As much as I love my TiVo, it’s getting to the point where it’s really not that necessary to keep them around. I prefered my TiVo over my Windows Media Center, but now with the anticipated release of Windows Media Center 2005 and the ability to record HDTV. It’s going to be hard keeping the TiVo subscription going.
To make matters even worse, Plextor announced today the new ConvertX PVR model PX-TV402U with built-in TV tuner. It’s their approach to the PVR (Plextor are the storage guys, CD-R, etc). The new PX-TV402U captures and records broadcast, cable, or satellite TV onto a computer hard drive using the DivX, MPEG-4, MPEG-2, or MPEG-1 formats. You can watch, pause, and record live TV, or use an integrated electronic programming guide to schedule recordings with a single mouse click. Unlike PVRs (TiVo) the PX-TV402U does not require a monthly service fee; it allows users to burn their favorite programs and home videos onto CDs and DVDs using their computer’s CD or DVD recorder; and it supports real-time hardware encoding to DivX and MPEG-4. DivX offers three times greater compression than MPEG-2 without quality loss, so a two-hour movie occupies less than 2GB of drive space at the highest quality DivX setting. DivX files are even small enough to play on portable devices like cell phones, PDAs and personal video players. The PX-TV402U is a DivX Certified hardware encoder ensuring the video files created can be played back in all DivX Certified players. It should be in stores this month for about $200.
It’s going to be interesting to see how TiVo evolves… maybe the NetFlix deal will keep them on the edge.