FAQ

Our hope is that this FAQ will answer most of the questions people have about myPVR. If you have any questions this does not cover please don’t hesitate to contact OpenMedia.

Electronic Program Guide

Q Where does the EPG data come from?

A The data is collected by your myPVR unit from a variety of Internet resources. OpenMedia doesn’t directly supply the EPG data at present.

Q Are there any ongoing charges for the EPG data?

A At present there are no ongoing charges. This might change at a later date if we can come to a formal commercial arrangement with the various TV companies.

Q How reliable is the EPG data?

A There is usually between 4 and 12 days of data depending on the channel. As your unit receives the data daily, it cannot account for last-minute changes to the broadcasting schedule.

Q Can I get the EPG data without and Internet connection?

A Once the new digital TV network has been established it should be possible to receive EPG data directly from their system. Another alternative is our Satellite card upgrade which allows you to pull EPG data from the Optus D1 satellite.

Sky TV Support

Q Does myPVR work with Sky TV?

A In order to get Sky TV channels you require a Sky TV subscription and decoder. We can then interface myPVR with your Sky decoder using a device know as an IRBlaster.

Q Can I record 2 Sky channels at the same time like MySky?

A No. At present we can only utilise one sky decoder, and hence only provide access to a single Sky channel at a time.

Q Will myPVR be able to record in HD from Sky TV when that launches in 2008.

A At present no. Sky are planning to use a copy protection system that prevents any recordings in HD quality.

Digital TV Support

Q Does myPVR support Digital TV?

A We now offer a Digital TV upgrade for existing cutomers, as well as a freeview option for new systems. For more details take a look at our freeview page.

Widescreen TV

Q What channels are available in widescreen?

A Sky TV subscribers should check with Sky TV to confirm which channels are available. For freeview NZ the currently available widescreen channels are:

  • TV One (from 22 September 2007)
  • TV 2 (from 22 September 2007)
  • TV 3
  • C4
  • TVNZ Sports Extra

Also take a look at the widescreen information on our freeview page.

Q Why does the picture size keep changing on the freeview widescreen channels?

A In part this is because not all of the content is available in widescreen so some compromises have to be made. This can mean that some older 4:3 programs are broadcast “pillar box” with black bars left and right.

Q Why doesn’t the picture fill my widescreen TV?

A Not all transmission are available in widescreen. For example when watching a 4:3 picture on a 16:9 widescreen set you might have one of two things happen:

  • black bars on the left and right – known as “pillar boxing”
  • a stretched picture to fill the screen

Q I have a widescreen TV but some movies still have black bars top and bottom

A Selected movies are shot in a very wide format often described as panavision or cinemascope. These have an aspect ratio of 2.1:1 or higher, whilst a widescreen TV has an aspect ratio of 16:9. The black bars are intentional so that the directory can show you a much wider image.

CD and DVD Support

Q Is the DVD player region free?

A Where possible we attempt to ship our units with a region free DVD Player. Please speak to OpenMedia sales to confirm this when you order.

Q Can you copy all types of DVD and CD onto myPVR?

A Subject to copyright restrictions most CDs and DVDs can be stored on myPVR, but we cannot guarantee that it can read all disks due to the copy protection systems some manufacturers use.

Windows Software Support

Q Can I install Windows Software onto myPVR?

A No. myPVR is based on the Linux operating system which doesn’t directly support Windows Software. We also recommend against installed additional 3rd party software onto your myPVR to prevent infection from viruses and trojans.

Q Can I copy files to / from myPVR using my Windows PC?

A Yes. Also see the questions in networking below

Networking

Q Does myPVR require an Internet connection?

A No, but we highly recommend that you provide Internet access to get the most out of the features of myPVR

Q Can I web browse using myPVR?

A We are currently evaluating web browsers to be bundled with myPVR, but it hasn’t be designed to be your main way to access the Internet.

Q Does myPVR come with any email software?

A No. Again myPVR hasn’t been designed as a general use Internet machine. Its primary use is the recording of TV and the storage of other forms of media.

Q Can I copy files to / from myPVR using a Windows PC or Macintosh?

A Yes. myPVR support standard Windows file sharing protocols. All files are stored using standard file formats and should be playable on both Macs and Windows PCs. Please note that your PC might not have the required codecs pre-installed.

Q Can I watch Internet TV stations or listen to on line radio stations with myPVR?

A We are currently testing an add on for myPVR that will provide this functionality.

Q I have an existing file server, or NAS. Can myPVR access the media stored on this device?

A Yes. myPVR can connect to any device that support standard Windows or Unix file sharing protocols. A typical example would be storing all of your music and video files on the file server, but keeping recorded tv locally on your myPVR.

Q Can I access myPVR over my wireless network?

A Yes. We offer an optional wireless upgrade, although for best performance we recommend connecting myPVR to you lan using a standard Ethernet cable.

Q Can I run Skype on myPVR?

A No, not at this stage

Q Can I run a VOIP phone connection via myPVR?

A Yes. myPVR does come with VOIP phone support. Please speak to our support team if this is particularly important for you.

File Formats

Q What audio file formats does myPVR support?

A At present it supports MP3, OGG, FLAC, WAV, AAC, with additional codec support in development.

Q What formats can I rip my CDs to?

A You can rip your own CDs myPVR uses either MP3 or Ogg.

Q What video file formats does myPVR support?

A We currently support most of the available video codecs available on the Internet today. For example we support XVID, DIVX, WMV9, Quicktime, MPEG2, MPEG4, H264, RealVideo. If you have some specific requirements please let us know.

Q Do you support AC3 5.1 and DTS

A Yes. If you have material with AC3 or DTS audio and are using the digital audio connection myPVR can stream the signal straight to your digital amplifier.

Connectivity

Q Will myPVR work with my older standard CRT TV?

A Yes, providing your TV has either a composite or svideo connection for the video signal. For high end TVs we can also support component video

Q What is the best way to connect myPVR to my LCD TV, Plasma TV or Projector?

A This depends on the capability of your screen. We generally recommend using a DVI to HDMI cable. For some older screens we have found that a VGA cable produces the best picture quality. For selected screens a component video cable might be the best option.

Video output

Q Does myPVR support 1080p?

A Yes. We can drive a modern screen via a DVI to HDMI cable at 720p, 1080i and 1080p. The only restriction is the capability of your set.

Q For current New Zealand TV what is the best video mode for myPVR?

A This really depends on the type of TV Set you have. Typically we would recommend using 720p for a modern LCD or Plasma. For older LCD’s and Plasma sets we would recommend 576i. Old analogue TV sets will normally only support 576i.

Q Will myPVR make my normal TV or Sky TV picture look any better?

A This will depend on the quality of the original picture. Until the digital TV network launches in NZ there is very little we can do to improve on existing TV pictures.

Q Do you provide HDTV upscaling of video?

A Yes. All video is unscaled to make best use of the connected video device. For example when playing back DVDs they are unscaled to HDTV resolution

Q Does HDTV upscaling offer HDTV quality?

A No. Until we have a HDTV service in New Zealand any upscaling will be limited by the video file we are playing. In general with a good DVD source, our upscaler will look better than using a conventional DVD player.

Q Can I use multiple video outputs simultaneously for different rooms or types of screens?

A No. There are several reason why myPVR cannot send the video signal to multiple outputs at the same time.

  • myPVR will optimise the video output based on your connected device.
  • If you are displaying a HDTV image via DVI or HDMI it cannot downscale this into a SDTV image over composite or svideo.
  • Typical HDTV images are in wide-screen (16:9) while analogue composite and svideo connections usually carry a 4:3 picture.
  • Only a single analogue video connection can be active at a time, so it isn’t possible to use svideo, composite and component at the same time.

Q Can I send the output of myPVR over a wireless video sender?

A Yes if your video sender support composite or svideo connectivity.

Q Which video connection provides the best level of quality?

A The connections are shown below in decreasing levels of quality.

  • DVI / HDMI
  • VGA
  • Component
  • SVideo
  • Composite

Audio output

Q How do I connect myPVR to my amplifier?

A We recommend you use a coax digital audio cable if you have a digital amplifier. Otherwise you can use a 3.5mm stereo jack to stereo RCA adapter for standard stereo audio output

Q Can I use an optical digital connection?

A We do offer an optical connection as an optional upgrade.

Q I don’t have a digital connection on my amplifier. Can I still get surround sound out of myPVR?

A Not at present. We hope to offer surround sound over 6 RCA connections at some point in the future.

Expandability and Upgrades

Q Can I put additional capture cards into myPVR?

A Yes. We request that you only use hardware that has been tested and validated by OpenMedia to be certain that you will get the best from your unit. We do offer an upgrade service if you want additional tuner cards.

Q Can I put additional storage into myPVR?

A Yes. Because myPVR runs Linux we recommend that you contact OpenMedia support prior to planning any storage upgrade.

Multizone / Multiroom support

Q Can I use myPVR as part of a multizone environment?

A It is possible to integrate myPVR into a number of existing multizone systems.

Q Can I connect myPVR to two TVs at the same time to watch different programs?

A Not without a media extender. Media extenders are devices that allow sharing of content over your home network.

Q Can I use an XBox360 as a media extender?

A No. At present we do not have driver support for XBox 360.

Linux

Q What is Linux?

A Linux is an Open Source operating system that is developed by a global community. Whilst the most common use of Linux is in large corporate environments, it has been also used in a large number of consumer electronics items. For example Tivo was based on Linux, and chances are your ADSL router actually runs Linux.

Q Why don’t you just load Windows Media Center on your boxes?

A We feel that the combination of Linux and MythTV provides a more flexible and extensible solution that Windows MCE. Also it isn’t tied into the a Microsoft prescribed technical direction or require the use of their DRM standards.