PluggedIn: Step Aside TiVo, Here Comes Freevo

Tired of TiVo monthly fees and eager for even more control over their television programs, computer enthusiasts are building TV recording devices out of personal computers and new software packages.

The trend is perhaps a touch of bitter irony for TiVo Inc., whose personal video recorders started out as a disruptive technology for cable and satellite companies, by allowing users to digitally store their favorite shows and skip commercials.

Getting the power of TiVo and updated TV listings without having to pay the monthly fee has apparently made such software quite attractive. At SnapStream Media, a maker of PC-based video recording software, business is growing 20 percent a month, the company said, while declining to disclose its number of users.

"Consumers are becoming aware of the fact they can transform their PCs into entertainment centers that are very powerful and still very easy to use," said Rakesh Agrawal, SnapStream's chief executive officer.

Of course, people who get jittery at the idea of tinkering with their computer hardware or loading up new software will still find the prospect of building a "home theater" personal computer daunting.

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News source: Yahoo! Tech News

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