I have been a TiVo junkie from day one. Starting with the Series 1, all the way up to the dual-tuner HD series 3, I have had them all – with lifetime subscriptions. My TiVo was recently rendered useless due to lack of cable cards, which landed me in Cable DVR land. Different iterations of cable DVR I have seen (and used) have never impressed me much. What stuck out to me was that the interface was always slow and clunky compared to my TiVo, and the feature set was never as rich.
Over the years, I have also kept tabs on the HTPC arena. HTPC’s never seemed to gain the traction that TiVo did, and obviously couldn’t compete against the cable providers throwing DVR’s at people. As such, it has always been a niche reserved for the brave souls that liked to explore, and could exploit the abilities that an HTPC gave them.
An HTPC has to be a user-friendly, stable, easy to use, no-brainer experience. Your grade schooler needs to understand how to find Dora, and adults need to keep the kids from finding their Skinemax (er cinemax) recordings. The guide data needs to be current, searchable, and easy to navigate. Even if you have no spouse or kids, everyone is going to have different wants out of the product. Some want to use <insert wizz-bang super deluxe feature that 1% of the population uses> while others just want to flop on the couch and watch whatever is on. Your HTPC should be versatile enough to handle these diverse needs and deliver a high-quality sound and picture presentation while it’s at it.
Can the ASUS My Cinema-EHD3-100 live up to the challenge? Can it make me abandon my TiVo for good?
Read on to find out!