posted 9/27/2003 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
Snapstream’s main interface screen is a very nice full screen display with a very professional look and nice big clear buttons. The icons are also very nicely done and are clearly labeled with a brief description of each function shown at the bottom when a selection is highlighted. You can only use arrow keys or a remote to maneuver through the screen but a new version coming out soon will allow for mouse interaction..

The program guide for Snapstream looks clean, simple, and is easily read on a TV. A light vertical line gives an indication of where in time the TV schedule is. It’s a small but a very nice touch. It gives you a quick glimpse of what shows are playing right now by having the vertical line intersect it. By selecting a show, you can read a brief synopsis of it and even gather information on any upcoming shows for the next two weeks. Snapstream downloads two weeks of information for the guide. You can easily schedule shows through here and the options available to you enable a recording of a single show, all shows, or only new shows. The program guide is one of the better ones’ I’ve experienced having used both ATi’s Gemstar Guide+ and Showshifter’s TitanTV interface. Unfortunately, the program guide is only available in the US currently. But it’s free for use so you’ll be saving money in the long run where products like TiVO charge you a fee..

For information on what you have scheduled, the recording manager gives you name of the show, what channel is it on, and the parameter of recording frequency. All recordings that you schedule whether it is from the program or through the web are displayed here. I’ll get to the web scheduling in more depth a little later in the article as it’s one great feature Snapstream has. The upcoming recordings will show you, of course, what is in line to be recorded. Since there’s only two weeks worth of data in the program guide, the farthest ahead in time you’ll see a show in this section is two weeks. Of course if a program and frequency you programmed for has that show appear, say eleven times in two weeks like how the Simpsons are in my area, you’ll see a long listing of that show in the upcoming recordings section.

With recordings, you can set it to be saved forever or to be deleted when running out of disk space. A little lock icon next to the name of the recording indicates that this recording will be saved regardless of disk space. This can help ease the restrictions of disk space as you can set your recorded programs to be deleted on low disk space. Of course, this won’t help if you set every recording to be kept forever.
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