I have been using Snapstream’s Beyond TV for over a year now. I am hooked. I like the free aspect of the system (aka no monthly recurring charges). But lets be honest I paid a bunch for all the gear to make the system work. That is not a complaint, just an observation. Part of the cost was getting certain pieces of hardware and then replaceing them over time after I slowly learned I didn’t like them. Now a year later, 2 revisions of beyond tv later, & two comptuer setups later I am finally able to truly use my computer as a DVR. Right now I have it working so well (not trying to jinx myself) that I am about to cancel Tivo. Not because tivo is bad or anything (except for their evil policy of requiring a 1 year contract for new service), but because I can do everything I want to and sometimes more on my computer without a monthly fee.
The latest version of Beyond Media solved my DVD playback issues on my computer. Now I have a fully functioning Media Center PC. My DVR computer is hooked up to my TV. It plugs directly into the TV via a VGA connector. I have my firefly remote, Beyond TV, Beyond Media doing everything that a Windows Media Center PC would do for me. I have Beyond TV for my Tivo like DVR, and Beyond Media is finally working properly as a Media Center replacement. That means I can watch DVD’s on my computer with ease. I can also browse videos, photos and music right from my TV. personally I use my Mac for iTunes so I wont use the music function, but the photo album function is cool. Having the DVD player work is fantastic.
My next project is to get the entire setup to work in HD with my HDTV.