First things first, depending on your budget you either need to dedicate a PC to the task or use old hardware you have lying around; but beware that you need a beefier system if you plan on recording several streams at the same time. If money is not a problem, ideally you would get a low-noise living room case and start from the ground up but just about any 2-3 year old system will do.
Then you need to pick out a TV tuner card. Head over to MythTV’s compatibility site to make sure the card works with the system, but anything with DVB Linux drivers will work. After you’ve lined up the hardware, head over to MythTV’s site and download the their latest ISO, burn onto a CD and start installing.
MythTV is an all-inclusive Linux distro which handles every aspect of the DVR system, but there are other variants that work on OS X and Windows. It has a 10-foot interface, which means that it works perfect from a distance, such as your couch. I would also recommend getting a wireless remote, but a regular keyboard and mouse will do just fine.
Once you’ve set everything up, you will have a very powerful DVR, with remote recording capabilities, DVD playback and archiving features, amongst other TiVo lacking functions. Don’t forget to subscribe to HacknMod and stay updated with daily hacks.
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