Comparison of PVR software packages

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

This is a comparison of digital video recorder software packages.

General information[edit]

Basic general information for popular DVR/PVR software packages.

Name Windows Macintosh Linux Costs License Latest stable release Notes
Beyond TV Yes No No $99.99 software & remote. Proprietary 4.9.3

Build 6335
October 15, 2010

Not compatible with DVB tuners.

While Snapstream is providing minor fixes for Beyond TV, they no longer actively updating and developing the software as they are focusing on commercial applications. Despite the lack of a new version, their fanbase (in the forums) maintains active and the program is still available.
See also: List of digital television deployments by country

CenterStage No Yes No Free GPL 0.6.2 / 2007-08-20 Development ceased December 2008
DVBViewer Yes No No €15 Proprietary
EyeTV No Yes No €79.99 Bundled Proprietary 3.6.1 Free with all Elgato USB tuners, but available separately for use with other tuners.
Hauppauge WinTV Yes Bundled Proprietary winTV7, CD3.5, current Jul 14 For Hauppauge TV cards and peripherals
InterVideo WinDVR Yes No No Discontinued Proprietary Discontinued. Previously bundled with various TV tuner devices.
JRiver Media Center Yes No No $49.98 Proprietary 17.0.50 December 2011 DirectShow video player, audio, images, 10 foot GUI, Remote control, DLNA
MediaPhoenix/ShowShifter Yes No No MediaPhoenix - Unreleased
ShowShifter - Discontinued (Was £30)
Proprietary 3.1 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.
MediaPortal Yes No No Free Free 1.5.0 (October 1, 2013)[1] built on the .NET 2.0 Framework
MythTV Limited [1] Yes Yes Free Free 0.27.1 (May 28, 2014)
NextPVR Yes No No Free Proprietary 2.6.2 (March 24, 2013)
SageTV Yes[2] Yes Yes Discontinued since it was bought by Google. Prior to that it had been $79.95 software; $29.95 client; $29.95 per mediaMVP client. Proprietary 6.6 Java based. SageTV was purchased by Google on 20 June 2011 and its online store was shut. No statement has been made about the future availability of SageTV products.
Tvtime No No Yes Free Free 1.0.2 (November 10, 2005) High quality television application for use with video capture cards on Linux systems. tvtime processes the input from a capture card and displays it on a computer monitor or projector
Video Disk Recorder No No Yes Free Free 2.0.6 (March 22, 2014) TV Done Right, VDR can use one to eight video cards and support DVB-S, DVB-C and DVB-T. Record and read any DVB flux with a lot of plugins.
Windows Media Center Yes No No Free prior to Windows 8 stable releases. US$100 for Windows 8 and 8.1 (respective Pro Pack, retail box pricing); US$10 for Windows 8 Pro and 8.1 Pro (Media Center Pack, online download). Proprietary 6.3.9600.16384 (© 2013) Included in Windows XP MCE 2005, Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate editions, Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate, and some Windows 8 preview/developer editions. Not included in Windows 8, 8 Pro, 8.1 or 8.1 Pro. Not available for Windows RT.
XBMC Yes Yes Yes Free Free 13.1 "Gotham rises". 5 June 2014; 47 days ago (2014-06-05)[2] High quality Open Source PVR, able to watch/record live TV, music, photos and has one of the most expansive collection of plugins, enabling the system to do anything from browsing the web or downloading movies, to dimming the lights in the sitting room.

^ Porting MythTV to Windows is under development.[3]
^ There is also a Windows Home Server Edition

Digital/Personal Video Recorder (DVR/PVR) features[edit]

Information about what common and prominent DVR features are implemented natively (without third-party add-ons unless stated otherwise).

DVR Subscription free electronic program guide (EPG) power management Multiple TV tuner cards support CableCARD support CAM support ATSC tuner support Automated commercial skipping Teletext Schedule timed recordings Personalized intelligent recording and scheduling[f 1] DRM support DVB (T/T2, S/S2, C) tuner support Smartphone/Tablet playback Smartphone/Tablet syncing Smartphone/Tablet remote control
Beyond TV Yes Yes[f 2] Yes No ? Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No ? ? ?
EyeTV DVB;[f 3] other guide info varies by region[f 4] Yes Yes No ? Yes External add-on Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes ? ? ?
GB-PVR No[f 5] Unknown Yes No ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Unknown Yes ? ? ?
CenterStage No Unknown No No ? Unknown No Unknown No Unknown No ? ? ? ?
MediaPortal DVB[f 3]/XMLTV[f 7] Yes Yes Yes[f 8] Supported on some specific cards Yes Using Plugin Yes Yes Yes Partial support Yes Yes[f 9] ? Yes[f 9]
MediaPhoenix/ShowShifter DVB[f 3] Unknown Yes No ? Unknown No No Yes Yes Unknown Yes No No No
MythTV DVB;[f 3] other services region dependent[f 10] Yes Yes Limited[f 11] Yes[f 12] Yes Yes Yes Yes Requires external add-on[f 13] No Yes[f 14] Yes[f 15] No Yes[f 15]
SageTV Yes Yes Yes Using Plugin[f 16] ? Yes Using Plugin[f 17] No Yes Yes No ? ? ? ?
Video Disk Recorder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Using Plugin Yes Using Plugin No Yes Using Plugin No Using Plugin
Windows Media Center Yes Yes Yes[f 18] Yes[f 19] ? Yes External add-on[f 20] Yes Yes Yes[f 21] Yes; also honors the "do not record" flag which was disallowed by the courts. Supports DVB-T/T2 and DVB-S/S2; does not support DVB-C[f 22] Yes Yes Yes
DVR Subscription free electronic program guide (EPG) Power management Multiple TV tuner cards support CableCARD support CAM support ATSC tuner support Automated commercial skipping Teletext Schedule timed recordings Personalized intelligent recording and scheduling[f 1] DRM support DVB (T/T2, S/S2, C) tuner support Smartphone/Tablet playback Smartphone/Tablet syncing Smartphone/Tablet remote control
  1. ^ a b A system similar to TiVo's which enables the DVR/PVR application to record programs based on past viewing habits and interests.
  2. ^ To take advantage of operating system power management with Beyond TV, the main user interface must be closed.
  3. ^ a b c d Supports over-the-air EPG when using cards/boxes which support this functionality, and in areas where such a service is available. For example, over-the-air 7-day programme data is available in the UK for DVB-T services (Freeview, TopUp TV etc; DVB-T2 listings for Freeview HD are encrypted) and Freesat (DVB-S/S2).[f 6]
  4. ^ Elgato's contract with TitanTV for the US market expired in 2010. When it expired, TV Guide became the sole EPG provider for EyeTV in the United States. There, one year of TV Guide EPG service costs $19.95.[3][4]
  5. ^ No native subscription free EPG built in, but EPG data available using third party services.
  6. ^ Unlike the UK DVB-T EPG, the Freesat EPG uses its own channel and thus must be specifically set up in order to be used. As such, support for DVB EPG may be insufficient to access it.
  7. ^ Supports XMLTV programme data which is provided by various sources for various costs depending on territory. For example, the (supported) 14-day Radio Times feed for the UK is free of charge.
  8. ^ Version 1.5.0 or higher required[5]
  9. ^ a b via aMPdroid app; requires WifiRemote and MpExtended plugins[6]
  10. ^ Subscription-free EPG is available in areas where program listings data is freely available without violating copyright laws or data owners' Terms of Service. In North America, Schedules Direct provides legally-licensed EPG data for a nominal fee of $25 per year.[7]
  11. ^ Support is limited to content broadcast as 'copy freely' (DRM Free)
  12. ^ Supports hardware-based CAMs supported by LinuxTV framework.
  13. ^ External third-party plug-in required, e.g. "tvwish", "MythMiner"; not supported.
  14. ^ Supports any tuner card supported by LinuxTV framework.
  15. ^ a b The official MythTV plugin MythWeb allows users to browse the programme guide, schedule recordings, manage media and playback video via a Flash-based player, which works on Android phones and tablets.[8]
  16. ^ Smartphone and tablet control of the full range of Windows Media Center features is possible on iOS and Android.[9]
  17. ^ Supported by 3rd party plugins: ComSkip and ShowAnalyzer
  18. ^ Windows Media Center supports two NTSC (Analog) tuners and two ATSC (Digital) tuners out of the box. Using additional tuners requires registry modifications. Windows 7 Media Center supports up to 4 tuners of each type out of the box, DVB-T, DVB-S, NTSC/PAL.
  19. ^ Windows Media Center supports CableCard when used on CableLabs certified OEM Hardware.[10] Windows 7 Media Center supports CableCard on any hardware that passes the Digital Cable Advisor tool in MCE.[11]
  20. ^ Requires and external plug-in such as "DVRMSToolbox" or "Lifextender"; not supported by Microsoft.
  21. ^ Vista Media Center can do partial intelligent recordings based on keywords, actor(s) name(s), or genre.
  22. ^ DVB-C is achievable using certain cards that are detected as DVB-T tuners. And also using addons such as DVBLink

Video format support[edit]

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), i.e. DivX, XviD H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10) VP8 WMV AVI ASF QuickTime MP4 RealVideo
Beyond TV Yes Yes Yes Yes Unknown Yes Yes Unknown No No No
EyeTV Yes Yes Unknown Yes Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Yes Unknown Unknown
GB-PVR Unknown Yes Yes Yes Unknown Unknown Yes Unknown Unknown Yes Unknown
MediaPortal Yes Yes Yes Yes Unknown Yes Yes Yes No[v 1] Yes No[v 1]
MediaPhoenix/ShowShifter Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
MythTV Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
SageTV Yes Yes Yes Yes Unknown Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Unknown
Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Media Center Yes Yes Yes Yes[v 1][v 2] Unknown Yes Yes Yes Yes[v 1][v 2] Yes[v 1][v 2] No[v 1]
  1. ^ a b c d e f Possible with third-party software.
  2. ^ a b c Windows 7 only

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

Network support[edit]

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 Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No
EyeTV Unknown Unknown Yes Unknown Unknown Yes Unknown
GB-PVR Yes Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
MediaPortal Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes4
MediaPhoenix/ShowShifter Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
MythTV Yes Yes Yes Yes3 Yes Yes Yes
SageTV Yes Yes Unknown Unknown Yes Yes Unknown
Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
Windows Media Center Yes6 Yes7 Yes Yes2 Yes Yes5 Yes2

1 Yes with registry change
2 Yes with retail third-party plugin
3 Yes with free supported third-party plugin
4 Yes with free unsupported third-party plugin
5 Yes with free third-party software Web Guide 4
6 Yes with add-on software called DVBLink Server
7 Yes with using symlinks, or just adding folders in settings

TV tuner hardware[edit]

Main article: TV tuner card

DVRs require TV tuner cards to receive signals. Many DVRs, as seen above, can use multiple tuners.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "MEDIAPORTAL - Download MediaPortal for free!". Team MediaPortal. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ "XBMC 13.1 Gotham rises". 
  3. ^ Why is there a fee for the EyeTV Program Guide?
  4. ^ How do I use TV Guide with EyeTV?
  5. ^ "Support for CableCard Tuners". 
  6. ^ "aMPdroid - Android Apps on Google Play". Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  7. ^ Schedules Direct
  8. ^ http://code.google.com/p/mythdroid MythDroid
  9. ^ http://www.evoscan.com/home/
  10. ^ http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060131-6081.html
  11. ^ http://www.anandtech.com/show/3588

External links[edit]