[mythtv-users] Commercial PVR offerings - is MythTv still competitive ?

Yeechang Lee ylee at pobox.com
Mon Feb 9 22:37:12 UTC 2009

George Mogielnicki <george at begos.ca> says:
> Of course, there is quite a lot of functionality that is not
> available with the receiver - mythvideo comes to mind as one.

You likely answered your own question.

> Has this commercial offering caught up with Myth TV in terms of
> value ?

Like Kevin Kuphal I didn't built a MythTV box because of cost, per se.

Over the years it's seemed to me that a fair number of MythTV users
rave over it because they were too cheap to (or lived in a country
where they could not) pay for a TiVo and MythTV is the first time
they've ever used timeshifting. Not me; I bought a series 1 TiVo in
2000 and used it until one of its drives died almost five years
later. I later transferred its lifetime subscription to a TiVo 3 which
remains unopened (Anyone want to buy it? Let me know off-list) because
in December 2005 I'd built a MythTV frontend/backend, which still
forms an integral part of my overall setup as described in the

If all I wanted was high definition-capable timeshifting I'd have
returned to TiVo a long time ago. Like your DVR, it has an external
drive port. It has what is still the best UI around. It records two
programs in any combination of OTA or cable (using CableCARD). I have
no need whatsoever for any plugin other than MythVideo.

The TiVo doesn't, however, commflag or transcode. It's limited in
external storage to whatever is the largest eSATA drive available, and
I have no idea how one would upgrade the external drive. It can't ever
record more than two programs at once. It can't use multiple
frontends. It lacks the equivalent of MythVideo, which is great for
watching ripped DVDs.

Note that I didn't mention cost (an objective measure) or value (a
subjective one) in the comparison. Costwise I've spent much, much more
on my MythTV setup than I would have on a) replacing in 2005 the dead
drive on my series 1 TiVo then, once TiVo 3 arrived in late 2006, 2)
buying a 500GB (or whatever the size of the biggest available then)
eSATA drive. Certainly there have been times over the past three-plus
years that I've longed for TiVo's simplicity, usability, and
dependability. Do I still think I got my money's worth by taking the
MythTV plunge? Absolutely.

Frontend/backend:	P4 3.0GHz, 1.5TB software RAID 5 array
Backend:		Quad-core Xeon 1.6GHz, 6.6TB sw RAID 6
Video inputs:		Four high-definition over FireWire/OTA
Accessories:		47" 1080p LCD, 5.1 digital, and MX-600

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