Wireless Systems Design

TiVo-Like Device Plots A PC Takeover

Not all that long ago, TiVo was the "must-have" gadget for television fans everywhere. Although it's a pretty slick device, TiVo's price tag and monthly subscription fee left many consumers unwilling to make the investment. Now, another option has arrived just in time for the holidays.

Essentially, Snapstream's Personal Video Station 3 is software that turns a PC into TiVo-like TV (See Photo). Using a home PC, it intelligently records television shows for playback on the TV, home PC, Pocket PC, or wireless home network. At a cost of $150 or less and no subscription fees, it offers consumers a simple yet powerful way to record and watch TV anywhere and anytime.

With SnapStream Personal Video Station software, consumers can record their favorite television shows on their PC hard disk. They just use the Windows Media or MPEG-2 file format. Once their shows are recorded, they can watch them anywhere inside the home over their wired or wireless home network. SnapStream recordings also can be wirelessly streamed and viewed around the house on Pocket PC handheld devices or mobile laptops that use the 802.11b, 802.11a, and 802.11g technologies.

The Personal Video Station offers both Personal Video Recording and Digital Video Recording (PVR/DVR) capabilities. It includes an integrated electronic program guide called SnapStream.Net; a full-screen television interface; the ability to pause, rewind, and fast forward live television; and media-server capabilities. Such functionality grants the user maximum control of his or her television experience.

Among its other features is both a comprehensive search engine and "trickplay" functionality. The search engine allows the user to quickly find and record favorite programs. With trickplay, he or she can pause, rewind, and fast forward live television. In addition, Personal Video Station 3 makes it possible for users to create DVD recordings of TV shows.

Personal Video Station 3 is now available online at Amazon.com. Or, it can be purchased directly from SnapStream's web site or at selected retail locations nationwide. The price for just the Personal Video Station 3 Software is roughly $100. For $150, consumers get the software bundled with a TV tuner card. The product supports a broad set of TV tuner hardware including Hauppauge WinTV (PCI and USB); nVidia Personal Cinema; ATi Graphics All-in-Wonder and TV Wonder; Pinnacle PCTV (USB and PCI); Pixelview Xcapture; Osprey; Leadtek WinFast TV; and Avermedia products.

SnapStream Media
6730 Long Dr., Houston, TX 77087; (713) 644-6240, FAX: (713) 644-3215, www.snapstream.com.

TAGS: Mobile
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