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It’s TV Jim, But Not As We Know It

The problem is that converting video takes longer that creating MP3s. Luckily tools are coming online to make this a speedier process. ATI has recently released its Avivo Video Encoder that it claims can transcode video faster than anything else and into friendly formats for PSP and iPods. Even though it’s fast now ATI has said that the process completely runs on the CPU and is not at this stage using its GPUs to accelerate the process at all. However, it is working on doing this in future driver revisions. This is potentially very exciting as it could mean that what takes minutes now could be reduced to seconds. However, ATI has limited it to only work on its X1000 series of cards. Of course it’s no surprise to learn that the software has already been ahcked to work on any graphics card, either from ATI or even nVidia. ATI’s legal department is probably not very happy about this, so I can’t provide you with a link but trust me, it’s not too hard to find. (Let Google be your friend). The only downside is that one ATI does get around to accelerating this the software version could seem old hat.

And the DRM in the BBC and Sky systems seems to work as when I pointed ATI’s converter at them it told me, ‘No Valid File Found’.

If you can’t transfer TV to your device another method is just to watch it live, from wherever you are. Sony has introduced a way of doing that using a PSP. It’s location Free TV is a box that attaches to your set-top box and encodes the output into an IP stream, which you can then access via your router from anywhere in the world over the Internet. It’s a cool idea. When the British CEO of Sony, Sir Howard Stringer was explaining this concept to the keynote audience at CES, he described that this meant that you could watch American TV from anywhere in the world. However, as soon as he said this he paused and asked rhetorically, “What would you want to?” A very good point Sir Howard!

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