Monday, February 19, 2007
The real beauty of Digital Video Recorders though is that they allow their users to record video when it comes on and then watch it whenever it's convenient. This opens a number of possibilities to take greater control of how television is watched by doing things like fast forward through commercials.
Generally, Digital Video Recorders are only available through some company that demands that you pay a monthly subscription to use them and often limit what you can do with the. Now there's a product on the market that changes all of that. It's called the Monolith Media Center, or MonolithMC, and goes against the grain of all of those other providers of Digital Video Recorders who want you to pay them so they can control what and how you watch, and adds even more features in the process.
While other Digital Video Recorders are backed by big companies, the MonolithMC is based off of open source software that's driven by the desire to be the best rather than reap huge profits. The MonolithMC runs the MythTV platform that's based on the Ubuntu Linux Operating System, which means that it's incredibly robust and reliable and has a huge number of user friendly features built into it. Even the program guide that it uses is donated free of charge by the Tribune Corporation.
While most other Digital Video Recorders allow you to fast forward through commercials, the MonolithMC can skip them entirely because it's already detected them and made note of where they are in the recording so that it can automatically skip over them in order to provide you with an almost seamless viewing experience. The MonolithMC also gives you the option of recording in the much more compact MPEG-4 data compression format in order to save space on the hard drive.
In addition to being a Digital Video Recorder, the MonolithMC is a fully functional media center. It can store and play MP3's, will allow you to turn you digital photos into slide shows, and lets you burn any of your stored video onto DVD's. It will also let you convert your stored video into a format compatible with Apple's iPod.
The MonolithMC represents a huge step forward when it comes to allowing people to take control of their own multimedia experience and blending a home computer system with a home entertainment system.