Recent Articles

Net Station: A Milestone in Advanced CCTV Recording Systems

Video surveillance is a dynamic market, constantly growing and changing. Currently, we're observing a transition from analog to digital solutions. Benefits of that shift are obvious for key players on the market. But what are the benefits for installers and end users? Let me explain; I'll focus on the core of PC-based CCTV systems, because these systems offer the most benefits for the installer and for end users.

PC-Based CCTV Systems

These are applications that manage, record, and transmit video streams. Take the Net Station IP—based Network Video Surveillance System as an example. Most advanced systems that are available on today's market consist of two modules. The first of these is an application module, which has to be installed on a server that meets the following standards requirements:

How to Get Your Own Blog on

Got something to say? Want your very own soapbox to stand on and shout out your opinions? Want to report the latest happenings in DVR technology? You can do all of this and more with your very own blog right here on!

Starting today, with the migration of the community to our latest platform, we are opening up blogging to the DVRplayground Community! Why buy a domain, find a host, go through all the effort and cost of promoting it, and handle all the maintenence when we can handle it all for you... absolutely free. Best of all, DVRplayground (and our broader Consumer Electronics technology network) already has thousands of visitors each and every day, so what you say will be heard, and that's what's most important.

Ready to get your opinions out there? Want to have your thoughts featured all over the site and in the DVRplayground Newsletter? Read on to learn how you can apply for your own blog right here on the community.

Is a Subscription Service Right for You?

Are you checking out your DVR options, yet remain unsure about whether a subscription-based DVR service is right for you? Essentially, it depends on what sort of circus tricks you want your television to perform for you. Digital video recording has become the new hot service among satellite and cable companies, with many offering services for as little as $5.99 a month. Many of the companies lease the box to consumers, either for free or for a relatively small monthly amount.

Controlling DirecTV Set Top Box (STB) via USB or Serial using MythTV

I recently found this link, a HOW TO for using the USB ports on the newer DirecTV Units with MythTV. I am NOT the owner of this article and have sent an email to the owner, Jeff Simpson, to let him know I was sharing this info with this site.


DirecTV supplies, and has supplied, a variety of set top boxes (referred to as "STB" from here on) to consumers. Nearly all of them have the ability, although not directly advertised, to be controlled from an external device, such as a MythTV BackEnd.

What Every Consumer Should Know About Intellectual Property

You’ve read the news stories about grandmothers being arrested for illegal downloads of songs (those Glenn Miller songs are evil!), or twelve year olds charged with copyright violations for downloading the latest Harry Potter movie.


Copyright and intellectual property laws in the United States are an interesting mix that can be confusing for the average consumer—and when you add in a DVR, the question of fair use, personal use, commercial use, educational use, and so forth can be a complex maze.

Introducing the All New TiVo HD Digital Video Recorder

Call in the band and strike up the fanfare; there’s finally a high definition TiVo that doesn’t cost as much as one month's rent! In fact, at $299, you could call TiVo's newest addition, the TiVo HD DVR, affordable! If all you needed to hear was HD TiVo and $299 in the same sentence, then don't hesitate. Go get one while the getting is good. If you want to learn more, read on.

Not much less than a year ago, TiVo introduced the TiVo Series 3, their very first DVR capable of time-shifting high definition television. Considered by most to be the ultimate television recording device, the Series 3 appeared to have nearly everything going for it… including a lofty price tag.

Why I Didn't Waste Money On A Blu-ray (or HD-DVD) Drive

Editor's Note:  In the digital world, the rights of the citizen are often cast aside in favor of the almighty buck. As consumers, we not only have the power to fight back, we have an obligation to ourselves and to each other to do so. The power is not only in our united voice, but is also in our wallets. Do you believe that it's time for us to speak out?


Bad Attitude

I have to admit, I went into the whole Blu-ray issue with an attitude. Among other things, it's a massive conspiracy to quash my Inner Tightwad.

I'm cheap. I'm not an early adopter. I like my stuff to work the first time. I prefer function to style. And I don't like to pay for stuff that can be had for free.

That's why I chose Linux as my target operating system along with MythTV (or Freevo—I haven't decided yet.)

DRM: Stealing Your Security and Rights one DVD at a Time

Editorial note: Corporations are inserting their DRM (digital rights management) technology onto CDs, DVDs, and secretly onto our hard drives. Consumers are often prevented from controlling, duping, or even routinely transferring songs and movies they've legitimately bought. We are spied on like criminals, while professional pirates routinely circumvent the controls. We've all been experiencing the frustration of these outrageous intrusions, but more of us need to understand how much DRM violates our basic privacy and consumer rights, and how much it is cramping the potential of the digital revolution. This article lays it bare. Read it. Share it.

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“If consumers even know there's a DRM, what it is,
and how it works,
we've already failed."

- Peter Lee, Disney Executive


The Scoop on AppleTV

If someone asked me to describe in one sentence what AppleTV is, I’d say, “It’s an iPod for your TV.”  And believe it or not, it’s really that simple.  

The unit’s a sleek machine, less than half the size of a standard DVD player, and has the familiar Apple logo on top.  One thing to be clear about: AppleTV is not a DVR.  It’s not a media center or a PVR.  And that’s where AppleTV falls short.  This is a product that, right out of the gate, has limited usage.

Networking Tivo

Isn't it time you took full advantage of all the features your Tivo has to offer? If you're still using a phone line to connect your Tivo, unfortunately most of Tivo's coolest new features won't be available to you. Most of them require a network connection for your Tivo.

The good news is, if you have a decent internet connection, networking your Tivo is easy. This article will show you how to get your Tivo networked so you can start enjoying the full capability your Tivo has to offer.

Why Network Tivo?

Tivo is able to get all its program guide and software updates through a simple phone connection, so why would you want to bother connecting Tivo to a network? Well, besides the ability to get those updates faster and without tying up the phone, there are several features that Tivo offers that won't work without a network connection. Here are a few of the better ones: