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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Oct 2005
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    Free TV Recording Software & Media Center Problems

    I am tempted to go into an anti-Microsoft rant here, but I won't.

    I am looking for some good and (hopefully) free television tuning and recording software. My parents just got a new Dell XPS computer loaded with Windows Vista 64-bit operating system. We tried setting up the Windows Media Center to tune TV stations, but it refused to continue until we had an active internet connection.

    Once we got the computer on the internet, we downloaded all the Microsoft patches (took an hour to download and install all of them) then tried to set up Media Center to tune television with the installed tv tuner.

    Prior to setting up an internet connection, pushing the "Windows" button on the remote control would bring up Media Center. After installing all the patches through auto update, pushing the "Windows" button on the remote possibly crashes the computer.

    Every time the "Windows" button was pushed, the Dell monitor went into sleep mode and would not come out. Nothing we pushed on the keyboard or mouse got the monitor out of sleep mode. Turning it off and on didn't get it out of sleep mode. I am not sure if the computer went into sleep mode or not, but the fan did not shut off. Since the fan didn't shut off, I assume the computer was not in sleep mode but the monitor was.

    After several failed tries pushing the "Windows" button on the remote, we tried opening Windows Media Center and setting it up that way. We were able to set some things, but when I finished the settings on one thing (don't remember which) and moved the mouse over the "save" button, the computer sort of crashed. The fan speed increased greatly. The fan is almost inaudible, but got very loud for a few seconds. Then the monitor went into sleep mode again and would not come out.

    I have to suspect that the Microsoft update is what screwed things up since pushing the "Windows" button on the remote didn't cause anything to go into sleep mode until after the updates were installed. The only software that was installed other than the patches was Firefox and a DSL modem was plugged into the Ethernet port. Other than that, no changes were made.

    I hate everything Microsoft makes. I rarely use Microsoft software other than the OS because it is so crappy. So, I am hoping some of you fine people out there know of a free TV tuner and recording software so my tech-illiterate parents can record shows on their computer.

    Thank you very much for any assistance you provide.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict
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    Dec 2003
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    I didn't know XPSs came standard with TV recording hardware. Usually, it's specialty hardware that has input Coax/S-Video. From my experience with it, the hardware that allowed for the recording had special software available from the developer for it, so you'll need to tell us what kind of hardware you're using to record it (unless I missed it).

  3. #3
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    I can recommend GB-PVR and MediaPortal, both are free and work extremely well.


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