HDTV Recording

Although HD-based Media Center and TiVo solutions are only just starting to appear, it's still possible to record HD shows today using standard-definition TV tuner-based solutions such as XP Media Center 2005 and TiVo Series 2. You won't get the same resolution as the HD originally, but you'll get a letter-boxed standard-definition recording that you can view on portable computers or even mobile devices, with the right software. This type of solution offers one huge advantage over upcoming HDTV-based DVR solutions: There's no copy protection. In the near future, for example, the Windows Vista version of Media Center will allow for CableCARD-based HDTV recording, but unlike standard-definition recordings, those HDTV files won't be transferable to secondary PCs, notebook computers, or mobile devices. You'll be able to stream the HDTV shows to Media Center Extenders like the Xbox 360, but that's it. It's unclear whether any maverick DVR makers will try to bypass these restrictions, but for now, it looks as if your only real option for recording cable-based HDTV shows is to use standard definition

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