April 11, 2005
Probably the one thing Tivo has most over the various other PVRs is its user interface, and a large part of that user interface is the well-designed remote.
Although the trusty Tivo is still getting a workout here, I keep playing with PC-based PVRs as well, mostly because I like the flexibility of having a PC attached to a TV, and having recorded media in an easy-to-refactor format. I also feel a little more insulated from Tivo’s increasing tendency to bend to the demand of the content providers.
I’m currently reasonably happy with Sage TV, which provides excellent picture quality, hacked up with a Windows MCE-style interface to replace Sage’s less-than-stellar UI.
What’s still lacking is a decent remote.
I’ve tried the ATI and Hauppauge remotes, and was never happy with the design. The SnapStream Firefly remote, however, appears to be very well laid-out and thought out, and reportedly integrates well with the MCE (and MCE-inspired interfaces).
All of that is true. The hardware, however, seems to suck badly.