PVR On A Budget

Changes Since 2.0

The following features are new in version 3.0

  • Full Screen User Interface
  • MPEG-2 encoding (used to be Windows Media only)
  • Live TV Viewer
  • Timeshifting
  • Integrated Program Guide (used to partner with TitanTV)
  • Remote Control Support

In my last review, I was overall pleased with SnapStream PVS 2.0, but had some complaints about the Program Guide.

I also wished to have other codec alternatives. SnapStream has fixed both of these issues. However, it has also doubled the price of its product.

I also wanted more security built-in. Unfortunately, the new Snapstream.Net service is unencrypted.

SnapStream PVS 3.0 retails for $99.99. You can either download it from their website, or wait for them to ship you a CD-ROM.

The optional StreamZap PC Remote Control retails for $34.99. Other remotes cost about the same.

Finally, a PCI TV tuner card costs about $50. With shipping, the total adds up to about $200. In comparison, competitor Frey Technologies are selling SageTV bundled with Hauppauge! WinTV-PVR-250 for less than $200, thus undercutting SnapStream.

This is about the same price as the cheapest standalone unit, excluding eventual service fees. Of course, service fees can add up to $300 for lifetime, but the initial outlay is comparable.