Radiation by Fiona Rae

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Radiation: On the PVR

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  • Russell Brown,

    Good news, fanboys and girls: Nathan Fillion has a new show; and the lovely Jane Espenson has penned an episode of Battlestar Galactica.

    What about the Firefly MMOG? Will it really suck as much as people say?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm not quite sure what to think about Heroes - I agree the pompous opening narration has to go, but it's just hiitting all the X-Men cliches a little too neatly (teen angst, unhappy families, the lawman whose abilities see him suspected of a horrible crime, the eerily smart kid, the woman with a nasty hidden personality, dark conspiracies, and some unspeakable fate that's rushing up to hit everyone like a Mack truck), if that makes any sense. I can see why Hiro is the break-out character, because it's the only time the show get loose and goofy.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And Jane Espenson - curse her talented little typing fingers - also has a fascinating blog, even if you've zero interest in writing for television, as well as co-writing another epsidoe for BSG set to air next month (available here when the season three DVD box comes out, I guess). Dirty Hands sounds like it's going to be quite interesting, as it supposedly turns the focus onto the 'knuckle-draggers' who keep everythigng (more or less) working. It would be nice to see what the rest of the remnants of the human race are up to.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Now if only someone could come up with a solution to the EPG access problem, then us Skyless ones could get our own PVRs to play with.

    I'm not geeky (or skilled) enough to do what one guy I know did and import a UK spec Tivo and hack together a script to harvest epg info from the various channels websites in the middle of the night.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    12% free? I call that 'heaps of space'. We constantly hover around the 2-5% mark. What I really need to do is quit my stupid job and spend my entire life watching reruns of The Amazing Race. (Damn mortgage.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Can you get dvd HD recorders that accept g-code? Could be the way to go.... I like the possibility of moving stuff I might want to keep- (or rip to Xvid or something) off a HD in accessable format (which I'm assuming the sky pvr and Tivos generally don't have). I'm not sure what else a Tivo is/does- but HD dvd recorders are just starting to edge into the reasonable price brackets.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • matthewbuchanan,

    Fee, did you mean Carly Flynn? Our PVR lives its life at 12%!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • matthewbuchanan,

    in accessable format (which I'm assuming the sky pvr and Tivos generally don't have)

    I have several friends running TiVos locally, and yes they are able to grab shows off them - they're just big Linux boxes really. The Sky PVR has no such capability though, the only accessible output is analogue.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Cunliffe,

    Thanks Fiona for the link up.

    Matthew, do the people running TiVos locally have to manually switch Sky channels on their boxes in order to record the different shows? That's the most frustrating thought of buying a PVR - oh and the EPG problem.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Matthew, do the people running TiVos locally have to manually switch Sky channels on their boxes in order to record the different shows? That's the most frustrating thought of buying a PVR

    I've seen a TiVo running locally that has a little infra-red device that sits over the IR window on the Sky box, and programs it that way.

    oh and the EPG problem.

    For the free-to-air channels, there's a basic EPG built into the satellite signal as part of the DVB format. You can buy generic PVRs (my friend has a Topfield brand box) that can read that. Not sure of a TiVo will do that, but the local TiVo community seems to having an ongoing swordfight with Sky involving scraping the listings off the Sky website.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Cunliffe,

    Thanks Russell, hadn't heard of the infra-red solution, will look into that.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • matthewbuchanan,

    Matthew, do the people running TiVos locally have to manually switch Sky channels on their boxes in order to record the different shows?

    Yep, what Russell said :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Hutchings,

    do the people running TiVos locally have to manually switch Sky channels on their boxes in order to record the different shows? That's the most frustrating thought of buying a PVR - oh and the EPG problem.

    Short answer, yes, longer answer, not necessarily if you are determined

    You can stack up "booked" programmes on you sky box, and it will change the channel to whatever booked programme is due to play.

    Granted it is a extra set of hoops to jump through, but this will change the sky channel if you are absent.NB this t runs on the clock not on any "start program" signal sky may or not send so you may get some "program notifications" before what you want begins

    But as Russell says sky are quite picky about people republishing their EPG or scraping, ( mind you I think TVNZ and TV3 are about the same), they all know that the EPG is the key to the use of PVRs and diminishing ad revenue.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • yossarian,

    As one of Matt's friends who is doing this I'll answer some of the Tivo related questions

    Matthew, do the people running TiVos locally have to manually switch Sky channels on their boxes in order to record the different shows? That's the most frustrating thought of buying a PVR - oh and the EPG problem.

    Dear god no! The Tivo has an IR blaster built in which allows it to change the channel of the Sky box by itself. It does have to be programmed to give out the correct IR codes however.

    As for the EPG, there is a local Tivo community who create an EPG which is then distributed automatically to the Tivo's of the community via the net. I've found the EPG to be at least as good as the one provided by Sky. My Tivo is connected via wireless to my home network and connects to the community server every night and downloads the latest EPG.

    Gary's answer above is correct, but I don't know of anyone doing it this way. My Tivo works in basically the same way as one in the US, except that I don't pay a monthly fee :)

    Russell is also correct in that there is a bit of an ongoing issue with the content providers vs the PVR community with regard to getting the EPG data.

    Akl • Since Nov 2006 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • James Griffin,

    12%??? I dream of 12%! When you get to the Sophie's Choice situation where the infernal machine tells you 'if you want to record the Ugly Betty pilot then you must sacrifice that episode of Lost you're sure will make sense of everything' then you truly know you have a personal viewing problem to go with your PVR.

    Since Nov 2006 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Fiona Rae,

    Fee, did you mean Carly Flynn?

    Probably I did; the bland, cheerful one. Call me old-fashioned, but all these girls changing their names when they get married seems odd to me. Unless you had a really dorky name and your new name is cool or something.

    12%??? I dream of 12%!

    Nyah nyah, I just checked and our PVR is saying 35%! OMG! That's because there really has been absolutely nothing on the telly that I care to see, except Entourage and we've been actually catching up on those "look interesting" docos. Like Long Way Round, the one where Ewan MacGregor, my husband in another life (I'd change my name) and his mate Charley Boorman travel across Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia etc. Bloody fantastic.

    Point Chevalier • Since Nov 2006 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • matthewbuchanan,

    Like Long Way Round, the one where Ewan MacGregor ... and his mate Charley Boorman travel across Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia etc. Bloody fantastic.

    And we seem to be getting the full 10-episode deal, not the edited 7 eps that screened on TV One a while back? At least, I think that's the case, I'm sure there's footage this time round I don't recall seeing last time. Very compelling.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    there really has been absolutely nothing on the telly

    Um... Terry Jones' Medieval Lives (replacing Midday when there wasn't tennis), 'though I'm not sure what episode they're planning for today, because they've gotten through the whole series...

    Only-been-on-twice-before episodes of The Simpsons (replacing CLive).

    Dickens in America ('though maybe this is one of those things you've been catching up on).

    Ends of the Earth - an NZ celebrity-travelling show that is actually watchable.

    If-you-don't-have-the-DVDs - Blackadder.

    Letterman - if only I could receive Prime...

    Olsen Twins movies :)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng,

    (Slightly late in the thread, but hey:) Heroes is awesome! It's the first show since Lost that's been able to pull off this degree of intrigue, and on an unashamedly sci-fi premise. Has there ever been a sci-fi show that's this mainstream?

    And speaking of PVRs, has anyone had experience with TV cards that captures digital signals? Does anyone know what you will need to watch NZ digital TV on the computer?

    I'm planning to build a Linux media centre box. Tried to set one up before using an analogue TV card and MythTV, but the reception was bad and all that MYSQL crap you had to set up for MythTV drove me insane.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Span .,

    Keith, I wonder if the recent spate of comic book movies have softened the mainstream audience's attitude to sci-fi.

    I enjoyed Heroes too, but I'm wondering what they will do once they solve the first crisis...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And we seem to be getting the full 10-episode deal, not the edited 7 eps that screened on TV One a while back? At least, I think that's the case, I'm sure there's footage this time round I don't recall seeing last time. Very compelling.

    Yes, it's the 10-part version. And high enjoyable it's been, too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    not the edited 7 eps that screened on TV One a while back...

    That's a little unfair. TV One screened the series as originally made available. The ten episode version is basically a director's cut they produced when the show was well-received.

    I note that according to their website, however, that there are plans for a Long Way Down.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • matthewbuchanan,

    TV One screened the series as originally made available.

    Hmm, that makes sense. The Region 4 DVD set is just the 7 episodes too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    The Region 4 DVD set is just the 7 episodes too.

    No. R4 got the original version and the 3-disc 10-ep "special edition", with its bonus features.

    Both were released the same day, but for some reason (in Wellington at least) the special edition was available from ?__Sounds__? only for a time. You can certainly purchase both now in NZ, anyway. A number of countries however only received the special edition, but from memory, they were all non-English speaking countries - which I may hazard a guess probably saw the show later so received a dubbed or subtitled 10-ep series first time 'round.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • matthewbuchanan,

    Right, I'd only seen the 7-episode set here, thanks for the info.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 163 posts Report Reply

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