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Re: Re: [edlug] Anyone want to give an edlug technical talk on PVR/DVB?

Although I agree with you in general there are many motivations for DIY not just financial. People may want a particular aesthetic effect or to customise hardware or just (as I do) to learn how build such a system from scratch. 

It might just be me but buying 2nd hand hardware of unknown provenance from someone you don't know and have never met strikes me as risky.

I know they still have a home page but I thought TiVo had shut down in the UK?

-----Original Message-----
From: Shane Sturrock <ssturrock@xxx.xxx.xxx>
To: edlug@xxx.xxx.xxx
Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2004 08:11:18 +0000
Subject: Re: [edlug] Anyone want to give an edlug technical talk on PVR/DVB?

I know this is not the hacker way but why not just buy a TiVo?  Plenty 
of the old series one UK boxes available on Ebay at less than £200 and 
for that you get a Linux box that can be hacked and upgraded (take the 
40GB drive out and stick a couple of 120s in to get 240 hours of 
recording time (can use bigger drives but I believe the extra space 
won't be recognised) and add an ethernet card so you can get at the 
video data for burning to CD/DVD) and you have a machine that has a 
built in MPEG2 encoder with VBR, is very quiet, has a remote control, 
drives a TV with either RGB or composite and does all the PVR stuff that 
no other box does eg season passes and wishlists, plus the learning what 
you like and dislike stuff.  All this from a box that has a 50Mhz (yes 
50!) PPC processor.

This discussion comes up time and time again on Slashdot and it is 
always the same, once you add up the cost of building something 
comparable to a TiVo you are spending a lot of money, far more than 
buying a TiVo and the lifetime subscription to the service would be - 
£400 for the pair.  How much of a PC based PVR are you going to get for 
that?  Or you can just spend £200 for the box and then pay £10 per 
monthy for the subscription.  If you can't build your PC/PVR for less 
than that then why bother?  It's not like you can't hack the TiVo so 
even that excuse doesn't wash.

Still what do I know?

Oh, I've had a TiVo for over 3 years now and I wouldn't be without it!


sxw@xxx.xxx.xxx wrote:
> On Mon, 5 Jan 2004, Greg Lewin wrote:
>>I've been having similar ideas, since it looks as if mini-ITX boards are 
>>an idea whose time has come  - 1 GHz is plenty for most applications 
>>including sound & vision, and the notion of silence from the box itself 
>>is very attractive.
> I'm building a PVR based around a VIA M10000 motherboard, and the WinTV 
> Nova-T card. The Nova-T card is DVB, so you get a digital stream, and 
> shouldn't have to worry about the processor load of the encoding step.
>>For starters I'm wondering which PVR card to go for: one I've been 
>>looking at is the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-350 (internal), or possibly the 
>>Hauppauge Win TV PVR USB (external). 
> The PVR 350 has a hardware MPEG-2 encoder and decoder. The USB PVR model 
> doesn't appear to have a hardware MPEG-2 encoder, the USB 1 version 
> will only support recordings of up to 6 MBits/sec.
> You may not find the lack of a hardware MPEG-2 decoder a problem, 
> especially if you're using a motherboard (such as the M10000) with 
> hardware MPEG support [1]
>>I have had an old Hauppauge Tv card for 
>>a few years now; it gives good enough live pictures, though I don't 
>>think it's usable for recording high-quality video to disk - unless it's 
>>possible to pipe the output into a soft MPEG encoder 
> This is what quite a few people have been building PVRs out of. In 
> fact, Hauppauge cards now come with a 'SoftPVR' for Windows which allow 
> you to time shift and record straight from these kinds of cards. Of 
> course, you can pretty much kiss your processor goodbye whilst doing so 
> :)
> On the Linux front, MythTV supports soft encoding, and you can 
> downsize the resolution in order to fit the abilities of your 
> processor and disk. Bear in mind, however, that if you want to do things 
> like 'pause live TV' your processor has to fast enough to support both 
> encoding and decoding simulatenously.
> Cheers,
> Simon.
> [1] Note, however, that the support for hardware MPEG on the M10000 is 
> dependent on either binary drivers from VIA, or on a reverse engineered 
> set of drivers, which are under very active development.
> -
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