TiVos and other “Personal Video Recorders” (PVR) have been out for a while now and seem to be quickly replacing VCRs. A year or so ago I looked into purchasing one but decided against it not only because of the high retail price, but because of all the restrictions, the minimum subscription cost of $17 a month, and limited expandability. TiVo didn’t allow me to add on modules, customize it the way I want, nor did it give me the networking capabilities I wanted. A year later, the TiVo hasn’t improved much. So, for the cost of a tv-tuner card, I decided to build my own instead.
Taking an old computer I put together of spare parts, I purchased a PVR card, plugged it in and installed KnoppMyth, a Linux distribution built solely for the purpose of setting up a program called MythTV. MythTV is free, works beautifully and does everything I always wanted in a PVR and more. Just check out this features and screenshots list! My favorite feature: commercials can be automatically cut from recorded programs. Plus, everything I’d ever want to do with a photo gallery, personal videos, games, weather forecasts, music playlists, DVD burning, live TV control, and more, all from a remote control. And, with my 250 GB hard drive, I can store around 115 hours of TV and movies at DVD quality and stream it to any web-enabled computer.
Yeah, I’m a nerd. It’s fun. :-)
Posted on March 20, 2006