV type product will only really hit mainstream when it becomes integrated into a PVR, or with a games console, like has already been done with the successful Xbox 360.

[Via TVPredictions]

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How to Program a DirecTV Remote to Control an Xbox 360

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DirecTV Xbox Remote Control HackThe Xbox 360 comes with some great features extending it beyond a Games Console to a DVD player and media extender connecting your PC to your TV via your home network.

For this reason it’s quite nice to have the Xbox 360 remote control, but unfortunately this little convenience will set you back $30. That is unless you have a DirecTV remote control.

The instructions below explain how you can use your DirecTV remote control to control your Xbox 360. There are little details on what restrictions it has but it appears that it will only allow you to skip chapters on a DVD, view the main menu and use secondary select.

  1. Switch the DirecTV remote to AV-1. Point the remote away from your receiver. Press and hold the select and mute buttons until the light above the AV-1 switch blinks twice.
  2. Press 991, then press 2. Now press Power.
  3. Press Ch. Up 35-40 times, pausing between each press. The light above AV-1 should go on every time you press it.
  4. When your Xbox 360 turns on, immediately press Select.

This Xbox 360 hack was done with the RC-32 DirecTV remote control.

[Via Gaming Bits]

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RACE Free Weekend On Steam

Beginning this Thursday, January 18th, RACE – The Official WTCC Game will be available for free trial via Steam, the 10 million-strong platform for PC games.

Now available for pre-load, the RACE Free Weekend begins Thursday and ends Sunday afternoon. From acclaimed Swedish developers, SimBin, RACE is the first title to deliver the intense action of the WTCC championship to PC gamers.

“RACE embodies the SimBin mantra of ‘easy to learn; hard to master,'” says Henrik Roos, SimBin CEO. “Novices can get into the game and be racing immediately. And, with several game modes, the game remains challenging for expert drivers as well. RACE has been very well received by the media and we are excited to offer this extended test drive through Steam’s upcoming free weekend.”

To celebrate the successful launch of this new franchise, Race will now be offered at $29.95, attracting even more racing fans into the growing multiplayer action. Additionally, for a week after the Steam free trial starts, customers can save an additional 10% off the new price.

With over 60 different and accurately modeled cars and 10 officially licensed tracks from four continents, RACE offers all the drivers, cars, and locations featured in the WTCC championship season, while offering support for both single and multiplayer games (up to 24 players).
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Defcon Updated

Updates to Defcon have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The specific changes include:


  • Allies can now share a battle plan directly drawn on the world map
  • In the lobby, the last game name is now remembered
  • Additional option to change the player name directly from the option menu
  • Restart Ambience and Music (if in a game) when applying a mod
  • Fix the crash when applying a mod removing sounds
  • It’s now impossible to start a game with a empty name
  • Fix start up crash involving missing game name in game-history.txt
  • Don’t advertise a new version on the main interface if the current version is higher than the latest version advertised by the meta server
  • The version update link on the main interface is no longer opened when clicked if there is a menu over it

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