The advent of TV systems such as Sky+ means that television viewer have become used to the concept of pausing and rewinding live TV as well as recording programmes at the push of a button. NextPVR - formerly known as GB-PVR - is a media centre program for Windows that can transform your PC into a PVR.
With a compatible TV tuner installed, the program can be used to record broadcasts on a schedule, pause live programmes and perform the other tasks you have come to associated with set-top boxes. In additional to television programming, GB-PVR can also be used to listen to a wide range of online radio staions.
There is support for DVB subtitling as well as the playback of video files in a number of popular formats. GB-PVR can also be used to browse your photo collection and listen to music and if you have a remote control for your TV tuner, it can also be used to navigate the program.
The program is compatible with a large number of TV tuners includes those produced by ATI, Hauppauge, K-World and Conexant including both analogue and digital models. There are a range of plugins available for GB-PVR which can be used to extend the capabilities of the software - this includes plugins for creating DVDs from recorded programmes, TV listings and much more.
Setup is relatively straightforward compared to some other PVR software, but we found we had to manually edit the frequencies of our local transmitter - which involved editing a configuration file in the C:\Users\Public\NPVR\Tuning directory - before all available channels could be picked up.
Version 3.4.8 chages include:
- added support for multi-record on HDHR devices
- added HDHomeRun tuner locking, to stop other applications from being able to steal tuners
- speed up stopping of HDHR graphs
- added diseqc support for a wider range of devices, including Digital Devices, Pinnacle, AnySee and a couple of others
- added support for SAT>IP devices
- digital scanning now shows provider information if known
- added ability to sort scan results by clicking any of the columns, for making it easier to find specific channles in a long list of results.
- added ability for channel groups to have a different sort order than the channel numbers. This effects the order channels are shown in the TV Guide etc.
- added support for listing/switching audio tracks, and subtitle tracks, on a wider range of video files like mkv files etc (if source filter support standard IAMStreamSelect interface).
- added ability to edit digital channel tuning properties on the Setting->Channel screen, in channel settings. (previously you could do this, but have to get into the channel via the Settings->Devices screen, and had to do it separate for each tuner mapped to the channel)
- 'groups' screen now shows more information about the channels, and allows you to drag and drop to adjust the order within a channel group.
- added "-first" and "-second" commandline parameters which can be used to override the "start on second monitor" setting
- added a "method=system.log&type=error&msge=asdasdasdasdasd " api that web client can use for logging in web.log. Default type if not specified is 'debug'. Also supports 'info', 'error', 'warn'.
- added a "method=recording.lastupdated" api to get the time of last change to the recording list
- added a 'forget' menu item in the Recordings screen, so you can forget a recording, allowing it to be recorded again.
- added ability to strip prefixes from show EPG titles when the EPG is imported, and have default it to include a few common nuisance that some broadcasters use (like "All New ...");
- changes to the metadata screens to make them more usable from the Recording screen. ie, now shows recording date, subtitle, changes to the multi-file screen layout to have buttons for resume etc, supporting the user-defined red/green/yellow/blue color tags.
- added a info screen when playing videos, accessed via Ctrl-I, which shows information about video or live stream being watched (codec, resolution, signal strength etc). I'll probably add further info to this during the pre-release cycles.
- added support for MCE remote zoom/aspect button to toggle aspect ratio
- 'Import Recording' feature can now import an individual .ts file by pointing at external xml file produced when using <StoreSeparateMetadataXml>.
- wider popups for selecting subtitle/audio streams, to accommodate longer descriptions
- more graceful exit from live tv if you kill recording service while watching tv. Previously you'd get a persistent message box that was difficult to get rid of.
- remove spammy "GetDuration returning ...." log message
- updated Schedules Direct support to include a wide set of countries, include some European countries (including automapping where possible).
- added titles to audio/subtitle selection popups (thanks for the taking the work out of it for me Whurlston!)
- settings screen is now larger. Some screens were very cramped, and it was hard to find space for some new settings I wanted.
- added a 'use S01E01 style file naming if possible' setting.
- added a 'Use Movie.Name.(YEAR) format for movies if possible' setting.
- running "-emptydb" will also cause the Setting screen to show, like a fresh install
- moved to most recent Schedules Direct API
- more accurately reporting Hauppauge HDPVR2 and Colossus2 model names
- improvements to teletext subtitle rendering
- now possible to control teletext subtitle delay. Previously you could only control the delay on DVB Subtitles.
- now showing " (SxxExx)" in Recordings screen if this info is known.
- improvements to recording export to ensure all show details are exported (star-rating, genre etc, which were previously missing) and to fix the start/end times.
- increase maximum subtitle delay
- handling age info like "(13)" from the end of name when looking for metadata
- handling (T), (S), (R) when looking for metadata
- added support for retrieving artwork from Schedules Direct for those people using this EPG service.
- updated NEWA
Aside from some gripes about updated channel frequencies, NextPVR proves to be a relatively fuss-free way to add live TV and PVR capabilities to your PC.