Building a Linux PVR Part I - MythTV Setup and Installby Kristopher Kubicki on September 3, 2004 12:05 AM EST
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IntroductionOnce in a while, we get so excited about writing an article that we completely lose focus and end up with a 10,000 word epic instead of a concise little review. This two-part Linux TiVo article ended up being one of those articles. Of course, we aren't really building a Linux TiVo, but rather something as close as we can come, with some rudimentary hardware and free software - such as Linux and MythTV.
Considering the cost of a TiVo, service runs anywhere from $100 to $600 per year depending on what DVR and subscription you buy. Building a moderate MythTV machine for around $500 actually saves us money in the long run. Building our own device also allows us to upgrade hardware easily and reconfigure the software at our will.
Ultimately, we would like our machine comparable to a TiVo device; but in actuality, we really would like it to perform as well or better than a machine based on the same hardware running the newest Windows Media Center (Anand wrote a small MCE introduction 18 months ago). Recently, we obtained a new whitebox Media Center device with similar hardware found in this Part I of our Linux TiVo experiment. Our goal for Part I of the article is to get Linux, MythTV and all the trimmings working successfully so that we can square both machines off against each other; and then compare encoding, image quality and functionality. We are publishing Part I: The Installation today, but expect Part II: The Comparison in just a few days.
If all goes well, we will probably follow up with a Part III some weeks later, dissecting Freevo, GeexBox, etc.