I've used hauppauge products for years now, and they've ranged from dodgy to decent, but with my latest purchase I'm ready to swear off the company for good. For those who don't know, the HDPVR is the only PVR on the market which will let you watch, and record, content from cable boxes uses the analogue hole. I had planned to use this thing to add some bitchin' HDTV support for my media PC.
Well, that would have been a-ok had they fucking finished the product. The current HDPVR feels like a fucking work in project. This is terrible. The first thing you get when you open the box is a piece of paper from Hauppauge stating that fucking nothing
works with the HDPVR except for sage TV and their own media software.
Yeah, lets talk about their media software for a sec. Hauppauge usually provides a program called WinTV which lets you watch TV on your PC. Now, WinTV isn't the best program, but it works. Well, WinTV is NOT
compatible with the HDPVR. You have to use another program, which, according to the net, Hauppauge outsourced out, called "TotalMedia Extreme." Let me say there isn't a god damned thing extreme about TotalMedia, except the frustration you'll experience. The program works, but it's barebones as all hell. You can't even go full fucking screen. What a worthless TV viewing program.
But none of that should matter, right? These things are for hobbiests, and hobbiests use 3rd party front-ends for their HTPC. Well, that brings up the other reason why this thing sucks - NOTHING FUCKING WORKS WITH IT. I normally use MediaPortal, which is a lightweight HTPC software. Users around the net claimed that by using some dodgy hacked 3rd party drivers, they can get the TV server to work. BULL-FUCKING-SHIT. A solid week of work and all I can see is a tiny strip of non-HD tv located on the right side of the screen.
But I'd be willing to try any other HTPC software just for functionality. Except they all fucking don't work. The HDPVR advertises that it works with Windows Media Center in windows 7
with Vista (yeah, real quality product, huh?), which is fine because I have Windows 7 and I'd been meaning to upgrade. So after a night of upgrading, I fire up WMC and bam - the thing doesn't fucking work. Again, Hauppauge's solution is to go with this hacked software from a company called DVB-link which will fool WMC into displaying the video... which cost $30.00
. Fuck that, I downloaded a trial of the site and it worked... for like 30 minutes. Then I got an error and I haven't been able to make the video come back.
But lets go back to that price point thing - $30 for software required
to make the hardware work? Are you fucking kidding me? This box is already TWO-HUNDRED FUCKING DOLLARDS
, why couldn't you team up with this company in the first place to provide WMC support instead of that fucking TotalMedia Extreme bullshit?
I've googled and tried a variety of other HTPC softwares - BeyondTV, XBMC, etc. None work. BeyondTV actually supports the HDPVR... the version in beta at least. Good luck getting that - you have to buy BeyondTV to get the beta, and it's $100. And word is the support is "terrible" to "sort-of-works." Ugh.
So that leaves me with their only other recommended software - SageTV. Now, I really fucking hate SageTV. I think it's an awful piece of software, and they should be ashamed that they have the gaull to sell the thing. I downloaded a demo and installed it, and true to hauppauge's word, it worked. Setting up the HDPVR on my SageTV was by far the easiest experience I've had with the HDPVR. Except the damn thing stutters and plays choppy, even while not recording. If the original source was 30 fps, I must be getting maybe 10, 15 fps. This is unacceptable - I have a fucking PC which plays Crysis on high! I don't have this problem with TotalMedia Extreme, and for the couple of minutes Media Center worked, it played back without a hitch.
I turn to google, and hauppauge says this is a known problem, and they think
a drive update in the future might solve it. MIGHT
? WHAT THE FUCK. Who releases shit like this? At such a price point.
Now you might think I did no research before buying this thing... and you're wrong. I followed it's development for a few years (because I wanted a fast way to transfer stuff from my cable box) and read a ton of glowing reviews. I'm convinced these people writing reviews are trying to convince themselves that the $200 they blew is justified, because this thing really is a piece of shit.
If anyone has any ideas on how to get this fucking thing working, I'm all ears for the next 12-ish hours. After that, it goes back in the box, and then back to fry's where I'm gonna demand my $200 back.
Fuck this shit.
Come here SonicRetard.
I've got a spare copy of Portal, if anyone wants it message me.
The whole home-build MCE rig thing is fucking dead, IMO.
Let's play Mario Kart or something...
I've grown quite irritated with the state of the video content delivery. Recording TV and watching it later is just such a backwards way of doing things if you have a FIOS connection: you have to remember to schedule recording programs and record the ads, too and hope that your software has good commercial detection logic. Then find out that all the recordings have been locked down and you can't make that awesome montage video that you've been thinking about. And video on demand is this fractured, DRM-filled unfriendly minefield full of annoying interfaces or console-only access. I want to buy an .mp4 file of your show! Just let me do this. And a solution that promises to get around all this is apparently run by clowns.
1) a livingroom wunderdevice that can stream videos from your PC
2) The same device needs the ability to purchase shows one-off, or buy seasons/months for drastically reduced cost (like, more than 50% off per episode pricing)
3) show full episodes for free with advertising a couple days after they air
4) Be able to do internet streaming from major news outlets / sports channels, so the stuff that must be watched in real time can be.
5) built in over the air ATSC tuner that can use the HDD for timeshift purposes.
Make that box 300 bucks or less, and I will be over it like flies on shit.
Let's play Mario Kart or something...
They sell 3rd party re-badged cack and rely on customer laziness ans ignorance to avoid providing what they promise.
The latest example that pissed on my chips was their UK HDTV USB tuner. It's advertised as being UK terrestral HDTV 'ready' when in reality it'll only ever (maybe) work with the euro-mainland dvb-t signal.
UK DVB-T will be using DVB-T2.
Also. their software is about 15 years out of date.
Fuck em in the ear.
Oh damn that just reminded me of another reason they're terrible!
I bought a Pinnacle USB-TV stick a few months back, just before Pinnacles TV products were sold to Hauppauge who immediately dropped support for all the Pinnacle stuff they'd bought the rights to.
It's a pretty tiny market even on a global scale. It's a hobbyist market. The last financials I remember for them was something around $100 million or so in total worldwide sales. Which sounds like a lot but do keep in mind that they are pretty much the only people in their market space. To give some perspective, another hobbyist company Games Workshop did $181 million in worldwide sales last year. So you're talking about a market smaller then miniatures gaming with much higher R&D costs and much higher support costs.
Not that hauppauge has had a great history with their hardware or tuners that is...