Sax and PVRs…

I have been using SAX again to parse an XML file into Java objects… I did this a while back on another project, but, a new project needs to do some database processing based on information provided in an XML file. When I did this before I found it to be pretty straightforward and found it to be so again this time. Nothing terribly complex and I haven’t written a DTD for my XML file yet (I wrote Java code on my objects to validate themselves which does much of the work the DTD would do and some extra that it probably wouldn’t). The parser works great… now I just need to write the code that does the database work based on the content of those objects. Always more to do!

Played a lot more with PC PVR software late night. I think I am quite happy with BeyondTV 3.5.2, so I will probably go with that. The downside to BeyondTV is that it doesn’t include any “media player” options such as playing video files (Divx, Xvid, etc.), playing audio (CD or MP3), looking at picture albums, etc. The SnapStream “media player” solution is a program called BeyondMedia. BeyondMedia looks nice but its integration with BeyondTV is essentially nil (a menu option to launch BeyondTV) and its video playback leaves something to be desired — although I figured out ways around most of the issues I was having. I WAS pretty happy with BeyondMedia until I looked at Meedio. Meedio has, I believe, a more functional video player, has a nice theme-able interface, and TONS of plug-ins (and a .NET oriented plug-in architecture that looks pretty straightforward… I make try to write one some evening when I have free time). There are even Meedio plugins related to BeyondTV, so, it appears that Meedio can have better BeyondTV integration that BeyondMedia (how ironic).

There is talk of a new version of BeyondTV (4.0?) that integrates more seamlessly with BeyondMedia, improves the BeyondTV interfaces (makes it theme-able?), etc. but who knows when that is due — I haven’t seen any release dates or feature promises. It is also worth noting that Meedio has a PVR component that is “under development”. I haven’t looked at this yet (I still may), but, if it is as “pre-release” as I think I will hold off for now.

Anyway, I think the combination of BeyondTV and Meedio is probably the best thing going on Windows right now for full function PVR/Media Center. I have uninstalled BeyondMedia and added the BeyondTV integration with Meedio. The system seems to work pretty darn well. One cool feature of Meedio that I haven’t seen elsewhere is the Meedio Video player remembers your position in a video you are watching if you exit out of watching the video. When you go back into the video later it offers to resume or start over. This is a NICE feature because I often don’t watch an entire video in one sitting.

Also, I was easily able to make Meedio work with my Hauppauge remote (well, my Harmony, actually). I was also able to make BeyondMedia use the Hauppauge remote as well.

Until next time…

Leave a Reply