dumb question on dvr's
I think if you buy a All-In-Wonder card like the ones from ATI you get free (but uh, not exactly perfect) scheduled recording with Guide Plus or something like that. All of the recording software out there will likely do schedules, for TV capture software it's an basic feature people come to expect.
Or Freevo for the uber-nerds:
Or MythTV, also for uber-nerds.
If you're looking for something prebuilt, Panasonic DVD recorders DMR-E80H and DMR-E100HS have hard drives and require explicit programming. I'm not sure about how they handle pausing live TV. They're typically more expensive than a tivo + lifetime subscription, however. If you can put the DVD recorder feature to use archiving home movies or whatever then perhaps you could justify one.
I am planning on building a DVR soon, my second try really. I am thinking of putting in your basic 256Mb DDR333 + Fast Celery + All in one Mobo + ATI AIW card + el cheapo quiet case. Have it hook up to a remote server for the actual hard disk reading and writing.. any suggestions on a good (even quieter) alternative?
Li-fan Chen - you can use one of VIA's Mini-ITX series - the lower powered ones don't have any fans and even the higher powered ones can have their heatsinks upgraded to be passively cooled. I built a MythTV box using a 1GHz Nehemiah and it works really well.
You can get a Windows XP media center machine and that includes dvr functionality with no additional charges.
The open source apps like MythTV (and, presumably, freevo) use things like XMLTV to pick up information from free services so that no subscription is required.
I have TIVO and don't pay the fee. I know when the shows I like are on, and just set it to record like a VCR. I personally don't see the value in paying for the service. TIVO works fine without it, other than some nag messages.
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