Beyond TV 4 Adds HD, DivX Recording

SnapStream on Thursday released the fourth major revision of its Beyond TV DVR product, as well as announcing partnerships with three HDTV tuner card manufacturers to both support the new software and jointly market the program to customers.

Beyond TV 4 will now support DivX recording, FM Radio and recording of over-the-air digital and HDTV content. The defeat of the FCC's broadcast flag requirement this summer by an appeals court is making the recording of HDTV content possible, SnapStream said.

DivX support will enable users to record television shows at a tenth of the size of MPEG-2 files. In addition to conserving disk space, DivX files can be transferred to portable media centers that support the technology.

FM radio recording is also supported in version 4 in addition to multiple tuners, which allow users could record multiple television shows simultaneously.

Software improvements are a focus of this release as well. A new "browse by category" feature will allow the user to search for programs quicker and easier than in previous versions. Interface improvements include a faster program guide and updated look and feel. Altogether, more than fifty new features, stability and performance improvements have made it into the release, SnapStream said.

"Beyond TV 4 is a major advancement in our DVR technology," SnapStream CEO Rakesh Agrawal said in prepared remarks. "And apart from the big new features, Beyond TV is faster, more stable and easier to use than ever. It's never been easier for a consumer to convert their PC into a powerful DVR."

SnapStream also announced Thursday that it would officially support tuner cards from ATI, AVerMedia Technology, and DVICO -- meaning the company has fully tested the software to work with the newest hardware from those companies. Aftermartket cards from ADS Tech, Kworld, and VBox are additionally supported.

BeyondTV will be available online starting next week for $69.99 USD for new customers, and as an upgrade to current users for $29.99 USD. SnapStream will also offer hardware bundles that include a HDTV tuner card, coaxial cable and antenna starting at a retail price of $99.99 USD.

SnapStream says Beyond TV 4 will hit retail shelves in the beginning of next year, but Beyond TV 3 will continue to be available with free upgrades to version 4 via the SnapStream Web site.

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