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.
NextPVR 3.2.9 brings:
- improvements to the layout and look of icon mode in library screens.
- leaf nodes in video library now shows a details screen if metadata exists.
- added new IMetadataPlugin interface, for new class of plugins
- added new "Filter" menu option in the Recordings screen
- improvement to the speed of video library loading of artwork and metadata
- fanart backgrounds are now loaded asynchronously, and only when the user stops moving around, to improve responsiveness.
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.