Homebrew PVR, or TiVo?
Okay, so it's a given that I'm not giving up my PVR soon. So, which ones work best? And why?
So far, all of mine have been homebrew, thanks mostly to ATI video cap / tuner cards. I've never owned a ?TiVO, although I've lusted over them. But my current setup seems serviceable. I managed to record the entire run of the third season of Buffy in rerun onto VCDs with the ATI Multimedia Center software. (No cracks on the Buffster. If you don't like it, try s/Buffy/Babylon 5/ or maybe s/Buffy/Nova/ in your head.)
Now, I'm looking to replace the Windows this runs on with a Linux install. I already record radio shows under Linux with a PCI radio tuner, and under OS X sometimes with a USB FM tuner. So now I see this VCR HOWTO which claims:
This is a guide to setting up your GNU/Linux workstation as a digital VCR using the video4linux driver and a supported tuner card. A section has been added for creating VCD's that can be played in any DVD/VCD player as well.Sounds precisely like what I'm doing right now. And I think that my ATI All-in-Wonder Radeon card can be supported under Linux. If not, I have a backup BT848-based Zoltrix TV tuner that works for sure, but that one only seems to have mono audio, unfortunately.
Has anyone put together a working Linux setup as described in the HOWTO? If so, how do you like it?
On the other hand... Should I still think of getting a ?TiVo? What's so special about it, other than dead simple ease of use? I'd want to immediately crack it open and start hacking more HD space into it, as well as TiVo ?AirNET Ethernet Adapter Board. But I think my Linux box will do this, and more. Though, I'm not sure if Linux supports the TV-out for my ATI card. I've also heard that ?TiVo captures closed captioning. Eh, neat, but I don't need it. Not at the moment, anyway. Then I hear about things like SonicBlue being ordered to spy on PVR users, and I feel much safer having a home-cobbled PVR.
What d'you think?