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Posted: 9/5/2005 8:33:20 AM EDT
With like a TV in card or something? What program is the best? How big of a HD should I get? Should it be a 10K RPM HD? Minimum processor speed or type?

S.O.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:39:13 AM EDT
You'll need a TV tuner card and PVR software.

www.snapstream.com/products/beyondtv/
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:40:20 AM EDT
people have been doing it for years using ATI All-in-wonder pro boards.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:40:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:40:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2005 8:42:34 AM EDT by SWIRE]
Yes and no. TIVO is the simplest way to get that. With a PC setup you need all sorts of high end hardware to do what TIVO has. Also there really isn't a DVR software package out there that works as well as TIVO. I have both. My computer with the equipment just sits there while I use my TIVO all the time.

By the time you buy the TV card, the video card with TV out put, and a hard drive you will have spent way more than you would have on a TIVO.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:41:10 AM EDT
And you wold probably want a large secodn hard drive just for the TV capture. Iy would end up being cheaper to just buy a Tivo and it would work better anwyay.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:42:08 AM EDT
You can do it with an All-in-Wonder card. I would not even consider any other card for that application. Preferably one of the larger, more robust all-in-wonder packages (like an all-in-wonder 9800 or X800 or something, not a 9600 - the lower ones lack features).

You will definately not be disappointed with an all-in-wonder, and should do exactly what you want it to do. I am pretty sure it comes with all neccessary software to get it to work.

Processor speed shouldnt be a huge issue, the faster the better sure, but what you realy want is lots of hard drive space and lots of RAM.

All-in-Wonder 9800pro

All-in-Wonder X800XT

All-in-Wonder X600Pro


Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:42:37 AM EDT
IMHO, just get a TiVo.

I tried the HTPC thing and it was a PITA.
The software never worked quite as well
as the TiVo software, the machine was
noisy, and the whole thing was not quite
as polished as the TiVo.

FWIW, I have a ReplayTV right now because
of the ability to rip the video directly off the
machine.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:43:20 AM EDT
The tv tuner card will come with the software. Here is a cheap tv card that will do the job nicely. It even comes with a remote and an interactive online tv guide for program schedualing.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:43:37 AM EDT
Plus tivo will find programs you like and record them for you. The pc versions just don't work as well.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:44:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2005 8:49:33 AM EDT by mjrowley]
Wouldn't it just be easier to sign up with one of the sat. providers and get a Free DVR?

here is a news story I found for you.

www.tvpredictions.com/directvfreedvr080105.html

"News Analysis
DIRECTV Offers a Free DVR
The satcaster tries to curb the growth of cable's DVR service.
By Phillip Swann
Washington, D.C. (August 1, 2005) -- DIRECTV announced today that it's offering a free Digital Video Recorder to new and existing customers. This was predicted to happen last year by TVPredictions.com.

The DIRECTV offer, which was posted at the satcaster's web site, provides a $100 rebate on a $99 DVR, effectively making the receiver free. The offer, however, requires a 24-month commitment to a DIRECTV "Total Choice" programming package, which start at $41.99 a month. In addition, you must pay $5.99 a month for the DVR service.

In its offer, which is good until November 5, 2005, DIRECTV does not mention if the DVR service will be provided by its current DVR partner, TiVo. DIRECTV and TiVo have a marketing agreement that's not scheduled to expire until 2007. But the DIRECTV-TiVo relationship has been cast in doubt since last January when the satcaster announced that it would launch its own DVR service this year.

The new DVR service will come from NDS, which is owned by DIRECTV's parent company, News Corp. However, NDS is not expected to be ready with the new DIRECTV DVR until later this year. Consequently, the initial free DVRs will include the TiVo service, a DIRECTV spokesman confirmed on Monday.

But DIRECTV's decision to downplay TiVo's involvement at its web site could suggest that it will only use NDS in the free DVR campaign when it's available.

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp., has hinted that DIRECTV would offer free DVRs since his company took control of the satellite TV service in 2004. Murdoch believes that a free offering is necessary to persuade reluctant consumers to try the new recording features, which includes pausing live TV and fast-forwarding past commercials at blinding speeds.

But there's another reason why DIRECTV would offer a free DVR at this time.

Cable on the March
DIRECTV launched a DVR service in 2001, two to three years before most cable operators did. The satcaster -- along with satellite rival EchoStar -- dominated the DVR market in the early years. If a consumer wanted a DVR, chances are that he got it from a satellite company. (Today, DIRECTV and EchoStar each have more than two million DVR customers.)

But a few years ago, cable TV operators from Comcast to Time Warner started aggressively rolling out new DVR services across the country. And, unlike DIRECTV, cable's DVR service did not require the purchase of the set-top. (EchoStar does have a lease option, just like cable.) Consequently, cable's DVR subscriber numbers have been climbing impressively in recent months. The DVR arguably has been turned around to become a marketing advantage for cable.

So, by announcing a free DVR offer, DIRECTV is trying to slow the growth of the cable DVR. And, before year's end, DIRECTV will announce that its DVR from NDS will include several exciting new features such as movie downloads.

The DVR war has just begun"
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:44:36 AM EDT
Doing with a PC, IMO is a much better route, plus there are no fees. And if you do with the all-in-wonder cards, you can also get a bonus of a gaming card along with the all-in-wonder features. Screw TiVo.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:44:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2005 8:50:15 AM EDT by Gloftoe]
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:47:22 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:54:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SorryOciffer:
With like a TV in card or something? What program is the best? How big of a HD should I get? Should it be a 10K RPM HD? Minimum processor speed or type?

S.O.



What is the source of your TV programing,OTA,Cable or Sat.?
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 9:18:27 AM EDT
I have the cheapo $12 a month cable. I dont need all of the extra jee wiz features of tivo, just a w3ay to record shows, rip them and record to DVD.

Should I get a vid card that has a ton of memory?
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 9:24:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SorryOciffer:
I have the cheapo $12 a month cable. I dont need all of the extra jee wiz features of tivo, just a w3ay to record shows, rip them and record to DVD.

Should I get a vid card that has a ton of memory?



Not so much a video card that has tons of memory, that is mostly for gaming textures, and stuff like that. I would make sure that it is an all-in-wonder of somekind.

Where you want to have lots of memory is in hard drive space, and system RAM.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 9:24:53 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 9:26:38 AM EDT
SorryOccifer, seriously man don't bother with the PC solution. If your wife is anything like mine she's not going to want to dick around with a computer to record a TV show.

I don't know where you live but here in Florida with Brighthouse cable (old TimeWarner) they GIVE you a DVR (generic TIVO) device with the digital cable service. It's not quite as polished as Tivo but it's about 20x better than using a computer.

I've done both (ATI card with computer) and the difference is night and day. You're probably going to spend more for a solution that isn't as good.

Just my take.

-Observer

Link Posted: 9/5/2005 9:26:51 AM EDT
Just buy a TiVo. Then it will actually work and you won't have to mess with your home brew unit every time you want to watch TV.

For the record, I used to have the DirecTV/TiVo unit, and just switched to Dish Network and got their free DVR. The interface is not nearly as good as TiVo, *but* it multiplexes two satellite signals through one cable coming into the house, so you can watch two things at the same time or record one thing and watch something else. Also it has more recording time than the TiVo unit we had.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 9:28:54 AM EDT
Personally, I'd rather mod my Tivo. It's not particuarly hard to grab the recordings off of it. Hell, mine's even running a web server.

There are plenty of Tivo hacking sites out there. Google 'em!

Link Posted: 9/5/2005 9:34:08 AM EDT
all in wonder, or if you already have a good video card their TV Wonder
the TV wonder comes with software that uses Guide Plus to get tv listings
and no monthly fee like tivo
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 9:38:56 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 9:43:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SWIRE:
Yes and no. TIVO is the simplest way to get that. With a PC setup you need all sorts of high end hardware to do what TIVO has. Also there really isn't a DVR software package out there that works as well as TIVO. I have both. My computer with the equipment just sits there while I use my TIVO all the time.

By the time you buy the TV card, the video card with TV out put, and a hard drive you will have spent way more than you would have on a TIVO.



have you tried myth with linux?

Link Posted: 9/5/2005 9:44:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KS_Physicist:
www.mythtv.org/ and here,

www.linuxprofessionalsolutions.com/pavlicek/tv.html

www.linuxjournal.com/article/6690

KnoppMyth, possibly a drop-in solution here.

Jim



seriously!


A guy I work with set up a myth box for abour $400 and it's amazing.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 9:47:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:
best way to do it:

www.mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html



That's what I'm going to be trying.

I might use MythTV on top of Fedora, though. I want to set up a whole box as a media center and use it for recording and DVD playing.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 11:16:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DigDug:
Tivo is shit.



fixed
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 1:10:23 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 1:12:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By legalese77:
people have been doing it for years using ATI All-in-wonder pro boards.



+1 All in Wonder rocks!
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 1:17:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FortyFiveAutomatic:

Originally Posted By legalese77:
people have been doing it for years using ATI All-in-wonder pro boards.



+1 All in Wonder rocks!



When it doesn't flake out and:

Not record at all (Sunday Morning)

Record without audio (it's been a few months)

Just totally space and record at the wrong resolution and corrupt the software so that the peoper resolutions are no longer availabe and you spend hours installing, removing, reinstalling, the latest driver only to find out that it has a known problem with the scheduling agent so ATI tells you to back up one version which still doesn't work for you so you remove it all and start over again with your original software (Feb 2004) all in all 20+ hours of trying to troubleshoot it. (July)

In general I like it alot, but when it messes up it really messes up.

Link Posted: 9/5/2005 1:34:24 PM EDT
+1 ATI All In Wonder card

Mine came with remote and the software necessary to record shows in advance. I just use the Guide Plus applications to search and tag TV shows to record. Makes it easy to burn them onto DVDRs.

They have a ATI HDTV tuner card which I will upgrade up to next.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 1:49:48 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:15:15 PM EDT
I read that you can have a Tivo DVR and not have to pay for the subscription. What features can you still use, and which ones do you lose?
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:16:32 PM EDT
All i know is that I fuckin' love my Tivo!! I can't imagine life without it now.

I'm serious!
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:30:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2005 2:32:07 PM EDT by DScott]
140 hour (140GB drive) Tivo unit: $250 at Amazon.

link


ETA: It's apparently $12.95 a month or $299 one time fee to use it...
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:41:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DScott:
140 hour (140GB drive) Tivo unit: $250 at Amazon.

link


ETA: It's apparently $12.95 a month or $299 one time fee to use it...




$250 + $299 to record anything, any time, for as long as you OWN the unit = $549

One can build a computer to do the same for less. Or just use an old computer with an added in TV tuner card.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:41:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Gloftoe:

Originally Posted By adair_usmc:

Originally Posted By DigDug:
Tivo is shit.



fixed


Does your solution have all the features that Tivo has? Why is it "shit", in your opinion?




The monthly fee.

Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:42:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:

Originally Posted By DScott:
140 hour (140GB drive) Tivo unit: $250 at Amazon.

link


ETA: It's apparently $12.95 a month or $299 one time fee to use it...




$250 + $299 to record anything, any time, for as long as you OWN the unit = $549

One can build a computer to do the same for less. Or just use an old computer with an added in TV tuner card.



the myth box will also allow you to rip all of your DVDs onto the hard drive as divx files and play them at will.

Get the right tuner card and it'll have a fully functional remote control as well.

Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:43:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:45:28 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:47:07 PM EDT
I just did a fair amount of research on this stuff since I was buying a capture card.

For free windows based pvr programs
www.gbpvr.com/
mediaportal.sourceforge.net/

For info on TV cards
www.tv-cards.com/messageboard/

For deinterlacing the signal if you watch TV on your computer
deinterlace.sourceforge.net/

The best cards out there right now are the hauppauge pvr series cards and cards based off of the ATI Theater 550 pro chip. ATI's all-in-wonder cards use older versions of the Theater 550pro.

I chose a hauppauge pvr150mce ($66) because it has the least hassles and it looks great. The pvr500 is a two tuner version so you can record a show and watch a different channel at the same time.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:49:04 PM EDT
Dude, Time is money. Tivo is your friend. Just get her a Tivo man. Its got lots of cool features that help you find the shows and movies you want and record them.

I want to hook mine up to my computer to burn some shows, but I know some of the new ones need physcially hacked, and I dont want to mess with that. Hopefully this USB port will connect to my router with an adapter and I will be in business.

Any way - get Tivo - I dunno HOW I lived with out on previously.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:51:36 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:53:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2005 2:55:00 PM EDT by Red_Beard]

Originally Posted By Gloftoe:

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:

Originally Posted By Gloftoe:

Originally Posted By adair_usmc:

Originally Posted By DigDug:
Tivo is shit.



fixed


Does your solution have all the features that Tivo has? Why is it "shit", in your opinion?




The monthly fee.



As pointed out above, you can purchase a Tivo unit, plus pay the "lifetime" deal (which means no montly fee) for ~$550. Can you build a "media center PC", with all the features of the Tivo (including the "wishlists", season passes, recommended recordings, etc) for that price? If so, let's see it.




You can easily build one for under $550, not sure about the full feature list of the tivo, but here's the list for a box running myth ...





Features and Screenshots

Basic 'live-tv' functionality. Pause/Fast Forward/Rewind "live" TV.

Support for multiple tuner cards and multiple simultaneous recordings.

Distributed architecture allowing multiple recording machines and multiple playback machines on the same network, completely transparent to the user.

Compresses video in software using rtjpeg (from Nuppelvideo) or mpeg4 (from libavcodec). Full support for Hardware MPEG-2 encoder cards (Hauppauge PVR-250 / PVR-350). Preliminary support for DVB cards and the new pcHDTV tuner card.

Support for the (very nice looking) hardware MPEG-2 decoder and TV out present on the Hauppauge PVR-350.

Completely automatic commercial detection/skipping

Grabs program information using xmltv.

A fully themeable menu to tie it all together.


Displays basic program information on channel change using a themeable semi-transparent on-screen display.


Basic video editing abilities. Optional transcoding to remove the commercials from the video file to save space.


Picture in picture support, if you have more than one tuner card.


Electronic Program Guide that lets you change channels and select programs to record.


Program Finder to quickly and easily find the shows you want to record.


Scheduled recordings of TV programs, and playback and deletion of those programs, all through a themeable UI. (The first two screenshots are the default theme, the third is iulius.4)


Browse and resolve recording conflicts.


A nice web interface to let you select programs to record remotely.


Rip, categorize, play, and visualize MP3/Ogg/FLAC/CD Audio files. (FLAC, Vorbis, and MP3 encoding). Create complex playlists (and playlists containing playlists) through a simple UI.


An emulator frontend. (MAME, NES, SNES, generic PC games)


An image viewer/slideshow application.

A weather module.



A generic video player module, with automatic metadata lookups


A DVD player / ripper module. Make perfect backups, or transcode down to smaller file sizes.


An RSS news feed reader module.







http://www.mythtv.org/modules.php?name=MythFeatures

Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:57:36 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 3:08:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Gloftoe:
What's the cost breakdown of the box?




Depends on how powerful you want to make it .

All you really need is the case, MB/proc/memory, hard drive, and tuner card (assuming you get a mb with built in sound, otherwise also add a sound card)

the knoppix myth page has some guidelines


Depending on how computer friendly you are you can set it up to store files on your PC's hard drive, and you can borrow the disc drive, mb, monitor, mouse, etc. from your pc while getting this one running. Once it's up you just leave it connected to the tv, run it with the remote control, and admin the box remotely over a network from your main pc.



www.mysettopbox.tv/basics.html



A set-top box is a "box" that sits on top of your television. It is connected via cable or some other means and allows you some level of interaction with your tv.


Hardware: Simply up the faster the better! As the box we are building is driven by software the faster processor you have the happier you'll be with the performance. I've ran MythTV on a Duron 800 with 384 megabytes of RAM. While this isn't powerful enough to watch live tv (remember the box is encoding and decoding at the same time), it does a great job of capturing mpeg4 at 480 x 480. CPU utilization is about 70% and the majority of the RAM is in use. Playback was nice and smooth! I'm currently running MythTV on a Athlon XP 1800+! I have two capture cards and am able to capture two shows at the same time!

My personal guidelines would be:
If you only wanted to record one show and play it back at another time a Duron 800 is fine. I'd also recommend no less than 256 megabytes of RAM.

If you want to watch one show while recording another, you'd want nothing less that a 1.4 GHz CPU and 384 megabytes of RAM.

To record two shows at once, I'd recommend nothing less than a 1.8 GHz CPU with 512 megabytes of RAM.

TV Tuner: Hauppauge WinTV model 401 w/ dbx. If you only have one card, it simple works right out the box(less btaudio). You don't have to worry about passing tuner option to the kernel. If anyone can recommend a card that work right out the box, please post it in the forum.

Soundcard: Soundblaster Live! Works great and can you hook it up to digital receiver!

Hard drive: No real personal perference, but nothing less than 80 gigabytes.

Software: Currently MythTV is the most mature project for a home grown PVR. Check the links for more options. I've simplified the installation process with KnoppMyth .


Link Posted: 9/5/2005 4:27:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By wildearp:
I read that you can have a Tivo DVR and not have to pay for the subscription. What features can you still use, and which ones do you lose?



without the subscription it's basically a vcr, if it will record at all. I think some second generation ones won't do much of anything without the subscription unless you hack the OS
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 4:30:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:

Originally Posted By Gloftoe:

Originally Posted By adair_usmc:

Originally Posted By DigDug:
Tivo is shit.



fixed


Does your solution have all the features that Tivo has? Why is it "shit", in your opinion?




The monthly fee.




Yep. Its allready been said, but you can build a computer system that will do the same thing, and a lot of other things, for the same price or cheaper. You will end up with a far superior way of doing it as well.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 4:32:15 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 4:36:12 PM EDT
TiVo is worth the money.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 4:49:40 PM EDT
I've worked on computers for years and the last thing I want to do in my free time is dick around with yet another computer system when I'm trying to watch TV and relax.

There are few things more frustrating to me than to have to fix a computer problem before I can do anything.

I have been running a hacked Tivo for about three or four years now (paid $99 for it off Ebay) and it is by far the best money I've ever spent on any home entertainment gear. The interface is very easy and intuitive, and the box requires no maintenance whatsoever.
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