Private Video Recorder?

A friend of mine is looking at buying a new HP with a tv card and Vista.

She’s very excited about the feature they have called Private Video Recorder. As in they give you the software to record and a burn tv shows.

I know that DRM is tighter in Vista, so my question is:

Anyone know anything about this feature or ones like it in Vista? Does it work? Is it easy to use or will she have to fuss with files and do the equivalent of using Nero Vision to burn to DVD?

Any input welcome. I don’t have any specific experience with this technology, but I have worked with video files, conversion, etc., and I know it can be tedious.

She wants to use it as an alternative to a DVR like TiVo.


I do use my computer as video recorder. Works nice here (still running Windows 2000 :bigsmile: )

How good it is for your friend’s purpose depends on several factors:

[li]The local TV system must fit to the card: There is digital TV via Cable, Satellite or Terrestrial Broadcast. And there might be still the classic analog TV via either Cable or terrestrial antenna. Digital broadcasts are often scrambled (you’ll have to have a decoder unit with decoder card or similar), so a TV card in a computer might be useless in this case. Also, TV stations can add a “do not record” information to the signal preventing the TV card (and standalone recorders, too) from recording a particular broadcast.[/li][li]The recording software: If the software records to MPEG2, then converting them to a video DVD isn’t very difficult. If there are other formats used, then there some reencoding using another piece of software is needed. In worst case, the software might add some DRM by itself, regardless if Vista or other Windows flavours are used.[/li][/ul]
In short: Vista shouldn’t be the culprit, but other things might be more annoying. That strongly depends on the local TV system at first. Software can often be replaced, even newer Nero versions are able to record from some TV cards.


Thanks for answering.

I didn’t even consider the scrambled digital signal issue. She has Comcast digital. Comcast sends both analog and digital signals from those networks that are broadcasting on both. I know I can watch a lot of stations on my tv without a cable box, and I have Comcast too.

I’ll talk to her about all of this.


[QUOTE=MelissaR;1925589]Thanks for answering. [/quote]You’re welcome :slight_smile:

As far as I understand, the software comes with the comp, so she won’t need to buy Nero even. But I wonder about conversions and if she’ll have to sit and wait for the conversion and the burn.
That really depends on the software and its recording format. If the player supports it, then even converting the recording to video DVD isn’t needed.
But if converting to DVD video format is required, then additional software is needed.

I didn’t even consider the scrambled digital signal issue.
This can be easily figured out: if there is a separate TV tuner box installed, that needs to be fed with some “smart card” or if only a tuner box provided by the TV company works, then the signal might be scrambled.

At the moment, I’d just suggest to wait until the computer is there and test then.


In case of signal scrambling, you probably need a device with a CI first, then you have the opportunity to insert a smart card into that CI slot.