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.

Version 3.3.8 chages include:
 - major changes to schedules direct support. Schedules Direct have moved to a new API. To support this, there is new screens in NextPVR for managing lineups, entering zip codes etc.
 - added support for ATSC major.minor numbers. You can now have channel numbers like "12.2".
 - the multi-record feature is now possible on analog/HDPVR/HDPVR2/Colossus/IPTV/Prime devices. For these types of devices it's not as useful as digital tuners, but still gives some advantages like the ability to get overlapping recordings on back-to-back recordings on the same channel (with padding in both).
 - changed app to make it compatible with Microsoft DTV-DVD Audio Decoder for AAC audio.
 - colored red/yellow/green/blue flags now included in export/import of recordings
 - adds support for detecting changes to the desktop resolution when running in fullscreen mode (to avoid problem where user was ending up with a fullscreen app not filling the screen after machine had been asleep)
 - added support Hauppauge Colossus2.
 - install process attempts to create firewall exceptions for NextPVR.exe, NRecord.exe and NDigitalHost.exe. Hopefully this will get rid of some of the HDHR new user problems.
 - improvements to duplicate detection logic to better cater for users that switch from mc2xml to schedules direct.
 - now forcing a reload of the channel list when a device is deleted, so that the Settings->Channels tab always reflects the correct list of channels
 - RECENTLY_DELETED entries now use the current time, rather than the original recording time.
 - improved duplicate detection logic to better handle movies.
 - PromptForDeleteAfterPlayback no longer prompts for delete if you were watching an in-progress recording
 - added a popup to control the DVB Subtitle delay. This popup is accessed via Ctrl-D
 - added a work around for channel ids changing in mc2xml generated xmltv files
 - added cast/crew support for xmltv
 - added support for LCN v2 channel numbers, which are starting to be used in some DVB countries (like Singapore etc).
 - changes to metadata API to better support multiple metadata plugins.
 - added metadata plugin for TheMovieDB
 - recurring recordings no longer limit potential recordings to those after the start date of the original show used to create the recording.
 - slight change to the way config.xml is saved to resolve issue where user could end up with a corrupt config.xml when their disk was full and it attempted to save the config

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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.