[mythtv-users] commercial PVRs for myth?

Dave Howorth Dave.Howorth at acm.org
Wed Dec 22 20:16:27 UTC 2004

I wrote:
>> I'm planning to start digitising my house entertainment using mythtv.
>> I'm based in the UK and use the Freeview DVB-T transmissions.
>> So do any of the commercially available PVRs come with
>> standards-based network interfaces? Or has anybody hacked a commercial
>> PVR to run myth? (like the WRT54G router runs OpenWrt)

Will replied:
> After researching the UK Freeview PVR market before building my Myth 
> box, I'm quite certain there's no network capability on any of the 
> sub-250 boxes.

Hi Will,
Thanks for answering my questions. This is a great shame. I was 
encouraged today when I saw the Philips DTR1500 tuner (not recorder) has 
an RJ45 'for future use' and was hoping some of the recorder hardware 
might have the capability buried on the board or something. I think they 
must start adding the hardware capability soon - it's an obvious product 

> I'm even more certain that Myth has not been hacked to 
> run on any commonly available commercial DVR. Tivo may be a different 
> matter, someone else may comment on this (though getting your hands on 
> one may be nearly impossible/very expensive as they're not made anymore).

Given the problems that Philips, Hauppauge and other vendors seem to be 
having with  their software, we can always hope that one of them is 
brave enough to open it up, as Linksys did.

> If cost is an issue, you may consider getting off the shelf parts for 
> your PVR, including cheap case, fan etc. Then use a video-sender with 
> infrared facility to send the signal over to your TV (about 35 in 
> Maplin I believe).

Cost's not the main driver, though I'm sufficiently tightfisted that I 
hate paying more than I should for something. My main thought was that 
with no hassle I'd get a pretty box to sit in my hi-fi rack that does 
what needs to be done there. The alternative, given the need for two (or 
more) tuners seems to be quite a large box and lots of my attention to 
make sure it fits, is reasonably attractive and very quiet.

> Pros:
> - Works out a lot cheaper (you could have your DVR for 250 - 300)
> - Box can be put in a cupboard, ie no noise
> - You can switch all your AV stuff under your TV off, knowing your Myth 
> box is still recording :)
> Cons:
> - Limited to composite video, and stereo audio
> - Video sender can't be used with cordless phones, and is limited by 
> distance
> - Needs TV aerial wherever you put the box :)
> - Not really ideal for use with DVD's, etc etc
> I have gone this route, and used a MicroATX m/b, meaning that at a later 
> date I can buy a better case/more expensive quiet fan etc, and it should 
> be OK to put under the TV.

There's no point in a video sender for me, I think. 802.11g wifi is the 
obvious way to go for transmission and distribution. Then I can use a 
laptop as an extra frontend, for example. And I want S-video or RGB and 
5.1 audio. I'm beginning to think that another option is to put another 
TV antenna up, and feed it into a room where I can put a full size 
computer to do all the capture and storage.

Cheers, Dave

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