NextPVR: TV and multimedia suite

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NextPVR is a free application that will let you view, control and record live TV, check out a personalized TV guide and play all of your favourite media files in a single package.

Installation & Requirements

The setup is very fast and simple, offering start menu but no desktop shortcuts. You will see a command line popping out during the installation and that is entirely normal. The supported operating systems are Windows 2000 to Windows 8 as well as Windows Server 2003. You will also need DirectX 9.0c, Microsoft .NET 4.0 and Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Runtime or later.

Interface

The application’s interface is very easy to navigate. The left side panel provides all of the various features found within the application. Everything opens into the same window but you can easily navigate back either by rolling your mouse over the top left corner and clicking on Back or by right clicking anywhere on the program and choosing the Main Menu option from the context menu. Before you do anything, however, you will need to setup the application.

This can be easily done by right clicking and going to the Settings menu. In order to view live TV you will need to set up your TV-enabled device from the appropriate tab. If you do not have such a device then you will not be able to use the feature. When you have set up the device, go to the Decoders tab in order to set your multimedia decoders. Finally, visit the Recordings and Folders tabs in order to set up your multimedia folders.

Even if you do not have a TV-enabled device you can still make use of the application. You can view subtitles videos, record audio and video and play virtually any multimedia file you want. Furthermore, the application supports a ton of plugins and third-party utilities that will enhance your experience. These can be found in the product’s website along with detailed instructions on how to install them. For example, you can use a YouTube plugin in order to view videos directly from the application without the need of a browser. In addition to that, you can download plugins for free internet radio stations that will let you listen to music without configuring any extra software.

Pros

-Clean interface with up-to-date visuals
-Extremely easy to use and setup
-Support for multiple plugins
-Compatibility with both live TV and multimedia playback

Cons

-None that would be worth mentioning

Conclusion

If you have a device that supports live TV and streaming then you will find a lot to like within the NextPVR’s easy-to-use interface and multiple modules. However, if you simply want to use it as a multimedia playback suite then you might be disappointed as it is not where the program’s focus lies.