Well, I've had some issues with my GB-PVR box. I broke my video capture card, and after waiting a few weeks for a good deal on a replacement, I finally got one in. GB-PVR booted up just fine, but all my channels were static-y. I updated the drivers, but there was no change. I got the newest version of GB-PVR, but it didn't fix my static-y channels. Plus, it stopped being able to play back any recorded shows or videos! Basically, the update rendered the product completely worthless to me. Frustrated, I started looking for other options when I stumbled across the open-source Media Portal.
For the sake of this comparison, I'll just list the ways in which Media Portal is better than GB-PVR, followed by the ways GB-PVR is better than Media Portal.
Media Portal is better than GB-PVR in....
- Ease of set up. GB-PVR required me to install all sorts of crap to make it go, like .NET frameworks, compressors, decompressors, codecs, new drivers for my remote, HIP to intercept my remote commands, plugins, etc. Media Portal included the whole she-bang, and set it all up so quickly and easily.
- Prettiness. Let's face it... Media Portal is beautiful, GB-PVR is sort of fugly, even with 3rd party skins. Media Portal has animations that slide in and out with options and text. Sweet.
- Speed. Media Portal is much, much faster in changing channels, starting up videos, starting recording, timeshifting, etc. My computer is no powerhouse by any stretch of the imagination, but you'd never know it with Media Portal. It's nice.
- Fast-forward/rewind. It actually WORKS in Media Portal exactly the way you'd expect. I just kind of got used to the GB-PVR way of skipping up 5 seconds every time you pushed the buttons, but it got irritating. The Media Portal way is awesome after dealing with it for so long.
- Options. The out-of-the-box options of Media Portal are too numerous to list, but they're all incredible. The DVD player portion is fantastic, where the GB-PVR DVD player was always a headache. It even comes with Tetris built in that you can play with your remote! Weather is a standard plugin, working right when you install the program.