http://www.HEXUS.net#videoOriginally Posted by Davids Monday Morning Moan - From the front pageNot normally one for the front page, but this is something which is going to annoy me - the move to the digital home is one of bugs and issues. The day of the video recorder was good, we could press 'record' and 99% of the time it would. Everyone bashed VCRs for being hard to use. Yet you try and get a DVD Recorder to tune in properly and record without skipping or glitches? Answer - Well for one it isn't seamless.
Yet is seems according to a story over at the BBC they are reporting that the biggest High St retailer - Dixon’s Store Group (Dixons, Currys, PCWorld, Link) are going to stop selling the classic video player. So we are going to be forced in to using a DVD Recorder? The reason? Well they are claiming that DVD sales are outstripping this product in sales by 40 to 1.
Don't get me wrong - I adore new technology, and I make wise decisions on my consumer electronics front. I want things which work first time, without fail. I personally don't want a video recorder/player, but others might. I do believe they have an important part in most living rooms (especially with Xmas just around the corner).
When DVD drives for PCs first came around 6 years ago I got a Pioneer slot loading SCSI unit, and I know others who also invested in DVDs. At the time I was uncertain if the medium would take off - with the failure of the VCDs. However, it looks as if they have finally won (with a lot of investment from film companies and stores to push it!)
When I finally moved house - about 9 months ago I moved to a converted pub, I decided to be wise with the integration of technology in to my home. I have no cables running for networking, everything is WiFi, I have 2 DVD players and no VCRs. I have managed to move to a 'digital home' but it has taken a lot of planning. Yes I know I can't have a x.1 setup but sacrafices have to be made.
However, I have tried to use a DVD recorder, and failed miserably. I didn't want to get the video out of my walk in wardrobe (yes I still have one, but it is not setup at all). So I had to look at other options, which was either a) Media Centre System (I still do not think HTPC is ready for my needs – however, the Microsoft implementation is the most impressive yet.), or b) Sky+ (TiVo).
I opted for the Sky+ (TiVo) solution, this though has not been problem free with issues including engineers coming out and laying white cables all over the woodwork (spoiling my hard work). I have in the last week moved the Sky+ box in to a cupboard with the use of a 'Remote Eye' to allow me to change channels; this means you can't see the box anymore. Since I had to route a phone line to this point my WiFi unit and ADSL router is now located in this cupboard.
I believe that the difference between and enthuisast part and a consumer part is the simple word - seamless this means that it works out of the box, and should, in my eyes 'integrate perfectly in to the home with other applications and mediums already in place.' Call me cynical but companies seem to rush products out of the door without properly testing them.
For examples, take Media Centre - I configured a box with MCE2005 compliant parts, and drivers, and the video stuttered from Sky+ when fed to it. I don't care about recording with dual tuners on to a Media Centre system, neither do I really want to feed my video via it - but it does cut down on cables and should make life easier. I configured a Dual Opteron with a Hauppauge card and ATi Graphics and it still stuttered, that was my final effort after hours of playing. Surely Microsoft should have created a solution which integrates with Sky properly, since, at the end of the day there is millions of subscribers to this service in the UK alone. However, with my old video recorder I can record Sky if I want to (and didn't have Sky+) Surely it would make sense to BSkyB to help integrate the Sky+ solution to MCE, since at the end of the day there is room for both in the market.