So I got DirecTV2PC working on almost all of the computers in my house, but not with out some effort, so I thought I’d quickly crank out a review.
DirecTV2PC is a media extender which talks to your DirecTV HD DVR unit. You can watch any show which is already recorded or being recorded, but not “live” TV. Granted you only have to be time shifted about 30 seconds, but you can’t channel surf.
DirecTV2PC has some pretty stiff requirements for use, so it may not work on all of your computers. Because of this CyberLink has created an Advisor tool which will tell you if the software will work on your system. As long as you have no Red lights you should be good to go, with a few caveats.
My CPU is a little low which is an issue, but I don’t understand why my GeForce 9800GT got a Yellow.
When I first installed the Application I got a RED indicating that there was a problem. The Geforce 6000 series card I had in the system, lacked HDCP support. If I used a VGA monitor this would be ok, but for DVI and HDMI support you need to have HDCP.
A quick $150 upgrade to my PC and I got the above.
My network was the next issue. The Ethernet over Power Adapter I was using wouldn’t pass multicast traffic, and was incrementing the Time To Live (TTL) a quick swap from the 85mbps version to the 200mbps version allowed me to connect, but then I was getting a new error. “Cannot Connect to the Server”. Turns out that I had to disable Hamachi and Internet Connection Sharing or I couldn’t connect to actually play content. As I wasn’t using either of these features it was not a big deal.
One Last Issue, I can’t run Dual Monitors while watching TV. This is frustrating because the entire idea was that I would be able to run TV on one screen and work on the other. Oh, well.
Once I got the software running it works well. Browsing my DVR is simple, and the shows look good, the deinterlacer seems to work well, but not Amazing. I’d prefer a Bob method to the method being used which drops content to 30fps.
My Laptop works flawlessly over 802.11G Wifi. The downmix on the audio from 5.1 to Stereo is clear, and sounds good. Far better experience than watching shows on ABC.com or Hulu.com. And I can fast forward the Ads. Sure it doesn’t let me take the shows to work, but everything else about the experience is superior.
Watching my favorite shows on a 30 second delay outside in the hot tub, isn’t something I need to do every day, but lets face it, sometimes you just don’t want to have to choose between relaxing in the Summer Sun, and relaxing with Summer Glau.